Many questions have come up recently about water; how much to drink, if quality really matters, what to look for, what kind of filter is best, and so on. Part of the reason these questions have presented themselves lately is because I have been talking about it more, and received my favorite water filter for my birthday this year! More on that later.
First, let’s talk about WHY drinking enough water is so important. Everyone knows drinking water is healthy, but often times learning why something is healthy is the key to making a lasting lifestyle change. So, let’s dig in!
WHY DO WE NEED WATER ANYWAYS?
Water is the most important nutrient in the body. Did you know you can go about 8 weeks without food, but only DAYS without water? The body can produce about 8% of its daily water needs through metabolic processes, but the remaining 92% must be ingested through the foods and beverages we consume.
Water makes up about 55-60% of our total body mass. In an average adult, that equates to about 10-13 gallons of water! In fact, most of the volume of our cells and body fluids is water.
Dehydration is linked to a long list of chronic health problems including adult-onset diabetes, arthritis, asthma, back pain, cataracts, chronic fatigue syndrome, colitis, depression, heartburn, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney stones, lupus, migraines, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy. Even 3-4 cups per day is not enough to lower risk for these problems!
Water plays MANY important roles in our body, including:
Improves oxygen delivery to cells
Transports the nutrients we consume
Moistens oxygen for easier breathing
Cushions our bones and joints
Regulates body temperature
Removes wastes and flushes toxins
Empowers the body’s natural healing process
DOES QUALITY MATTER?
Short answer - YES! The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently monitors about 80 toxic substances found in our drinking water. Included in these substances are bacteria, viruses, parasites, chlorination by-products, heavy metals, pesticides, and plastics. While water purification plants that process water for human consumption take steps to minimize toxins, toxic compounds are present at potentially health-damaging levels in municipal drinking water nationwide. In fact, some of these substances found in municipal drinking water have been indirectly linked to many chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, most forms of cancer, Parkinson's, fertility, and rheumatoid arthritis. (SOURCE)
WHAT SHOULD WE DRINK?
If you have the space and budget, investing in a high quality solid block carbon filter (this brand is what we have and love) is recognized by the EPA as the best option in water filtration. These remove chemicals like herbicides, pesticides, bacteria, fluoride, heavy metals, nitrates/nitrites, and parasites. Most of them can transform any type of water (rain, pond, sea, you name it) into quality drinking water.
There are many different sizes and price points you can choose from depending on the needs of your family. It does require some counter space (or a stand) and you do have to fill it manually, but neither of those things bother us - especially when considering the benefits we are getting.
There is one option that may be a step above the Berkey for those who don’t want to refill it or take up counter space, and that is an under counter multi-stage filter. You can read an in-depth review about that here. We may look into this someday when we own a home, but for now the Berkey is exactly what we need!
On the other side of things, if a Berkey just isn’t in your budget right now and you would prefer a pitcher filter that you keep in the fridge, I would recommend Brita, as it is what we used before we got our Berkey and it worked just fine. Since the carbon is not solid, however, it does not remove all of the toxins, but it’s a step in the right direction.
If you have any questions regarding hydration or water filtration, feel free to leave a comment below or reach out via my contact page!