This guest article is by Gene Fitzgerald. He’s explaining the benefits of drinking healthy fluids and clean drinking water. I’m excited about today’s post because water is such an important part of maintaining a healthy body and weight. It’s also a huge part of weight loss.
This article is all about water – drinking water to be more specific. I’m going to tell you the health benefits of proper hydration, how much water you should drink daily, and whether tap or bottled water is best. Ready?
The Health Benefits of Drinking Enough Water
Drinking enough water throughout the day has numerous health benefits. For example, it helps you to lose weight and stay in shape. Plus, it can improve digestive problems and frequent headaches.
Health & Well-Being
Proper hydration is so important for a well-functioning digestive system. It can ease constipation, a condition that about 16% of adult Americans and almost 34% of Americans over the age of 60 have. Drink plenty of water and your food will easily pass through your intestines.
A healthy fluid level in your body also reduces the chances for headaches. How? The human brain consists of water, at least for the most part. When you lose too much fluid due to sweating, urinating and respiration without replacing it, dehydration leads to a temporary brain shrinkage. Thus, it pulls away from the skull, which can cause to a head-splitting headache.
Water also helps to flush your kidneys and remove toxins from your body. Clean kidneys enhances workout performance, prevents post-workout fatigue, and is linked to a healthy heart.
Many people confuse being thirsty with being hungry. And instead of drinking, they eat. This can lead to steady weight gain. Drinking plenty of water helps you to eat less and lose unwanted pounds.
Plus, if you stay well-hydrated, your metabolic rate increases. That means you may have more energy to do your daily activities and burn more calories doing them.
More weight loss help:
You know our brains are made largely of water and dehydration can cause headache. This isn’t the only symptom. Slight dehydration can lead to tiredness, brain fog and memory issues. You also might feel a bit touchy and overreact when you’re bothered by small issues.
Drink an enough water and you’ll notice how much easier it is to concentrate and feel more balanced overall.
How much is enough?
What’s the sweet spot between dehydration and oversupply? Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to that question.
- If you’re very active, you need to drink more to replace all the fluids that you lose.
- Your body size, weight and age also play roles. Big people burn more calories. They therefore need to drink more. The same applies to young people.
- Males need to drink more than females.
- Your diet is another influencing factor, because fruits and veggies naturally contain a lot of water. Eat more of these and you need to drink less.
According to this study, infants between 2 and 3 years old should drink about 1.3 liters of water per day. Girls between 4 and 13 need somewhere between 1.3 to 2.1 liters. Young women between the age of 14 and 18 should get 2.3 liters and adult females need 2.7 liters of water daily.
4 to 13-year old boys should drink 1.7 to 2.4 liters per day. Young men (14 to 18) need 3.3 and adult men 3.7 liters of water.
Please note that this is the required total daily water intake. We get roughly 20% from food.
Bottled vs. Tap Water – Which one is better?
As far as drinking water is concerned, you can choose between bottled and tap. But which one is better?
It’s a common misconception that bottled water is better quality than plain tap water. However, the majority of bottled water has the same bad quality as untreated tap water. There are exceptions, such as pure artesian or spring water in glass containers.
Surprisingly, drinking water standards for bottled water are lower than tap. Bottled water is usually stored in plastic containers and can be contaminated with substances such as BPA. It’s also a lot more expensive.
The sad truth is that drinking untreated tap water isn’t the solution, as it often contains too many of harmful contaminants to meet health guidelines. A list with some of the most common and dangerous substances and their health effects can be found here.
You can choose between 3 types of filters: Reverse osmosis (RO), gravity-fed and carbon. The right one for you depends on which contaminants are present in your water.
The first step is to ask your municipality for a free Water Quality Report. The report tells you which substances were found in your water in the previous year. Alternatively, you can use the Tap Water Database of the Environmental Working. The database is a browsable collection of water quality reports of most water utilities across the United States. All you need to do is click here, enter your zip code and hit GO.
Second you need to determine what type of filter is best suited for the contaminants in your water. It’s unlikely your water contains nothing but H2O and healthy minerals.
A little more on the different types of filters:
- Reverse Osmosis – Reverse osmosis is the most effective filtration technology. It removes almost all contaminants from your water. Unfortunately, RO systems are expensive and usually require professional installation. Personally, I (Gene) prefer systems that feature a remineralization stage. This stage adds healthy nutrients back into your water.
- Gravity Filters – Gravity-fed filters are a slightly cheaper than RO systems. They do an excellent job at removing chlorine, chlorination by-products, fluoride, lead, pesticides, and VOCs. The most popular gravity filter brand is Berkey, a filter you can simply place on your kitchen countertop. The downside is that you have to manually refill a gravity filter whenever it runs out of water.
- Carbon Filters – Last but not least, we have carbon filters. Carbon filters are can remove a limited range of contaminants. The only reason I’d recommend one was if you have excessive amounts of lead or fluoride.
I don’t recommend using a water distiller. Distillation is a lengthy process and requires lots of energy. Your water will also lack of all the healthy minerals it once contained.
Lots Of Water, But Clean
Drinking an adequate amount of water is key if you want to feel good, look good and stay healthy. I don’t recommend drinking any type of water though. Get the most benefit from your water by drinking quality. I suggest high-end bottled water or getting a water treatment system to filter the tap water in your home.