Staying hydrated keeps your memory sharp, mood stable and motivation intact. When you’re well hydrated, you can think through a problem more easily. Researchers hypothesize that not having enough water could reduce oxygen flow to the brain or temporarily shrink neurons — or being thirsty could distract you. Water keeps your throat and lips moist and prevents your mouth from feeling dry. Dry mouth can cause bad breath and/or an unpleasant taste, and can promote cavities. Dehydration lowers your blood volume, so your heart must work harder to pump the reduced amount of blood and get enough oxygen to your cells, which makes everyday activities like walking up stairs more difficult. When you’re well hydrated, the water inside and outside the cells of contracting muscles provides adequate nutrients and removes waste efficiently so you perform better. Water is important for lubricating joints. Muscle cramps do not appear to be related to dehydration, but to muscle fatigue, according to Sam Cheuvront, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist for the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine.
When a person is severely dehydrated, skin is less elastic. This is different than dry skin, which is usually the result of soap, hot water and exposure to dry air. Drinking lots of water won’t prevent wrinkles. Your kidneys need water to filter waste from the blood and excrete it in urine. Keeping hydrated may help prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones. If you are severely dehydrated, your kidneys may stop working, causing toxins to build up in your body.
Water is incredibly important to the human body. The average adult human body is 55-60% water. A baby’s body is closer to 75%. Two crucial organs in the body, the brain and the lungs, are 70% and 90% water respectively. The quality of the water you drink greatly impacts your overall health.
The poor environmental habits of modern society have degraded the quality of our water and have led us to a point where high quality drinking water is difficult to find. While the argument is made that tap water is amongst the best water available to us, a series of testing for the ingredients in our tap water would tell almost anyone that it is certainly not of high quality.
Recent analyses of municipal drinking water have shown that, despite government regulations, there are many dangerous contaminants present in our water. There are many chemicals that are not regulated and there are no legal specifications to restrict what amount of certain chemicals can be in the water. This means that certain chemicals can be found in any given amount.
Many municipalities in Canada and the United States voluntarily add fluoride to their water supplies without the consent or vote of the citizens. Most citizens and government officials are drastically misinformed about fluoride.
The Safe Drinking Water Act only regulates 91 potential water contaminants. In the US alone, over 60,000 chemicals are used that can find their way into water supplies. Many of them have been identified as possible carcinogens. Current estimates suggest that there are more than 2,100 known chemical toxins present in U.S. tap water. Cities with older pipelines face problems as chemicals leach from the lines as the water travels.
What’s in our tap water?
Fluoride used in water fluoridation practices is a mix of a number of highly toxic chemicals, including radioactive chemicals formed during aluminum and fertilizer production. The substance is considered a class 4 hazardous waste product by the EPA and it is illegal to dump anywhere in the environment. The chemical used in our water, hydrofluorocilicic acid is in fact a class 4 hazardous waste substance that is ILLEGAL to dump in the environment. Yet for over 50 years, the U.S. government has mandated that fluoride be added to the water supply to prevent dental problems. We are still dumping this waste product into the environment, but under the guise of a “health practice.” While there has never been research to suggest the safety or effectiveness of water fluoridation, current research has shown that fluoride has been shown to damage tooth enamel, increase fracture risk, suppress immune and thyroid function, increase cancer risk and disrupt the function of the pineal gland.
We have all heard of chlorine, not only is it found in our water, but in most swimming pools. In both uses, it is a disinfectant as it effectively kills microorganisms. The trouble is, chlorine does not know when to stop killing organisms, which leads to toxic effects for the body. Chlorine has been identified as a leading cause of bladder cancer, and has been associated with rectal and breast cancers, asthma, birth defects and premature aging of skin.
- Radioactive Contaminants
Remember the Fukushima nuclear accident? Since then, radioactive fallout from Japan has been detected in drinking water supplies throughout the U.S. Radioactive iodine-131 was detected in drinking water samples from 13 U.S. cities. In some cities, radioactive cesium and tellurium isotopes have been detected at low levels. The health implications of this radioactive contamination are not known yet.
- Pharmaceutical Drugs
Pharmaceutical drugs are consumed in great numbers in North America. Inevitably, these drugs find their way into our water after being flushed or discarded via urine. Investigations have demonstrated that an increasing number of pharmaceutical drugs are finding their way into our drinking water and this should pose some concern. Anything from antibiotics and birth control pills to painkillers, antidepressants and other psychiatric medications are showing up in most municipal water supplies.
- Hexavalent Chromium
An Environmental Working Group report revealed that hexavalent chromium, a chemical identified as “probably carcinogen by the EPA,” is present in high concentrations in 31 U.S. cities. If you are unaware of this chemical, it was made famous by the movie, Erin Brockovitch, which chronicled the truth story battle against Pacific Gas and Electric for contaminating the water in an area of Southern California. The chemical poisoned thousands of people yet there are still no regulations for hexavalent chromium in drinking water.
- Lead, Aluminum & Heavy Metals
Lead and other heavy metals can make their way into our tap water as a result of the corrosion of pipes in our plumbing systems. Lead consumption has been linked to severe developmental delays and learning disorders in children. Aluminum and other heavy metals have been linked to nerve, brain and kidney damage. In the United States, some municipalities still transport water in lead pipes.
Arsenic is a wellknown poisonous element known to be extremely carcinogenic. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, it is estimated that as many as 56 million Americans drink water containing unsafe levels of arsenic. Considering the carcinogenic nature of Arsenic, this can greatly increase the rate of cancer.
What Can You Do?
Drink reverse osmosis water or distilled water. Due to the lack of minerals, it would be beneficial to add minerals back via supplements.