What's in your water?

With the recent news bringing the name "Erin Brockovich" back into the spotlight, I thought it was a good time to address the topic of water.  Let's look at the benefits of drinking water, and how to optimize the quality of the water you drink...

First, what is so important about water and our health?

  • OUR BODIES ARE MOSTLY WATER.  On average, 60% of our body is water.
  • WEIGHT LOSS: If you're trying to lose weight, water is necessary.  Why?  Our fat cells hold onto toxins (think of our fat cells as jail "cells", and the toxins as the invaders), and only water can help pull these out of the body.  If you lose weight, but haven't pulled out the toxins, you will not maintain the weight loss.  And make sure you are having a bowel movement at least once daily to make sure these toxins leave your body for good.
  • HOW MUCH DO WE NEED?  The best way to determine how much water you need is to take your current weight, and divide it in half.  That is how many ounces you need to drink daily.  So, for example, if you weight 200 pounds, you need to drink 100 ounces - that's more than 12 cups of water per day!  (If you have kidney disease, or congestive heart failure, this equation does not apply to you)
  • Downside to drinking a lot of water is more trips to the bathroom.  However, this can be minimized by adding some trace minerals and/or a small amount of Himalayan pink sea salt (which has over 84 trace minerals in it, and only 25% of this is actually sodium or "salt").  Click here to read about 7 reasons why you should drink Himalayan salt water.

Water quality

Erin Brockovich became well known after her story was made into a Hollywood film.  The film focused on a small town, whose residents were found to have an unusually high incidence of cancers ultimately attributed to a chemical found in their tap water.  This same pollutant, chromium-6 (or hexavalent chromium), recently made news again when research found that 2/3 of our nation's water contains this chemical.  Hitting closer to home, In Travis county 7 out of 8 systems detected this chemical, and 58 out of 111 samples had positive (aka too much) of the chemical!  Unfortunately, there is no regulation for this (or for over 300 other chemicals, many of which are associated with causing cancer).  Only one state, California, has set a legal limit for this chemical.

Why do I bring this up?  We do need to be aware of our quality of water just as much as we need to drink enough.  So how can we decrease our exposure to toxins in our water?  Water filtration!

There are MANY types of water filtration systems.  The best option is a combination of mechanical plus reverse osmosis with carbon filtration, which you can get from local natural foods stores such as Natural Grocers and Whole Foods.  But to install one of these in your own home is expensive, and the reverse osmosis wastes up to 20 times more water than it produces.  However, there are 2 systems that will eliminate chromium-6 (in addition to other toxins) from your drinking water, and are more convenient than going to the grocery store every day to fill up your water jug:

1. Our favorite at TMC: Berkey water systems.  The cost is around $300 to purchase a unit (depends on size), or you can purchase a small water bottle version, and although the filters can be tricky to get started initially, they will last up to 5 years!  This makes them very cost effective over time, and they can even filter lake/pond water if you take it camping.  And the best part is that there is an option to add fluoride-eliminating cartridges (anyone with a thyroid issue needs to remove fluoride from their drinking water!).  Click here for a review, and click here for a detailed list of about what this filters out.

2. Zero Technologies ZP-001.  This is a convenient pitcher that uses mechanical, carbon, and ion filters to remove particular contaminants.  It removes chlorine, mercury, lead, and copper as well, but won't remove fluoride, pesticides, or VOCs.  It is the cheapest option (around $32 on Amazon), but has its limits on what it filters out.  It won't take up as much space as a Berkey, but the filters do need to be replaced more often.

And what about bottled water?  Not worth the cost on your wallet, or on your health - it only goes through a basic carbon water filtration system at best (which varies in what is removed).  

So, in summary, drink 2 glasses of water first thing every morning for detoxification and energy, add some Himalayan pink sea salt to your water, get rid of the fluoride if you have a thyroid issue, invest in high quality water filtration, and stop drinking water straight out of the tap!