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Water: Sustainer of Life

By John M. Burgstiner

Water is a basic need of all living creatures and a major constituent (over 70%) of the human body.  Water dissolves and transports nutrients into (and toxins out of) the cells, aiding the processes of digestion, absorption, circulation, and excretion. It also helps regulate body temperature. Arthritis, joint pain, back pain, heart disease, and many other ailments can be traced at least in part to drinking insufficient quantities of water.


Americans are blessed with water (hot or cold, no less) piped directly into our homes.  It is certainly more convenient and safer than the polluted stream water that people in some countries are forced to drink and bathe and wash clothes in.  But just how safe is safer and how much is enough?


How much water do I need?


At least eight (8oz) glasses per day or one quart per 50 lbs of body weight (more if you are athletic).  Drinking less in the short term can result in routine fatigue, dry skin, headaches and constipation.  Over the long term, it places a burden on virtually every body system that leads to premature aging and disease.  Humans can survive weeks without food, but only days without water. Increase your water consumption slowly and your body will adjust easier, lowering your number of bathroom breaks.  Frequent sips of water are absorbed and retained much better than large amounts.


What types of water should I avoid?


Municipal water is not a good option as it may contain large amounts of chlorine, chloramines, fluoride, arsenic and lesser but still dangerous amounts of aluminum and lead " not to mention the thousands of tons of prescription drugs that are flushed down the toilet each year that end up in our municipal water supplies.  Drinking chlorinated water doubles your risk of bladder and rectal cancers.  Fluoride suppresses thyroid function and causes bone loss.  Arsenic is a potent carcinogen.


Distilled water should also be avoided because it has the wrong ionization, pH, polarization and oxidation potentials, and can drain your body of essential trace minerals.


What kind of water should I drink?

Your exclusive beverage should be water best at room temperature (unless you are overheated, ice cold water can harm the delicate stomach lining). Do not store or buy it in PVC (cloudy plastic) containers as petrochemicals are leached into it.  Clear (polyethylene) bottles or glass is much better.


Only 30% of Americans drink three or more glasses of water per day (5% drink eight or more), and those who drink less than three account for 70% of our health care costs.

Do not make the mistake of thinking you can tell if your water is safe or not by the way it looks, tastes, or smells. Some contaminants in water are so harmful they re measured in parts per million, or parts per billion. This means that just a drop of these poisons added to several gallons of water can be harmful to your health.

Bottled Spring Water (not drinking water) is acceptable but expensive ($1-$2 per gallon) and has a negative impact on the environment.  Bottled water is a $35 Billion industry and growing.  However, caution is needed as some experts have estimated that over 40% of bottled water comes from municipal water supplies (both Aquafina and Dasani do).  Some brands have been found to contain high levels of antimony, a toxic metal that leaches into the water and accumulates in the water based on exposure to sunlight, temperature and length of storage time.


Reverse Osmosis - By far the most effective but expensive filter technology.  Kitchen or whole house systems are available ($700 and up).  Required with water softeners to remove excess sodium.


Carbon Filters (PUR, Brita, GE Smart Water) are safe and economical (as low as 24 cents per gallon).  They remove chlorine and most other impurities but may not remove fluoride.  Highly recommended for showers.


Water Scams - Oxygenated, energized, clustered.


Recommended Reading: "Your Body s Many Cries for Water" - Dr. F. Batmanghelidj