How to Drink Water
Frequently, it has been observed by those who study the social sciences that while advances in medicine have saved many people from premature death resulting from disease or trauma, the scientific advance that has done the most to increase life expectancy is the ubiquitous availability of clean, safe drinking water.
A healthy sedentary adult living in a temperate climate should drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day. This level of water intake balances water loss and helps keeping the body properly hydrated. The water you consume through food and drinks follows a very precise route to arrive in your cells, of which it is a vital constituent. After passing through the stomach, water enters the small intestine, where it is largely absorbed in the first sections, the duodenum and jejunum. The rest passes into the colon. It crosses the intestinal mucous membrane into the bloodstream, then into the interstitial tissues that make up the framework of every organ, to arrive in the cells.
Drinking Water at the Right Time
Before a bath
Drink one glass of water before taking a bath to help lower your blood pressure.
Drink one glass of water an hour before bedtime to replenish any fluid loss that can occur during the night.
After waking up
Drink one glass of water after waking up to help activate your internal organs. The water will help to remove any toxins before your first meal of the day.
Before a meal
Drink one glass of water 30 minutes before a meal to help digestion. Remember not to drink too soon before or after a meal as the water will dilute the digestive juices. Drink water an hour after the meal to allow the body to absorb the nutrients.
Benefits of Drinking Water
Water is the main component of the human body. In fact, the body is composed of between 55 and 78 percent water, depending on body size. Adequate and regular water consumption has numerous health benefits. As an added plus, it has no calories, fat, carbohydrates or sugar. The amount of water you consume everyday plays an important role in maintaining a healthy body. Experts recommend drinking eight to 10 glasses of water each day to maintain good health.
Drinking an adequate amount of water daily is important for overall good health because water aids in digestion, circulation, absorption and even excretion.
Top 10 Benefits of Drinking Water
Water helps with weight loss – Removes by-products of fat, reduces eating intake (by filling up your tummy if consumed prior to meals), reduces hunger (hello natural appetite suppressant!), raises your metabolism and has zero calories!
Water clears your skin – Moisturizes your skin, keeps it fresh, soft, glowing and smooth. Gets rid of wrinkles. It’s the best anti-aging treatment around!
Improves Mood – Research indicates that mild dehydration (even one or two percent lower hydration level of hydration than optimal) can negatively affect your mood and ability to think. A small study conducted on 25 women and published in the Journal of Nutrition found that being dehydrated can take a toll on your mood and cognitiive function. The color of your urine is a good indicator of your level of hydration. The lighter the color the better the level of hydration and vice versa.
Flushes Out Toxins – Gets rid of waste through sweat and urination which reduces the risk of kidney stones and UTI’s (urinary tract infections).
It boosts your energy – In the same way that not drinking enough water makes your brain slow down it has the same effect on your body.For example, your muscles are around 75% water, your bones are about 22% and your blood is around 83%.
It fights infections – Drinking water can help fight infections all over your body, not only because it flushes out toxins but because when you’re dehydrated you’re more likely to catch a bug. It’s especially good for getting rid of and preventing urine infections and kidney stones.
Maintains Regularity – AIf you suffer from constipation or piles you might have been told to increase how much fibre you eat. This is definitely one way of getting rid of the problem but you’ll need to drink more water for the fibre to work properly. Otherwise it could have the opposite effect and make you worse.
It makes you exercise better – It’s common sense to replace the fluids you lose when you sweat with water, but what might not be obvious is that your body works better and harder during your workout if you drink water.
Natural Headache Remedy – Helps relieve and prevent headaches (migraines & back pains too!) which are commonly caused by dehydration.
It supports your heart – The hardest working muscle of all needs a lot of water to keep it going at full speed. When you get dehydrated your blood gets thicker so the heart has to work even harder. And if your heart is weak it can lead to more serious heart problems later in life.
A study by Eden found that drinking more than five glasses of water a day could cut your chances of having a heart attack by 41%, compared with people who drank less than two glasses a day.
Drinking Water Safety
Whether your drinking water comes from a public water supply (city water) or private well and/or spring, each drinking water source may be at risk for contamination and you need to know what those contaminants are and how you might protect your family from the risks associated with the contamination.
The United States has one of the safest drinking water supplies in the world. However, each year, outbreaks of illness related to contaminants in drinking water are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People should know where their drinking water comes from, how it has been treated, and whether it is safe to drink. The quality of drinking water from the tap can vary depending on whether its source is a regulated water system or an unregulated small community system or private well. Home tap water may also be filtered.
Water Safety Plans
A supply is deemed ‘safe’ if it meets the relevant drinking water quality standards at the tap and ‘secure’ if a risk management system, a Drinking Water Safety Plan (DWSP), is in place. A DWSP identifies all potential risks to the water supply, from catchment to consumer, and mitigation measures and procedures are put in place to manage these risks.
In 2009 the World Health Organisation published detailed guidance on the implementation of the Drinking Water Safety Plan approach, the document is entitled “External link Water Safety Plan Manual: step-by-step Risk Management for Drinking Water Supplies”. The primary objective of this approach is to protect human health. The approach applies equally to small and large drinking water supplies.
Here’s how to become your own clean-water sleuth
You know that bill you pay every month, or every quarter, for your drinking water? It’s the first stepping-stone on your search. Every year, your water agency is required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to supply you with a Consumer Confidence Report, which is an annual water quality report that details any and all contaminants that may be present in your water and alerts you to the health risks they pose.
Search the Environmental Working Group’s National Drinking Water Database
This watchdog agency maintains a handy-dandy (and easier to use) database of water quality reports, searchable by zip code and by water company. At first glance, the results can be scary. That’s because the EWG highlights chemicals that are found to be above what it terms the “health limit” in addition to those that exceed the legal limit for safe water. The EWG’s data also includes many chemicals that aren’t regulated—meaning chemicals for which the EPA has not set legal limits. For these chemicals, it uses zero as the baseline, so water that contains any amount of the chemicals is flagged.
Use the EPA’s Drinking Water Watch Program
Eighteen states participate in the EPA’s Drinking Water Watch program, which links to a searchable database of detailed information on water quality violations, reported health hazards, and actions taken by the state to enforce water quality or clean up pollution. If you live in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, or any of the other states that participate, you can enter the name of your county, the number of your public water system, or even more specific identifying information and get a report of the water quality test results. The type of data available varies by state, and some of the links are buggy, so this is most useful if you don’t get your water from a community agency or want to research the test data for a particular date and place.
Research Specific Contaminants
Once you have your water quality data, you can go a step further and look up each chemical of concern in EWG’s chemical database or in the EPA’s list of water contaminants. The Water Quality Association has interesting information on emerging contaminants, but don’t get too worked up—the association represents companies that make money from water testing, so it has a vested interest in making you anxious.
If Your Water Comes From a Well
When your water supply comes from a private or a community well as opposed to a municipal agency, you’ve got to do a little extra digging, as it were. The EPA has a comprehensive state-by-state guide to private drinking-water wells across the country, but once again, it’s ridiculously inconsistent. If the link for your state doesn’t take you to a helpful page, contact your state government directly to see if it has more up-to-date information.
DIY Water Testing
Let’s face it: There’s no way to be absolutely sure your water is safe unless you have it tested yourself. Start by calling the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline, which will connect you with a local water testing agency. You can also use the Water Quality Association’s search page to find an approved testing company in your state.
In the US, municipal drinking water is regularly tested and reported to the community. On the other hand, bottled water is not rigorously regulated, so we do not know whether it contains contaminates such as chromium 6. There is also the negative impact that bottled water has on the environment, e.g. processing, transportation and disposal of plastic containers.
How to Conserve Drinking Water
Turn off faucets completely.
Take a short shower instead of a bath.
Turn water off while brushing your teeth or shaving.
Use faucets and shower heads that restrict water flow.
Place a one gallon plastic container full of water in the toilet tank. It will displace and therefore save up to a gallon of water.
Wash full loads when washing clothes.
Adjust the water level control on the washing machine appropriately.
Keep a bottle of water in the refrigerator for drinking. You will not have to run faucet water until it gets cold.
Use garbage disposal once instead of several times.
Wash full loads in the dishwasher.
Use small pans of water to wash vegetables rather than running water over them continuously.
Clean driveway and sidewalks with a broom and not a water hose.
Do not fertilize the lawn in the summer.
Park the car in the grass while washing it, therefore watering the lawn at the same time.
Water lawn and garden in early morning or at night.
Use drip irrigation.
Pull weeds that compete with plants for water.
Check all pipes and faucets for leaks.
Water covers 70% of the Earth, but only 3% of it is clean and suitable for human consumption. Even if you live in an area with ample rainfall, using water requires energy to process, pump, heat, re-pump, and reprocess it. Fortunately, there are ways to save water for everyone, from certified germaphobes to compost-toilet-level conservationists. The average family of four uses 450 litres of water a day, which is 164,000 litres a year.