Is Drinking Tap Water Safe? Best Sources of Water For Optimum Cellular Hydration
So often we hear health experts highlighting the importance of nutrition for optimum health, but when I read these articles, I often find there’s little being said about the importance of the quality of the water we drink.
We all know we need to ‘drink enough water’, but what do they mean with ‘water’?
Sure filtered tap water is the best kind, as it’s safe, and the best choice you can make for the environment, right?
I totally get it. I used to drink filtered tap water for that very same reason. It wasn’t until I started to educate myself about health and nutrition, that I realized drinking tap water is one of the worst mistakes you can make for your health.
Did you know that:
The average human being can survive up to 2 months without food,
but only 3-5 days without water?
Water is of critical importance to our survival and wellbeing. But when you open up any website or magazine on nutrition, food is almost always at the center of attention.
That’s why I want to close the gap, and disclose everything you need to now about water: why water matters, where to find the best quality water near you, how to increase deep cellular hydration, and what to do when you don’t like drinking water.
Is Drinking Tap Water Safe? Best Sources of Water to Improve Cellular Hydration
WHY WATER MATTERS
Did you know that your body is 60 to 70% water?
Water has multiple functions in the body, like:
It serves as the primary building block for your cells
It regulates your body temperature
It’s essential for digestion
It lubricates joints and works as a shock absorber for the brain, spinal cord, and organs
It carries oxygen and nutrients into the cells
It’s necessary to flush waste and toxins out of your body
When you’re dehydrated, all these functions can start to lose their efficacy, leading to dehydration symptoms such as dry mouth, dry skin, fatigue, weakness, nausea, headaches, dizziness, dark urine… When you’re chronically dehydrated though, this can lead to less obvious issues like chronic inflammation, constipation, cravings, always feeling hungry, exhaustion, skin disorders, and arrhythmia, to name a few.
HOW YOUR BODY ‘DIGESTS’ WATER
When you drink water, it passes through the stomach and gets absorbed through the small and large intestines into your bloodstream, where it will partly be stored into your cells, and partly it will help with cellular waste elimination. From there, the water + waste will travel to the kidneys, your body’s blood filter system. Eventually, the filtered blood ends up as urine in your bladder, and from there it will be eliminated.
Bearing this in mind, you don’t want to be drinking water that contains tiny waste particles, as this will hinder the efficiency of your body’s ingenious waste elimination process.
Even more, when you think of it from a larger perspective — we humans are designed to live in close harmony with nature. Because of industrialization and urbanization we have drifted away from that natural lifestyle, and this is one major reason why we are becoming more and more sick and dis-eased.
There’s more awareness around it these days though, and it’s amazing to see people move closer to nature again by eating more wholefoods, growing their own vegetables, choosing organic produce, etc — and they’re restoring their health by doing so.
You can see the same back-to-nature evolution taking place in our relationship with water. Industrialization and urbanization made us move further away from natural water resources (i.e. local springs), but consciousness is growing and it’s making more and more sense to people that drinking fresh spring water is better than drinking recycled waste water.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF WATER — WHICH IS BEST?
The best quality water to choose, in descending order:
Fresh spring water
By far the best thing you can do for your health, is drinking fresh spring water, that is, water that you have tapped from a local source.
Fresh spring water is water from the Earth as it’s meant to be. Water is so much more than H2O molecules — it’s a whole matrix of beneficial microbes and micro-algae, as well as mineral ions. And we need all that. We are adapted to drink water as nature intended — the energy of the source, the structure of the water, the beneficial micro-organisms, the mineral ions — they all work together synergetically. We aren’t adapted to drink refined H2O as much as we aren’t adapted to eat refined carbohydrates.
Glass-bottled spring water
Your second best option is to buy spring water bottled in glass bottles. Make sure the label says spring water (the source should be specified on the label) — if it says something different like ‘mineral water’ or ‘natural water’, that can mean anything!
What to take note of when buying bottled water
First, of course, make sure it’s actually spring water. On the label it should literally say ‘spring water’ and it should specify the source.
Then, have a look on the label at the ‘mineral analysis’ section and make sure the dry residue is as low as possible, preferably below 100mg/l. ‘Dry residue’ stands for the mineral content of the water.
Now you may argue that minerals are important, so why not choose for water with high mineral content?
Here’s why: “While minerals are indeed essential, the minerals in bottled water are often of the colloidal form, which is about a million times as big as the minerals we find in plantfoods, which are called ‘angstrom-sized’. Plants get larger pieces of minerals from the soil and convert them into a useable form for us, i.e. angstrom-sized.
The minerals you get from plants are also ionic, basically meaning that they have an electrical charge. This means that they’re instantly useable by the body. Colloidal minerals in mineral water don’t have that charge, and even if your body can break them down it still has to give them this charge. Often it doesn’t and just struggles to get the colloidal minerals out as quickly as possible.” (1)
I’d say: drink water for hydration, eat food for mineralization.
A good brand of glass-bottled spring water in Belgium that also has a low dry residue is Spa.
Plastic-bottled spring water
Spring water bottled in plastic is your third best option. It’s not ideal, since plastic particles will leach into the water, especially if the bottles have been stored in a magazine for a while (which is very likely). The best thing you can do in this case is:
Make sure you store the plastic bottles in a dark and cool place, out of direct sunlight.
Support your body’s inherent detox mechanisms on a daily basis.
Drink anti-plastics tea regularly to help your cells get rid of any microplastics you may have ingested.
Tap water (yes, even filtered)
Tap water is at the very bottom of this list because it is the worst type of water to drink.
Tap water is mostly recycled waste water. While most waste has been filtered out, there are still tiny remains of toxic heavy metals, nanobacteria, pesticides, hormones, and drug residues present. Also, in some countries, fluoride and chlorine are added during the filtration process, which are not beneficial for your health:
Chlorine: added during the water filtering process as a purification technique but chlorine isn’t safe, it’s actually an anti-biotic substance — meaning against-life — which is damaging to your gut ecosystem.
Fluoride: some governments apply water fluoridation to help prevent tooth decay, but fluoride is a neurotoxin and an endocrine disruptor — it’s quite common knowledge now that it’s harmful so some countries have banned water fluoridation.
Nanobacteria: water filtration infrastructures and pipes can become contaminated with nanobacteria, which end up in your tap water.
Pesticides & herbicides like glyphosate wash down our driveways and lawns and into our water systems.
Heavy metal particles: arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury and copper particles can contaminate tap water. Also, if you live in an older building, and your water comes up through lead pipes, lead particles will leach into your water — and they are highly toxic.
Hormonal drug residues: “[t]race elements of prescription drugs have been found in city water supplies.”
Even when your tap water doesn’t contain large amounts of these chemicals, it’s good to keep in mind that tap water is never fresh. It’s purified dead water, refined H2O. The water you drink should be deeply hydrating and rejuvenating, carrying all the beneficial organisms and the life energy of the source. That is what will truly quench your thirst, and hydrate you on a cellular level.
What if you have a filter?
No filter is 100% effective. Especially nano particles will still get through.
Even if you’re still skeptical about it, I challenge you to at least try switching to spring water for one month or so, and notice how it makes you feel.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING HYDRATED
Good hydration is of crucial importance:
For the effective elimination of waste
And for optimal functioning of cells and systems
The more stress you experience (physical as well as mental and emotional stress), the more hydration you will need. Some tips to start with:
Avoid tap water and opt for spring water
Drink a big glass of spring water + juice of half a lemon first thing in the morning: this stimulates elimination, hydration and production of digestive enzymes
Drink a big glass of spring water 20 to 30 minutes before every meal
Make sure to drink 2l of water a day (or more, depending on activity & stress levels)
Add more fresh, raw fruits and vegetables to your diet: these contain water in combination with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, which facilitate deep, cellular hydration
Avoid refined table salt and opt for raw Celtic salt and naturally salty vegetables like celery and seaweeds instead
Make sure your electrolytes sodium-potassium and calcium-magnesium are in balance: these function as conductors, i.e. they guide water into and out of the cell
WHEN YOU HATE DRINKING WATER
First of all you need to know that when you’re used to drinking tap water, it’s very understandable you don’t like drinking water, because, well, it’s genuinely disgusting.
Also, drinking tap water has likely made you chronically dehydrated, which makes your brain shut off the part of the brain that asks for water, and this can cause you to feel hungry when you’re actually thirsty. Many people who are overweight are actually chronically dehydrated, and most underweight people are too. (1)
Action steps to take in this case:
Stop drinking tap water altogether and switch to a better quality water higher on the list.
If you don’t like plain water, add lemon or lime juice. This will help increase taste as well as the hydrating effect.
Alternatively, drink fresh juices and herbal infusions.
WHEN YOU DRINK LOTS OF WATER BUT STILL FEEL DEHYDRATED
It’s possible that you drink a lot of water, but still never feel truly hydrated. You may be always thirsty, or experience other dehydration symptoms like dry skin, constipation, or fatigue:
The number one reason is because you’ve been drinking poor quality water.
It’s also possible that your body is overburdened with toxins and you may need to give your detox mechanisms some extra support.
Thirst that seems unquenchable, combined with frequent urination, may be a sign of diabetes.
You’re deficient in omega-3 essential fats. Good levels of omega-3 are necessary for maintaining cellular hydration and a deficiency can lead to problems with the production of tissue hormones, also known as prostaglandins, and this can lead to inflammation, cellular toxicity, and chronic dehydration.
WAYS TO HYDRATE YOUR BODY APART FROM DRINKING WATER
Besides making sure to drink enough high quality water, there’s more to consider to make sure your cells stay healthy & hydrated.
Switch up your drinking game with fresh vegetable & fruit juices like this liver detox juice or simple juices like celery, cucumber, orange, grapefruit or watermelon juice.
Another great way to drink more liquids are herbal infusions. My favourite infusion is nettle - raspberry leaf - lemon balm, but in Summer I prefer more fruity infusions like rosehip - hibiscus - orange. You can add some raw organic honey to improve the taste and to help with nutrient absorption.
A wholefood plant-based diet
Add more fresh fruits & vegetables to your diet, as they contain water combined with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in their bioactive form.
Include more hydrating & alkalizing foods like aloe vera, leafy greens, celery, cucumber, melons, citrus fruits, and seaweeds.
Include healthy fats like avocado, chia, hemp, and flax seeds, which are rich in essential fatty acids that will keep your cells hydrated.
Include good mineral sources like seaweeds and organic vegetables, especially leafy greens & wild herbs. Minerals are essential for healthy cellular function so it’s important that your mineral reserves are on point. If necessary, supplement with a good quality supplement and make sure they are of the right, bioavailable kind.
Omega-3s play a crucial role in keeping the cells hydrated & maintaining strong cell membranes. Good quality sources are algae like seaweed and spirulina, which you can also take in supplement form.
Lecithin is a vital substance that our bodies produce naturally. It acts as an emulsifier for water & fats, thus helping with cell membrane function and cellular hydration & elimination. Taking a sunflower lecithin supplement may help improve cellular function.
RESOURCES & FURTHER READING
(1) From The New Easy Exhaustion Cure by Elwin Robinson
Bottled Water History & Containers by Heartland Springs
The information in this article is based on the opinion of the writer, Siobhan Dolezal, and is not intended as medical advice, nor is it meant to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Siobhan Dolezal. Siobhan strongly encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.