Water: Our Main Ingredient
By Warren King L.Ac.
There is nothing more refreshing when you are hot and thirsty than clear, cold spring water. Water is not only refreshing but absolutely essential to life. The only nutrient that is more important to the body than water is oxygen. Our bodies are made up of about 80% water.
Water is the crucial ingredient in our body’s self-cleansing system. We are very aware of the body’s normal elimination processes, but may not realize that unwanted substances are also eliminated through perspiration, which also require water. Certainly our kidneys will not be able to cleanse efficiently if there is not enough water in our system to carry away the waste.
Finding pure drinking water is becoming a challenge. Our increasingly polluted world has made it necessary for the Environmental Protection Agency to set water standards. The EPA screens for the presence of suspended solids, oil and grease, fecal coiform bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals. Unfortunately, the major source of pollution (65% in 1990) comes not from industrial sites which can be regulated, but from storm water run-off. Rainfall coming in contact with pollutants from agricultural operations absorb these chemicals and transports them into lakes and rivers. Only 9% of water pollution came from actual industrial sites in 1990.
Municipal water should be avoided if possible. Most municipal waters have a high ppm (parts per million) concentrations of aluminum due to the use of aluminum hydroxide as an accepted method of water treatment. Moreover, the addition of chlorine results in the creation of cancer-causing chemicals when dissolved organic solids are chemically altered by chlorination. While there is a trend toward replacing chlorination with peroxide treatment of water, it will be decades beforeperoxide is adopted as a standard. Fluoride is another toxic chemical added to most municipal water supplies. Chlorosporidium is a parasite cyst commonly found in tap water. Recently a law was passed that the consumers are to be mailed a copy of lab finding of toxins in the water. In my district it said that due to copper pipes, there was excess copper in the tap water so they were going to add a chemical to help reduce copper. MBTE is a chemical gasoline additive that has been found in most city water and is a potent carcinogen.
We may turn to expensive bottled waters, but regulation in this industry is vague. Regardless of cost, the bottled water you buy may simply be tap water put through a filtration process. You may wish to invest in a water purifier for your home.
The ideal amount of water to consume is half your body weight in ounces per day. That means if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink 80 ounces of water (or about ten 8-ounce glasses per day). Avoid drinking any chlorinated water.
I find that reverse osmosis water tests the best on most people for general health, some minerals are retained, and it has more life force than water sitting in plastic jugs. Bottled spring water is can also be good, the large 5 gallon bottle seem to leach less plastic. Chippewa Springs is a great local brand. Do not use Britta filters, they tend to harbor microorganisms. Water is best drunk warm or at room temperature; cold, chilled or iced water tends to shock the stomach and stop digestion. It is hard to carry enough bottles or filtered water from a store to have enough to use in cooking also, so a filter is a worthwhile investment.