Know your H2O.

Would you be upset if you found out that bottle of spring water you just paid $3.00 for was from the tap? I certainly would. Sometimes people buy bottled water for functions or sporting events where the focus isn't so much on quality, but rather having access to enough fluids throughout the day or event. And then there are those who purchase it simply because they believe bottled is best. But is it really? And which one do you choose?

Recently, Extreme Natural Health News published an article in which the Pepsi Corporation admitted that their Aquafina bottled water is not spring or purified water as the label indicates, but just ordinary tap water. The company is being forced to change their labelling to reflect what is actually in the bottle. And well it should. Regardless whether you're choosing bottled for health or convenience, knowing what you're consuming is important. Read the full article here. 

Many people choose bottled over tap believing it to be a healthier choice. Bottled is often marketed as fresh, pure, and originating from some mountain spring giving us the illusion that drinking that bottle of water is somehow better for us than filling a glass from the tap in our kitchen. It seems logical that a water-bottling company would have more stringent rules and filtering processes around their H2O ensuring removal of things like pharmaceuticals, fluoride and bacteria. Especially since you're paying for it and tap water at home is virtually free. As we read above however, clearly, this is not the case.

As it turns out, most public water sources - aka tap water - have more regulations and safer testing processes than the bottling companies. That being said, chlorine and other chemicals are used in the purification process of tap water, and fluoride, a controversial mineral, is often added. Every city may be different as well, so having your tap water tested and knowing for sure what's in that bottled water, is really the only way to compare. Trying to make a choice between the two otherwise, the waters can become a little muddied.

In our quest for water that is safe, chemical and disease free, reverse osmosis is another form of purification touted as healthy. People buy it from special filling stations or pay to have a unit installed in their home.Yes, it removes all the undesirables, but it also removes the good stuff too – trace minerals – and lowers the pH making it acidic. Some people who use RO water buy trace minerals to add back in, and then have the pH tested to try to bring it up to be more alkaline. Many diseases thrive in an acidic environment so if you're using RO water and you haven't had it checked, you might want to do that.

pH is measured on a scale of zero to 14, with seven being neutral. Our blood is naturally slightly alkaline, or at least it should be, at around 7.4. Our stomach on the other hand is 3.5 or lower as the acidity is needed to break down food.

Some other H2O options you may have heard of include de-ionized water and distilled water - both pure sources with distilled being a conductor of electricity and de-ionized not. Both are commonly used for refilling batteries, cooling engines and cleaning as it is free of compounds. Alkaline water is gaining popularity in an effort to keep our bodies at the desired pH, creating an environment of health. There are many different brands and systems and those who use it will have their favourite and most report noticeable health benefits when drinking it. But as I learned over the weekend at a health conference, some companies are now upping the ante adding things like more trace minerals most of the population is deficient in, oxygen as we are typically shallow breathers, fulvic acid to help restore minerals and detox the body of heavy metals, and beetroot powder for it's fibre, nutrients, folate, and Vitamin C. Beetroot has also been known to lower blood pressure and increase athletic performance. You can't “beet” that. You can check out just one of the newer blends coming to market right here. 

Water is essential for life. Our bodies are over 70 per cent water and whatever nutrients we use up, must be put back. Every function that happens in our brain and each one of our bodily systems requires water to operate as it should. And while many say your water type doesn't really matter because you're getting everything you need from food, my question is always, “But are you?”. Studies have shown that most people when not supplementing, are deficient in some way. I am a big proponent of supplements and share those benefits with my clients.

Bottom line, the human body can survive about three weeks without food, but only three to four days without water. Hydration is great, but if your body is missing some of those vitamins and trace minerals, you may already be acidic. Know what's in your water, replace what's missing and make sure to drink about three litres each day to keep your brain and body functioning optimally and create an environment of health. Drink up.

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