Drinker’s Guide to All Things Purified Water
Now that we know bottled water leads the way in the world of plastic pollution, it’s easier to ask — is it really that much better than drinking from the tap? And what is up with the alkaline and acid water that have become the center of much conversation and controversy?
Add to this ever-growing dilemma, the power of the people — stating in a nationwide poll that Los Angeles has the best tasting tap water, and one could see all of this as a sign of the Apocalypse. Or, it could be the fact that the L.A. water comes from the Sierra Nevada mountains. After drinking water from the tap in both Long Island, NY and Portland, OR, I just can’t imagine Los Angeles has the best drinking water! (note to readers: I’ve lived in LA nearly my entire 35 years). The following is a guide to try and sort all this water information out.
Water: To Purify, Bottle, Tap… Or?
Water, at its essence, is Hydrogen and Oxygen. Protons, neutrons and electrons forming tangible molecules that we cannot live without. It provides our body with internal balance and plays a crucial role in every biological function we depend on and enjoy.
Our bodies can’t thrive without proper hydration. It’s only natural that when we’re blessed with this wisdom, we strive for more knowledge and understanding for how to give our body what it needs in a top-quality form.
Is Bottled Water Really Worth The Price?
In a word — no, it’s not. You’re reading this because you have an interest in living an Eco-Friendly lifestyle, or are at least you’re curious about it. It’s great to recycle every plastic water bottle you drink out of, but you actually leave a carbon trail behind that you’ll struggle to neutralize.
Bottled water generally comes in two forms — spring water and purified water. What’s the difference? Spring water comes from natural spring sources, gets run through a purification system and is then bottled. Purified water comes from literally any source (seriously), is then put through a purification system (pulling chlorine content, lye, etc. out) and then bottled. Bottled water slides south of the 7 on the pH scale, meaning it is very slightly acidic. (More on that below…read on.)
Potential Merits of Drinking From the Tap
Many times, people choose not to drink from the tap because the water is from a city source, which has been treated and may taste less than desirable. However, when considering tap versus the bottled form, you get into a pointless comparison. Yes — tap water contains chlorine and fluoride and is often treated with lye, but by law, it possesses a neutral pH balance.
Depending on what’s more important to you, it might make a lot more sense to drink from the tap than to drink from a bottle. Both are “purified” of basic crude elements, but for each individual person, it’s a choice between the lesser of two evils — acidic water or traces of chlorine and lye.
Purchase a Purifying Water Filter at a Store
By this point, you’ve seen a million and one ads for Brita. Brita, or a similar filtration system, is a great potential answer to the bottle vs. tap argument, filtering 99 percent of the chlorine from the tap, while still allowing you to enjoy a pH neutral water. Like other over the counter tap water filtration systems available to consumers, it’s a simple and inexpensive way to enjoy purified water without purchasing hundreds of plastic bottles on a yearly basis.
The pH of Water and Its Effects on the Body
Our bodies require a neutral pH balance to perform at full potential. Generally the body thrives at a pH balance between 7.35 – 7.45. When acidity levels in the body rise, the body compromises its systems and functions as a result.
An easy example — ever feel extreme muscle soreness for no good reason? We ingest acids in foods, drinks (Gatorade for example, has a higher acidity level than some sodas) and our body uses the good things (antioxidants) to fight the bad things in order to regain that neutral balance. (Not enough time to delve into the science of all of this, but if you find it interesting, do a little research and it will blow your mind.)
The best example that comes to mind is the process of oxidation. Imagine a beautiful apple. Cut it in half. Leave one half on the counter with the beautiful white exposed to the open air, then check it in an hour.
What’s it look like? High levels of acidity basically have a similar effect inside our bodies. It breaks the body down and prevents it from functioning properly — and ultimately becoming a significant catalyst to disease, major ailments and the reason why it stinks to start an exercise regimen.
If you felt great the day after you started (or restarted!) a workout program, of course you’d want to get back on the bike, go back to the gym or the Yoga studio. Acid is our body’s natural enemy. Quickly consider that that the enamel of our teeth has a threshold of 5.5 on the pH scale and have a look-see at a few acidic products you may have heard of.
Mountain Dew – 3.22
Gatorade – 2.95 (so much for replacing your body with what it needs!)
Pepsi – 2.49
Battery Acid – 1.0
Yep. Soda and Gatorade are closer to being battery acid than they are pure water. Sorry to rain on any parades.
Guide to the Purified Nature of Alkaline Water
I know people who drink this stuff. I’ve had it before too. And admittedly, it seems that the “craze” surrounding alkaline water is quite possibly over-hyped. Does drinking water with a pH level of 8.5 – 9.0 make you feel better, digest better, experience less muscle soreness or lead to better overall health? I didn’t want to believe it, so I argued about it and then I agreed to try it.
Needless to say, I was wrong. I did feel better, I did experience less soreness after intense workouts and I felt like I was gradually cleaning the colon out. You’ll find doctors, chemists and micro-biologists subscribing to both sides of the argument, so don’t consider this an effort to sell you on anything! When considering the two previous paragraphs, however, it does seem to make perfect sense. After the personal experience, I can’t deny the results.
How does this water come to be? There are machines and most of them are ridiculously expensive. The water is charged (you’ve probably heard of ionized water) and bada bing, bada boom, you can CHOOSE the pH balance of your water.
A lot to think about, yeah? There’s one thing you can’t go wrong with, and that’s by choosing to drink water. Choose it over soda, Gatorade, etc. and quite simply, you’ll enjoy better overall health. Depending on your level of activity, 64 to 100 ounces a day will do it.
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