This is definitely a question I get a lot. People quite often drink tap water, or even water straight from their well. Once you are used to the taste, the question of why bother filtering water comes up. There is a lot of discussion in this area, but it comes down to a few main points. Part one of this discussion covers background on water.
What's so Important about Drinking Clean Water?
Water is essential to every main function in your body. From operating the nervous system, building muscle, hydration, proper organ function – nothing in the body works without an ample supply of water. I recently read a great book by Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj called, "Your Body's Many Cries for Water." In it, he talks about the role that proper hydration plays in your body's key systems.
The discussion covers both mental and physical disease, and how our medical community has spent a lot of time focusing on and prescribing drugs to treat symptoms of dehydration. Cholesterol problems, obesity, blood pressure, asthma, colitis, migraines, back pain, even heartburn can be greatly affected, by proper hydration.
In his book, he goes as far as recommending that people need, on average, ounce of water for every pound of body mass. For example, a 150 pound person (gender does not matter) should be taking in 75 ounces of water, per day. That's about 2 Lit Litres, or about 2/3 of a gallon of water. Yes, that is going to make bathroom trips more-frequent, but try it for a week and see if you do not notice the difference!
Okay, so discussions of the need for water tell us about the VOLUME of water needed, but what about quality? Does not it just make sense that you would want your body to have the highest-quality water? I'm not going to get into all the potential down-sides of chlorine exposure here, but instead of focusing on the negative, what about the positive? I can not find one – I can not think of a single "good thing" that can happen from consuming chlorinated water. Do not get me wrong – for municipal supplies, chlorine is essential for DELIVERING safe water to your home.
Once water leaves the processing plant, it can travel through the miles of pipe to get to the home – and this pipe is not new. In the area we live in, most pipe is around 50 years old. Without chlorine, bacteria and a host of other contaminants would make their way into the water and into our homes. But just like you unwrap foods bought home from the store, we should be "un-wrapping" our water, in other words, removing the chlorine. Once the water makes its way to our home, it has done its job.
If you think about why it is added, it does not just make sense? Its hard to watch any TV shows softly without hearing about pro-biotics and anti-oxidants in pills, yogurt, drinks and all sorts of things we consume. Ok, so let's think about it – we're taking pills and "eating right" to keep beneficial bacteria in our bodies, and to keep oxidants from doing damage (ie. That's what anti-Oxidants do!) We then ingest water that is dosed with chlorine – an OXIDANT.
What does the chlorine do? It kills bacteria (all bacteria, both good and bad) and it oxidizes things. Again, this is WHY it is added to the water. Beyond drinking it, we also bath and shower in it. -did you know your body intakes more chlorine in a 10 minute shower than it does in drinking 10 glasses of chlorinated water? It enters the body through pores in the skin and through the lungs when the water is heated and chlorine gas is created. The same thing happens in the kitchen when you do dishes (either manually or with the dishwasher!)
We take all these steps to improve health, then drink and soak in a chemical whose only function is to reverse the exact things we're trying to promote!
Stay tuned for Part Two, when I discuss treatment options.