Well, there is the old standard of 8 glasses of water a day, but what is a glass? Is that 8 oz? Is it the big glass that I have in my kitchen cabinet? What does that mean if I’m filling a water bottle.
Who knew a simple thing like water could be so complicated!!!!
It doesn’t have to be. Just remember these 3 easy tips.
Easy to remember with the word:
W.E.T. = Well-Filtered, Enough, and Thirsty
All water is created equal, but unfortunately, it doesn’t end up in your glass that way. Environmental toxins, chemicals, prescription medicine, bacteria, viruses, pollutants of all kinds can end up in what you are about to drink.
Our cities and towns do their best to keep our water supplies clean, but it is a massive job and the waste still goes somewhere and often ends up back in the water, or is not sufficiently removed. Chemicals are dumped from factories, rain falls through polluted air into our reservoirs, runoff from farms that includes fecal matter and pesticides soaks into the ground and makes it’s way to the rivers and oceans. It’s enough to make you not want to drink the stuff!
The National Drinking Water Database (from the EWG) – is a great site where you can go look up your own municipal water treatment facility and see how it rates on a national level in removing dangerous toxins from your water. It is a few years old and hopefully, if your local water didn’t rate well, it has improved, but why take a chance? Unfiltered tap water is a crap-shoot at best.
Bottled water seems like a good option. After all, it seems sterile and fresh, sealed away with a seal that breaks open when you twist it. It is named after springs or mountains and looks clear and claims to be pure. Unfortunately much of this is pure advertising hype!
Many brands of bottled water are taken straight out of taps at the bottling company. So you are paying a premium price for bottled tap water!
Others may be coming from a spring, but it is then put into plastic bottles, where it sits, often in hot warehouses, hot trucks, on store shelves, in your hot car. When the plastics that most of these bottles are made out of gets heated, chemicals in the bottles leach into the water. If it actually was pure when it went in, it’s not pure when it comes out. The EWG found up to 38 pollutants in 10 brands of bottled water it tested – including chemicals linked to cancer.
Not to mention the cost to your wallet of buying all that water and the cost to the environment of all that plastic! Our landfills are full of it. Recycling or not, it is a massive problem and one that we can all stop contributing to by not buying bottled water on a regular basis.
So what is the solution?
Filter your tap water! It may not be coming out of the tap with the impurities removed, but you can get a decent filter that will remove most of what is in it.
How do you find a good filter? Well, it depends on your budget. If money is no object, you can get the kind that are electric and plug into your water system and there are some very good ones out there. If your budget is more limited or you don’t want to go with something so big and involved, you can opt for a pitcher system. Word to the wise…this is one area where you get what you pay for! Please do NOT opt for the cheapest pitcher on the market. Most of the popular pitchers only remove chlorine and a few contaminants.
I personally researched for months before settling on a filter for my home. I wanted a pitcher that removed more than just chlorine, but it was very confusing as there were many out there – all claiming to give you ‘pure’ drinking water. (I learned that this depends on what their definition of ‘pure’ is).
No, this article is NOT an advertisement, but I feel I can’t write about great water pitchers and then leave you wondering what to purchase! So if you are looking for a good pitcher, you can click here and purchase one of these)
I bought the Clearly Filtered pitcher and LOVE IT – I’m not going to go into what it does or how, because you can click the link above or the picture of the pitcher if you are interested, (or see the review at the bottom of this article which has details) I’m not here to sell you a pitcher! But I wanted you to know what I did settle on because I really hate to see people waste money on things that don’t do what they hope they will do. It costs a bit more than some of the others, but it does more. I also signed up for the auto-filter program and they send me a new filter every 6 months, which is cheaper than buying from other sources and you know when to change it automatically.
So get yourself a good water filter so that the water you drink is the best it can be!
Along with this – don’t forget to pick up a good re-usable water bottle. Stainless Steel is great or tempered glass works well too. If you must go with plastic, please refer to this article (How to avoid cancer causing plastics) to find out how to choose the least objectionable types.
So how much is enough?
The old ‘one size fits all’ rule is not longer the standard. As in everything else, we have come to realize that people are very individual. It depends on your size and weight. It also depends on your activity level and even on where you live. Generally you should drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day.
For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, that would be 70 to 140 ounces of water a day. If live in Florida like me and run 5 miles a day (NOT like me) you would tend toward the high end of the range. If you live in Canada, and you are more sedentary, your body will need less.
If you like playing with numbers a good average would be to divide your weight by 2/3 (or .67), which leaves the 140 lb person at roughly 94 oz. of water per day if they are moderately active. If you go to the gym and work out – drink extra. If you decide to spend Saturday being a slug on the couch watching a movie marathon (it happens!!), you can get away with less.
Drinking enough water can help fill you up if you drink a couple of cups (16 oz) before a meal, causing you to eat less and perhaps lose a bit of weight. It also helps your body’s metabolism rate speed up, helping you to burn those calories faster.
Staying well hydrated keeps your skin glowing and moist, your digestion running smoothly and helps maintain every bodily function.
One of the best indicators that you are getting enough liquid is the color of your urine. It should NOT be dark.. it should run clear to a pale yellow (certain foods and medications can affect this so check with your doctor if you have questions)
So you just drink when you are thirsty until you drink your recommended ounces, right? Well, I tried this, and so have a lot of other people, and what everyone, including some researchers have found is that thirst is not necessarily a good indicator of need for water.
By the time you feel thirsty, your body may already be in a state of mild dehydration. It’s why you are thirsty. When you are mildly dehydrated, especially on a consistent basis, you can become constipated, your brain doesn’t work as well, your skin gets dryer, you get sleepy and much more. It affects every function in your body. So it’s best to keep yourself from getting to the point of thirst.
There is a better way than waiting until you feel thirsty!
- Find yourself a good water bottle and figure out how many times it needs to be filled up and emptied to fulfill your needed ounces of water for the day. For instance for myself, I need about 90 ounces of water on an average day. If my water bottle holds 20 ounces, I know I need to fill it 4 and 1/2 times. Of course, if I drink water from other sources then I can cut down on the refills, but it is a good measuring stick to make sure my daily water intake is sufficient.
- Try Fruit Infused Water: Cut up various citrus, berries, melon, pineapple, cucumber, etc and let it sit in your filtered water (in a separate pitcher) for several hours or overnight.
- Occasionally Substitute Sparkling Water: There are some brands of sparkling water that are JUST water and bubbles that can be used as a bit of a change now and then. I would not suggest a regular diet of these and I would also suggest buying types that come in glass bottles for all the reasons we talked about above.
- Have a glass of water when you first get out of bed – this helps your system wake up, it flushes your kidneys and by adding lemon, it also helps with your liver’s detoxifying duties.
- Have a glass of water before bed to stay hydrated through the night, and keep water by your bedside in case you wake up thirsty!
- Have a glass of water about 30 minutes before every meal. This helps fill you up, but is far enough ahead where it doesn’t interfere with the absorption of any nutrients from your food. If you must drink during your meal, try to just sip, don’t drink large quantities of liquids with your meal.
- When you are planning on purposely exercising, be sure to have a glass of water before, have water during if needed, and have extra water after to replace what you lost through sweating.
- Juices do count – however – there are a LOT of calories and sugars in juices, even fresh squeezed ones so use them for the sake of nutrients and not for the sake of daily water intake.
- Coffee and tea, contain caffeine. Caffeine is a natural diuretic, causing you to shed water, so there is some debate as to whether or not these count as water intake. I know!!! This was a shock to me, as I was a HUGE iced tea drinker. I would drink quarts of it every day, and yet, it was perhaps not fulfilling my need for water. I broke the iced tea habit and while I still love it, and still drink it, I also enjoy water and fruit infused water more often.
- ‘Hydration’ and Sports drinks – Commercially purchased sports drinks and flavored waters are generally full of sugar and chemicals – plus they come in those same plastic bottles. If you are out and thirsty, it is obviously better to purchase a water or even fruit infused water than to be thirsty, but read the label and stay away from those with lots of added sugar and chemicals.
- You do get water from your food. But it’s best not to rely on this as a source. Consider this as a bonus on top of the water you are purposely drinking.
You will probably be surprised at how easy it is to get your needed water every day. It sounds like a lot, but really, 20 ounces of water is just a little larger than the size of a medium drink in most restaurants, the size of most average water bottles. I know I can drink one of those down in a heartbeat. For me, it’s simply a matter of remembering to do it. When I know I have a refreshing Lemon/Cucumber water waiting for me, it makes it easy. As a matter of fact, I usually can’t keep enough of it on hand!
So there you have it:
W.E.T Well-Filtered, Enough and Thirsty
I received this email in August 2015 from the Vegetarian Health Institute concerning Water Filters; Confirming my own research and decision to purchase the filter I chose: