Every human being on this wonderful planet has a body made up of 60% – 70% water. Water has a vital role to pay in keeping us healthy and well, and the lack of it can lead to significant issues.
Why do we need water?
Water is used in our cells, tissues and organs to help regulate our temperature and maintain our function.
Water is used by our kidneys and liver to flush out waste products. If we have sufficient water, we can remove our waste products through perspiration and urination. We lose water through breathing, digestion and sweating.
What happens if we don’t have enough water?
If you don’t have enough water in your body you may get dehydration. This is particularly likely if you are in hot weather, strenuously exercising, have been vomiting or had diarrhoea or are breathing through your mouth most of the time.
How can you tell if you’re dehydrated?
You can tell if you’re dehydrated by checking the colour of your urine.
Urochrome is produced by the body when it breaks down the protein that carries oxygen to your red blood cells. Urochrome has a yellow pigment so you want your urine to be a light yellow to deep amber colour.
- If your urine is darker than deep amber then you need to drink more water. Brown colour urine could indicate bile build-up, an indicator of liver issues. Cloudy urine can be a symptom of a UTI or kidney issues, as well as some other diseases.
- Did you know that if your urine is always clear that means you are over hydrated so your electrolytes may be out of balance?
- If your urine is pink or red all the time, please contact your GP.
- Orange urine can be a symptom of dehydration, infection or liver issues.
You can also tell that you may be dehydrated as you may feel thirsty, have a dry mouth and eyes, feel dizzy, tired and have a headache. As you get more dehydrated you’ll have lower blood pressure and a weakened pulse and may feel lethargic and even confused. You may also find that your stools are harder, and you feel constipated.
It’s obviously important to keep hydrated. But in this world of multiple different waters, which one should you choose?
What types of water are they?
We are all familiar with turning on the tap and water coming out. But did you know there are a few other types of water as well?
As the name suggests, raw water has not been treated, filtered or processed. Much loved by a subset of Silicon Valley techies, and with a price tag that comes with this target market, raw water drinking has become a movement.
People who have joined this move to drinking raw water believe that it’s a more natural alternative to other waters and that it preserves minerals and compounds which would otherwise apparently be lost. They think it contains more probiotics and minerals than tap water which can help with immune function, mental health and nutrient digestion, as well as having a higher pH than regular water. This means they believe it’s a natural alternative to alkaline water which research has found could help support blood circulation, decrease bone loss and prevent acid reflux.
They also believe it to be free from fluoride and chlorine. These are often added to drinking water as fluoride is promoted as being good for your teeth. However, some people think it can negatively impact bone health, cancer development, cognitive development and thyroid function.
It’s important to note that raw water also contains strains of bad bacteria and can contain contaminants. These strains of toxins and bacteria can cause illness such as typhoid, cholera and dysentery, all of which are best avoided. Animal waste, pollutants and heavy metals can also all be found in raw water.
Some people choose to drink distilled water. This has a flatter and less flavourful taste than tap and bottled water. Distilled water is made by boiling water and condensing the collected steam back into a liquid. This removes impurities and minerals from the water. Distilled water has no minerals left in it, and it is advisable to either add minerals to the water or get an adequate amount from your diet and supplementation.
Again, as the name suggests, filtered water has been run through a filter. This means impurities are removed and the taste is improved.
There are several different methods used to filter water, including:
- Reverse osmosis water filters. With reverse osmosis, tap water is filtered to remove impurities, microorganisms and minerals. This then appears in the shop as bottled water, and features added trace amounts of minerals.
- Infrared filters
- Activated carbon filters
- Ceramic filters
Mineral water comes from a mineral spring. Typically it contains minerals such as sulphur compounds and salt. You can get mineral water which is sparkling or still.
Alkaline water is produced through electrolysis. This splits the water into hydrogen and oxygen to increase the pH of the final product. Some people believe that drinking alkaline water has many benefits including enhancing weight loss through boosted metabolism, slowing bone loss and reversing ageing. It is also said to offer the body more minerals than tap water, including magnesium, sodium, potassium and calcium which all keep us healthy.
If you’re drinking alkaline water it’s important to remember that your body was not created to live in a constant alkaline or acidic state. Therefore, it’s always best to speak to your trusted health consultant, rather than salespeople, before you invest in any water filtration or/and water ioniser.
Hydrogen rich water
Hydrogen is not toxic, has no colour or smell and binds to other elements. Hydrogen water is simply water which has had extra hydrogen molecules added to it before it’s packed into cans or pouches.
Some people believe that people can’t effectively absorb the hydrogen in plain water as it’s bound to oxygen, so the extra hydrogen in this water is more accessible to your body.
You can buy hydrogen water machines so you can make your own hydrogen water at home.
Magnetised water is the term applied to water which has had its form altered to form a shape which looks like a hexagonal cluster. This shape is believed to have similarities with water that’s not been affected by human processes and procedures which could suggest it is healthier than tap or filtered water.
According to structured water proponents, this type of water exists naturally in mountain springs, glacier melt and other untouched sources. Others believe that you can create your own magnetised water by putting normal water through a process called vortexing which magnetises it, or by exposing normal water to UV, infrared light, sunlight or storing it in gemstone water bottles.
People who think that structured water is beneficial speak of the following benefits:
- Energy increasing
- Improves concentration and memory
- Helps stabilise blood sugar so promotes weight loss and maintenance
- Encourages better sleep so supports a healthy immune system
- Helps to detoxify the body, promoting good digestion and reducing constipation
- Promotes longer life
- Improves skin complexion and circulation
Can you have too much water?
Water intoxication or overdose can disrupt the electrolyte balance in your body. Symptoms include confusion, nausea, vomiting, fluid retention and even seizures. A recent paper suggested that this can occur if you drink 3 – 4 litres or 0.8 – 1 gallons of water in a short amount of time.
What happens if we have the wrong type of water?
Choosing the right type of water and water filter is not a black and white decision, and there are some other issues you should bear in mind:
- Firstly, if you’re thinking that tap water is good enough for you, please think again. With side effects from chlorine, toxins, heavy metals, hormones and medication residues it’s best avoided.
- Following on from this, many filtration systems are not good enough to remove all the heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride and hormones from the water. These toxins may end up in your body and can manifest in various health problems which will depend on your own predispositions.
- Most water filter systems, including leading brands, produce acidic water which may have an impact on your body’s alkaline and acidic balance. These may lead to degenerative conditions, especially if you are already sick.
- If your water is over purified like with reverse osmosis and distillation water systems, it will strip out the minerals you need for your overall health and wellness.
- When you chose a water ioniser system for alkaline/hydrogen water you run two risks. One risk is that the water is not purified enough. The other is that the quality of the device means you don’t know the correct PH levels – and having the wrong levels of acid and alkaline may lead to more harm than good.
“Kostas gives clear and patient guidance, delivered in a fun and inclusive way so you get the science and understanding, along with the numerous benefits to your long term health. I just wish I had discovered him sooner!” – Andrew Perrier
Find out more
Following your initial assessment, we offer a range of health solutions including over 30 treatments. As part of these discussions, and once we’ve assessed your wellness levels and health concerns, we can advise on the best water system to suit you.
Read more about our health MOT here and book a free 20-minute telephone consultation on this link.