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Your Water

Water is an incredibly important aspect of our daily life. Every day we drink water, cook with water, and participate in many other activities involving water.

However, even with all of the importance water holds in our lives, many of us know very little about the water we use each day. We drink tap water, enjoy the convenience and cost-effectiveness of this practice, yet, we fail to recognize the serious threat this water may pose to our health. Those who are willing to forgo the convenience of tap water and indulge in bottled water often know very little about the contents of that water and simply trust that bottled water mustbe better than tap water. Even conscientious consumers, who wisely attempt to treat their own water in an effort to ensure the healthfulness of that water,often know little about the many home water treatment options now available.

The quality of drinking-water is a powerful environmental determinant of health. Drinking-water quality management has been a key pillar of primary prevention for over one-and-a-half centuries and it continues to be the foundation for the prevention and control of waterborne diseases. Water is essential for life, but it can and does transmit disease in countries in all continents – from the poorest to the wealthiest. The most predominant waterborne disease, diarrhoea, has an estimated annual incidence of 4.6 billion episodes and causes 2.2 million deaths every year. There are several variants of the faecal-oral pathway of water-borne disease transmission. These include contamination of drinking-water catchments (e.g. by human or animal faeces), water within the distribution system (e.g. through leaky pipes or obsolete infrastructure) or of stored household water as a result of unhygienic handling.

Excess Impurity Potential Health Hazards Boiling UV RO
Calcium Kidney Stone No No Yes
Magnesium Digestion related disease No No Yes
Sodium High Blood Pressure No No Yes
Potassium Electrolyte imbalance No No Yes
Fluoride Bone disease & ugly patches on the teeth No No Yes
Nickel Kidney damage / Respiratory problems
High risk of cancer
No No Yes
Sulphate Dehydration / Gastrointestinal irritation No No Yes
Nitrate Blue baby syndrome No No Yes
Lead In children : delayed development
of mental and physical facilities
No No Yes
Pesticides Cancer, Nervous system damage,
Birth defects
No No Yes
Virus Viral Infections Yes Yes Yes
Bacteria Bacteria disease Yes Yes Yes

Why You Need to Drink Water?

Your body is estimated to be made up of about 60 to 70 percent water. Blood is mostly water, and your muscles, lungs, and brain all contain a lot of water. Your body needs water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to all your organs. Water also transports oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects your joints and organs.

Signs of Dehydration

You lose water through urination, respiration, and by sweating. If you are very active, you lose more water than if you are sedentary. Diuretics, such as caffeine pills and alcohol, result in the need to drink more water because they trick your body into thinking you have more water than we need.

Symptoms of mild dehydration include chronic pains in joints and muscles, lower back pain, headaches and constipation. A strong odor to your urine, along with a yellow or amber color, indicates that you may not be getting enough water. Note that riboflavin, a vitamin B, will make your urine bright yellow. Thirst is an obvious sign of dehydration, and in fact, you need water long before you feel thirsty.

How Much Water do You Need to Drink?

A good estimate is to take your body weight in pounds and divide that number in half. That gives you the number of ounces of water per day that you need to drink. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink at least 80 ounces of water per day. If you exercise, you should drink another eight ounce glass of water for every 20 minutes you are active. If you drink alcohol, you should drink at least an equal amount of water.

When you are traveling on an airplane, it is good to drink eight ounces of water for every hour you are on board the plane. If you live in an arid climate, you should add another two servings per day. As you can see, your daily need for water can add up to quite a lot.

At least twenty percent of the water you need will come from the food you eat. The rest will come from the beverages you drink. Water is probably the best choice; sweetened soft drinks and sodas have added sugar that adds extra calories. Sports drinks contain electrolytes and may be beneficial; just look out for added sugar and calories that you may not want. Fruit and vegetable juice are good because they have vitamins and nutrients (read labels, however -- vegetable juices may be high in sodium). Caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee count too, but too much caffeine can make you feel jittery.

How To Drink Enough Water

It may be difficult to drink enough water on a busy day. Be sure you have water handy at all times by keeping a bottle for water with you when you are working, traveling or exercising. If you get bored with plain water, add a bit of lemon or lime for a touch of flavour. There are some brands of flavoured water available, but watch for extra calories.

For those who don't like the "taste" of water, remember, water shouldn't taste much like anything. It's both tasteless and odorless compound, very stable. So, instead of tap water, be sure to filter your water. Tap water can be full of sediment and rust from pipes or even naturally have more minerals than is good for you.

Drinking Water Interesting Facts

  • A human is about 67% water.
  • The human brain is about 85% water.
  • Human blood is about 79% water.
  • Human teeth contain about 10% water.
  • Every cell needs water.
  • Adults need 8 to 12 glasses of drinking water daily.
  • A 2 % drop in body water can cause fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and trouble focusing on your computer screen or a printed page.
  • Losing 4 to 5 percent of your body’s water makes your work performance drop by 20 to 30 percent.
  • Lack of water is the primary cause of daytime tiredness.
  • Dehydration can occur in any season.
  • Older bodies have proportionately less water than younger bodies.
  • Children lose proportionately more water sweating than do adults.
  • Athletes can lose 3 or 4 liters of water in one practice session.
  • Drinking water is non-fattening.
  • Small sips of water over your day are better than drinking down a whole glass or two at one time.
  • Too much water in too short a time can cause illness or death.
  • Water absorbs shock to vital organs in the human body.
  • Water protects human eyes.
  • Travel increases your need for drinking water.
  • Exercise increases your need for drinking water.
  • Your food can provide about 3 cups of water daily.
  • Over an average lifespan, a human takes in more than 60,000 liters of water.
  • If you are dieting, you can stop midnight hunger pangs with one glass of water instead of food.

Perhaps we should spend a little more time thinking about pure drinking water. Maybe we should ask questions about drinking water quality. After all drinking water quality can have a big impact on health. If drinking water quality is poor, it can cause sickness or even death.

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