Water – The Ultimate Cure for Your Body!
All human beings are made up of around 60% water. This substance contributes 83% of our blood supply and even 75% of our brain matter is in fact fluid. It plays a key role in a range of vital functions, from removing waste materials to assisting with healthy brain function and regulating our temperature.
However, as living creatures, we sweat, urinate and release vapour through breathing during the course of a day. As our bodies do not have any organ responsible for storing fluid, we must keep our levels topped up to feel good and remain well. It’s astonishing to think that without food the average person could live for weeks, but without the ability to drink they would only last for a matter of days.
Why Is It So Essential?
Remaining properly hydrated is essential for living your best life, here’s a look at the ways in which your body benefits from being adequately quenched.
Food Digestion Is Faster and More Efficient
Our saliva includes enzymes and mucus, as well as water. It is used to break down our food and keep our mouths in good shape. Once the food has reached our stomach, this fluid is again needed to aid in digestion. It softens up minerals and vitamins in preparation for them to be absorbed into the body, which in turn increases the chance of you remaining well.
Your Body Stays at An Optimum Temperature
When we are hot, either through exercise or through being in a warm environment, our bodies can become dehydrated because we sweat to cool off. By drinking plenty you enable your system to cope with the added strain of heat and physical exertion without causing you to feel lightheaded, tired or unwell.
Your General Health Gets a Boost
When we are dehydrated our skin and lips can look dry, exaggerating any areas of imperfection or fine lines. Drinking enough can help us to maintain a more luminous complexion, but it also provides a raft of other benefits. With the correct balance of fluids, blood can circulate correctly and keep our bodies properly oxygenated, which in turn helps us to combat illnesses and infections, as well as problems like constipation.
Common Issues with Our...
Most Popular Types of Water
Drinking plenty of fluids is essential if we want to look and feel good, as well as staying as healthy as possible for longer. Not all supplies are the same however and many can have harmful effects which are difficult to identify without the correct equipment or testing.
Although this is generally considered far healthier than choosing a soda, a worryingly large number of problems have occurred with the mains supply in the USA in recent years. The Environmental Working Group, which monitors the safety of consumable products, found that 315 different types of pollutant were present in tap supplies in the period since 2004. The majority of these potentially harmful elements were unregulated, which means they are not being looked for in official tests and can exist in large amounts without any laws being broken. Of course there have also been well-publicised scares, most recently in Flint, Michigan, and as a result, many people are seeking a safer alternative.
This is an expensive choice, but it might not actually be healthier than what comes out of the tap. The key difference is that it has minerals added which may or may not be better for our health. What we do know is that some bottled brands are slightly acidic, which could have a detrimental effect on our body’s pH levels. It may come as a surprise to learn that the testing process for tap supplies is more thorough and takes place more frequently than it does for bottled versions. According to the FDA they only regulate up to 40% of bottled water which is sold over state lines, plus they only have one person in charge of monitoring bottled supplies.
Moreover, they do not run a test for DEP, a phthalate used in the manufacture of plastic bottles. This is surprising because DEP is a chemical with cancer-causing properties which has been known to leak into fluids. Other tests carried out by the Natural Resources Defence Council on 103 bottled brands discovered that 25% contained some form of chemical or bacterial contaminant and did not meet the required safety standard.
Furthermore, the ecological cost of producing and then disposing of bottles is huge, with these small plastic containers washing up in large numbers all around the globe.
A very commonly used filtering process in areas with no municipally managed mains supply and facilities which produce bottled water, reverse osmosis is a somewhat contentious method. Not only is it extremely wasteful, with between two and three gallons being used to produce just one drinkable gallon, it also strips away natural minerals. The filtering system removes harmful pesticides and herbicides, but also any other trace elements like minerals, which are too small to pass through the filtration system. This is a problem because minerals can add taste as well as nourishing the body.
So Which Kind of Fluid Should We Be Drinking?
Although bottled water is far from perfect, concerns around the safety of tap have led to the demand for pre-packed supplies growing massively over the past twenty years. They are marketed as a purer version of what we have at home, but with less regulation are these more expensive drinks really a better option? The fact is they are probably not. In 1999 a four-year study by the Natural Resources Defence Council concluded that there is no way of proving the safety and cleanliness of bottled over tap, as both are quite similar.
According to the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, the public supply should be properly tested and remain suitable for consumption, although this is not always the case. It is people’s fears around contaminated supplies which bottled brands capitalise upon, pointing out the natural and pure qualities of their product, but this assertion is called into question by a 2006 study, carried out by the Institute of Environmental Geochemistry at the University of Heidelberg. Scientists discovered that the longer a fluid remains in a bottle, the more specific types of a chemical are leached into it from the plastic. One in particular, known as antimony, is believed to cause health problems like nausea and dizziness. This is especially concerning when you consider that bottles are often left in storage until needed.
It seems the only sure way of drinking from a reliable source is to have a quality filter fitted, one that treats your supply before you use it, but what if you need to carry a drink with you? Luckily there is a new crop of plastic and aluminium reusable bottles made without the use of harmful chemicals, in a range of shapes and sizes. There are not only better for you, but far better for the environment and allow you to enjoy the same refreshing supply you have at home, even when you’re on the go.
What is Alkaline Water and How Could It Help You?
Over the past few months, you’ve probably heard a lot about why people are choosing to drink alkaline water as an alternative to tap or bottled varieties. A host of celebrity fans have spoken out about how it keeps them more hydrated during exercise, and repeated studies have revealed a range of other health benefits.
Fortunately, this delicious water, it is not expensive or out of reach for the average person, as anyone can enjoy a constant supply at home when they install an ionizer. So, what is it that makes alkaline water different from what comes out of the tap?
A key factor is that the alkaline version is far less acidic, with hydrogen ions present in less concentrated amounts, and a pH level of over seven. The pH test is used by scientists to indicate how acidic, and therefore how corrosive, a liquid is. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with fluids like orange juice, coffee, and cola, measuring under seven and therefore considered acidic. Pure water is around 7 on the scale, and above this number liquids are alkaline.
Switching to alkaline liquids can provide a range of health benefits, many of which have been discovered as part of scientific research programs. In 2012, a report carried out by the Voice Institute of New York, entitled: ‘Potential benefits of pH 8.8 alkaline drinking water as an adjunct in the treatment of reflux disease’, discovered that it could be useful in the treatment of acid reflux. This is because it works to inactivate an enzyme called pepsin, which the body uses to digest proteins in food.
Another study, carried out by the First Hospital of Shanghai Textile: ‘Preliminary observation on changes of blood pressure, blood sugar and blood lipids after using alkaline ionized drinking water’ found it may be therapeutic for those suffering from high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Back in the US, the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition printed a report in 2016 called: ‘Effect of electrolyzed high-pH alkaline water on blood viscosity in healthy adults’. This illustrated how whole blood viscosity was reduced after drinking alkaline compared to normal water. The reduction made it possible for people’s blood to flow faster throughout the body, increasing both their oxygen saturation and hydration levels.
How is Alkaline Water Produced?
The process by which regular aqua is transformed into an alkaline solution is very simple. It’s done using an ionizer, a device which can be installed in your home. Firstly, water flows in from the tap through an internal filter. Once inside, impurities like chlorine and fluoride can be removed. Next, the fluid is passed over a set of negative and positive electrodes in a treatment that is known as electrolysis. Then it reaches the ionizer’s plates and this is where the major changes begin to happen.
In this chamber, a low voltage current is introduced, compelling any minerals which are soluble to attach themselves to a positive or negative pole. This reaction creates two distinct streams, one of which is acidic and one which is alkaline. The acidic part now has a chemic formula of H+, it can be used on plants, for cleansing the skin, or for cleaning. Rich in oxygen, this acid stream is also an excellent sanitizer, as it grabs electrons from a substance and destroys them in the process.
The alkaline solution has a chemical formula of OH-, it is now packed with microclusters and ionized - perfect for drinking. This is an excellent acid neutraliser, a powerful antioxidant that also delivers a sweetly refreshing taste.
Normal water is made up of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms, hence the familiar formula. It comes together to form clusters of around 13 molecules. Conversely, the ionized version has clusters of only five or six molecules. It is these smaller microclusters which make ionized water more soluble inside your body, they allow it to permeate cells and aid nutritional absorption, as well as maintaining hydration levels.
How Does an Ionizer Work
Let’s take a more in-depth look at how ionizers can create such a health-supporting substance, produced by a Japanese water ionizer manufacturer.
Alkaline water which contains dissolved molecular hydrogen is produced by the ionizers cathode, also known as the negative electrode. The acid solution is produced by the positive electrode. To start the unit, you’ll need to plug it into the mains at an AC outlet, the power is then transformed to a DC or direct current, allowing electrolysis to begin.
It is not electrolysis alone that alters the pH of water, though many ionizers have a thin ion exchange film. This stops the two compartments, the alkaline rich catholyte and the acidic anolyte from blending together. So, both substances are formed distinctly at this point.
Some ionizers function with the help of other substances, but when tap water is used on its own, it is the only source of ions. This will result in a relatively mild alkaline solution of between 8-11 pH, and an acidic solution of between 4-6 pH, though each machine has different strengths, so the numbers could vary somewhat.
The Five Types of Water
Strong with a pH of 11
Although this is not suitable for drinking, strong water can help to maintain cleanliness, both in terms of personal hygiene and keeping a home sanitary. With the ability to conduct heat and dissolve certain elements, it is the ideal choice for washing vegetables before mealtimes and wiping down surfaces. You can also use it to flush away dirt from dishcloths and chopping boards, or wiping off the dirt which collects on air conditioning vents. Due to its strength, this liquid can absorb stains like soy sauce or coffee, plus you can even flush it around the toilet to get rid of stained patches.
Drinking with a pH of between 8.5 and 9.5
Ideal for cooking food healthily and for drinking, water with a pH of between 8.5 and 9.5 is hydrogen-rich and restores your levels of alkaline, which in turn can keep you feeling well. It tastes far better than bottled or tap, which encourages you to keep drinking throughout the day. From coffee to tea, soups to stews, it invests each with a better flavour which is often described as being lighter than alternatives. Used to nourish plants, this liquid can help to enliven smaller shoots and encourage germination.
Neutral with a pH of 7
Without any traces of rust or chlorine, this liquid is especially clear, crisp and ideal for quenching your thirst. As it is so readily absorbed into the body, neutral water is mainly used by people who need to take medication or who are preparing food for their baby.
Astringent with a pH of between 4.0 and 6.0
You would not use this for drinking, but it has many beneficial qualities when used as a cleanser. For a quick yet effective face wash, splash a little over your face and allow to dry naturally. If your hair needs a conditioning treatment, use this to minimise the amount of frizz and tangles you have to deal with after a wash. Or, keep a bottle handy to spray onto your hair and face for an instant lift. Pets can be groomed with this type of liquid to encourage a coat which feels soft to the touch and looks glossy. If you often freeze food but find it loses flavour when thawed, spritz this on before placing into the freezer for more tasty results.
Acidic with a pH of 2.7
Another version that is not intended for drinking, this is far better suited to disinfecting your home. It is especially useful in the kitchen where you can use it to wipe over surfaces and wash utensils, to avoid the spread of bacteria. If you have a bottle to hand in the bathroom it can be used as a mouthwash after brushing your teeth, or to wash your hands.
Find a Natural Way of Cleaning Your Home and Maintaining a Healthy Way of Life
Cleansing Without Chemicals
If you prefer to keep the number of chemicals in your home to a minimum, then try strong and acidic water together on any surface used to prepare food or wash dishes, as well as on dishes, utensils and pans. A combination of these solutions will be doubly effective, tackling bacteria that is damaged by acidic or alkaline conditions.
Make Your Home Sparkle
Strong water can work to rid your favourite furniture, clothing and cushion covers of everyday stains and marks. From oil to coffee and sauces, it helps to dissolve blemishes and restore your furnishings to their former glory. You can also use this liquid to perform deeper or more complex cleans on tools, floors, vents and work surfaces.
Washing the dishes is a chore that no one really wants to do, but with strongly ionized water you can cut back on the hours spent in front of a sink and use less detergent than before. Although it is completely non-toxic, it has powerful absorbent properties and may even provide anti-bacterial benefits. Similarly, grease is an issue in any busy cooking area and a large build-up might seem impossible to remove, but an acidic solution can help to get it cleared quickly.
Keep Food Looking and Tasting Fresher for Longer
Strong water can be used to steep meat, fish, vegetables or fruit prior to cooking. A ten-minute soak will not only cleanse the produce but help to minimise bacteria. A further immersion for between 15 and 20 minutes will assist in the removal of pesticides. For optimal results, you can follow these steps with a good rinse before using the ingredients in a recipe.