The Importance of Water

Most of us share a common problem. That is, we don’t drink enough water. If you’re like me, you simply forget to drink water, especially when you’re busy. I’ve joked that my thirst mechanism doesn’t work, but all jokes aside, in recent years I’ve learned that’s actually true. If you lose the habit of not drinking regularly you become sub-clinically dehydrated and over time your body actually forgets how to tell you it’s thirsty. It may tell you you’re hungry when you’ve just eaten, or you become tired or listless without feeling thirsty—when in reality your body’s desperately crying out for water.

More importantly, if we don’t drink enough water our bodies will rob moisture from our food—which hinders digestion due to lack of moisture. Plus, when the body doesn’t have a sufficient water supply it will constantly use whatever water it has to eliminate toxins and the cells remain in a constant state of dehydration because there’s never enough water to structure inside the cells.

While the study of structured water in the body is relatively new, I find it very fascinating. The theory is that when your body’s water supply is inadequate, the cells become unstructured or incoherent, which is when the cell becomes diseased or dies. Of course, when we have too much cellular die-off the body struggles to replace because the rate of turnover is too high.

Although I’ve never formed this habit, I know of people who set the alarm on their phone or watch throughout the day for every two hours, and when it goes off, drink a glass of water. One thing I’ve found to be helpful is to drink at least 16 ounces first thing when I get up, and then another 16 ounces while doing chores prior to our 7 AM breakfast. And then throughout the day I carry a thermos jug or glass mason jar (although I tend to forget to do even this) with me during the day and drink at least 32 ounces before lunch and again in the afternoon between lunch and dinner.

No one knows exactly how much water you need. Everyone is different, and our water requirements changes all the time based on factors such as activity level, fat intake, stress level, environmental temperature, and moisture content of the foods we eat. A general guideline for adults is half an ounce of water per ounce per pound of body weight per day. For example, if you weight 150 pounds you should drink about 75 ounces a day (roughly 10 cups).

Water quality is becoming an issue of increasing concern. A few years ago, I had a conversation with the part-owner of a local water treatment company and asked him what’s new on the horizon of water treatment and his immediate response was an emphatic “Pharmaceutical drugs!” He went on to say that this problem began some years ago in city and urban areas relying on treated and recycled water (where treated waste water went into a reservoir to be reused). Additionally, many municipalities treat water with fluoride and chlorine in order to diminish or override the inherent problems like lead, arsenic, chloramines, or pesticides.

But it’s no longer only a municipal problem, he said, and is becoming an increasing problem even in rural areas relying on private wells. Most of this is thought to be from pass-through, which becomes a bigger problem as digestive diseases increase and assimilation is decreased. And, of course, as a greater portion of the population becomes dependent on pharmaceuticals.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has collected data from nearly 50,000 water utilities across all 50 states, and catalogued more than 270 contaminants. Some of the chemicals catalogued are associated with cancer, brain damage, nervous system problems, fertility issues, and hormone disruption. And, many of these chemicals have not been assigned government standards for drinking water, such as an upper limit, even though some of the levels are high enough to be concerning. Specifically, more than 160 contaminants in our water supply are unregulated, allowing public water to be declared as “meeting all government standards” and “safe” to drink.  

Aside from the common pollutants found in city water, rural areas served by private wells—especially in agricultural areas—have long been plagued with high nitrates or over-limit coliform bacteria, primarily from too high manure or synthetic nitrogen applications to farmland). As an aside, it pains me that humans have polluted the water supply in the past century to the point of now having measurable glyphosate (the active ingredient in broad-spectrum herbicides) in rainwater in many places across the globe. But I digress. That’s a different topic for another time.

Because of the issue of contaminants in well water we began buying spring water for our family a few years ago and have been on an ongoing quest for top-quality trustworthy spring water ever since. In our research we learned that most of the bottled water available is not actually spring water but is merely distilled or purified (reverse osmosis) bottled tap water.  We tried several different brands/sources of bottled water before finding Crystal Geyser® Alpine Spring Water, which we found to taste much better than any of the others we had tried, as well as having a higher set of standards than most spring water companies.

While Crystal Geyser® is not only spring water bottled at the source, unlike many other brands it doesn’t have anything added or removed (such as fluoride, electrolytes, or minerals). Plus, their sources are geographically isolated, helping protect them from contamination due to manmade activities like potentially harmful farming, industrial, and residential activities. While having a natural spring here on the farm (in order to truly know our source, and to cut down on waste) would be ideal, in the absence of that we’ve opted for the best we can get. Click here for a FAQ page on Crystal Geyser’s website.

Fortunately, we have a local source for Crystal Geyser in skid-lot quantities, and recently decided to make it available to you as well. While they claim to be using 100% BPA-free bottles, we’re still a bit uneasy about that, and are committed to keeping it refrigerated in our storage to minimize leaching. So, if you want great-tasting water for a decent price, add it to your list for the next time you visit the farm or go to the website for a gallon—or a case of 6 gallons—of excellent spring water, and stay hydrated.

For this week, this is The View from the Country.

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