Water Quality - Pure Water
In general, however, most people don't drink enough pure water, relying instead on other liquids - especially coffee, tea, and soft drinks, many of which contain sugar and caffeine, which actually have a dehydrating effect. After drinking these beverages, the body requires more water to aid in their metabolism. Many common health problems would be eased or remedied if we kept ourselves better hydrated. Headaches, irritability, and constipation are just a few of the conditions that point to the need for more water. Sports enthusiasts know the necessity of keeping hydrated as they exercise, and travel pros will tell you that drinking lots of water is one of the primary means of preventing jet lag as you fly across time zones.
Water quality, however, is another problem. Most of our waterways and much of our groundwater is now contaminated from thoughtless practices. Safety standards for tap water focus on bacterial contamination, which is controlled by adding chlorine. These standards were set decades ago, before the massive discharge of toxic heavy metals and organic industrial or agricultural byproducts into the environment. We now find toxic pollutants such as lead, asbestos, and mercury in the water. As a result, urban tap water is unfit to drink in many communities across North America, Europe, and other parts of the world as well. Because large amounts of water are filtered through our bodies, even small traces of these toxins will accumulate over time. There are now private companies that will test your water quality for a reasonable fee.
Even many bottled waters are not as pure as the bottlers would have you believe, and if the waters were pure when bottled, the plastic solvents that leach from the bottle into the water are seldom measured. A high-quality water filter is probably the most reliable source of pure water, but read the manufacturer's specifications closely, as there are many types. Reverse osmosis (RO) processing seems to be the water-safety system of choice among discriminating water connoisseurs. Since water is the most important substance you take into your body, it's doubly important that you pay close attention to what else is in the water available to you and select accordingly.