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Water and Health: The Quality Vs. Quantity Equation

Jun 18, 2008
How much water should you drink? If you keep up with health trends, you've probably heard something like eight glasses per day. There are some books that advocate even more, saying that most people are seriously dehydrated and do not know it.

There are two aspects to the water and health equation -quantity and quality. That is, how much water should you drink and what kind of water is best to drink. My own conclusion from the research I have done is that quality is the more important of these factors. This is especially true today, when so much of our water, including most bottled and even filtered water, is contaminated.

Now obviously quantity is important as well. In fact, at the most basic level, you need a certain amount of water to survive. So when I say quality is more important I am assuming you are not in an extreme situation where any kind of water at all is scarce. So assuming you have access to enough water, how much should you drink? I am going to resolve this question with a previously concealed secret scientific formula that you may not understand without advanced knowledge of mathematics and physics. Ready? Okay, here it is: "as much as you want."

Yes, I'm going to say that, as an advocate of a natural approach to nutrition and health, the best indicator in most cases is your body's own natural mechanism of thirst. There are some cases, such as if you are preoccupied with a strenuous activity, such as physical work or some highly aerobic exercise, and you simply forget to drink enough. This can be dangerous and lead to dehydration. So you do have to pay attention to your body's need for water. Yet if you do pay attention, you will find that you are indeed thirsty when you need water.

So what about the quality aspect of the equation? This is a bit trickier, and cannot be reduced to a fake scientific formula, as I did for quantity. The fact is, you really cannot rely on the purity of most tap or bottled water. It is generally better to drink water that has been purified to any extent than plain tap water, but in the long run you are definitely better off investing in a good quality water purification system.

What about distilled or reverse osmosis water? Both of these de-mineralize water. This is a controversial subject, but once again I will come down on the "natural" answer. You will not find distilled water anywhere in nature; it is a laboratory creation. Now distilled water is certainly better than water that is seriously contaminated, but I'd prefer to drink pure water with the many beneficial minerals that nature intended.

So, when it comes down to it, the solution to the "healthy water" equation is fairly simple -drink as much pure water as your body asks for.
About the Author
Larry Christopher is a writer and researcher on many topics, including the arts, metaphysics, cultural issues and health and wellness. For more about this topic, go to Healthy Water
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