It’s not enough just to hydrate. Here’s why the quality of your water matters too.
The recent water crisis in Flint, Michigan has brought to light just how dangerous drinking water in North America can be. We think of water as a third-world problem, but our tap water is far from perfect. While thankfully most of us aren’t drinking lead-laden water from the toxic Flint River, we may still be getting more than we bargained for in our tap water.
Tap water contains a vast array of disinfection byproducts, chemicals, radiation, heavy metals, pharmaceutical drugs, and fluoride. In a recent article in Scientific American, traces of 18 unregulated contaminants were found in a third of water samples collected from 25 municipal utilities across the US. These include an herbicide, two solvents, an antibacterial compound, a metal, arsenic, and an antidepressant. While concentrations are generally pretty low, experts are unsure of the long-term consequence of extended low-level exposure to these chemicals.
“Everyone should be drinking filtered water, and showering and bathing in filtered water,” says Gaétan Boutin, co-founder of Strong Athlete. He suggests reverse osmosis for the water you clean yourself in. “It basically kills the water and takes everything out of it,” says Boutin. For that reason, you can’t drink reverse osmosis water unless you remineralize it. “It will dehydrate you,” he says. Your water needs some minerals.
Boutin says that common charcoal filters aren’t enough. They’ll get the bacteria and chlorine out of your water, but not the trace chemicals, antibiotics, birth control pills, and oxybenzone particles. “The easiest option is to use a water delivery system,” says Boutin. He favours Cedar Springs, as they deliver 11.3L glass bottles and have a mineral analysis and CBWA standard of quality report.
Another option is to install a quality water filtration system that goes beyond granular carbon filters and carbon block filters.
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