23 February 2012

Which Is The Best Drinking Water???

I don’t assume to know what the best drinking water is for every person. After all, “best” is a subjective term. Many factors come into play when we think of choosing the best drinking water for ourselves and our families. Just a few of these factors include lifestyle, health objectives, finances, living accommodations, sports and fitness levels, and so forth.

Safe Drinking Water May Not Be Healthy Enough.  However, getting past the semantics, we could probably all agree that “good” drinking water is: 
(1) safe to drink (relatively contaminant and chemical free) and, 
(2) that it tastes good. 

Drinking clean, healthy, chemical-free water is the foundation to health. However, just because water is safe to drink and tastes good doesn’t necessarily mean it is healthy.

For example, experts agree that all tap and bottled water contain traces of unhealthy synthetic chemicals. So even though tap or bottled water may not make us sick initially, the cumulative effects are significant. Even minute traces of these contaminants can lead to a weakened immune system (or worse) with long-term exposure.

The Healthiest Water is Mineral Rich.

Thus, many water experts today agree that the healthiest water is produced by home water filters and water filtration systems that selectively remove contaminants but not the naturally occurring minerals. Even though there are health studies that argue the benefits of de-mineralized water (such as reverse osmosis and distilled waters), the most recent and credible studies are conclusive that water that contains trace minerals (these minerals are all essential for good health, but your body only needs a very small amount of each one. These minerals are important for immune system function, energy, metabolism and antioxidant protection) is the healthiest and best drinking water.

Dr. Mu Shik Jhon, considered by the scientific community to be the top water expert in the world, writes that the best drinking water contains a balance of essential minerals. In his book The Water Puzzle and the Hexagonal Key, Jhon says that from a biological and medical point of view, de-mineralized water is simply not healthy to drink. In fact, Japanese water experts consider de-mineralized water as “dead” water, while mineral-rich water is referred to as “living” water. De-mineralized water is not found in nature. Nor does it promote growth or health of living organisms.

Best Drinking Water Qualities

If your priority is health and wellness, your best drinking water will have at least the first three of the following qualities—and optimally, all six:

  1. Contaminant free. The water is filtered of unhealthy toxins, including synthetic chemicals, toxic metals, bacteria and viruses, radioactive substances, and other treatment additives such as chlorine and fluoride
  2. Mineral rich. The natural occurring minerals in the source water are not removed through purification processes, such as reverse osmosis and distillation.
  3. Alkaline pH. The drinking water has an alkaline pH between 7.0 and 9.5, which means that the water contains a healthy level of alkaline minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
  4. Micro-clustered. Water that is electrolyzed or "reduced" will have smaller groupings of water molecules. Drinking reduced water can improve cellular hydration and cell-water turnover (i.e., nutrients into the cells and toxins out)
  5. Anti-oxidant. Water that is ionized has a negative oxidation reduction potential (-ORP) and thus acts to neutralize free radicals in the body and slows the oxidation (i.e., aging) process in the body.
  6. Good taste. If it doesn't taste good, you simply won't drink enough water to stay hydrated enough to optimize the health benefits.

RO Water.

Reverse osmosis, or RO, water filtration systems were first developed about 40 years ago. Their primary purpose was to remove saline from seawater. RO systems are based on the natural process of osmosis, which is water's tendency to move from less saline substances to more saline. In RO, the natural process is reversed, and saline is removed from the water in the process. Experimentation found that in addition to removal of saline, RO also acts as efficient method for removal of contaminants, and in the 1970s RO purification systems were introduced for home use.

  • The RO process results in quite a bit of waste: approximately 3 gallons of water are lost for every 1 gallon of purified water produced. For this reason, RO water filters are best for limited needs, such as drinking or cooking water.
Inadequate Filtration
  • During the reverse osmosis process, water passes through a membrane, commonly called a "semi-permeable membrane." Although this membrane filters out harmful chemicals such as fluoride, nitrates and most pathogenic bacteria, the pores are not small enough to catch other potentially harmful substances, such as most pesticides and herbicides, as well as chlorine particles.
Increased Acidity
  • RO filters produce water that is significantly more acidic than most drinking water. This is caused by the alkaline removal that occurs during the reverse osmosis process. This increased acidity may be harmful to the body over time, causing removal of calcium and other nutrients from bones and teeth. It also affects the taste of the water.
Reverse Osmosis Water : Health Advantages and Disadvantages.

The R.O. water purification method involves forcing water through a semi-permeable membrane, which filters out a select number of water contaminants, depending on the size of the contaminants. In general, if the contaminants are larger in size than water molecules, those contaminants will be filtered out. If the contaminants are smaller in size, they will remain in the drinking water.

Key Health Advantage of Reverse Osmosis Water.

The health disadvantages outweigh the advantages. There is only one health advantage R.O. water has over tap water—and that is that the R.O. system does remove some unhealthy contaminants. A good R.O. system can remove contaminants such as arsenic, nitrates, sodium, copper and lead, some organic chemicals, and the municipal additive fluoride.

A Few Disadvantages of Reverse Osmosis Water.

1. The water is de-mineralized. Since most mineral particles (include salt, calcium, magnesium,  and iron) are larger than water molecules, they are removed by the semi-permeable membrane of the R.O. system. Even though you may find some contradictory information online about the health benefits of reverse osmosis water, I am convinced that drinking de-mineralized water is not healthy. Removing the naturally occurring minerals also leaves the water tasteless. Many people thus have to add liquid minerals to their R.O. water to improve the taste.

2. The drinking water is acidic. One of the primary reasons R.O. water is unhealthy is because removing the minerals makes the water acidic (often well below 7.0 pH). Drinking acidic water will not help maintain a healthy pH balance in the blood, which should be slightly alkaline. In the natural health and medical communities, acidosis in the body is considered an underlying cause of most degenerative diseases. In fact, in 1931, Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for discovering the cause of cancer. In essence, he said it was caused by a lack of cellular oxygenation due to acidosis in the body. Medical research has also determined that drinking acidic water (as well as other acidic beverages) will often cause a leaching of essential minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, from the body, especially from the bones and teeth, in order to neutralize the acidity.

3. Some critical contaminants are not removed from R.O. water. While reverse osmosis is effective for removing a variety of contaminants in water, it does NOT remove volatile organic chemical (VOCs), chlorine and chloramines, pharmaceuticals, and a host of other synthetic chemicals found in municipal water.

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