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* We have a water deficient society!
* Quality of Water... Tap -vs- Bottled Water.

* Water - How much do we need?
*What 8 ounces of water looks like
* Water Recipes



* We have a water deficient society.


Our environment seems to be custom designed for removing water from us. So, in turn, commerce has capitalized on this phenomena by selling us, moisturizing creams, soda pops, antacids, and a plethora of other products designed to point us away from simply drinking more water.

Lack of water in the body causes a negative cascade of symptoms - so rather than putting a band-aide over the symptom to hide it, one should rather treat the problem at its source- the lack of hydration - water.

Water is the vehicle with which the body mobilizes many vital elements, i.e. oxygen, nutrition, minerals and vitamins, hormones and other chemical messengers.

Imagine if you will that your body is like a small city complete with administrators, workers, policemen, fire departments, etc.  Water would be like the vehicle with which each of these agents support a healthy body.  Cuts and bruises would be treated like road repair, and, white blood cells would act like policemen preserving peace in the immune system by apprehending harmful bacteria and viruses, etc.   Water acts like a street sweeper in your veins and heart, washing away deadly debris.  Let your imagination run wild. No matter which bodily function you examine - WATER is greatly important to them all.


* Quality of Water

Q. Is tap water safe to drink?


A.        In general, yes.   At least in the United States.  However, a recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report estimated that one in five households has tap water containing contaminants above the safe level. Unfortunately, many municipalities aren't doing a very good job monitoring water quality.
        If you're at all concerned about your tap water, contact your municipal water company and ask how the local water is treated.  You can also ask for a report on the contaminant levels.  And, if you're willing to spend a little money, you can have your tap water tested for lead and other contaminants by calling Spectrum Labs at (651)633-0101.  They have several pricing plans to fit your needs.   Their basic plan ($66) checks for 17 different items including but not limited to bacteria, lead, nitrates, fluoride etc.  Their next expensive plan ($99) checks all that plus organic compounds from landfills, abandoned factory sites etc.  The next plan ($195) checks for the previous two plans plus pesticides and herbicides.  You probably only need to have the 1st plan in most cases.  When you contact them, they'll send you containers to put the tap water in and then you wait for 5-7 working days to receive a report.  The best feature about this is that they most likely are not located in your area and can give you a very unbiased report about your tap water.   They don't have any local authorities looking over their shoulder.  Please mention we referred them to you!

Q. Is bottled water safer than tap water?


A.          Yes, but you still need to be careful.  Around 25 percent of all bottled water comes from a municipal water supply -- the same source as your kitchen tap water.  As such, bottled water is prone to the same problems.  Thanks to a recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruling, water must say "from a community water system" or "from a municipal source" on the label if that is the case.
        We recommend you look for a bottled water that comes from a protected source such as a well or a spring.  These come from deep within the earth and don't come in contact with surface water.  Therefore, microbial contamination is much less likely.  If you want to be doubly careful, call the manufacturer and ask about the source and treatment method.  You may want to shop around for a reliable local bottled water company and send a bottle to Spectrum Labs for testing and then stick with this company as "your" drinking water supplier.

Q. What types of bottled water are there?


A.          The FDA recently mandated legal definitions for bottled waters to help consumers know what they're getting.   Here are some of the types you'll see.
Mineral water - comes from an underground source and contains a specified amount of dissolved minerals.   Calcium, magnesium, iron and sodium are the common minerals in mineral water.   Labels must be labeled "low" or "high" (in minerals), depending on their content.  If calcium, iron or sodium levels exceed a certain limit, this must also be stipulated on the label.
     Purified water - (also called distilled or demineralized water) has all its minerals and other solids removed by distillation or special filtration.
     Sparkling water - is naturally carbonated.  It may not be made carbonated by any outside carbonation source.  Be careful, some sparkling waters contain a high caloric content.
     Spring water - comes from an underground site where water flows naturally toward the surface.  Spring water may be collected at the earth's surface or by drilling a hole underground to its origin.
     Sterilized water - is the cleanest water you can buy.  It must meet government regulation regarding microorganism removal.  It is used to make infant formulas and can be consumed by people with compromised immune systems.

Does bottled water have significant value apart from its hydrating aspect?


A.        Bottled mineral water can contain a decent amount of magnesium, calcium and iron, all of which are very important to maintain your health.  Check the label for these minerals, as companies are now required to list Daily Values for ingredients.
        Unless it's been purified or sterilized, all water (including tap) will contain a certain amount of minerals.  If you are wondering about you tap water's mineral content, contact your local water utility.

Q. Should you consider a water filter for in home use?


A.        Sure, these devices are fantastic.  There are several kinds, and they vary both in terms of price and their ability to clean your tap water.  If you're worried that your tap water isn't safe, or if you don't like its taste (chlorine is usually the reason for bad taste), a filter is a good buy.
        Filters can remove odors, bad taste and certain organic compounds. Depending on the type of filter you get, some will be able to remove microorganisms such as cryptosporidium as well.  Water filters can be purchased for as little as $20.00 and can be mounted under the sink, on the counter top, even on your faucet.  Remember to put a post-it note somewhere so you can keep track of when you last changed the filter and replace the filters according to manufacturers recommendations; they can harbor bacteria if used for too long and provide the reverse effect of having a filter.


* Water - How Much Do We Need?


        Water makes up more than 70 percent of solid body tissue (muscles) and 75 percent of brains and helps regulate body temperature, carrying nutrients and oxygen to cells, removes waste, cushions joints and protects organs and tissues.
        The more calories you burn, the more fluids you need.   The popular rule of thumb is to drink eight 8 ounce glasses of "water" per day and is appropriate for the person who expends about 2,000 calories per day.
        People who exercise need more fluids.  Determine your sweat rate and guide your fluid intake by weighing yourself before and after you exercise.  Weight changes reflect sweat loss.  Given that one pound of lost sweat equals two cups of fluid, you should plan to replace the losses accordingly.   For example, if you drop two pounds of sweat during an hour of exercise, you should target drinking two pounds (32 oz) of fluids per hour in future exercise sessions.   This comes to 8 ounces every fifteen minutes.
        The International Sports Medicine Institute, in Los Angeles, suggests you drink 2/3 ounces per pound of body weight each day if you're active and 1/2 ounce per pounds if you're not.  Another general rule of thumb is to drink a quart of water for every 1,000 calories you burn.  If you keep your weight fairly constant, the number of calories you eat is about the same as what you burn.
        Carl V. Gisolfi, M.D., an exercise physiologist at the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Iowa suggests that every athlete is a potential candidate for heat-related injuries.  "Such thermal injuries can occur regardless of the athlete's physical condition or ability to adapt to hot weather," he says in a report entitled Preparing Your Athletes for Competition in Hot Weather.

* Water Recipes

"Ordinary mortals don't have to spend lots of money on expensive sports drinks," says Nancy Clark, director of sports nutrition services for Sports Medicine (CQ) Brookline in Massachusetts.  The Main ingredients in commercial fluid replacers are water, sugar, sodium, and potassium, notes Clark, who offers this recipe for a low-cost "Homemade Sports Drink" in her book The New York City Marathon Cookbook (Rutledge Hill Press, 1994)

"Sports Drink"

1 tablespoon sugar*

1 pinch (1/16 teaspoon) salt

1 tablespoon orange juice

or 2 tablespoons lemon juice

7 & 1/2 ounces of ice water (about 1 cup)

        In a glass, dissolve the sugar* and salt in a little bit of very hot water.  Add the juices and remaining ice water. Quench that thirst.


       * Sugar should be substituted with honey or the food supplement Stevia 7-10 drops. Stevia is an herbal extract from the leaves of the Stevia rebaudiana bertoni trees found in the Rain Forests of Eastern Paraguay (The Amabay Mountain Range) and the Adjacent Parara Estate of Brazil.  It was first discovered by the Guarani Indians of Paraguay long before Columbus arrived in the "New World".
        The amount of Stevioside in the Stevia leaf varies with climate, soil conditions, and time of harvest and can range from 200-300 times sweeter than sugar.
        Please stay away from refined white sugars because any nutritional values have been bleached out, and definitely stay away from products made with aspartame which is an artificial sweetener such as NutraSweet and Equal formed from aspartic acid (c14h18n2o5) a petroleum based by-product known to cause brain tumors in laboratory rats.  As of February 1994, 6,888 cases of adverse reactions had been reported to the FDA.  In fact, more than 75% of all non-prescription drug complaints to the FDA are about aspartame.  These complaints include headaches, dizziness, mood changes, numbness throughout the body, vomiting or nausea, muscle cramps and spasms, and abdominal pain and cramps.  (Sounds like these people are just experiencing dehydration to me).  There are also sizable numbers reporting vision changed joint pains, skin lesions, memory loss, and seizures.  Five deaths were reported to the FDA prior to 1987 as possibly attributed to aspartame.  This is only a small fraction of the actual adverse reactions caused by aspartame.  Most people would not associate the problem with it, and even if they did, only a small fraction of people or doctors would take the time to report it to the FDA.  Excerpted from Tomorrow's Medicine Today by Dr Julian Whitaker's Health & Healing, December, 1994 v4, n12
        Currently the FDA will not allow Stevia to be labeled as a sweetener, but as a food supplement only.  I don't know about you, but its pretty sweet to me.


* Mint Flavored Water - The Elixir from Heaven

Take 2-3 sprigs of mint from your garden.  These can be spearmints, peppermints, or any kind of mints your little pea-pickn' heart desires, and roll them around in your hands so they are nice and bruised - then, place them in a gallon container (preferably glass) over night. The next morning - remove the sprigs of mint and have a glass of the most incredibly delightful Elixir you've ever tasted.


* Fruit Flavored Water

You can also take various fruits and, using a dehydrator, dehydrate them until they are very crumbly.  Test various fruits for the effect. Then grind them up in a coffee grinder and add to taste.  Use your imagination.


* What does eight ounces of water look like?

           Answer - go get a measuring cup - go ahead - go get one - we'll wait............................OK? got one?????  Alllrighty then.  Fill it up with water and go around the kitchen pouring this eight ounces into as many different containers as you can.  See what it looks like.  Feel what it looks like.  Then see how many gulps it takes for you to swallow eight ounces of water.   Go ahead we'll wait.....mm............  How many?  Six... Seven... Eight???  This way you'll know without having to have a measuring cup around.   Neato huh???? Now take a empty gallon container and fill it with eight, 8-ounces of water.....go ahead....we'll wait.....isn't this fun????  See how much water an average person needs to drink???  Now you know beyond the shadow of a smurf what eight, 8-ounces of water looks like.

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