Between half and two thirds of the average person’s weight is made up of water. In a 150-pound person, that’s about 10 gallons of water. How much more pure, clean water do we need from our taps and supermarket shelves?
Pure water is odorless, colorless and tasteless.
Fashionable “flavored water” and clear beverages that taste like kiwi or smell like blueberries are not water, they are soft drinks. While most are relatively harmless and can help get you hydrated—since they taste good, you’re apt to drink more—no manufactured drink rivals the natural benefits of pure water.
Not all water is created equal.
Artesian water, ground water, mineral water, purified water, spring water … Selecting a bottle of H2O can be tougher than finding a regular coffee at Starbucks. These waters differ by their point of origin and the manner in which they are collected from the source. (Details are available at the Food and Drug Administration’s page.) But to comply with FDA regulations, bottling companies cannot add any ingredients other than fluoride or antimicrobial agents, which kill microscopic organisms, and still call it “bottled water.”
To know if you're clean, check downstream.
The often-quoted quantity recommended for adults to consume is eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Even a healthy body needs water replenished regularly since so much is lost in urine, and we lose about 1.5 pints every day as water evaporates from the skin and from simply exhaling. One easy way to judge if you are getting enough water is by the color of your urine, which should be pale yellow or nearly clear. Dark urine indicates your kidneys are working too hard to filter impurities without the help of enough cleansing water.
Determine how much water you should consume when exercising by using this hydration calculator.
In case you haven't heard it before, water is good for you.
Drinking water can help you burn fat, beat a fever, improve your complexion, relieve constipation, build muscle, drain a stuffy nose, fight a stomachache, and improve your mood. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a condition that isn’t eased by imbibing more cleansing, curative water. In Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj argues that the body can “misinterpret thirst signals as pain,” and that drinking more water can be helpful in curing everything from headaches and depression to asthma and arthritis.
You're lucky there's clean water in your tap.
Water couldn’t be better for our health, but paying for it is starting to hurt. Preliminary statistics for 2005 show that Americans spent $9.8 billion on 7.35 billion gallons of bottled water in 2005. To use the FDA’s analogy, it would take about three hours for that much water to flow over Niagara Falls.
We are a fortunate nation. According to the international organization WaterAid, roughly one-sixth of the world’s population—1.1 billion people—do not have access to safe water.
Find more on MSN Health & Fitness:
- Health Tip: Is Your Child Dehydrated?
- Health Tip: Young Athletes Must Drink Enough Water
- Health Tip: Drink Enough Water
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