Of the many ways to improve personal wellness, including a diet with an emphasis on eating whole foods, hydration–drinking enough water each day–should be at the top of this list.
I have a strict definition of the word “hydration,” which excludes diuretics like soda and coffee, as well as various sports drinks with high amounts of sugar, calories and carbohydrates. The latter have their place for dedicated athletes, but should not become a mainstay beverage for too many people who do too little exercise, or none at all.
Hydration means water, the almighty liquid that your body needs and the very fluid that your body loses (because of sweat and natural depletion) on a constant basis.
Notice, however, that I do not refer to tap water. Nor do I mention so-called “designer water” (more about below).
In his book The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness, Steven Levy writes that, as Steve Jobs liked to point out, people pay good money for bottled water when a free alternative is the turn of a faucet away.
Marketing and branding notwithstanding, there is a reason why so many men and women keep the faucet turned off: The water that flows from that kitchen sink, and this is both a regional issue and a national phenomenon, often has a metallic taste, a heavily chlorinated smell, and, depending on when the results of the latest environmental impact study were conducted, may contain excess amounts of arsenic, aluminum sulphate, fluorosilicic acid, sodium silicofluoride and calcium hydroxide.
This unwholesome list may also include copper, lead, mercury, hormones, nitrates and pesticides.
Does this, therefore, mean consumers should buy bulk quantities of bottled water from this or that company that positions its product like a fashion accessory?
The question answers itself. The more practical and affordable solution – the one that appeals to my training as a biochemist and my respect for science in general – is aportable alkaline generator (Ph9 Alkaline Generator from JUSCO Medical).
Please note: I mention this resource without any conflicts of interest, as I am not an employee, consultant, investor or paid (in kind, or any other way whatsoever). I do not prejudice my scientific conclusions.
Having dispensed with that disclaimer, and given my concerns about the poor quality of tap water, let me highlight the advantages of alkaline water.
These benefits include digestion and metabolism support, along with the release of healthy minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron, and positive results for skin and hair.
And, for those of us who want to enjoy the outdoors and stay hydrated (without having to drink tap water or expensive bottled water), this option makes sense.
On a broader level, the public should be more aware of this issue–this piece is my attempt, however modest, to do just that–because nothing is free, not even tap water.
Our taxes finance these utilities. We underwrite the salaries and pensions of the individuals responsible for maintaining the quality of our reservoirs, and our lakes, rivers and waterways.
In the meantime, we should embrace a smart alternative to the false choice between tap water versus bottled water.
We should champion the benefits of whole foods and wholesome living.
Allow me to make a toast on behalf of our collective health.
Michael Shaw is an MIT-trained biochemist and former protégée of the late Willard Libby, the 1960 winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Based in the Greater Washington (DC) Area, Michael is a frequent writer and speaker about a variety of public health issues.
This piece is not intended to be taken as medical advice. Speak to a healthcare provider to get more information about diabetes and any potential side effects.