Water, Water: Everywhere, BUT When and What

When Water

Lately I have been paying a lot of attention to water.  I am constantly studying and trying to learn how to improve my health, absorbtion of nutrients and my well-being overall.  I noticed that something was happening with my body particularly I was concerned with the fact that I was not eliminating at the same rate.  I assumed it was because I was not consuming enough water.  So I increased my water intake and found myself having a more difficult time eliminating.  Why???

Well after quite a bit of research I learned something remarkable and want to share it with you.  My practice was to consume a large glass (24-32 oz) with my meals and between my meals.  Surprise, surprise…I have since learned this practice is not good.  If we think about how digestion works, we should recall that food goes into the stomach.  The stomach makes a request for digestive acids to appear in order to break down the food and prepare it for nutrient-absorption in the small intestines.  Well when a lot of water is consumed, these acids are dilluted which means the food cannot be broken down effectively for nutrient absorption.  I would encourage you to do your own research on the digestion process for all of the technical names and so forth.

So here’s the bottom line.  For the best digestion, it’s best for you to consume 8-16 ounces of water prior to your meal at least 30 minutes.  It’s best to wait about an hour before consuming water after the meal.

Well what about during the meal?  What about when you want to clean your pilate or help push down a BIG bite?  It’s okay to consume water during the meal, but limit it to 4-6 ounces with your meal and sip it…don’t gulp.  Also, a squeeze of lemon or apple cider vinegar in your water will assist the digestive process.  So for those of you who don’t like water, there’s a bit of flavor that’s good for you too.

There is a lot of debate about whether you should consume warm or cold water.  Some of the research says cold is best because it takes energy to warm it up and that means more calorie burn.  Others say that warm or room temperature water is best because it does not put a strain on your digestion.  So here’s what I have concluded about the temperature of water.  Have whichever you prefer between meals, but with your meal opt for warmer water.

What Water

It amazes me that when we were growing up we used to drink water from the water hose outside.  We didn’t think about whether it was good for us.  We knew it was water and quenched our thirst when needed.  Now we live in a society where water safety has made headlines.  Who would have ever thought that people would pay for water.  So what’s the best type: filtered, distilled, spring, reverse osmosis, alkaline, deionized, bottled, or just plain ole tap water.    There’s a lot out there and even more opinions about which is best.  So let’s start with the easy one.

Bottled water in general is convenient and somewhat inexpensive.  But there is a caution and it involves the packaging.  Most bottled water comes in plastic bottles.  These bottles are not BPA (Bisphenol-A) free which means that when the bottles heat up this dangerous chemical is released into yur water.  I used to keep a case of water in my trunk during the summer so I would always have water on me.  But of course summers in Atlanta get hot so my water was heating up almost daily.  And we have no idea what conditions the water has been stored before it makes it to us.  So the better choice of packaging is glass…yes, more expensive, but safe and safely reusable.  Or find BPA-free plastic bottled water.

Now for the harder question: filtered, distilled, spring, reverse osmosis, alkaline, deionized or tap.  Of all the research I have done it appears that alkaline water has not been proven to be better for you than the others.  My understanding is if you consume a variety of raw, organic, whole foods, your body will achieve a healthy level of alkalinity.

As far as spring water is concerned, I had found that it’s considered to the best for you as long as the water really came from a spring.  But with all of the contamination of our waterways lately, I’m just not sure.

For reverse osmosis and deionized water, my research has led me to believe that these waters are good for you or at least they can’t hurt.  But they come with an expense.  So you need to decide if you want to take on the expense.

So that leaves filtered and tap water.  I think we all know that tap water has stuff like chlorine and flouride added to it.  So obviously drinking too much of it can be harmful to us.  Filtered water has removed quite a bit of the harmful substances added to water.  So for me personally, I have a filter on my faucet and refrigerator and try to purchase filtered water when out.  Also, when ordering water in restaurants, I squeeze lemon juice into it.  It may not remove anything, but it makes me feel better about drinking it and of course it’s helping with my digestion.

But here’s the best thing that I learned from all of my research and studies.  If you consume a diet high in raw, organic, whole foods, your body will actually get the majority of the water required.  So at the end of the day it will not matter if you are drinking filtered, distilled, spring, reverse osmosis, alkaline or deionized water.  Whew!!!

Remember, we all must have water in order to stay alive.  Hydration is extremely important.  But we also must pay close attention to how we are hydrating ourselves in order to assure that our bodies are able to function better.  Oh and since I have changed how I consume water (through drinking and eating), my eliminations are right on schedule.

Be well.

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