Written by our in-house Naturopath, Holistic Nutritionist and Medical Herbalist Emma Gibson, Nala Holistic.
You've probably heard the saying 'you are what you eat', and we agree with this! But have you ever thought 'you are what you drink'. Arguably, just like the quality of our food is imperative to health and performance, so too is the quality of the water we drink.
Our body's are made up of approximately 60-80% water. However, as the body does not store water but instead excretes it via urine and sweat, for example, we must ensure a continuous water supply. So many of our body systems are dependent on a sufficient supply of water, and without it we quickly see the reduction in their efficient functioning. Think brain fog, low energy, not-so-regular bowel motions, dull skin, etc (1, 2).
Your daily water requirements differ depending on your level of activity, body weight, sleep duration, and more. As a daily average, your body weight in kilograms multiplied by 0.033, amounts to your requirement in litres (e.g. 80kg X 0.033L = 2.64L/day). On top of this for every caffeinated beverage include an extra glass of water, and approximately 800mL for every hour of moderate-high intensity exercise.
What's In Our Water? Tap Water vs. Filtered Water
Think of it this way, you either get a filter or your body will be the filter.
Mains water supplies are treated with a bunch of nasties and water runs through pipes that have high potential to leach even more nasties. Some insight:
Whilst considered 'safe' to drink, we'd rather not. Chlorine is a biocide, or in other words 'antibiotic', and is used to kill off pathogenic bacteria in attempt to keep people safe from waterborne illnesses (3). BUT, our bodies are more bacteria than they are cells! Thus, chlorine harms the very ecosystem that is your very own body. Disturbing our microbiome in this way can lead to ongoing dysbiosis, a driver of many chronic disease. Plus, when added to our water supply, chlorine reacts with organic matter, creating 'trihalomethanes' - carcinogenic compounds (4). It induces oxidative stress, damaging our cells and tissues... our response: thanks, but no thanks!
Though said to be beneficial for reducing dental carries, when it comes to fluoride, the risks outweigh the benefits! About half of the fluoride we ingest is excreted via the kidneys, the other half accumulating in our bones, soft tissues, and glands, particularly the pineal gland (think compromised melatonin production... and compromised sleep quality) (5, 6). Known as a neurotoxin, fluoride is toxic to the nervous system and can drive DNA damage, leading to a whole host of ongoing issues (7). Again thanks, but if there's something we can do to not drip feed this into our bodies, no thanks.
Thankfully, there are plenty of filtration systems available these days! Wherever you are living, if your health is a priority, we'd suggest considering filtering your water.
Crucial to our health and performance now and in the long-run.
Here are 5 tips to start prioritising and optimising your hydration!
Begin each day with two glasses of warm water + a pinch of salt and juice of 1/2 lemon! This is essential, to replace the fluid lost over night to ensure we start the day hydrated for optimal performance.
Upgrade the quality of your water supply: Mountain Fresh Plumbed Inline Filtration System. The Mountain Fresh plumbed inline system removes chlorine, chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, asbestos, giardia and cryptosporidium. This filter will also remove the odour and dramatically improve the taste.
Always carry a water bottle on hand, and keep topping it up. Glass or stainless steel are best, as plastic bottles leach things like bisphenol A and phthalates, known hormone disruptors.
Optimise digestion by staying hydrated throughout the day, but avoid drinking water 20-30minutes either side of and during meals. Dehydration can impede our ability to produce stomach acid, needed in early in digestion to help break down our food. This can lead to indigestion, bloating and constipation. That said, we want to keep sipping away between meals, not soon before/after and during as this directly compromises digestion.
- Brew Mitchells Bone Broth Powder or blend Mitchells Bone Broth Protein with good quality water and you've got a super nourishing nutrient top up, no nasties!
Remember, it's what we do everyday that matters, not what we do sometimes.
Related Blog Posts:
1. Ma G. S. (2019). Zhonghua yu fang yi xue za zhi [Chinese journal of preventive medicine], 53(4), 337–341. https://doi.org/10.3760/cma.j.issn.0253-9624.2019.04.001
2. Popkin, B. M., D'Anci, K. E., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2010). Water, hydration, and health. Nutrition reviews, 68(8), 439–458. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x
3. Robeck G. G. (1981). Chlorine, is there a better alternative?. The Science of the total environment, 18, 235–243. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0048-9697(81)80061-7
4. Huang, A. T., & Batterman, S. (2009). Formation of trihalomethanes in foods and beverages. Food additives & contaminants. Part A, Chemistry, analysis, control, exposure & risk assessment, 26(7), 947–957. https://doi.org/10.1080/02652030902897739
5. Buzalaf, M. A. R., & Whitford, G. M. (2011). Fluoride metabolism. Monographs in oral science, 22, 20–36. https://doi.org/10.1159/000325107
6. Solanki, Y. S., Agarwal, M., Gupta, A. B., Gupta, S., & Shukla, P. (2022). Fluoride occurrences, health problems, detection, and remediation methods for drinking water: A comprehensive review. The Science of the total environment, 807(Pt 1), 150601. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150601
7. Adkins, E. A., & Brunst, K. J. (2021). Impacts of Fluoride Neurotoxicity and Mitochondrial Dysfunction on Cognition and Mental Health: A Literature Review. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(24), 12884. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182412884