Feeling thirsty? Your body craves water for several reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is because a large percentage of your body is made out of water. Recently, two studies came out that proved that drinking more water can have specific health benefits.
1. Drinking water can help you lose weight.
In a recent study, scientists discovered that those who drink water before they eat a meal will lose an average of four more pounds than those who did not. The cause of this weight loss was not clear; perhaps drinking water before the meal actually tells the brain you are less thirsty, which means that you will eat less food. Additionally, Americans tend to drink about 400 to 500 calories daily in high calorie drinks. Replacing these with the first zero calorie drink (water) is a great way to reduce calories quickly and easily, and therefore, lose weight!
2. Drinking more water can help you act smarter.
“About 80% of your brain is made out of water, says Dr. Caroline Edmonds, who is a psychologist at the University of East London. Edmonds was quoted in a recent article in the Telegraph
touting the brain benefits of drinking water.
Edmonds and her colleagues performed a study that found that adults were far quicker to react and could complete complex mental tasks easier and with more success after drinking water. Those who were deprived of water before the tests were significantly slower in reaction and comprehension times. One reason for this may be that being thirsty actually takes brain power. She suggested that before doing complicated tasks, drinking water will help the task go quicker and easier.
Healthier and Smarter? So how can you drink more water during your day?
This blog has 23 great tips on how to drink more water. Here’s some that we like:
- Make sure to drink a full glass after each trip to the restroom.
- Bring a 2 liter bottle of water with you to work. Make sure you drink it before you go back home.
- Drink a full glass before and after each meal.
- Carry a water bottle with you so that you can refill it when it gets empty.
If you need a water bottle to help you lose weight and be smarter, check out our great selection at Fresh Water Systems. We offer various sizes of water bottles from a perfect desk sized 18 oz. to the perfect picnic sized 40 oz.
Currently, our 27 oz. Tritan Sports Bottles are on sale for a great choice to help you on your way to being a healthier and smart you!
Last summer, areas in the Midwest, including Iowa and Minnesota, experienced drought conditions. Now, with the return of rainfall, nitrates are entering the water system through run-off into surface water. Nitrates are difficult to filter out of water, and if not caught, they can cause serious health problems.
What are nitrates?
Nitrates occur naturally through a combination of nitrogen and oxygen. In low levels, they are completely harmless. Water sources can often have trace amounts of nitrates. Excessive amounts can occur through pesticide or fertilizer use, a leaking septic system, or sewage run-off.
In times of higher than usual rainfall, water run-off can carry nitrates into the water system. Private wells in agricultural areas are particularly susceptible to becoming contaminated with nitrates. A recent example, can be found in Rock County, Wisconsin. This year, nearly 50% of wells tested throughout the county had unsafe levels of nitrates. Some cities even had wells with 80% greater than the allowed amount.
Why are nitrates dangerous?
High levels of nitrates ingested through drinking water or water used in cooking can inhibit the flow of oxygen in the blood stream causing shortness of breath and possible death. Both the EPA and the CDC warn that babies and pregnant women are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of high nitrates. These high levels can also cause “blue baby syndrome.”
Other recent studies, discussed in this article from the Miami Herald, have come out showing that nitrates in tap water have been linked with birth defects including spina bifida and missing limbs.
How do I know if nitrates are in my water?
Recently, the results for the government’s American Housing Survey came out. Along with measurements of number of occupants in a home and how many vehicles most families own, this survey also found that nearly 1 in 12 homes have unsafe drinking water. The contaminants listed was not specific, but you may be in one of these homes. Nitrates make some of these homes unsafe.
The only way to know if you have nitrates in your water is to test your water. Because of the rising levels of nitrates in certain areas, some local health departments offer well well water testing kits for a reduced price. Here are some locations that offer or have offered free nitrate testing:
Minnesota (also here)
If your area does not offer this service, Fresh Water Systems offers several options for testing your water, either from a well or from the tap, at home or sending it to a lab.
How can nitrates be removed from tap water?
Once the level of nitrates has been confirmed, there are a few options for reducing the contaminant level. The CDC and the Water Quality Association both recommend a final barrier treatment. (A final barrier treatment is a final filtration system at the point of use. In other words, just before the tap water will be consumed.) Consumers have three options for this final barrier treatment: water distillers, reverse osmosis systems, and ion exchange media. Each of these options will provide a filtration system that will lesson the amount of nitrates in tap water, making it clean and safe.
The EPA recently released a report on the condition of America’s water infrastructure. Households in America are served by over 73,000 water systems. Most of these municipalities and infrastructures have been around for years. To keep America’s water safe and flowing, the EPA’s finding estimates that over $384 billion will need to be spent in the next 17 years. This money will be spent on upgrading and revitalizing already taxed systems that have seen an increase in use from population shifts and droughts. $245 billion is needed just to replace old pipes, some of which are over a century old.
What does this mean for your glass of tap water?
Water sanitation facilities treat the water with several different
methods before it exits the plant to travel to your house. (For a fun
explanation of the treatment process check out this interactive, virtual tour.)
After the water leaves the facility, it travels through many pipes (sometimes miles of pipes) to get to your home. These pipes represent a part of the infrastructure that needs updating. When these pipes break, contaminants can be introduced into the water. According to Shafiul Islam, a professor and director of the Water Diplomacy Initiative at Tufts University, this growing risk of breaking pipes “is serious, and if it’s not fixed, we could see a breakout of diseases from unsafe water.”1 In fact, “every two minutes there’s a water pipe breaking in the U.S.”2
When pipes break, local governments and water treatment facilities will often call for a “boil water notice.” These notices alert the public to the strong likelihood that water coming out of the tap may now be tainted with bacteria, fecal matter, and other dangerous contaminants.
How can you keep your water safe?
This nationwide $384 billion upgrade is not likely to be completed soon. While local governments and companies rankle over how to implement these needed changes, the best way to ensure the safety of your tap water is to install a final barrier treatment. A final barrier treatment is a filtration system at or near the point where the water is being used. This could include a whole house filtration system, a reverse osmosis system, or a water distiller. Installing these types of filtration options will ensure that the water in your glass will be safe for you and your family.
For more information on final barrier treatment options visit our website: http://www.freshwatersystems.com/ or call us at 1-877-335-3339.
1 Quoted in “Got water? Keeping it flowing could get expensive,” by Mark Koba. http://www.nbcnews.com/business/got-water-keeping-it-flowing-could-get-expensive-6C10321449.
2 See previous link.
Fireworks, picnics, and baseball games–July 4th has come and gone, and summer is almost over. Kids will be going back to school soon, and college freshmen will soon be traveling to their chosen campus. They will meet their new roommates, decide on which classes to take, and learn how to navigate a new town or city.
The shopping list for your student’s new apartment or dorm room probably includes new linens, notebooks, and maybe even a laptop. But, have you thought about whether or not your student will have access to good, clean water?
Colleges and universities usually have two options for student housing: residence halls that are owned and maintained by the university or private apartments selected by the student. Depending on the age of the apartment building or dormitory hall and the source of the tap water, your student may be at risk for exposure to lead, chlorine, bacteria and other contaminants that could be damaging to his or her health. How can you avoid these contaminants and make sure that your newly-minted high school graduate will be safe? Here are a few steps you can take to provide your college student with the best and safest water possible:
Step 1: Find out more about the tap water
The first step to protecting your college student is finding out more about the source of water. For example, if your student is going to college in Los Angeles, CA, he or she might be exposed to high levels of cancer-causing “THMs” and even Arsenic.
- Contact the college or university and ask them for information. A small amount of colleges and universities have begun to realize the need for filtered water and may already provide it in cafeterias or student lounges.
- Read the most recent customer confidence reports for the municipality where your college student’s future alma mater is located. This research will provide you with the
information needed to decide the best water filtration system.
Step 2: Give your college student an easy to use product that will provide great tasting, filtered water.
1. If your student’s new home has water that tastes and smells like chlorine, but has few other contaminants, the easiest solution is to give him or her an OmniFilter PF500 Water Filter Pitcher. For just $30.98 (not including shipping), this pitcher and water filter 3 pack will provide the college student with an easy to use solution for filtered water. This product even includes an electronic change indicator, that reminds the user when it is time to change the carbon filter.
For tap water that contains more hard to remove contaminants like pesticides, bacteria, or lead, a different water filtration system is needed. Here are three options that will work nicely in a dormroom or apartment:
2. Culligan FM-15A Faucet Filter
- Reduces lead, cysts, and other contaminants.
- Easy to install, only $19.99 (before shipping).
- Filter must be changed every 2-3 months.
3. AquaCera HCP Countertop Ceramic Drinking Water Filter System
- Reduces 99.99% of pathogenic organisms (including E. Coli, etc.).
- Reduces chlorine, lead, arsenic, and other contaminants.
- Easy installation that requires no under the sink plumbing.
- Costs $99.99 (not including shipping).
- Ceramic filter candle will only need replacing after 6 months to a 1 year.
4. Nimbus Water Maker Mini RO System
- Reduces 96% of Total Dissolved Solids (includes nitrates and other chemicals).
- Fits simply and easily over the faucet.
- Costs $98.99 (not including shipping).
- Interior membrane filter cartridge lasts for about 1 year.
Don’t forget to get a reusable, stainless-steel water bottle with a Neo-Tote that will let your college student carry along this great tasting, filtered water!