Monday, January 4, 2010


WATER: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Gotta love the H2O, my friends, as long as it is clean! In don't have a choice. But the sad truth is that most of us don't drink enough of it. Some of us avoid it altogether and somehow scrape by on the moisture from our food, coffee, soda, name it. But water is life. There's no getting around it. Sadly we spoiled Americans have the option to avoid it. In other places, other people are drinking dirty, unsanitary, disease infested water. All the more reason to drink from the blessed fountain rather than squander a valuable resource.

Are you feeling droopy or fatigued? Do you get frequent headaches? Do your muscles cramp up or are you prone to Charley Horses? Do you have trouble remembering things? When you don't drink enough water you get cranky, lethargic, and sick. So, up your water intake and you might see a dramatic decrease in your troubles! Ride the wave to better health.

I went to a class several years ago. Ironically, I was pretty severely hung-over (just one big bout of nasty, self-induced dehydration) after a night of good friends and cheap champagne to celebrate something I don't even remember. The class was called Brain Gym, and it was all about the importance of water in brain function. I was amazed at how that little combination of elements could have such a great impact on the way the brain processed information. And we drank about 40 gallons of water to prove it. Not only did I have to pee 3 times an hour, but my hangover went away within hours and my mind seemed cleared.

Drinking water...nature's miracle drug!

But, this drug is relatively cheap...and it's as close as your kitchen sink. If you live in a place where the safety of your tap water is questionable, rather than shelling out the big bucks for bottled water that is oftentimes just well-marketed tap water and piling up the plastic bottles, invest in a filtration system (I've had several in past apartments). Lots of refrigerators come with filters now. But, do your research about the filters. Not all filters really filter out what you want to filter out. Make sure to get a good one. Sadly, the cheaper ones with the best marketing are usually the most ineffective.

If you aren't sure about the quality of the drinking water in your area, do some research. A few years ago, our city began adding flouride to our drinking water. I'm not a fan of this choice, but I am relatively comfortable with the stuff that is running out of my tap. And I'm sure as heck not going to pay $1.95 for someone else's tap water, unless I darn well have no other choice.

Want more info. on flouride in community water systems? Go here.

Now here's where the small change for today get's complicated. You can't just drink water at home (unless you are a stay at home parent...and then, I applaud you and know very well you aren't staying at home every second, so this applies to you too). And we don't all work in offices with water coolers full of fresh water flowing at our finger tips. You gotta take it with you. So, D. and I, in order to avoid questionable water (I am NOT sharing water fountains where children stick their gum over the hole to psych out the next drinker) and to make sure it is so convenient we have no excuse to not drink it, have started taking stainless steel canteens to work everyday.

For some of you, this is old hat. But, I just recently gave up my reusable plastic cup (that I DID fill at that water fountain until I saw THAT kid do THAT) that I washed sparingly, and my plastic water bottle (Yikes! BPA!) and bought myself a stainless steel bottle. D. was close behind. Now we both take them.

And today, I am proud to say, I had a glass before I left home, finished all the water in the canteen, AND had a very large glass of water when I got home. I'll be having another before I go to bed.

I'm not always this good. It takes practice. Wanna join me? Then raise your glass of fine vintage agua and toast to that finest of elements we cannot live without.

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