The second requirement, which is also pretty obvious: clean, adequate amounts of WATER. This type of water can be obtained from a clean source (e.g. natural stream or spring) with a basic filter for viruses/bacteria OR from a standard source (e.g. tap) that filters out all the awful stuff (drugs, metals, fluoride, etc…), such as a Berkey. It is important to note, cheaper filters like Brita and PUR do not necessarily filter our everything hazardous in your water, and investing in a higher quality filter is a good idea (9). Water is an essential requirement for the body. For the average person, three days without water will cause death (5). Water is essential in regulating body temperature, eliminating waste and in digestion, lubricating joints, and in providing oxygen to the body (6).
The amount of water consumed is very important as to not induce a state of dehydration or hyponatremia (excessive hydration). An easy way to tell if you are drinking the proper amount of water is by looking at the color of your urine. Ideally, your urine will be light yellow. If your urine is darker, it means your kidneys are working harder than they need to be to concentrate waste products and remove them from the body. If your urine is colorless, it indicates that you are excreting electrolytes more rapidly than necessary (35). Acute dehydration and hyponatremia (electrolyte sickness) present slightly differently but in general can lead to dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, nausea, and reduced cognitive performance (36, 37). Because your body can only absorb between half a liter to one liter of water each hour, depending on environmental conditions, activity level, food consumption, and individual variations, it is prudent to consume water at regular intervals in amounts that do not exceed this. Just to have a number in mind, that is about ¼ of a liter each hour, or 4 liters (about 1 gallon) per day. But, it is important to remember that because of the aforementioned variables, the best way to know how much water to drink is by examining the urine.
And again, if we are drinking toxic water (which most of our water sources are), full of lead, disinfection byproduct (DBPs), etc… we are providing an additional toxic load through another source that are bodies must combat. Further, water laced with toxicants is not any safer to use when bathing. Most Americans use about twenty gallons of water per shower, and the temperature of this water is likely high. The hot water opens our pores, making it easier to absorb toxicants like DBPs, and inhale chloroform via steam (10). It is therefore prudent to also invest in a shower filter, or a system that filters water for the entire home.
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