Water makes up 60 percent of the human body. It is essential to life itself, and yet many people don’t know what is in their drinking water.
I don’t mean to imply that these individuals would knowingly drink water that wasn’t healthy, but potential contaminants in our drinking water doesn’t necessarily rate as a big concern for many people on a day-to-day basis. As Americans we sometimes take for granted that the water running out of the tap must be deemed “approved for drinking” when in fact, a number of substances may be making it less than ideal, or even dangerous to drink.
In reality, the water that comes into our homes should be viewed as a starting point for healthy water and not the finished product.
Different water contains different impurities which means what may be necessary or helpful for my water may not be something that your water needs at all. To make matters worse, we can’t rely on our senses of taste and smell to determine what is or is not in our water.
Sometimes water that is dangerously contaminated looks, smells and even tastes exactly like water that is safe to drink.
The good news is that there are effective ways to treat hundreds of contaminants found commonly in drinking water, and a variety of reasonably priced purifiers are available on the market for home use. We will take a look at some health benefits of drinking purified water, and make the case for why a purification system is something you should install in your home.
First let’s brake down the health risks into two subcategories.
1. Acute Illnesses
Acute illnesses cause symptoms to appear relatively quickly after drinking contaminated water and the risk is generally the same no matter how long the exposure to the contaminant. For example, drinking water with fecal coliform is detrimental even if it is only consumed for one day.
Causing acute illnesses are organisms like bacteria, cysts and viruses which infect the body and show signs of infection within days or weeks of exposure. Many times acute illnesses are gastrointestinal in nature and cause vomiting and diarrhea, or sometimes even bacterial ulcers.
Examples of water borne illnesses are Giardia, Campylobacter, E.Coli, H.Pilory, just to name a few.
2. Chronic illnesses
Chronic illnesses arise when the accumulated contaminants in drinking water cause long-term issues over a period of time directly correlating to exposure to the contaminate. Lead is a good example of a heavy metal that has negative effects over a long period of time which can become more serious the longer the exposure.
Both subsets of illnesses are dangerous in their own way and both can and should be avoided by consuming water that has been filtered or purified in some way to rid it of the offending impurities. There are lots of different approaches to take to clean drinking water and make it healthy to consume.
Some of the most common techniques include: Carbon filtration, Revers Osmosis, Distillation, Ultraviolet light, and Ion Exchange resins. No matter which technique best suites the specific contaminants in your water, here are a few benefits of drinking clean, purified water.
1. Gut Health
As previously mentioned, many of the acute illnesses contracted by infected water manifest in symptoms of the gut. Feeling badly isn’t the only negative effect from these microorganisms, however. The gut is the powerhouse of the immune system, and most of the immune system (70 percent) is housed in it.
When the good bacteria in your gut are demolished by infections, not only do you feel ill, but the very cells of your immune system are destroyed.
Repairing them can take time, and in the interim you are left vulnerable to other infections which could have been fought off with a strong immune system. Of course, certain foods and supplements like pre and probiotics help the good bacteria and immune cells rebuild, but keeping your body safe from pathogens in the first place is obviously the best way to avoid illness in the first place. Gut health begets overall health, and once that has been compromised your body has to fight to regain strength and support from its immune system.
Water containing bacteria and other pathogens can increase the likelihood of wiping out the helpful, protective bacteria we need to stay healthy.
Conversely, making a habit of drinking water which has been purified can go a long way in helping your body do its job of fighting off infection.
Although it may seem obvious, don’t overlook the importance of staying hydrated.
As mentioned, the majority of the body is water which includes vital organs, some of which are over 80% water. If you have ever taken a large drink of water and felt really good, you may recall thinking that you hadn’t realized how poorly you felt before being hydrated.
That is because there is not a single aspect of your body that functions well when under hydrated.
Continually ingesting clean water is not only vital for life but for optimal health and function of our whole bodies.
3. Healthy, Beautiful Skin
The organ with the largest surface area is no exception to the rule of requiring water to function well. Skin covers and protects our entire bodies and is a “first responder” to threats from the outside world. You may have heard that health is beauty and in this case it is certainly true.
Drinking enough water literally “plumps” up skin and makes fine lines less prominent. It can also help calm outbreaks of certain skin conditions like eczema when triggered by sweat.
Drinking water helps to flush out the toxins in your skin when you do sweat which in turn keeps your body at an optimal temperature. Exposing skin to water that is free of unwanted chemicals and other toxins also helps to keep your skin in prime condition. If you are prone to dry skin you may have noticed that harsh chemicals like chlorine and hard water make this worse, while softer purified water doesn’t trigger uncomfortable dry skin.
A whole-house water softener or filtration system can have a big impact on how your skin feels.
4. Healthy Hair
In addition to skin, clean, pure water is also excellent for hair. Water containing too many of the wrong minerals or unwanted chemicals can strip hair of necessary oils and make it dull and dry. Exposure to hard water can increase dry, itchy scalp and make dyed hair fade more quickly. When hair is exposed to hard water some of the residual minerals often stay under the cuticle of the hair making it feel like there is a rough buildup which can be difficult to remove.
No matter what you put on your hair, washing it with hard water or water with certain chemicals can make it look and feel unhealthy and stiff. Think of the greenish tinge that sometimes occurs on the hair of children who spend summers in swimming pools.
While you may not notice your hair turning green, excess chlorine and chloramine in water can be damaging to hair from the inside out. Not only do these chemicals dry out your strands, but as they soak into your scalp, they can also damage the hair follicle so it doesn’t grow to it’s full potential.
5. No Toxins
Ingesting and bathing in water without toxins in general is a huge perk of having a water purifier or filtration system.
Even if you get water from your local municipality or “city water” don’t automatically assume that it is free of unwanted contaminants. In fact, most likely your water is full of substances at levels that are not ideal and can even be harmful.
From too much Flouride to arsenic and aluminum, dangerous substances in water abound no matter where you live. The effects of drinking and exposing yourself to water with poisonous chemicals and heavy metals can cause a range of health problems.
Installing a purification system lets you drink the water without concern for what it may do to your health.
Another reason to invest in a home purification system for your water, is that of remineralizing the water you drink.
Many of the minerals found in your water are necessary and helpful to keep you healthy but only in specific amounts. Removing certain minerals completely from water is unadvisable since you miss out on the benefits of healthy amounts of those minerals.
Many home purification systems are designed to filter water and then replenish it with the proper amounts of minerals essential to the body, all in one seamless process.
I hope this has helped to enumerate some of the reasons owning a water purification system in your home can benefit your health and that of your entire household.
Ensuring that the water coming into your home is clean and free of toxins is more than a luxury or a preference. Clean water can be the difference between staying well and battling infections and chronic health concerns. If reading this article has you convinced but you aren’t sure of the next step to take, we recommend reading some of our other posts on which water purifiers are best at removing particular contaminants.
Additionally, have your water tested in a local lab to be sure of what you need to treat and choose a filtration system based on that information.
Molly is a mom of two, DIY enthusiast, real estate investor, and a fan of modern kitchen decor.