Monday, December 5, 2016

Drink Clean


Drinking water in the summer seems easy right?  You are hot... Carrying an ice cold water bottle seems like the no brainer thing to do.  Plus you usually don't mind holding something cold and refreshing when it is a sweltering 80+ degrees out. 

Drinking in the winter is another story and situation all in itself.  I struggle to stay hydrated in the winter months.  I typically don't carry around a cold refreshing water bottle and I tend to drink way more hot coffee and specialty drinks.  My speciality drinks usually contain some sort of whip cream topping, an espresso shot, or a pump of some simple syrup.  This type of drinking gets me in trouble in so many areas.

I start to see a difference in my weight.  Not only am I inside eating comfort food during the cold months but I also am not out as exercising as much, I am certainly not flushing my system with water and my skin shows a ton of wear and tear. 

This winter especially I vow to change my drinking habits.  
I wanted to share this information and ask that you make this change with me!
Yes- Yes.

Hydration with pure water is essential to optimal health and wellness, including weight management. Pure water is free of potentially harmful man-made substances including metals, industrial chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, both bottled water and tap water are contaminated with a variety of different toxic substances. Some are intentionally added (e.g., fluoride and disinfection byproducts), while others are true contaminants (e.g., pharmaceuticals).
Water’s Role in Health
Total body water, comprising extracellular fluid and intracellular fluid, averages approximately 60 percent of body weight, with a range from approximately 45 to 75 percent. Water needs vary but depend on the food a person eats, environmental temperature and humidity, a person’s activity level and other factors. Chronic dehydration is associated with a wide range of chronic diseases including obesity and heart disease. In fact, recent research suggests drinking pure water before, or after meals, may prevent weight gain and even promote weight loss.
Signs of Dehydration
Signs and symptoms of dehydration vary, but may include the following:

Dry Lips
Increased Moodiness
Difficulty Concentrating
Decreased Sports Performance
Migraine Headaches
Increased Snacking/Hunger
Cardiovascular Disease

Water on Tap

Unfortunately, there are many potentially harmful substances floating around in public drinking water. Some are intentionally added (e.g., fluoride and disinfection byproducts), while others are true contaminants (e.g., pharmaceuticals). The good news is, the less chemicals we flush and dump down our drains every day, the less chemicals we drink.

Microorganisms (e.g. bacteria, viruses, fungus)
Pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides (e.g., Atrazine)
Disinfectants (e.g. chloramine, chlorine, and chlorine dioxide)
Disinfection Byproducts (e.g. bromate, haloacetic acids (HAA5) and Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs))
Metals (e.g., fluoride, lead, aluminum, arsenic, hexavalent chromium, and mercury)
Dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Benzene, and trichloroethylene (TCE) )
Radiologicals (e.g. uranium, Radium 226, and Radium 228)
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (e.g. Bisphenol A (BPA)
Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs) (e.g., Perchlorate or rocket fuel)
Pharmaceuticals (e.g. antibiotics, psychiatric drugs, and oral contraceptives)

To learn more about the contaminants and their maximum contaminant levels, visit the EPA’s website.
Water Purification
Water quality can be compromised by the presence of infectious agents, toxic chemicals, and radiological hazards. The purification technologies most effective at removing toxic contaminants include reverse osmosis (RO) and carbon filtration. To remove infectious agents, water would also need to be treated with UV disinfection technologies. However, this technology isn’t included in most home water RO purification systems.
In the past, I purchased water in bulk from Whole Foods that was treated with all 3 technologies (i.e., reverse osmosis, carbon filtration, and UV disinfection), and the cost was only $0.44 per gallon. If you opt for this route, be sure to store your water in a glass container, not plastic.
What about Brita filters?
Brita-type filters do not effectively remove potentially toxic contaminants. To ensure that a filter removes a particular contaminant, verify that it is certified for that contaminant by a reputable, independent agency.
If you have a large family or do not live near a store that offers water purification, you may want to consider investing in a quality water purification system for your home.
Ditch Bottled Water
Contrary to popular belief, bottled water is contaminated with the same contaminants commonly found in public water. In fact, federal regulation of tap water is more stringent than that of bottled water (neither the FDA or EPA regulate bottled water). Bottled water is also a major source of the endocrine disrupting chemical, bisphenol A (BPA).

Drink Clean

In addition to pure water, the following beverages are considered minimally processed (or clean):

Fruit Infused Water
Green Tea
Black Tea
Herbal Teas
Black Coffee
Fresh Smoothies
Fresh Juice
Fresh Nut and Seed Milk

Eat Your Water

Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of water and electrolytes!

Avoid Processed Beverages

Whenever possible, avoid ultra-processed beverages and water contaminated with potentially harmful substances.

Regular and Diet Soda
Flavored Water
Sugary Juice
Commercial Smoothies
Commercial Non-Dairy Milk
Dairy Products (Milk)
Chocolate Milk
Crystal Light
Kool Aid
Infant Formula
Toddler Formula
Protein Powder
Protein Shakes
Protein Water
Energy Drinks
Sports Drinks
Meal Replacements
Most Flavored Coffees and Teas
Most Alcoholic Beverages
Skip Expensive Specialty Water

These beverages offer little nutritional advantage, promote pollution, while draining your wallet.

Vitamin Water

Alkaline Water
Enhanced Water
Black Water
Flavored Water

Should I add minerals back to RO water?
Tap water is not a reliable source of minerals. Minerals are naturally obtained via a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, not tap water or alkaline water. If you are worried about minerals, eat more fruits and vegetables.
What about alkaline water?
Alkaline water is tap water with added minerals (e.g., potassium and magnesium). While these minerals are critical to health and acid-base balance, the amount added to alkaline water is insignificant and I am personally unaware of any evidence to support the benefits of drinking alkaline water. Besides, alkaline water is generally packaged in plastic; which, is a major source of bisphenol A (BPA) and environmental pollution. If you are concerned about minerals, increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables and consider a dietary supplement. Drinking alkaline water is a waste of time and money. Eat your vitamins and minerals.
What about carrageenan?
According to the Cornucopia Institute, carrageenan – a “natural” food additive found in milk products including dairy and non-dairy milks – may be one of the food ingredients to blame for America’s growing list of health problems. Unfortunately, carrageenan is found in a lot of products – even the “healthy” ones. For example, carrageenan is frequently found in milk products (both dairy and non-dairy milk products), yogurts, frozen desserts including ice cream, and even body care products like toothpaste. 

What about alcohol?
Most alcoholic beverages are ultra processed and refined, contain ingredients derived from GMOs, and a major source of the endocrine disruptor, bisphenol A (BPA). Although small amounts of alcohol may have some health benefits, alcohol is also a significant source of “empty calories” and has been linked to fatty liver and obesity. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 3 million deaths were attributable to alcohol in 2012.
What about wine?
According to a recent study, all wine samples taken from the top four wine-producing regions in the United States contained arsenic levels that exceed EPA exposure limits. According to the authors, “when taken in the context of consumption patterns in the U.S., the pervasive presence of arsenic in wine can pose a potential health risk to regular adult wine drinkers.” Arsenic is toxic. If you drink wine, opt for a product that is organic and certified free of toxic contaminants such as arsenic and lead.

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