How to drink water

13 Sep


Old habits die hard, and I’m afraid I may be about to upset one of yours.

Most of you will have water-drinking built firmly into in your daily routines, which is all well and good, if you are doing the right way. (As absurd as it may sound, there is a Right Way).

In my experience, there are five standard methods by which to drink water. These are:

  • Buying a bottle of spring water and re-filling it with tap water daily for the next week or so
  • Buying a new bottle of spring water every day
  • Drinking tap water
  • Drinking filtered tap water using a glass

Those of you who are nodding along the latter – give yourself a medal. This is The Right Way. For those nodding to the first three you may want to change your water-drinking habits. Let me explain…

Bottled water
As we all know, bottled water isn’t great. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s completely unnecessary. Firstly, it’s expensive. Secondly, its environmental impact is far bigger than that of tap water due to distribution (you can buy water from as far away as Fiji in the UK) and the manufacturing of bottles.

recycle codes 3 and 7Not only is packaged spring water heavy-footed on nature, but it also brings with it potential nasty side-effects for those that drink it. BPA or Bisphenol A is a substance found in most plastic food and drink containers marked with recycle codes 3 and 7 – and even in the lining of drink cans. It has been a known estrogenic (i.e. having properties of / similar to an estrogen, the female sex hormone) since the 1930s, but this rather large problem appears to have escaped the conscience of the packaging-makers.

This is a bit heavy, but bear with me.

In 2010, Canada banned BPA as a toxic substance and there is a definite feeling of uneasiness about the chemical bubbling up elsewhere. Bisphenol A has been linked to heart disease, erectile dysfunction, miscarriage, immune system deficiency, obesity, ovarian dysfunction, problems with infant brain development and prostate and breast cancers. Crikey.

The effect causing most of a stir is the link between the substance and female reproductive health. A recent study found that BPA in the blood can increase levels of testosterone in women, increasing their risk of polycystic ovaries, a syndrome that can sometimes cause diabetes, infertility and heart disease.

Tap water

The ‘trusty’ stuff from the tap may start off relatively pure, but remember it has to go through various treatments using chemicals in order to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. In many areas of the UK, this means we all get a nice hit of Fluoride, which has been linked to nasties like cancer and depression. Our tap water must also travel through countless pipes (that may have been put in place by the Victorians) and can pick up toxic heavy metals like copper and lead, and pesticides along the way.

The Right Way to drink water

So, filtering your tap water, which knocks out most of the nasties (via ion exchange, reverse osmosis, distillation and carbon filtration) is the best all-round method. If you’re not already making use of that workplace social hub, the water machine, then here are some ideas to help you revamp your current drinking habits.

Brita make good filters that can be built into your kitchen sink and jugs with recyclable filters, which also help to reduce limescale build up incidentally – a tidy bonus for our kettles.

water bobble

For on-the-hoof drinking, I’m a big fan of the BPA-free Water Bobble (left) with its built-in filter.

And for a wide selection of reusable bottles, all also BPA-free, visit Reusable Bottle.

If you are caught thirsty on the hop, try finding a bottle of One Water where at least 100% of profits go to help fund clean water projects in developing countries.

Parents can buy BPA free bottles for their nippers at Green Baby.

Ok, so they’re not about water, but while we’re talking BPA-free stuff, you can buy weaning containers from Babypotz on Amazon and grown-up sized BPA-free Snapware storage containers can also be found on Amazon.

One Response to “How to drink water”

  1. Ellie September 14, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    I have just been informed that One Water have teamed up with Aqua Optima and are selling water filters together. For each one sold £1 goes to clean water projects. Genius.

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