The Water You Drink: What to Watch Out For!

My husband is the water keeper. If anyone is wasting a drop in this house there’s hell to pay. As someone who can take (I know, don’t judge) four showers a day to warm my tiny little body up, I can get an earful on the regular. I can hear him unloading and reloading the dishwasher so we can squeeze in every last item. I may run the water when I’m washing dishes instead of washing them all in the same soapy bucket (I know too much about sink germs) and this never goes over well.

And that’s fair, to be concerned about water. Although it’s not an issue here in Oregon, we have no way of getting our water to places that so desperately need it. But still, it’s a resource, and we should respect it.

The average American drinks 3 ½ and 7 gallons of water a week. And most of us could use to drink more than we do. Our bodies need water. It is essential to health and life.

Given how much of it we drink, it’s important to make sure it’s clean and free of too many chemicals. But sometimes that’s a hard balance. Here’s the deal: water is susceptible to growing bacteria and viruses. If you’ve ever been sick while traveling there is a decent chance it was from bacteria in the water. The way this is usually handled in municipal areas is to treat with chemicals. This is good as it kills the viruses and bacteria but unfortunately, there are also downsides to this process—but fear not, there are things you can do about it…read on!

Chlorine and Chloramines

Chlorine and chloramine are used in the majority of municipal water supplies to disinfect. They do an excellent job at this and keep us from being infected with bugs that would give us diarrhea, nausea, and other nasty illnesses. Unfortunately, they are also very good at combining with other compounds to create chemicals called trihalomethanes. Chloroform is an example of a trihalomethane. As you probably remember from gangster movies, chloroform is an effective anesthetic agent – put it on a rag, have someone breathe it in, and they will fall to the ground. It is not concentrated enough to have this direct of an effect, but chloroform is known to be toxic to the liver. There are also a host of other trihalomethanes found in our water supply that can produce deleterious effects.

water dr. samantha

Other Toxic Compounds in Our Water

Additionally, compounds such as heavy metals, pharmaceutical residues, and even rocket fuel can contaminate your water supply! The combination of all of these potentially toxic agents may lead to weakening of the immune system, disruption of the central nervous system, unhealthy functioning of the renal system, and respiratory system complications.

And then there is fluoride. A hot topic. I live in Portland, Oregon where the water supply is not fluoridated, but in most other municipalities in America, they do add fluoride. This is good for your dental health (again positive/negative) but there is some concern that it may not be healthy for the rest of your body. We have to weigh out the positive and the negative here and I’m not going to get into it as people have very strong opinions about it but suffice it to say it’s worth looking into.

And plastic water bottles? There are chemicals that leach into the water—especially if the bottle gets warm—that can affect your hormonal system. Not good.

Each and every time you drink water, you expose yourself to any chemical it contains. 

The liver can only detoxify so many chemicals before it becomes compromised. And when you take a hot shower your pores open, allowing chemicals to be absorbed directly into your skin. My concern here is that illness can result from any sort of long-term exposure to toxic substances.  

Because we drink water and shower every day it is crucial that your water is free of contaminants.

So what do you do?

Find a Good Filter

Fortunately, there are filters that will take out most of the contaminants found in our water supply. They come in many different forms. You can filter your whole house. You can get a filter that attaches to your sink faucet or is placed below your sink. We do both! You can get pitchers or stand alone water purifiers. You can even get travel filters!

As with any product, quality matters. Examples of high quality filters include granulated activated charcoal (GAC) and reverse osmosis (RO). You can Google search these terms and will find different manufacturers. A wide variety are sold on Amazon.

Think about what you drink and where it’s coming from. Your body will thank you for it.

Yours in Health,


The Water You Drink: What to Watch Out For!

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