As a nurse, naturopath and nutritionist, my greatest discovery this decade has been water. It sounds ridiculous that the answer I have been searching for all these years was right in front of my nose.
My life revolves around water. I sail yachts for a living, swim daily, surf, kite board, and stand up paddle board (SUP). I love the rain; I love jumping in puddles. My favourite pastime is hiking to waterfalls. I bathe, cook and drink enormous amounts of water!
The health benefits of drinking water
For the past 20 years I have been roaming the world searching for the ’Magic Pill’. I dreamed of finding a substance that was a super food, anti-ageing supplement and an anti-inflammatory all rolled into one.
I’ve found it: it’s water! It’s bizarre, isn’t it? The answer was right in front of me the entire time. Every single one of my cells is made up of water and swims in it.
However, is tap water or bottled water safe to drink, sufficiently hydrating and environment-friendly?
Water quality in Mallorca
The problem now is that our water sources are in dire straits. You basically cannot drink tap water – especially in the Western world. Current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines allow “acceptable” levels of pollutants, such as chlorine, lead, fluoride, arsenic and aluminum in our water. These all affect water passing through the aquaporins (water channels) in our bodies.
In water tests I did in Hobart and Perth, Australia, and Palma de Mallorca, I found: chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, cyanide, nitrate and lots of pharmaceuticals.
I was shocked to find the municipal water in Palma de Mallorca, where I am based, has 9 parts per million (ppm) of chlorine. This is over four times the limit recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The municipal water in the Balearic Islands (and in many other places in the world) requires this much chlorine to counteract the E-Coli bacteria from faecal matter that remain in the soil after so many years of farming these lands.
Chlorine is a cleaner. It is great in vegetables, such as celery, as it cleans out the body. However, when it is in water, added as a chemical, it indiscriminately cleans out all the good and bad nutrients and bacteria in your system.
Why do you still feel dehydrated after drinking a lot of water?
Have you ever had the feeling that you are still dehydrated, even after drinking 2 to 5 litres of water (usually bottled water) a day?
Water enters the cells in our bodies through aquaporins, which are water channels that allow water to pass between cells. Aquaporins are of a certain size; therefore they only allow molecules of the correct size to pass through.
When water is carrying other substances, especially inorganic substances, the water molecule is too large to pass through the aquaporin.
Is bottled water safe to drink?
Now, don’t think bottled water keeps you safe. Bottled water companies do not even have to disclose their water analyses, which municipal tap water providers do.
Bottled water costs 2,000 times more than tap water and it is a disaster for the environment. It takes twice the amount of water to fill a bottle, and the plastic is inorganic. The plastic water bottle industry uses 86 million barrels of oil a year to manufacture the bottles.
The solution – Combat dehydration with purified water
So, the answer is actually pretty simple. Filter your own clean water and carry it with you everywhere. Buy a water bottle with a built-in filter to use when you run out of clean water. It doesn’t matter which method of filtering you choose, as long as the outcome is clean drinking water.
Leonardo Da Vinci said: “Water is the driver of nature”. I say, it’s all we have got!
Find out more about water filtering in Mallorca at www.palmawater.com
Written by Amanda Hewson
About the author
Amanda is a Registered Nurse and has masters degrees in Nutrition and International, Public and Travel Health. She has worked in Critical Care, Emergency and Remote Medicine all over the world.