Water – A Healthy Lifeline

A recent study in the USA found that water again remains the best health drink to hydrate the body, and keep it in optimum function. Simple and cheap tap water is all we need surprisingly to do this. This is not a surprise for health-conscious individuals like the members of this platform. However, the manufacturers of other drinks like energy, sport and fizzy drinks want us to believe otherwise.

Humans can live for three weeks without food but only three days without water. Our body weight is 50% water which helps maintain our body temperature. Water also cleanses us as we pass out impurities in our urine, sweat and bowel movement. The brain is suspended in a fluid, the majority of which is water.

How much water do we need a day? The Institue of Foods and Nutrition recommends 91 ounces for women and 125 for men. The average daily includes water from teas (green, black and herbal/fruits), fruits and vegetables which are very high in the water as well.

Diet Drinks Increase The Risk Of Stroke

The USA study indicates that drinking even two or more diet drinks a day makes us liable to stroke or heart disease, or even early death. The risk is higher in women than men and even worse for people who are overweight. Dr Yasmin Mossavar-Rahmani lead author of the study at New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine conducted the study over twelve years on 80,000 women, and concluded that ‘limiting the use of diet drinks was the most prudent thing to do’.

Energy and sports drinks, on the other hand, are not controlled. They contain sugar, food dyes, artificial flavours, thickeners and stabilizers, citric acid, (mainly fruit acids), which is not kind to our enamel. Although sports drinks are fortified to provide immediate energy for activities, they nevertheless are not good for the body if consumed too much.


If our body is dehydrated, we can have muscle spasm, weakness and cramps, which can result in heat exhaustion or stroke. We will also feel tired, sometimes dizzy, confused and irritable. The best and simple way to know we are dehydrated is to look at our pee. Thick yellow and with strong smell means we are dehydrated and need to start drinking regular water to stay hydrated.

Does Water Get Bad?

Although we have a culture of putting a shelf life on bottled water. Public Health Authority told us that if properly covered, water can last up to a thousand year, and still be suitable for drinking. It is true that this sort of water can acquire the taste of the plastic or the environment placed, nevertheless the water in itself is not bad.

So let us look at storage. Water in plastic is actually porous, meaning molecules in the air can penetrate through the plastic, giving it odour and taste. So glass containers, like bottles are better for soring water, simply because of the impenetrable property of molecules and odour.

Do We Have To Boil Tap Water?

Boiling does kill most bacteria and viruses, in cases of contaminated water. Boiling does kill micro-organisms that survive along the pipes that bring the water to our homes. However boiling will not remove traces of metals, pesticides and chlorine in our water. Indeed, it will concentrate the metals, as boiling reduces the volume (some escapes via steam).

Soft Or Hard Water?

Hard water does contain a higher percentage of calcium and magnesium in the area where we find the residue of these two metals. Hard water is not bad in itself, as drinking hard water provides the body with these two minerals. The only problem is that it interferes with household cleaning agents, skin and hair. This can be problematic in that it leaves residue in appliances and pipes, making them less effective.

Water, an elixir of life – mrjn photo on Unsplash

Making hard water soft involves treating it with sodium and potassium, to reduce the effect, or eliminate the calcium and magnesium entirely. The major issue of this is that this sort of water is not good for people with high blood pressure, and some other heart problem. Although there have been other treatment of hard water that does not use sodium and potassium combination.

Rain Water

is evaporated water from the atmosphere. This evaporated water is held up in the cloud until it becomes apparent that it can no longer hold on to it, so it pours out as rain. Rainwater gathers along with it, particles of dust, fumes, microbes, and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere when it is pouring. The particles of dust and bacteria will depend on the pollution in the area and varied from man-made ones like clouds of dust from the soil and atmosphere, and fumes from vehicles and machinery to natural ones like pollens and birds droppings. We cannot also rule out the fact that wind allows cross-contamination across a wider area than we can ever believe possible. Rainwater contains dissolved carbon dioxide in the air, which makes it slightly acidic. Some people ask if rainwater is drinkable.

Rainwater provides for all – Shah Shah photo on Unsplash

Is Rain Water Drinkable?

The question of whether rainwater is drinkable depends on its purity. And the purity is determined by the area you live, and the collecting container used to gather the rainwater. If you live in an area that you have regular rain, then the rainwater is likely to be purer. This is when you do not collect from the start of the rain, but allowing it to run out for a while before starting to collect. The logic here is to run out the dirtier part of the rain, to flow out first.

The first rainwater washes along with specks of dirt and debris, especially through trees or roofs. Subsequent ones are purer, so collect in a clean container and allow to stand for a while, before the filter the rest. The filtered water is suitable for drinking.

The History Of Drinking Rainwater

The Islamic book of Quran refers to rainwater as Mubarak Water, which means the water of life.

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