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Drinking water every day is just as important as eating. Many people over-eat but have you ever heard of people over-drinking water?2/3 of our bodies (i.e 66%) is made up of water. Without it, all our bodily functions would grind to a halt. Death would follow within a week!

Drinking water is serious business! If you don’t drink at least 1.5l of water a day (8 standard glasses of 200ml) it is time to change your ways!

Why do we need 1.5l of water a day?

Normally, our bodies lose this much every day. This may be through:

  • Breathing
  • Urinating
  • Sweating
  • Processing food and drink
  • Excreting
  • And don’t forget crying

Yes, that’s right. Without drinking water, you can’t process it!

You might think that losing water through sweat isn’t much of a problem in the winter and you’re probably right.

But you may lose just as much water because of the cold!

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean that you can drink less! As you get colder you use up more water. This is because water regulates our temperature. So if you don’t wrap up, you may feel dehydrated.

And that’s not all!
You may not sweat as much but when you get a cold you’ll lose much more water than usual.

When should I be drinking water?

Assuming that you sleep for 8 hours a day. You should then drink a 200ml glass of water once every 2 hours for the remaining 16 hours.

If you are hot (it may be winter but you never know) or feel cold, drink half an extra glass every hour that you remain hot or cold.

If you’ve caught a cold, drink half an extra glass of water (100ml) every other hour. In other words, drink 100ml of water an hour after drinking a 200ml glass.

Why not drink water three times a day, when I have a meal?

We can not handle a lot of water in one go. If you do, most of it will turn to wee wee. On top of this, you would still need to drink water about 2 hours after each meal. So instead of wasting water and feeling bloated it is best to spread the drinks over 2 hours.

I like drinking more than 8 glasses. Can I over-drink?

Not really, but your body will dispose of any excess. You could drink extra to make you feel full but you may feel bloated.

How will i know if i’m dehydrated?

The easiest way is to read your urine. The darker it is the more dehydrated you are. If it is rich, brown or dark, start drinking water immediately.

If it is a rich, pale yellow, you may not be dehydrated. It may be because you take vitamin supplements or if you have a lot of beta carotene in your diet (found in some oils and brightly coloured fruit and veg).

Here are some other dehydration alerts:

  • Poor concentration
  • Headache
  • Exhaustion
  • Nausea
  • Dizzeness
  • Dissorientation

I’ve heard that drinking cold water is bad for me. But why?

Drinking cold water or water below room temperature, is likely to reduce the temperature in your stomach. This means that your body has to warm up the temperature of your stomach whilst digesting food at drink.

This slows down your digestive system something you DON’T WANT TO DO, especially if you’re diabetic. No amount of enzymes can prevent that happening. Click here to learn more about enzymes and the functions

Ideally, you should be drinking water at room temp or above. Drinking warm water isn’t unheard of either and it is quite pleasant when you get used to it. Hey! You might even prefer it!

Everyone I know filters their water. Is tap water alright?

With more and more companies making models, it is no surprise that many people filter their drinking water. Some even filter their shower/bath water to prevent limescale build up! But there is nothing wrong with drinking water from the tap.

British drinking water is regulated by the Water Quality Regulation. Most drinking water from other countries and regions are regulated too. Regardless, some people hate the taste of hard and soft tap water.

If you can’t taste water, you should stick with drinking water from the tap as filtering reduces the mineral content (this is one reason why the filter gets heavier over time). That, and it’s cheaper :^)

So why do people filter their water?

The main reason is taste. But…

…Since most people aren’t receptive to slight differences in the taste of water, it would seem that there is a perception that it is healthier.

Is there any type of drinking water that is healthier than filtered water?

Actually, there is. Some people go a step further than filtered water and instead, drink ionised water.

What’s ionised water?

Ionised water (Ionized Water) is alkaline, anti-oxidant rich water that retains useful minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium, nutrients very useful for diabetics.

Drinkink ionised water has been proven to be healthier than drinking tap water as it not only re-hydrates you, but also tops up your minerals and anti-oxidant levels.

That’s why more people are ionizing drinking water as apposed to drinking water from the tap.

To learn more about drinking ionised water and its feasibility in your home, click here.

What about filtered water, is that healthier than tap water?

Not really, it is barely healthier or more unhealthy when compared to most regulated water sources.

There may be some minerals in the water that are unhealthy for humans BUT…

…These would be at a tolerated level (created by the water regulators) that is so small, it would be unnecessary to remove it.

There seems to be a perception that it’s healthier but i am not aware of any evidence to prove this. Let’s put it this way, you’re unlikely to here BRITA make such a bold statement.

Remember, tap water is regulated so that it is healthy to drink. Filtering it through some pebbles (that’s what’s in most water filter units) isn’t going to change that.

If filtered water isn’t healthier, why do people drink filtered water?

Here is some insight into why people filter their water:

  • Taste
  • Cheaper than bottled water
  • Hot drinks (like tea) have a richer colour
  • Most Filters remove limestone improving the longevity of kettles and the like. – Limestone causes limescale and is very common in Britain’s water.
  • Filtered water gadjets have useful technical features like chilling water without a fridge
  • They look cool – Some have lights!!! :^)
  • Filters promote the user to drink more water
  • More convenient than using the tap – Jugs and gadjets can be placed anywhere in the house, reducing the need to run to the kitchen sink!

Can you think of any more reasons? Go on amuse me… Click here to send me some more reasons, the more random yet logical, the better.

Why do people hate Hard and soft water?

Well for one, hard water is an infamous killer of washing machines and dishwashers due to the limescale build up! (Remember, ‘Washing machines live longer with …’, you know that annoying jingle on the ads?).

Hard tap water has many minerals in it that alters the taste of the water. For this reason it is high in calcium and magnesium but tastes horrible. Soft water has fewer minerals but still doesn’t taste too nice.

This is the reason some people buy bottled water. But Litre for litre, it is more expensive than filtered. Natural mineral water is sourced freely of pollution. Like hard water, it can contain beneficial minerals, whilst tasting better. But the longer the water is bottled, the more of the plastic is absorbed by the water.

To learn more about minerals, their benefits and flaws head to the vitamins and minerals page here. Also on the NavBar.

Don’t worry yourself too much about the mineral content. Most of your mineral intake should come from food.

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Want to know about distilled water? Read this…

100% Distilled water is absoutely free of nutrients. It contains NO minerals and NO vitamins. For this reason it is tasteless, ordourless and clear. However it may absorb nutrients from whatever it is stored in.

Distilled water is evaporated water that is immediately condensed in an enclosed environment. Even if it had nutrients in it beforehand, these would remain as they cannot evaporate.

So if you need to survive on a deserted island you know what to do. Distill the water.

How do i filter water on a deserted island?

Well this is not Ray Mears survival guide but if you end up somewhere with a water source that is unhealthy follow these tips:

Filtering a contaminated water source
Works in any water source, be it in a jungle, island, swamp etc.

Stage 1
Fractional Distillation
  • Gather more water than you need – Especially if it is muddy as some of the water will escape as you evaporate it.
  • Build/Use something resembling a conical flask (google it if you’re unsure) to store the water source.
  • Build/Use something resembling a gutter (drain pipe) to catch the evaporated water
  • Build/Use something resembling a Beaker/Mug/Pot etc – The collected water from the gutter-like object will drop in the beaker.
  • Preferably, the gutter-like shape should be wrapped in something cold so that the water condenses as it travels down the gutter. It is very fiddly without this!

This process of creating drinking water is called Fractional distillation using a Liebig condenser. Here is what a scientific version looks like and is what we are trying to replicate.

lieberg-condenser

Obviously creating distilled drinking water is easier with a Lieberg condenser. To learn more about Fractional Distillation, click on the image to head to the Wikipedia Page.

Stage 2
Creating the Drinking Water
  • Ensure everything is in place! If you have to build a bridge so that the utensils stand by themselves
  • Boil the contaminated water – Ensure you are ready to collect the water vapour (steam) with the gutter-like object.
  • Watch your hands!!! Be careful, steam is hot!
  • Catch the water in your gutter-like shape and let it drip in the beaker

Congratulations, you’ve just created distilled drinking water

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