Water is essential for life and all of our cells rely on it to function at their best, especially when it comes to metabolism and proper elimination of toxins. Plain old water doesn’t get as much attention as other nutrients, but it really is the most simple yet significant step one can take towards better health. In fact, optimum hydration helps improve brain function, skin health, cardiovascular health, lymphatic drainage, digestive health, and urinary tract health. It’s critical for all of our body’s detoxification systems and supports detoxification year-round.
Since hydration is so important, be sure you’re drinking clean water! While the United States has one of the safest drinking water systems in the world, it can still contain contaminants. Heavy metals from old pipes, prescription and other medications, fluoride, chlorine, pesticides, and endocrine-disrupting industrial chemicals all find their way into our waterways and reservoirs. Choosing cleaner, filtered water can help reduce exposure to these harmful substances. Yet, there is more to consider than simply bottled versus tap water.
- CHOOSING A WATER FILTER -
There are a variety of water filters available for any budget, home type, and family size. Here are some of the most popular options:
Plastic bottles contain bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic hormone disruptor that has been linked to health problems. Even BPA-free plastics likely contain hormone-disrupting chemicals. But there are times when grabbing a bottle of water is a fact of life, and there are better options available. Instead of a plastic bottle, choose a high-quality glass bottled mineral water like Mountain Valley Spring Water, Saratoga Spring Water, or VOSS. Eldorado Springs and Mountain Valley Spring Water even offer delivery to your home! Another thing to keep in mind is that hard plastic is safer and more stable than soft disposable plastic bottles.
PITCHER WATER FILTERS
Pitcher water filters are very popular options because they are affordable, easy to manage and sit on the countertop. They typically use granulated activated charcoal to reduce contaminants like chlorine and certain heavy metals while also improving the taste. A popular option is the Zero Water Filter, which uses activated carbon and ion exchange to filter out impurities. Soma plant-based filter is another popular option, using plant-based materials like coconut shell carbon and ion exchange technology. Both are suitable options if you’re not ready to invest in a solid carbon filter or a reverse osmosis under-the-counter filter. However, keep in mind that since the carbon is not solid, this option is not quite as effective at removing all heavy metals and fluoride.
Photo from Berkey Filters
SOLID BLOCK CARBON FILTERS
The most common solid block carbon filter is the Berkey and Propur filters. These systems are also known as gravity-fed drip water filters, as they require no electricity to operate. Water is filtered slowly as it drips from the upper chamber to the lower chamber. They are recognized as one of the best options for removing VOCs, heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride, parasites, bacteria, herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals. The only downside to these filters is the high price and the amount of counter space required to accommodate them.
Photo from Radiant Life
UNDER SINK FILTERS
Under sink water filters are very effective in removing a wide range of contaminants including heavy metals, fluoride, chlorine, pesticides, pharmaceutical drugs, and other pathogens. A multi-stage water filter like Pelican Water or Radiant Life filters water through a 14-stage process, removing all toxins and then remineralizing it. These systems can get pricey, but may be worth it based on your needs!
Photo from PUR2o
Reverse osmosis uses a semipermeable membrane which separates and removes nearly everything from the water, including bacteria, heavy metals, fluoride, salt, and essential minerals. There are certainly advantages to drinking water that’s gone through reverse osmosis, as you are left with an extremely “clean” water. However, reverse osmosis is not capable of differentiating between the “good” and “bad” components in the water. As a result, harmful ingredients are being removed, but so are the trace minerals that our bodies need to thrive. If reverse osmosis interests you, we recommend PUR2o because it includes a re-mineralizing filter to add minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium back into the water. You have the option to install PUR2o under the sink or purchase a free-standing or countertop dispenser.
- CHECK YOUR WATER QUALITY -
You can check your water quality to see what contaminants and potentially harmful substances are in your water supply. This can be a helpful step in making a decision on a water filter. The easiest way to find your local water report is to visit the EWG Tap Water Database and search your area.
Regardless of the water filter you use, it is possible to still be exposed to low levels of toxins from water. This is not something to panic about! Our body is constantly detoxing, and we can support our body’s natural detoxification pathways by living a healthy lifestyle. We also recommend doing our 30-day detox a few times a year to give your body some extra TLC. If you’re interested in learning more about the science behind optimum hydration, we recommend giving Quench by Dana Cohen a read!
Now that you know the facts, let’s raise a tall glass of water and toast to our health!
WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK
This guide was written by Dr. Morrison and the health and nutrition experts at The Morrison Center. Our team is dedicated to helping you achieve optimal health through the treatment and prevention of disease.
Dr. Jeffrey Morrison is an award-winning medical doctor, a leader in the field of Integrative Medicine, and champion of a nutritional approach to healthcare
Robin is a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in Integrative Medicine, Functional Medicine and holistic healing modalities. She helps her clients address complicated conditions and return to wellness.
Stephanie is a Holistic Nutrition Consultant and Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner with a passion for helping her clients fulfill their potential through both emotional and physical optimization.