Tap it or bottle it?

People have asked for my opinion on the advantages of bottled versus tap water. Here goes:

When you drink pure, fresh water, the body loves it. You can almost hear it saying, ‘thank you’. So does it matter if it comes from a natural well or spring in a bottle, or from a processing plant through pipes and a tap?

In the developed world, tap water is regularly and extensively tested by the water companies to ensure it is of drinkable quality. But what is ‘drinkable’? Most tap water has been recycled many times from the sewage and drainage system using chemicals (mainly chlorine). The body’s immune system, liver and kidneys recognise foreign substances and have to work hard to eliminate them. Chemicals can leave an aftertaste, but what is far more worrying are the medicines, drugs, contraceptive pills, etc. that constantly find their way into the sewage system. Some say a concentration of hormones in the water is leading to a ‘feminisation’ of the male population! Moreover, boiling the water kills germs but doesn’t remove chemicals. Water filters can remove most toxins.

Even so, tap water is cheaper, widely available, convenient and easily transported to the point of use through pipes. There are no issues around the disposal of bottles or the carbon footprint of transporting the water from source to consumer.

Like tap water, the quality of bottled water is highly regulated in most countries. It is frequently tested both at source, the bottling plant and the point of sale to ensure there is nothing harmful in it. There are many forms – still and carbonated (artificially carbonated water is best avoided since it is more acid forming), plain and flavoured (with fruit juice, for instance). You have to be careful, though, because some commercially available brands, far from coming from a well or spring, are merely purified tap water.

Some say bottled water tastes better, and generally I concur. It often contains natural trace minerals, but probably not enough to make much difference to health. It can be purchased and carried with you when away from home (but so can tap water if a bottle is filled before you go out). But it has downsides too:

  • It is undoubtedly more expensive, and some say it is a waste of money.
  • The cost of bottling and transport in both financial and environmental terms is higher per litre than tap.
  • Glass bottles are better, but both plastic and glass bottles have to be disposed of. They can be recycled, of course; it’s good to reuse materials, but transport and recycling are energy intensive.
  • Some are stored in warehouses for long periods before sale.
  • The best water comes straight from a running spring where it absorbs the health-giving energies of the natural environment.  This is not something you can bottle.

Whether tap water or bottled water is best depends partly on where you are – I’ve lived in where the tap water is drinkable but highly chemicalised, and I’ve also drunk some unpleasant bottled spring waters.

On balance I prefer natural spring water, but overall, the benefits of being well hydrated far outweigh the differences between tap and bottled. It is better to focus on the health benefits of drinking clean, fresh water than the differences between bottled and tap, and experts agree it’s better to drink tap water than none at all.


©David Lawrence Preston, 21.11.2017

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Are you getting enough?

It is said that we can go five weeks without food, five days without water and five minutes without oxygen. Oxygen we normally take for granted, food we enjoy, but drinking pure water can be an effort for many.

Water make up on average two thirds of our body weight – higher for younger people and much less (as little as one third) for older people. Dehydration can be a problem at any age but is a major health problem for many of the elderly.

We should drink around 1 litre for every 30 kg of our body weight (less if our diet contains lots of foods with high water content, mainly fruit and vegetables). But most of us drink much less than that, especially older people wary of incontinence and frequent trips to the toilet. This is an even greater problem if the person has restricted mobility. Fetching a drink can be a problem, as can getting to the bathroom in time. In addition many people find plain water bland.

However, there can be serious health implications of not drinking enough. It can cause headaches, constipation and urinary tract infections and reduce muscle and tissue pliability, and also mental problems such as dizziness, confusion and tiredness.

Drinking adequate amounts of water reduces all these risks, and can also reduce the risk of kidney stones and gallstones, protect against blood clots (and hence strokes and thrombosis), helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Good hydration also reduces the risk of heart disease by around 50%.

What counts as healthy fluid? Well first of all, animal milks don’t count. Milk is a food not a drink. Beer and caffeinated drinks don’t count either. The ideal fluids are pure, fresh, non-carbonated water, herbal and fruit teas and diluted, unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices. A dash of lemon juice can be added to water for flavour. They should be taken at room temperature or only slightly chilled.

Whether tap water or bottled water is best depends partly on where you are – in some areas the tap water is highly chemicalised and leaves an after taste. The jury is out, but most are agreed it’s better to drink tap water than none at all.

It’s best to drink the most during the daytime. Evening drinks can cause anxiety over visits to the toilet during the night. Drink little an often. Think of a dry sponge – pour water over it and it runs off, but gently add a few drops at a time and it absorbs.

Most people live busy lives of course, but taking a few moments each to day to make sure we’re properly hydrated is an investment of time and effort well worth making.


©Feeling Good All The Time, 25.10.2017

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Does water have a memory?

Homeopaths argue that homeopathic remedies, like water, contain a ‘memory’ of the active ingredient from which they are prepared. Is this true?

Most scientists say this is nonsense. However, there is evidence that this could be so. An intriguing study by a French immunologist, Professor Jacques Benveniste, was published by the scientific journal, ‘Nature’, in 1988.  He described how an allergy test worked even when the substance tested was so diluted with water that there was little chance of a single molecule remaining. He argued that the water ‘remembered’ the allergen substance.

Later, he claimed that that this ‘memory’ could be digitised, transmitted, and reinserted into another sample of water, which would then contain the same active qualities as the first sample.

This seemed to confirm the very basis upon which homeopathy rested. However, his peers did not agree. It went against everything they thought they knew about how biological material was transmitted and exchanged, based on ideas dating back to Descartes in the 17th-century.

‘Nature’ concluded that Benveniste’s research was impossible to reproduce. His funding was withdrawn and his laboratory closed. Undeterred, he and his team continued to investigate the biological effects of agitated, highly dilute solutions.

His explanation began with a musical analogy. Two vibrating strings close together in frequency will produce a ‘beat’. The length of this beat increases as the two frequencies approach each other. Eventually, when they are the same, the beat disappears. This is the way musicians tune their instruments, and how, according to Benveniste, his water-memory theory works. All molecules are made from atoms which constantly vibrate and emit infrared radiation. These vibrations have been detected for years by scientists, and are a vital part of their armoury of methods for identifying molecules[1].

Chemistry says that homeopathy can’t work. Biology has no explanation either. But millions of patients and homeopaths know it does. Does quantum theory and holography explain it? Is homeopathy actually an energy and informational medicine that should be evaluated as such?

Surely the open-minded approach is to call for scientific research and evidence gathering on the efficacy of homeopathic medicines that would help patients and doctors make informed choices about homeopathic medicines. Pharmaceutical remedies have too many drawbacks to rely on them entirely. Isn’t it time for a more enlightened approach?

©FGATT, 8.3.2017

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[1] For more information visit http://twm.co.nz/Benv_memwtr.html