Amazingly, our bodies are made up of roughly 60% water so it’s no surprise that drinking clean water has plenty of health benefits for us and our family.
Why is drinking clean, healthy water so important for our family?
- Without water the cells and organs in our bodies cannot function properly.
- Children in particular need clean water for their growth and development.
- Water lubricates your joints and keeps your body moving smoothly.
- Your brain needs water to stay alert, to concentrate and use your memory.
- And most importantly? It keeps your skin looking young and wrinkle free.
Filtering our water can improve the health of our entire family in one easy step by reducing nasty impurities such as heavy metals and chemicals.
Increasing the alkaline PH in your water has health benefits such as boosting your immune system and reducing toxins. So, when the kids are refusing to eat their veggies at least you can sneak some secretly healthy water into their diet!
So, how much water should we be drinking every day to stay healthy?
Generally, the advice is:
- Children between 5 and 8 years old should be drinking 1 litre of water every day.
- 9 to 12 years olds should be drinking 1.5 litres.
- Adults should be drinking between 2 and 3 litres of water everyday.
That’s a lot of water and as glasses of wine can’t be included in your quota it’s easy to fall short of the recommended amounts.
Dehydration can cause serious health issues, starting with headaches and fatigue going all the way to fever, heat stroke and kidney problems so we need to make sure that all the family is drinking plenty of good quality water.
What’s the problem with regular, unfiltered tap water?
Whilst tap water is tested regularly, our drinking water travels a long way as the pipes in our tap water system cover a lot of distance. This means that the water can pick up all sorts of nasties such as rust particles and other impurities before it reaches our tap.
Some of the pipes are old and can be made from metals such as lead which may begin to degrade, releasing particles into our water. As the pipes are not replaced or updated very often it can be hard to know if our tap water contains contaminants such as heavy metals or chemicals. There have been cases in the past where testing has failed or missed a problem in the water.
Chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride in tap water can also give it a weird taste or smell which can make the kids reluctant to drink it and instead opt for the less healthy sodas and sugary drinks, making you feel like a bad parent.
Some research suggests that the levels of these added chemicals in our water are way too high to be healthy. The U.S. Council Of Environmental Quality states that, “Cancer risk among people drinking chlorinated water is 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine.”
What about bottled water?
Buying plastic bottles of water may seem like a good solution but microplastic particles are often found in the water as the bottle can begin to deteriorate before you drink it. Research also suggests that bottled water is subjected to less safety tests than tap water.
Single use water bottles are expensive and buying them frequently can add up quickly to an expensive habit with bottled water costing around 200 times more than tap water! I’d rather spend the money on that glass of wine I mentioned earlier.
Finally there’s the environmental cost.
Water bottles travel an average of 300 kilometres before they are delivered to their place of sale as well as contributing to the single use plastic pollution problems facing our world so they don’t help us to teach our kids to protect our planet.
What are the health benefits of filtered tap water?
Reducing impurities such as heavy metals and chemicals has loads of health benefits for all the family:
- Improves your digestion as your body has less impurities to digest.
- Encourages healthy and clear skin from reduced toxins.
- Removing lead particles can help to reduce the risk of learning disorders, birth defects and kidney damage.
- Removing chlorine from water reduces the risk of developing cancer.
Can we filter our tap water at home?
Yes, you have plenty of simple options for filtering your tap water at home:
Faucet filters can be fitted over your kitchen tap and filter water instantly as it runs through the tap.
Countertop filters sit on the counter where you can fill them with water and supply the whole family with plenty of water.
Pitcher filters are jugs with a filter which can be kept in your fridge, keeping your filtered water fresh and cool.
Bottle filters are an environmentally friendly way to replace single use plastic bottles for your family to use on the go, knowing that your water is safe and clean wherever you are. Some of them look pretty funky too so the kids love using them.
What are the benefits of using a home water filter?
- Home water filters are low maintenance and easy for everyone to use.
- When you have your own filter, you no longer have to rely on claims that the water your family drinks is clean. You have peace of mind, knowing exactly how your water has been filtered and when you last changed your filter.
- Filtering your own water is way more cost effective than buying plastic bottles and much more eco-friendly (it can take as long as 400 years for the average plastic water bottle to degrade).
- By making your water taste and smell better, everyone in your family is more likely to drink plenty of water and it will even make your cups of tea taste better!
- Water filters are often visible and interesting to look at as well as being easy to replace, which makes them a great way for your kids to learn about healthy water.
- You can choose a filter that doesn’t just remove the bad stuff but that also adds healthy minerals such as calcium (great for our kid’s growing bones) back into your water.
- A filter that increases the PH of your water to make it alkaline gives you an extra health boost.
- You can make the neighbours jealous with your snazzy new filter when they pop round, particularly if they don’t have one – Take that, Mr & Mrs Jones!
What is alkaline water exactly?
Without getting too ‘science-y’, alkaline water has been ionized to give it a PH (Hydrogen Potential) greater than 7. The regular PH of tap water is 7.
The PH scale of 0 to 14 measures how acidic or alkaline something is.
Below 7 is acidic with 0 being the most amount of acid. 7 is neutral with an even balance and a PH over 7 is alkaline.
Water can naturally become alkaline as it passes through the earth and over rocks collecting minerals such as magnesium and calcium. However, as it gets treated in our plants and passed through our chemical systems and pipework it gradually loses it’s alkaline PH. It’s a bit like that feeling that you’ve lost some of your energy at the end of a tough day at work.
Why is alkaline water good for us?
Our bodies have a slightly alkaline PH of 7.4 and our kidneys work really hard to keep this balance.
However, a ‘normal’ Western diet is generally quite acidic due to our high consumption of meats and sugary, salty, processed foods which means that our bodies have to work harder to keep to their alkaline state.
Alkaline water normally has a PH between 8 and 10 and by drinking this water we make it easier for our bodies to regulate the PH and stay in balance.
If we’re helping our bodies out like this we don’t need to panic if we ‘accidentally’ eat that extra chocolate biscuit!
What happens if we have too much acid in our bodies?
If the levels of acid in our body become too high and our kidneys and lungs are not able to remove enough acid we can experience Acidosis.
Some of the problems caused by acidosis are:
- Compromised immune system making you susceptible to flus and colds
- Pimples and acne
- Digestion problems
- Kidney stones
The good news is that the majority of these problems are temporary and reversible but if acidosis is left untreated it can lead to severe complications.
What are some of the benefits of alkaline water?
In Japan, the benefits of alkalized water are well known and it’s been popular for over 40 years with alkalizing filters even classified as medical devices that improve health.
Some of the documented benefits are below:
- Lab research has demonstrated that cancer cells thrive in acidic environments. One theory is that drinking alkaline water helps to reduce acidity in your body to fight off or prevent cancer cells from forming.
- An acidic environment has also been proven to be bad for our bones. In a PH of 7 our bones can start to deteriorate leading to osteoporosis. New bone can only be made in an alkaline PH of 7.4 which is really important for our kid’s bone development.
- If anyone in the family suffers from acid reflux, alkaline water can be helpful. The higher PH is thought to neutralise pepsin which is one of the causes of acid reflux.
- Alkaline water contains more minerals than regular water. This, combined with the smaller cells in alkaline water make it easier for your body to absorb the minerals, improving your overall health.
- Alkaline water is super-hydrating. It’s made up of smaller sized cells than regular water so is much easier for our bodies to absorb making it a great choice for drinking when playing sports or on hot days. We lose more minerals when we sweat so the higher mineral content in alkaline water helps to replenish our supplies. So no excuses not to join the parents race at the kids next sports day.
- It improves digestion by decreasing the acid levels in our stomach and gut.
- A study found that drinking alkaline water improved blood viscosity meaning that blood was able to flow around the body more efficiently and deliver more oxygen to the organs.
- Alkaline water can boost your metabolism so may help with weight loss.
- Many people prefer the taste of alkaline water, saying it’s smoother and slightly sweeter than regular water. This makes it much easier to drink your 2 litres of water a day.
- Alkaline water could help to protect your kid’s teeth and save on some dentist bills. A 2017 study found that acidic PH levels in water could cause demineralization and deterioration of your teeth.
- Fans of alkaline water often report that it’s less bloating than regular water, which could be due to the smaller cells being easier and faster for your body to absorb. Definitely a win for the little black dress at the weekend.
- The fresher taste of alkaline water can improve the flavour of your meals when you use water for cooking your family’s meals.
- Alkaline water is high in antioxidants. This helps protect your body from free radicals, can help to prevent diseases and keep those unwanted wrinkles at bay.
I’ve also heard something similar about a daily glass of red wine, just saying…
Can we make our own alkaline water at home?
Yes, it’s easy to create your own alkaline water at home.
Simple Do-It-Yourself methods include popping a few drops of lemon or lime juice into your water. And yes, you’re right – lemon juice is acidic but once it has been digested it cleverly produces way more alkaline by-products.
Or for a great ‘at home’ chemistry lesson for the kids you can stir baking soda into tap water and use a PH tester kit to check the PH level. You can use drops which change the colour of the water to show how alkaline it is so if the kids are young enough, they’ll be really impressed with your chemistry skills.
Some water filters have the added benefit of being able to alkalize your water as well as purify it. So, not only do these filters remove the stuff we don’t want such as heavy metals and chlorine they put back essential minerals such as zinc, calcium, selenium and magnesium.
These alkaline filters also ionize the water, meaning that they make the cells smaller. This process (known as micro-clustering, if you want the geeky name) makes the water easier for your body to absorb as well as enabling your blood to carry more oxygen around your body.
How much alkaline water should we drink every day?
If you are just starting to drink alkaline water, start replacing 2 to 4 glasses of your regular water and gradually build up until you have replaced all your tap water with alkaline water.
Will we get side effects from drinking alkaline water?
Depending on the levels of acid and toxins in your body, you may experience a form of detoxification when you start to drink alkaline water.
Don’t panic – this is a good sign as it means that the water is flushing the toxins out of your body.
These side effects are temporary and could include:
- flu-like symptoms
- muscle aches
- changes in your stool
It’s extremely rare for anyone to drink too much alkaline water and go into alkalosis, if it does occur it’s normally brought on by another disorder or illness. However, if you experience any severe side effects after drinking alkaline water you should contact a medical professional immediately.
Is alkaline water safe for children?
Yes, filtered and alkalized water is safe for children aged 4 and upwards to drink.
Children younger than 4 can drink purified filtered water with a neutral PH of 7. This filtered water that has had the micro plastics, heavy metals and chemicals removed could be safer than giving them regular tap water.
For children aged 4 and upwards, gently alkalized water is safe. According to the World Health Organisation minerals such as calcium and magnesium are essential for your children’s healthy development and these are found in alkaline water.
Is alkaline water safe for pregnant women?
Yes, in fact your growing baby needs an alkaline environment to develop properly so it’s a very healthy option when you are pregnant.
Alkaline water can help to reduce the symptoms of morning sickness. Some women have pregnancy cravings for charcoal and say that it eases their morning sickness – it’s no coincidence that charcoal is highly alkaline. I think I’d rather go for a glass of water than nibble on a piece of charcoal.
What is the best water filter for my family?
Depending on your location, you may have different needs for your family’s water.
If you know that a high level of fluoride is added into your local water you may prefer a filter that focuses on reducing fluoride or if your tap water has a metallic taste you can choose on a filter that removes heavy metals.
Whichever filter you decide on you should be safe in the knowledge that you are providing the best quality water for your family – Awesome parent award coming your way!