Spring water and purified water are both widely available. If you’re confused about choosing between the two, this article will help you make an informed decision.
Health Benefits of Water
Maintains Balance of Body Fluids
Be known that your body contains 60 percent of water. Your bodily fluids perform functions such as digestion, circulation, absorption, nutrient transport, saliva creation and maintenance of body temperature.
The posterior pituitary gland in your brain communicates with your kidneys and gives orders for the volume of water to excrete as urine or hold onto for reserves.
When your body is low in fluids, the brain triggers the thirst mechanism. Health experts advise you to listen to the cues and drink water. You can drink juice, milk or even coffee, anything but alcohol. Alcohol hampers with brain and kidney communication and causes excretion of fluids. This action leads to dehydration.
Help Control Calories
According to a survey published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, the investigators found that participants who drank the plainest water daily consumed fewer total calories, took less total fat, sugar, saturated fat, cholesterol, and salt. They even drank fewer sweetened beverages.
The investigators found that increasing water intake by one to three cups a day could decrease your calorie intake by 68 to 205 calories a day. Over time this could result in weight loss.
Your muscles are up to 80 percent water. When your muscle cells lack enough water, they don’t work well and in turn, affects your performance. Adequate fluid intake is essential for you while exercising. Dehydration can cause altered body temperature control, increased fatigue and reduced motivation. Optimal hydration reduces oxidative stress and improves muscle performance.
Good for Your Skin
Dehydration makes your skin dry and wrinkly. Proper hydration can significantly improve your skin health. You can lock moisture into your skin by using moisturizers.
Hydration Improves Brain Function and Energy Levels
The hydration status of your body firmly influences your brain. Research studies point out that mild dehydration can hamper brain function. A study with young women as participants found that fluid loss of 1.36 percent after exercise affected mood and concentration and increased the frequency of headaches.
Another study this time with young men as members discovered that fluid loss of 1.59 percent was dangerous to working memory and increased anxiety and fatigue.
Increasing fluid intake is recommended as a treatment protocol for constipation. Adequate hydration helps the smooth movement of foodstuff in your gastrointestinal tract. When there is not enough fluid the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration, this results in constipation. Carbonated water is good for constipation relief. But the reason is not entirely understood.
Helps Your Kidneys
The primary toxin in your body is the blood urea nitrogen, and your kidneys contribute to cleaning and get rid of these toxins as long as your fluid intake is sufficient. If you often drink too little water, you are at a greater risk of kidney stones. Higher fluid intake reduces the concentration of these minerals, so they are less likely to crystallize and forms clumps. Adequate water helps to prevent the initial formation of stones.
Spring Water Vs Purified Water
Spring water and purified water come from two different sources. In many cases, they may be as safe as tap water for drinking, but personal preference determines the type of water chosen. Let’s see in detail about spring water and purified water.
The other name for spring water is ground water, artesian water or well water. The Environmental Protection Agency states it as water that comes from an underground aquifer.
Spring is a water resource formed when a side of a hill or valley bottom intersects a flowing body of ground water. A spring may also be the result when an aquifer gets filled, and water overflows onto the land surface. Springs can occur when hydrologic, geologic or human forces cut into underground layers of soil and rock where water is in movement.
You may find it interesting to observe that usually spring water is remarkably clear. Some spring waters can be colored which may be the result of ground water coming in contact with naturally occurring minerals.
Other reason for colored spring water may be due to natural tanning materials from organic material in subsurface rocks.
Quality of Spring Water
- The quality of water in your local ground water system will determine the quality of spring water.
- The quality of spring water can vary considerably because of factors such as quality of water that recharge the aquifer and the type of rocks that the groundwater is in contact.
- The rate of flow and the length of the flow path through the aquifer affects the amount of time the water is in touch with the rock and some minerals that the water can dissolve.
- The quality of spring water can be affected by mixing of fresh water with pockets of ancient seawater in the aquifer or with fresh seawater along an ocean coast.
Minerals in Spring Water
Bicarbonate. Spring waters contain a varying level of bicarbonate. Still, waters contain tens to hundreds of mg/L, and sparkling waters contain several hundred to thousands of mg/L of bicarbonate. The Bicarbonate levels in Northbrook Natural Australian spring water is 26mg/L.
Uses: Bicarbonate which is present in all your organs and biological fluids acts as a buffer to sustain the proper pH level in your body. Bicarbonate plays a vital role in the maintenance of your overall health. A mixture of bicarbonate and water can soothe your upset stomach which is caused by excess acid production. Bicarbonate may prevent kidney stones and lessen fatigue in athletes. Even your stomach secretes bicarbonate to aid in digestion.
Sodium. Sodium content varies widely from one brand of spring water to another. Experts recommend that people on a low sodium diet check out each brand of bottled spring water before purchasing.
Uses: Sodium is most recognizable when you combine with chloride as table salt. It helps to adjust the water level in the body. When sodium moves between individual cells, it helps produce electrical signals. This action allows the brain to communicate with the central nervous system and muscles. A sodium-rich diet can cause high blood pressure.
Calcium. A September 2006 article published in HSS Journal states that calcium concentration of water varies from 1 to 135 mg/L across USA and Canada. Most spring waters have a low level of calcium with an average of 28mg/L.
Uses: The largest percentage of your body’s calcium resides in your bone tissue. The remaining calcium circulates in the blood, and you can find it in other body fluids and cells. Calcium which is famously known for bone and dental health also helps in blood clotting, muscle development, and central nervous system functioning.
Magnesium. The Northbrook Natural Australian spring water contains 3mg/L of magnesium. Most U.S. spring waters typically contain low levels of magnesium.
Uses: Magnesium is a vital mineral in your body structure and function. It plays a crucial role in energy production, control of muscular contractions and nerve signal transmission.
Is it Safe to Drink Spring Water?
Mineral rich spring water will slightly have neutral or slightly high pH. If you drink alkaline water, it will help to reduce acidity in your body and contributes to lessening the amount of free radical damage. Spring water has a refreshing taste that is unequaled by other waters.
So, should you feel confident about filling the water can with spring water and drinking it? The answer is no; you should be cautious. The New York State Department of Health warns that by the time the spring water reaches the collecting point it could have bacteria, viruses, chemicals and parasites. The spring water might even contain animal waste. Waterborne organisms such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and E. coli can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Spring water may also contain chemicals that could cause long-term health effects such as kidney and liver damage, nervous system disorders and congenital disabilities. Drinking contaminated water can be life threatening for babies, children, elderly and immune-compromised individuals.
You must not drink water from roadside springs or other untreated drinking water sources. Instead, drink water from a regulated public water system or properly maintained drinking water supply well. The water from this source of spring is treated, disinfected and monitored on a regular basis. You can also go in for health department certified bottled spring water.
Mechanically filtered or processed water to remove impurities and make it suitable for use is called purified water. All impurities in pure water need to be not more than ten parts per million.
This value is significantly higher than the standards needed for normal drinking water including tap water, as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency. The chemicals and pathogens are removed in purified water but not the microbes.
Methods of Water Purification
The methods used for purifying water includes:
- Biological processes such as slow sand filters or
- Biologically active carbon
- Chemical processes such as Flocculation and Chlorination
- Capacitive de-ionization
- Reverse osmosis
- Ultraviolet oxidation and
Combinations of some these processes result in highly purified water.
Sources of Purified Water
Purified water can come from any source such as groundwater, upland lakes, and reservoirs, rivers, canals and lowland reservoirs, atmospheric water generation, rainwater harvesting or fog collection, desalination of seawater and surface water from fresh water bodies.
Is it Safe to Drink Purified Water?
Bottled purified waters can be a less costly alternative to spring waters. Though most purified waters are safe for drinking, it’s not the best choice for you for long-term use. The reason is some purification methods leave impurities behind while others use harmful chemicals.
Large Scale Purification
Water purification done on a large scale is a multi-step process. As the water enters the treatment facility, it is first screened to remove large particles and small organisms
During the coagulation and settlement phases, the chlorine and aluminum sulfate are added to water to remove bacteria and kill germs. The water is then filtered through layers of sand and gravel to remove remaining impurities. Adding more chlorine and chemicals during the final disinfection stage is a major health concern.
Dr.Susanne Bennet Natural Allergy Doctor and Environment Advocate writes in Huffington Post that purified water that comes from either distillation or reverse osmosis is safe to drink. She says” Ingesting mineral free purified water is not harmful to your body.”
It would be wise if you don’t make purified water as your primary source of drinking water since it contains chemical chlorine. It is fine if you drink it on occasion.
A study in the Journal of Health Perspectives found that chlorination disinfection byproducts such as trihalomethanes (THMs) may contribute to low birth weight, congenital disabilities, preterm births, fetal deaths and other adverse pregnancy problems.
Chlorine kills germs and bacteria in the purified water. In the same way, it also kills helpful bacteria that is present in your body. Chlorine kills the digestive flora such as acidophilus that lives in the intestine and helps in its function.
Chlorine can harm the essential fatty acids which make up the cells of your brain and nervous system. It can also react with leftover organic material in the water and create carcinogens.
A study found in the Journal Environmental Health Perspectives says arsenic is present in American drinking water and can contribute to skin cancer.
If you boil water for 30 minutes, it will kill most germs, but if there are any metal compounds in the water, it will remain. If nitrates and sulfates are present in water, they will become compounded after boiling.
Charcoal filters can remove bacteria and metals, but they may miss out on certain pathogens. Ceramic filters remove small organisms and bacteria but not viruses. After some time various pathogens can also begin breeding within the mechanisms.
The fluorine added to purify water is insufficient to have a significant effect in reducing cavities. Oral intake of fluoride is not needed, and it may even be detrimental to your health. A study published in the Journal of American Dental Association says that fluoride is a toxic substance that destroys teeth in young children and babies (source).
Both spring and purified water are safe to drink. To be considered drinking water they must meet the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations as set by EPA. The preference between spring and purified water depends on availability and your personal choice.
The taste of spring water is preferable because it contains natural minerals. In particular cases, high-quality spring water may be too expensive for many people to drink on a daily basis.
Purified water is suitable for drinking purposes for a short period. For your primary source of drinking water, it would be wise to drink well or spring water to keep yourself safe from natural pests and chemical exposure.
To ensure you are drinking clean spring water or purified water invest in a dual stage filter system. These filters use a combination of carbon filtration, ion exchange, and sub-micron filtration to produce healthy and tasty water and leave in the natural trace minerals. We recommend this simple product to purify water whenever you go hiking or camping.
You can also invest in a reverse osmosis system, if you’re concerned about the mineral-free water, include plenty of veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds, and you’ll be optimally mineralized and alkalized.
Until you install this unit, buy purified bottled water, which is filtered by reverse osmosis, carbon filtered and ozonated and which is in glass bottles. The label should indicate that the water has been filtered and passed through reverse osmosis unit. According to me, spring water is your best bet provided you ensure that it is clean.
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