Podcast Episode 4 – Immunity – Water (Drinking and Bathing)

Welcome back to our Immunity Series. Today, more than ever, it’s important to take care of your immune system, so today let’s look into how making good water decisions can benefit you. Perhaps you have never truly thought about the importance of water and specifically water as an important nutrient. We hope to encourage you to take a deeper look into the water you are drinking and the water you are bathing in. 

We invite you to listen and share your perspectives with us too. Send us a recorded message.

Listen right here:

Related blog article: Water

Discussion transcript for Immunity Series – Water:

Shonda (00:01): Well, I stopped taking showers altogether.

Shonda (00:04): Hi, this is Shonda and yes, that was truly a statement of mine. This week Patryce and I are discussing water, Perhaps you've never truly thought about the importance of water and specifically water as being an important nutrient. We hope to encourage you to take a deeper look into the water you are drinking and bathing in.

Podcast Intro (with music) (00:37): Hi and hello. Welcome to the real food and drinks, lifestyle podcast. We're building a community to talk about nutrition, lifestyle choices, and just feeling better. This is Shonda and this is Patryce. Let's just be real.

Podcast Intro (with music) - continued (01:03): [Music continues] Here's our disclaimer. We do not professionally practice in any of the various subjects that we discuss. We are only sharing our personal experiences with you to healthier lifestyle. Please do your own research before taking part in any of these practices.

Shonda (01:24): I originally started researching water at least three years ago. You know, I just wasn't feeling my best or I wasn't feeling hydrated or what brought it on mostly was that I was having the stomach bloating from IBS. And along with that, I was having like bladder urgency with that. And I'm like, I'm drinking all this water. Why doesn't it stick? You know, why isn't it sticking in me? Um, I'm trying to, you know, get it in. And the first thing that I discovered was that of the two waters I was drinking, both were reverse osmosis water. One was a home system. I had a reverse osmosis system under my sink and I was drinking that water. And the other time it was bottled. And, you know, I mean, when we read the back of the bottle, it says, treated by reverse osmosis filtration. And so...

Patryce (02:24): Can you give a short description of what reverse osmosis means?

Shonda (02:30): What happens is through the filtration process? And it's filtered through a number of different processes. I mean, even this reverse osmosis system had like two or three stages to it, of filtration, but the end result is a water that no longer contains minerals.

Shonda (02:52): And that's where we get into problems because, you know, we don't want to drink water void of minerals. I mean, that's the purpose. I mean, the minerals in it help keep us hydrated. You know, the minerals have, have nutrients, water should be a nutrient. I really used to study the Gerson therapy and they don't recommend drinking water at all. And I think it's because of this reason is because you can't trust the water source or, you know, people may not be researching the water as fully to understand that that water is doing more damage than good because the Gerson therapy was all about getting the most nutrition you can in everything you eat and everything you drink. So if the water was empty of nutrients, you know, there's really no reason to drink it. So then I took that out. I was like, Oh my goodness, we've been drinking the wrong water, you know, and I started doing research.

Shonda (03:57): So there are systems that can filter water to make it more drinkable, like city, tap, water, more drinkable. There's so many water reports out there. And if you look at, I think it's the FDA and the EPA they both monitor water and make suggestions. Let's see, the EPA regulates public drinking water and the FDA regulates bottled drinking water. And they have reports out there. And I mean, when you're looking at the reports about what's in water...okay. So they have recommended safety standards or guidelines. And I mean, and so water is being tested for over 200 contaminants. Tap water is. There's two... there's... I mean, there's even more than that, but that was, I know I counted at least 200 on the report where, you know, if you have these contaminants in your water, here are the safe level supposedly. And it's really interesting.

Shonda (05:00): The show notes will have a link to an article and then the article will have a link to FDA and EPA to read and to better understand what's happening to our city tap water systems. But there are systems supposedly that do extract most of these things. So I would not, I don't drink city, tap water, not on a regular basis. So it is highly recommended that you get a really good system to filter your city, tap water if you plan on drinking it. Yeah. Cause there's even carcinogens in the city tap water.

Patryce (05:39): Wow. And I guess you can... Is that one of the reports you're talking about that you can get?

Shonda (05:44): Yeah. The report is it just lists all of the possible contaminants or the contaminants that they found in water. And I guess this is us US FDA and EPA. These are acceptable limits, but next to the next to the contaminant, it will say if it's a high carcinogen type, uh contaminant or things. So it was ranked, they, there are ranks on carcinogens. That was pretty interesting that, that they, right, that they decided to, or felt it was needed to show the different rankings of how this contaminant specifically ranked as a carcinogen. So that was very interesting.

Shonda (06:34): When I originally started looking about three years ago, and this was, I think rather kind of new, a new chemical, it was called chloramine. So I started, when I wrote (rewrote), this article, I wrote about chloramine because I had noticed that when taking a shower, my eyes just would hurt. They would be red after. And even sometimes it felt like I couldn't breathe when I was in the shower. Cause I take really hot showers. I like hot water. And so how water makes the chlorine and chloramine more volatile, I guess it opens it up and it separates it from the water, I guess. And, and you know, when we're breathing in it, it causes more issues. Chloramine is a combination of chlorine and ammonia.

Patryce (07:26): What a? Ooph, that sounds volatile. Just those two.

Shonda (07:29): Yes. We know how volatile ammoonia is. So if we're taking baths in city, hot, hot city, tap water, you know, I guess if you're, if you... Hey, if you do cold showers and that's good, but I can't do a cold shower. So...

Patryce (07:45): I may start though.

Shonda (07:48): Well, I stopped taking showers altogether because of this. It was that it affected me that much. So I would take a bath or use a bath ball and I wouldn't even use that many. Yeah. I still cleaned!

Patryce (08:02): Just wanted to clarify that for everyone.

Shonda (08:06): Yes. But I just used a bath tub. (Patryce: Okay.) And try to filter it as best as I can. And I am hopefully planning on putting more of a filter on the house to get a cleaner source of, of bathing water. I think that's important too, when we expose our skin to water, it's taking in the water and all the things that are in the water. So we want to be careful of that.

Patryce (08:31): And because we want to be careful of that. I'm sorry. Did you mention something that before you get that whole house filtration, is there something we can put into our bath water to help with?

Shonda (08:41): Well, Okay...So, you can, if you're running bath water, or even a shower head, there are filters that I'm not sure about the chloramine. Maybe now there are, but I think the chloramine is... A more expensive type filter needed to remove chloramine. And also recently I don't, I believe it's effective, but I don't know how effective this process would be for a whole bathtub of water is to ozonate your water. Now that's something really new. It's called ozone to ozonate - to infuse the water with ozone to remove the contaminants. Yes. So that's new. That's something that I have not tried yet, but of course, naturally I'm looking forward to trying. So I'm trying, I'm in the process of researching a system right now. I think of water as a nutrient. You know, like I said, we don't just want to take in any kind of water because it's not going to benefit us.

Shonda (09:43): I think my next research led me to just start looking at bottled water. So the most common that we find in the grocery store is, uh, called purified water. According to USDA that is produced by distillation, De-ionization, reverse osmosis and something like that. But it also, and the FDA even says this, can be called de mineralized water. (Patryce: Wow.) Yeah. So that doesn't sound like a good thing, you know? Um, so it's highly likely that most of the bottled water labeled purified water is also labeled drinking water or filtered water. These waters have been, uh, treated by these systems. And normally they're just city tap water, that's been treated, you know. They demineralize it to get everything out - the contaminants and the nutrients come right along with it. And so my belief that it's not ideal for drinking on a regular basis. Now, you know, if that's all that's available for you that day drink the water, you know, but, um, but try on a regular basis when you decide what water you're going to drink. Um, we just need to look further into the choices that we're making.

Patryce (11:08): Now, there are other bottled waters that when I, if I'm at a grocery store, I want to choose spring water is one of them or artesian water. Spring water is derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface. So there's something, you know, at some point it is underground, but it comes back up to the surface. Spring water may be collected at the spring or through a borehole, you know, by tapping into the underground formation. So that's the definition of spring water. I think we still have to be careful when we're looking into bottled waters, no matter what it is, because even though the source may have more natural minerals and things, because it's been underground and it's coming up naturally from a water source, the way that the company treats it, once they gather it can have detrimental effects on it.

Shonda (12:11): One company that I researched, which is very popular, I know here in Texas where I am, they actually bring it from a spring, but during transport, while there, after they gather it, they treat it with chlorine. (Patryce: Oh wow.) They treat it with chlorine during the transport. And right before bottling, they remove the chlorine. I choose not to drink that one because of that. And you can find all this information on websites, go to the company's website and look up their water reports and their processes. If they aren't open enough to tell you about all those. And I wouldn't even drink their water.

Patryce (12:51): Good point...good point.

Shonda (12:55): I mean, I would drink their water over the regular purified water that comes from the city tap, but on a longterm basis, that's not the one that I chose. Before I get there though. I want to say, I guess this is in both cases though, we want to choose spring water or artesian water that has only undergone like, um, carbon filtration or sand filter. And, and one of the processes they use is ozone... Ozonating water. That's a process that some companies, uh, spring or artesian water ... or companies use or passing water through an ultraviolet light. I read that ultraviolet light can eliminate the chloramine in there. So that was interesting. Yeah. I mean, I wonder if there are ultra violet violet lights that we can get to purify our water. It's just also interesting, especially with technology today, the way that it can be created for, um, personal consumer use, you know, I'm sure some of these things, more of these things are available and becoming available.

Shonda (14:09): And it's a good thing because we're getting more contaminants in our environment. I drink artesian water it comes from an artesian. Well, I list a lot of them in the article that I wrote that will be available as a show note to this, I drink artesian water because they do have to go underground to get it. So it hasn't come up to the top yet and mix with other ground waters possibly that could contaminate it...things like that. Water from the artesian well comes deep within the different layers of the earth and the way it got there is mostly,uh, rainwater. When rainwater settles, you know, it'll go into the earth. Okay. That seems like the most natural process that God created. You know, even in the Bible, they drank from a well, they went deep down and got the water and there's just some I'm sure great filtration that happens in the earth that we probably just don't know about.

Shonda (15:16): I mean, they, I know that they've tried to duplicate those things in some systems with the carbon filter and with the sand filter and with these different things. But to just have it naturally happen... In the water that I chose, it just tastes so good to me that it was just no doubt about this was the water that I want to drink. Now it can get expensive, but in my mind, I was searching and searching and feeling ill. And so hospitals and doctors are expensive too. So I just choose to buy the water.

Patryce (15:49): I have to say that this water, most of the well waters, artesian, well, waters are labeled as alkaline. And I know for, you know, a while back, everything was trying to be labeled alkaline. It's alkaline... It's alkaline, but I want you to not be fooled by water just because it claims to be alkaline.

Patryce (16:11): This water... This artesian well is alkaline naturally from coming up from the deep, in the well of the earth. There are also companies that use the same purified, bottled water from the city tap, they reverse osmosis it and remove all the nutrients. And then they try to add nutrients back to make it alkaline. That reminds me of white rice. They've taken all the nutrients out, but they've enriched it with added vitamins because they know that food has nothing to offer. Yes, I am a proponent of whole grain brown rice versus white rice, especially on a regular basis. So the same thing with water, um, we want it to be natural. We want it in its natural state. We don't want to clean it all up and do all these things and remove it and then try to artificially add back minerals.

Patryce (17:11): Wow. That's very interesting. It seems as though there's a lot to learn about our water or just to be, make ourselves aware of and, and when we are, we're not sure we can ask for those reports or look at those reports, um, for our local water, just to, to know for ourselves, everything you just said. Um, and I'm, I'm just thankful that you have done a lot of this research for us so that we can go out there and take a look at that, um, document you created.

Shonda (17:43): Yeah. Yeah. Glad to share.

Patryce (17:45): I love that Shonda, this, the goal is to just make changes, even small changes towards a better lifestyle.

Shonda (17:58): Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoy today's podcast. Remember you can catch show notes and additional details at realfoodanddrinks.com under the podcast menu. Also subscribe to our podcastt if you aren't already a member of our community. And if listening through Anchor, please send us a messenge of topics you would like to hear us have conversations about until next time. Let's just be real.

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Water

Most city tap water contains a chemical called chloramine. It’s replacing the regular use of chlorine in most cities. I called my city in 2016 and, yes, discovered they are using chloramine.

Chloramine contains both chlorine and ammonia.

Unless properly filtered, we are drinking it from city tap water and bathing in it!

Chloramine cannot be filtered using a basic charcoal filter.

Think of Water as a Nutrient

Water serves a number of essential functions to keep us all going (as posted by USGS)

  • A vital nutrient to the life of every cell, acts first as a building material.
  • It regulates our internal body temperature by sweating and respiration
  • The carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream;
  • It assists in flushing waste mainly through urination
  • acts as a shock absorber for brain, spinal cord, and fetus
  • forms saliva
  • lubricates joints

Considering this list of how water functions in the human body, I’d say that it’s an important nutrient for sure. And, surely you want to get the cleanest source possible to help the body function at its best.

What About Tap Water and Bottled Water Labeled Purified (Drinking or Filtered)?

Purified water, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is “produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis or other suitable processes” and also may be called “demineralized water, deionized water, distilled water or reverse osmosis water.”

It’s highly likely that even if you drink bottled water labeled “Purified” water (also labeled “drinking” and “filtered”)…you are still drinking chloramine. All water with these labels are most likely to just be city tap water that has gone through some type of filtration system. And, the filtration process that is used usually doesn’t remove chloramine. Chloramine cannot be removed through reverse osmosis* and regular carbon filtration processes. If you choose to buy “drinking”, “filtered” or “purified” water, I recommend contacting the bottled water company to see if there are any water quality reports available. You can also contact the city for which the source is listed to view the city’s water quality reports. (NOTE: In many instances, the city water quality reports are a few years behind and many city water agencies allow some amounts of contaminants.) Looking at the tables available at the EPA’s website, they test for over 200 contaminants, so chloramine isn’t your only worry (just perhaps the latest that’s been added to this overwhelming list)! Many of these contaminants are from the insecticides and pharmaceutical drugs!

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are both responsible for the safety of drinking water. EPA regulates public drinking water (tap water), while FDA regulates bottled drinking water. 

Better Bottled Water Choices?

Spring water, “derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth at an identified location, may be collected at the spring or through a bore hole, tapping the underground formation that feeds the spring,” according to FDA guidelines.

While reviewing documentation that was sent to me by one popular bottled water company, I noticed that they treat their spring water with chlorine during shipment from the source and then filter it out prior to bottling. This doesn’t seem like a good idea to me, so it’s not one of my choices either. In addition, the pH of that same water is 5.6 which is too low. (Water should be at minimum a bit above 7 pH and you regularly do not want to go much higher than 9 pH.)

Therefore, one choice you can make for a better drinking water is to choose spring water that has not been treated using chlorine or one that has not been treated by reverse osmosis (which is excellent at filtration, but it also removes good minerals from the water)

Choose spring water that is pure and perhaps has only undergone the following processes: “filtered with carbon, carbon block, or a sand filter, ozonating water or passing water by an ultraviolet light.” (Ultraviolet light can eliminate chloramine.)

Artesian water is water produced from an artesian well. To be an artesian well the water in the aquifer (a subsurface rock unit that holds and transmits water) must be under enough pressure to force it up the well to a level that is higher than the top of the aquifer. Artesian water is mostly rain water that has seeped underground and is naturally filtered by the earth’s rock formations.

My favorite artesian drinking water is Evamor. Yes, I know it’s quite expensive, but so are doctor visits and hospitals. I enjoy this water because of its high alkalinity due to the naturally occurring mineral content. It’s not treated by reverse osmosis! Evamor water is bottled right at the source and it taste great!

Be Aware of Many Alkaline Water Claims: Don’t be fooled by water just because it claims to be alkaline. Many water companies that use the label “Alkaline” water are companies whose source is a city tap water that is treated using reverse osmosis* and then minerals are added to the water to increase its pH (alkalinity).

Remember, water is an important nutrient. It’s a liquid “food” and just like our goal is to eat REAL FOOD, likewise, we should want to drink REAL and “unprocessed” water too.

RECOMMENDED Bottled Natural Artesian and Spring Waters (that I found at my local grocery store):

*Additional Notes/Comments:

Berkey has an article about removing chlorine and chloramine from water.

Reverse osmosis is probably not a good source of drinking water…especially for long term. It DOES NOT hydrate the cells of our bodies well and it NO LONGER CONTAINS the necessary minerals that our cells require. In fact, it is void of all minerals and, as a result, has a lower pH than is ideal. Yes, it can remove bacteria and even viruses (if the systems are well-maintained), but we should not depend on it for daily drinking water.

To find out what’s in your water, you should have an independent company test it. These companies usually provide whole house water filtration services and/or water delivery services.

I know many may be concerned about drinking water from plastic bottles. If this is your concern, but you want Artesian or Spring water, you will need to find a water service that can deliver in glass bottles. Yet, if youwant to filter your city tap water, I recommend something similar to a Berkey filtration system. (Or perhaps just use these types of filtration systems to filter plastic bottled Artesian or Spring water…which would be my personal choice.)

I do not receive compensation for referring you to any of these waters or websites, I just think they are the best choices and the websites provide some valuable information that can benefit us all. Please read the links, they include some really interesting facts about things such as cholesterol, skin and stomach problems and other various health issues that can be linked to drinking (and bathing) water.

Read more about Artesian Water and Artesian Wells (USGS)

EPA Water Regulations

Bottled Water Standards

Related Podcast:

Podcast Episode 4 – Immunity – Water (Drinking and Bathing)