The Water IssueMar 18, 2022
Hey, the water issue is here!
This blog has been a loooong time in the making.
First, it's important to note this information applies to all water sources, even wells. I see you well-water drinkers, unfortunately, just because your water source is private, it doesn't mean your water quality is optimal!
In this issue, we’ll cover:
1. The ideal drinking water: what should be in your water?
a. Optimal Ph
2. Contaminants: What should not be in your water.
3. What filtration systems I use and recommend
In order to get the full effect from your water, it must be maximally usable by the body. This means it must be pH balanced, free of environmental toxicants, and rich in electrolytes. Bonus points if it's also living and structured.
What is pH and why does it matter?
PH determines the alkalinity of the water. Your body is a very tightly controlled system of acids and bases that rests between 7.35-7.45. This system is affected by your diet, your fluid intake, and the air you breathe. Most people on a standard American diet tend toward an acidic state, which promotes disease. Those on a plant-based diet tend toward a more alkaline state which is generally good but can become dangerous if it becomes too alkaline, as I experienced when following a raw vegan diet. We want to aim for somewhere in the middle.
If you want to test your home water, you can simply buy some pH strips at your local drug store and test it. If you find that you have acidic water, consider buying an ECHO Ultimate (which will do it all, more on this model later) to alkalize your water. If you’re on a budget, add a squeeze of lemon to create an alkaline ash.
What is hydrogen water and how is it made?
Water is made of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom (H2O). Living water is rich in hydrogen and structured in a highly organized manner. Hydrogen water is infused with additional hydrogen bonds that are free floating and ready to react with other elements. This creates a negative oxygen reduction potential, which allows your water to act as an antioxidant and stimulate the growth of beneficial anaerobic bacteria when it hits your gut. Hydrogen is required for just about every reaction that happens in the body, so boosting your hydrogen pool with hydrogen-rich water has the potential to improve energy and cognition, speed up muscle recovery and tissue healing, and reduce inflammation.
Hydrogen-rich, living water is found naturally in free-flowing streams where water cascades over rocks, generating extra hydrogen molecules and “fluffing” the water molecules. Unfortunately, our city water processing systems destroy the structure of water, leaving just the basic elements behind. So what is the answer to having hydrogen-rich water available 24/7? The ECHO Hydrogen Water System. The Echo system is designed to fit any budget from travel models to whole home filtration systems.
There are also a few supplements designed to create hydrogen water but I caution you on the use of these for a few reasons. The drops and strips don't have the same oxygen reduction potential which means they won't have as great an effect on reducing inflammation as the water generated from the Echo System They also rely on magnesium as a carrier of hydrogen, which leaves the magnesium depleted and nonrenewable after it is used. This route may sound like a cheaper alternative, but it will add up over time, so if you’re committed to hydrogen life, invest in a machine that can make you unlimited amounts.
I chose this company above Kangen (which I used to own) and many others selling similar machines because (after spending way too much time researching water filters) the ECHO ultimate is a one-stop shop and synergy science has patented a system to prevent minerals from building up on the coils that create the hydrogen; which means your machine will last much longer than the other guys and doesn't require as much maintenance. The company also happens to be run by a fellow ND who has dedicated his life to root cause medicine in order to help his wife reverse chronic disease.
If you choose to make a purchase using my affiliate link, you will get a discount, simply click on the 10% discount button. I do get a small affiliate commission. I did not sign up for an affiliate account to make money, it's frankly not worth my time to do so, but the discount is significant for you.
I believe hydrogen water helps people heal, and I want as many people as possible to drink it so if my affiliate discount makes something more attainable for you, I’m in.
What are electrolytes and when should I use them?
Electrolytes might be my favorite water hack and one of my secret weapons in helping people heal. Electrolytes are mineral salts naturally found in water that help our body absorb and distribute fluid throughout the body. Most water movement in and out of cells depends on osmosis, which is a passive flow of water toward solutes. These solutes are shuttled into cells by active transport proteins wherever they are needed, pulling water molecules with them wherever they go. This is why electrolytes are so critical for proper cellular hydration.
Without electrolytes to pull water into the cells water simply goes in one end and out the other like a dried-up plant whose soil can't retain water. Electrolytes have many other functions in the body and often get stolen by stealth infections and depleted by certain medications like diuretics and cholesterol binders. Clinically, when I see low blood pressure, frequent urination, or chronic dehydration it's generally due to electrolyte deficiency. We just don't get enough of these vital mineral salts in our regular diets.
Proper electrolyte supplementation will help with cellular hydration, may reduce or eliminate swelling in some cases and help balance out low blood pressure, but improper supplementation of electrolytes can cause a worsening of blood pressure issues and swelling, stress the kidneys, spike blood pressure and cause heart rate variability. I do not recommend starting a new electrolyte regimen without consulting your doctor first about what type is best for you.
It's also important to note that the adrenals are responsible for maintaining electrolyte balance, so if you have chronic stress or fatigue, or are fighting a chronic disease you will likely need more electrolytes to maintain optimal function until those issues can be properly addressed.
My favorite brand of electrolyte is Jigsaw Health because it’s sugar-free, made with high-quality ingredients, and comes in three amazing flavors! You can find it here.
Contaminants in water: What should NOT be in your water.
Many people jump straight to buying bottled water thinking it is healthier. This is a mistake. The truth is most bottled water is just city water stored in a plastic bottle. Those plastic bottles are then stored in warehouses at unregulated temperatures often topping 1000F causing chemicals to leach out of the plastic right into the water. German researchers recently found that a single bottle of water can contain up to 25,000 chemicals, many of which have negative effects on your sex hormones! EEK!! So if you’re going to buy bottled water, make sure it's spring water in a glass bottle.
The problem with city water is that most of it is recycled and the city filters are not designed to remove contaminants like metals, petrochemicals, and medications during the recycling process. To add insult to injury, most water processing facilities add even more chemicals during the process to kill microbes. These chemicals are not taken out afterward but left to remain for you to drink. Heavy metals are another common contaminant in public water supplies. This occurs mostly in older cities and towns where the pipes themselves are leaded and leach into the water directly or they begin to break down and leach metals from the soil.
If you are on a public water system and you want to know exactly what is in your water, you can go to https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/ and type in your zip code for a full report. I love this site because they show you what is in the water, what the government standards for “safe” contaminant levels are vs what the actual “safe” levels are based on the research of known contaminants and associated diseases.
Well water comes with its own set of challenges, namely mold and algae, but also heavy metals. This is why home filtration is absolutely essential, even if you are on a well. If you are going to drink unfiltered well water, I recommend having your water tested at least every few years. Mold is by far the most common problem I see associated with well water and it's a BIG problem. If you are drinking mold and algae, there is no way your gut can keep up with the ongoing burden of trying to balance out your microbiome. Symptoms of yeast and mold are fatigue, bloating, gas, sugar cravings, itching, skin rash, thyroid problems, hormone imbalances, weight gain, and many many more.
Bottom line is that no matter your water source you need a filter sensitive enough to remove metals, fungi, bacteria, medications, petrochemicals, and chlorine just to maintain your status quo and not add to your total body burden. Second, you will likely need to add electrolytes back into your water after the filtration process. And for extra credit, if you can structure your water in a way that it is living and full of hydrogen, you will reap the benefits of extra antioxidants and energy potential.
If a synergy filter isn't in your budget then I highly recommend a Berkey. The thing I love most about Berkey is that in an emergency situation you can use this to filter pond water and make it potable. This also comes in handy on camping trips! A budget-friendly hack to get both optimal filtration and hydrogen water with minimal investment would be to purchase a Berkey as your primary filter and then get an ECHO pitcher or ECHO Portable Sport Bottle to hydrogenate your water on the go.
If you’re in Wenatchee and looking for a Berkey we are an authorized Berkey Dealer and would be happy to help you pick out a filter that fits your needs. You can also sample some water and electrolytes from our in-house dispensary while you’re here. We’d love to meet you!
I previously did not like to recommend water distillers because they are often large and more cumbersome to use and they deplete the water of absolutely everything. That being said, sometimes they are the best choice because if you start with pure water you can add to it whatever you want.
For those who are very toxic or extraordinarily sensitive to environmental toxicants, a distiller might be your best bet. I recently had the opportunity to speak with the folks at Pure Water and I was impressed with their units and commitment to quality standards. They provided the purest third party testing results of any water filter I have seen and their units are not unreasonably expensive. If you want to consider this option check them out at https://mypurewater.com/.
I still think the Berkey is the most affordable option for filtration purposes and I would not hesitate to fill it with river water and drink it in a survival situation (bonus points because it doesn't require power). But if you're looking for OPTIMAL filtration I would put the Pure Water system between the Berkey and the Synergy Echo. The Synergy Echo still wins the top spot because it also structures the water and allows for customization of pH levels.
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