By Jackie Dobrinska
Where there is water, there is life! So say astronomers who search for liquid water on other planets because they know that every single organism requires it to live. When it comes to our Asheville humans, the water debate gets a little complex. “It’s not just quantity that matters, but quality too,” says Lindsay Spratt, a licensed clinical social worker, mother, health advocate and self-proclaimed superfood representative in Asheville.
“Humans, in general, need at least half their body weight in ounces each day to stay well-hydrated,” she says. “This replaces the moisture lost through breathing, elimination and sweat. Without enough water, chronic dehydration leads to fatigue, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, digestive disorders and weight gain.”
So, what kind of water is best?
Asheville residents are lucky, since water flowing from pure mountain springs and streams in Swannanoa and Black Mountain contribute to the city’s primary source for tap water. In addition, the city surpasses the Environmental Protection Agency’s safe drinking water standards each year. Municipal water systems, however, are required to add chlorine and fluoride to the water supply.
Fluoride, which is naturally occurring in some areas, has been heralded as a preventive for tooth decay, especially in low-income areas. Fluoride-free advocates claim that the form added to drinking water is not the naturally occurring kind, but rather a by-product from the fertilizer industry. They show correlations between this type of fluoride and irregular thyroid function, genetic damage, cancer, arthritis and dementia. “I can tell when someone drinks tap water with fluoride,” says Rachel Frezza, holistic healer in Asheville. “It affects every single thing in the body, including their intuition, higher self and deeper guidance.”
City water’s chlorine is needed to kill off microbes. It may, however, also kill the gut’s natural bacteria that are imperative for proper digestion.
If not tap water, then what other options are there?
Bottled water can be a concern, not only because of the environmental waste, but because the chemicals in plastic leach into the water. Phthalates, used to create durability and flexibility in plastics, are linked to reproductive and developmental problems, liver damage, cancer, skin issues, fatigue, headaches and more.
Another option comes from the health food store—tap water filtered through deionization (DI) or reverse osmosis (RO) systems. Both filter out most chemicals, but also important minerals. According to the World Health Organization, artificially demineralized water affects the intestinal mucous membrane, metabolism and mineral homeostasis.
“Spring water is the best,” says Frezza. “You need living Gaia [earth] water filtered by crystals, rocks, roots and soils.” When harvested from sustainable sources and tested regularly, spring water has everything a body needs. “But make sure you use BPA-free or glass containers.”
Whatever water is available, simply reach for the best choice at hand, and keep your body well-hydrated.
Jackie Dobrinska is a national wellness coach and lifestyle consultant. For appointments visit asimplevibrantlife.com. This article contains general information about medical conditions and complementary treatment, and is not to be considered expert advice.