Know your H2O! What to look for in your water
Written by Mouna Chammaa
If you had a dirham for every celebrity who credits their youthful and fresh looks to drinking loads of water, well, you’d have enough dirhams to buy a very bijou (read: small) ski chalet in Azerbaijan. Water has been touted as the salve to many of our first world bodily woes, regulating all our bodily functions including and not limited to keeping our temperature under control, lubing up our joints, maintaining our healthy heart rate, and most importantly… keeping us… ahemmmm… regular 😉 No, most importantly, ACTUALLY keeping us alive (cue Sia’s “I’m Alive”). All of this is obvious.
The delivery system (plastic/glass bottles) and what is in the water we consume, however, is less clear and could be impacting the quality of the water and how we feel. Not to mention the colossal environmental impact that single-use plastics have on our environment. We have images of our bottled water coming from crystal clear brooks and streams from the foothills of a quaint Swiss village (there is always a rainbow) (cue Sound of Music’s “The Hills Are Alive”). and that mostly isn’t the case This life-giving liquid may have extra minerals (mostly harmless in small quantities) as well as chemicals and toxins that have seeped through from the plastic – yes, with the extreme heat here, even with the “BPA” free ones.
With all of the best intentions in the world, plastic bottle water moments happen to all of us, and though there are many minerals that occur naturally in the water such as sodium (17 to 20mg per litre is about right), calcium, and magnesium, there are some that are a firm “hell-no.” We need to look out for those on water bottle labels such as fluoride, nitrates which if found in high concentrations can cause oxidation in our red blood cells which ultimately inhibit their oxygen-carrying abilities, and chlorine which is most definitely toxic as we are not a swimming pool.
Most of us have gotten the memo on drinking more water but are not properly hydrated on a cellular level, meaning we could be drinking gallons of water, but that water is not absorbed and used properly in our cells and as we get older, our cells’ ability to utilise water becomes less efficient. Now you probably understand why you feel thirsty even after drinking a 1.5l bottle shortly before. The quality of our water and not just the quantity affects our cells’ ability to absorb the benefits of water rather than just wee it all out.
So, yes, drink the water. Drink it steadily throughout the day. But also check labels and limit the amount of water you get during the day from plastic bottled water. Buy a few reusable water bottles made of stainless steel or glass. Invest in an at-home water filtration system. The options are plentiful and diverse in the UAE and can be as simple and as cost-effective as the humble Brita filter to more sophisticated systems such as a Quooker installed underneath your kitchen sink.
It may not make you J-Lo or give you the secret code to the eternal fountain of youth, but you’ll certainly feel and look better, and you’ll be doing your bit for the environment too. And that just might be, a cut above that ski chalet in Azerbaijan.