In humans, water is a vital requirement in essentially all the biochemical processes that take place in our body. This is why we need to keep ourselves hydrated throughout the day by drinking at least six to eight glasses, perhaps more, depending on the activities we are involved in. However, not all water is safe for drinking. In fact, water that is not clean, properly filtered, and treated may contain harmful microorganisms, particles, and chemicals that can lead to diseases and various other health complications.
Here are some pointers for what to do when you need to clean water for optimal hydration.
How much water should you drink on a daily basis?
Approximately 60 percent of your body is water… needless to mention, it constantly loses fluids through sweating, breathing and urine excretion. This means that all water lost through these channels needs to be constantly replaced, especially if you’re on a strict workout regimen or you’re trying to lose weight. For the regular person, it is essential to take in at least 8 eight-ounce glasses of water (preferably higher if you’re an active athlete) each day to avoid bouts of dehydration.
Water and your athletic performance
Almost every cellular process in the your body requires water as a solvent. This includes the entire metabolism producing energy. Optimal hydration also helps to lubricate joints, regulate body temperature, prevent fatigue, and it plays a role in muscle contractions. It also regulates your blood volume which is critical as far as working out or taking part in athletics is concerned. In a nutshell, drinking enough water as an athlete will improve your energy levels for highest performance.
Why is it important to drink clean water as an athlete?
Just like ordinary individuals, athletes are not immune to waterborne germs. This means that the quality of the water you ingest is paramount. To avoid waterborne infections that very likely interfere with your performance, it is important to always ensure you have clean, sanitized water.
Tips for getting clean water
Boil your water
The biggest mistake you can make is to think that tap water is clean and safe for drinking. However clear it might look, there’s still a chance that it’s contaminated. Boiling is one of the oldest ways to make water clean and safer for drinking. However, as much as boiling water kills most pathogens, it doesn’t get rid of dirt and particles. Boiling may also not improve taste and color, not forgetting that you have to wait for the water to cool down before you can drink it.
Disinfect with bleach
This is another effective option for treating water to make it safe for drinking. ⅛ teaspoon of chlorine bleach is all you need to treat a full gallon. After adding the bleach, simply let it sit for at least 30 minutes before you drink. The downside of chlorine disinfection: The water has a chlorine aftertaste and smell. Also, adding bleach kills bacteria and protozoa but will not remove any particulate matter from the water.
Drink bottled spring water
According to the EPA, bottled spring water is one of the safest options for clean water there is. The water is usually obtained from an underground spring or aquifer. As it flows to the surface, the water passes through thick bedrock, which acts as a natural filter. Before it is bottled, the water undergoes further filtration and treatment to improve its quality.
Water filtration and reverse osmosis systems
For optimal hydration, you need water that is clean and looks and tastes great. If this is what you’re looking for, modern water filtration systems come with the features that will give you just that. Reverse osmosis systems work by applying pressure to eliminate almost any organic and inorganic components from the water. They come in a wide variety of designs and optional add-ons to fit your needs.
This makes it easy for you and your family to stay hydrated all day long without having to worry about the high costs of bottled water or going through the hassles seen in other water purification methods. On the other hand, whole house water filters are not perfect for the purpose of providing drinking water, according to the experts at BOS.
Get a countertop filter
Countertop filters are another popular option for those looking to get clean drinking water. It is simply a piece of equipment that you connect to your cold water faucet, turn it on and allow the water to pass through.
Get a water distiller
Distillation is a process that involves evaporation and condensation. Water is heated up to the boiling point and as it boils, the vapor is collected and condensed. The water is now free from most microorganisms, chemical elements as well as particulate matter – clean and crisp.
Other common ways to clean drinking water include UV radiation, sand filters, treatment with iodine tablets and sedimentation. However, most of these alternatives are too complex and expensive. Water purifier systems are the most practical, easy to use, and cost-saving in the long run.