Water is water...right?

Water is water..right?

Water, it’s one of the few things in life that we as human beings cannot live without – after all water accounts for 50%-80% of our body weight [1]. But how much water should we be drinking? What are the benefits of drinking enough water and does the quality of the water you drink really matter?

Drinking enough water is needed for most body functions including eliminating and flushing waste from the body, regulating body temperature, preventing constipation and delivering essential nutrients to the bodies cells [1].  It’s no wonder that not drinking enough of it can prevent us from functioning optimally, but how much do we really need to drink?

According to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) women should be drinking 2.1L per day and men 2.6L per day, dependant on exercise, age, body weight, pregnancy and lactation, climate and perspiration. Common signs that you’re not drinking enough water include headaches, lethargy, dark coloured urine, difficulty concentrating and dry skin [1]. We all know that feeling, 3pm on a workday when we may be struggling to concentrate, feeling tired and usually reach for that cup of tea or a sneaky chocolate – this is a good indication that you probably haven’t had enough water. We know that the quantity of water we drink is important to stay hydrated for optimum health and vitality, but what about the quality? We are becoming more and more educated on the importance of the quality of what we consume, with the introduction organic foods to reduce our exposure to chemicals and contaminants – but what about our water?

There are so many different options when choosing a drinking water source- Tap water (treated mains water), tank water, bottled water, boiled water, filtered water– the list goes on. But how do you know which is better without having a degree in biochemistry? I mean water is water..right? Let’s cover the top 3 drinking water sources to give you an overall comparison.

Tap Water (mains water)

Tap water is the most common source of drinking water in Australia, water is collected in a local dam or catchment area, treated at a local treatment plant and then pumped to your home.

In order to ensure our water is safe to drink it is treated in accordance with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines, which allows up to 33 different treatment chemicals to be used to treat our water. Some examples of these chemicals include Chlorine, Fluoride, Aluminium Sulphate, Copper Sulphate and Ammonia [2]. Now whilst we should be thankful that these chemicals are preventing us from contracting diseases such as Cholera, Typhoid or Dysentery, do we really know what the long-term effects of consuming 2.1-2.6L of this water everyday could be on our health?

The most commonly known chemical added to our drinking water is Chlorine, which is used to disinfect the water against bacteria and parasites. The taste and smell of Chlorine in tap water can be somewhat unenticing, but research has also shown associations between chlorine and many forms of cancer. The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines even state "A number of chemicals, both organic and inorganic, including some pesticides, are of concern in drinking water from the health perspective because they are toxic to humans or are suspected of causing cancer. The presence of chemical in drinking water may result from……addition of chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride.” (Australian Drinking Water Guidelines Version 3.5, Page 80 Section 6.3) [2]. Unfortunately, chlorine does not know the difference between good and bad bacteria, and the effects of chlorine on our gut health are now being investigated with experts warning it may be killing the good bacteria in our guts as well [3]. New evidence suggests your gut bacteria may influence your body mass, metabolism, allergies and respiratory infections. With this in mind many Australians are switching to healthier, better tasting water sources to reduce their chlorine and chemical exposure.

Bottled Water

Bottled water is certainly a step in the right direction, offering filtered tap water or natural spring water in a convenient bottle that tastes much better than regular tap water – but what about all the waste?

The 2017 ABC’s War on Waste Series highlighted the impact of single use plastics, with up to 1 tonne of household plastic waste produced every MINUTE and more than 666,000 tonnes of plastic waste produced by Australian households every year [4]. Bottled water testing also revealed that many brands had significantly low PH levels (acidic water) which offers a range of health concerns on its own. With this in mind, as well as growing concerns around BPA and PET plastic leaching, many Australians are opting to ditch the bottle and find alternative solutions.

Spring Water

Spring water is water that is sourced from natural springs (underground aquifers), naturally enriched with beneficial minerals, a higher PH than tap water (alkaline) and of course avoiding up to 33 different treatment chemicals. Spring water is the one of the most natural and purest forms of water available - So how can you have the benefit of spring water without contributing to the impact of single use plastics? Especially when you’re out and about and your water bottle is empty?

Water3 Refill Stations

Water3 Refill Stations offer natural spring water refills for your own water bottle or one of our stylish reusable stainless-steel bottles. Sourced from the pristine valleys of South East Queensland, we utilise carbon filtration and ultra violet sterilisation to refresh the water upon collection and inside the refill stations to ensure only the best quality of water is available for each refill. Enriched with natural minerals and a higher PH (alkaline) and free from treatment chemicals, it’s one of the purest forms of water available on the market today. With over 220 Water3 Refill Stations from the Sunshine Coast through to the Tweed Heads, you can refill your water bottle with great tasting, healthy drinking water for less than even the cheapest bottle of water.

Don’t have a bottle? That’s ok, we also offer a stylish range of coloured Stainless-Steel drink bottles available for purchase from our Water3 Refill Stations. Each bottle comes with 5 refill credits and credit can be easily topped up online or at the refill station, so you can be sure you’ll never run out of fresh, great tasting spring water.

To find a Water3 Refill Station near you head to www.water3.com 

[1] National Health and Medical Research Council,, Nutrient Reference Values, Australia and New Zealand, 2014  
[2] Australian Drinking Water Guidelines version 3.5, chapter 6.3, page 80. 
[3] The Effects of Chlorinated Drinking Water on the Assembly of the Intestinal Microbiome, Kids Telethon Institute (University of Western Australia) and Murdoch Children's Research Institute (University of Melbourne), Published January 2019.
4] ABC's War On Waste, Series 2, Episode 1 - The Battle Continues 2018

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