By now, we all know that water is important for health. Regular H2O consumption keeps you feeling energized, your skin moisturized, and most of all… it keeps you alive!
But something you might not be considering when you reach for your glass is the quality of the water you’re drinking. Things like heavy metals, pesticides and certain bacteria can plague unfiltered water and cause serious health problems. And while drinking purchased bottled water might have fewer of these contaminants, there are other chemicals and pathogens to worry about from the plastic bottles.
That’s why, your best and safest option for healthy hydrating is using a reusable metal bottle and an at-home filtration system. But with the large amount of filters to choose from, all boasting terms like “reverse osmosis” and “alkaline”, it can be hard to know which one to pick. So I want to help you sort through the junk (literally) when it comes to finding the cleanest and healthiest water––and fill you in on some of my personal favorites.
What’s in the water you’re drinking?
When compared to other places in the world, we should be extremely thankful for the high quality of the water we drink on the daily. But, there are still some ways that it can be improved and made cleaner. Depending on where you live and where your water comes from, water straight from the tap may contain heavy metals. In certain regions, higher levels of radium (a known carcinogen) can be found in drinking water. Plus, there are only 91 possible water contaminants that are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, but there are around 60,000 chemicals that could be making their way into your tap water. Anything from lead to chlorine are all too commonly found in water. These chemicals can have detrimental effects on your health, especially when consumed regularly.
So how do you get the cleanest and best water?
First things first, in order to get clean tap water, you’re going to need a filter. Filters help to remove many of the heavy metals and contaminants that may be lurking in your water. But there are plenty on the market, so it can be hard to choose the right one.
A reverse osmosis filter is the kind that I use regularly at home––I always recommend them, as they tend to be the most effective for removing contaminants. Instead of simply filtering the water, reverse osmosis filters purify it, removing about 99% of all unwanted substances. The downside to these though, is that they tend to be the more expensive than other filters and operate a bit slower.
If you’re looking for a more affordable option, you might want to go with a carbon filter. Though, they remove certain unwanted minerals and chemicals, they don’t always get all the heavy metals.
An alkaline filter is another great option. It helps to filter water, as well as adjust the pH––making it alkaline (meaning water with a pH greater than 7). Ideally, your water should have a pH of somewhere between 8-9.5. Alkaline water helps to bring your body into a neutral (pH 7) state, balancing the acidity in your body and improving your health. One 2012 study showed that drinking water with a pH of 8.8 can help buffer stomach acid, and improve symptoms in those who experience reflux. With alkaline filters, though, you may want to consider getting a second type of filter to ensure that the contaminants are being filtered out.
If you’re the only one who’s drinking the water for the most part, a standard filter that sits in your fridge would likely be perfect for you. But if you have a family or roommates, you might want to consider something more practical like a filter that attaches directly to your tap.
With filters, you have to remember to change them regularly, or all those contaminants will build up and leave your water worse-off than it started.
But what if you’re not a tap water kind of person? There are plenty of services that offer shipping of large amounts of high quality water right to your doorstep. It can be a bit of a splurge, but for big events with large drinking water requirements, I love Hallstein water, because there’s no need to fuss over filter changing or worry about the quality of the water you’re drinking. Their alkaline water comes from an aquifer in Austrian Alps, where it is protected from many of the typical environmental contaminants. They deliver it straight to your door in 5 gallon BPA-free bottles (which is SO important if you’re buying water in plastic bottles).
Clean, fresh, and filtered water is not only better for your health and has an improved taste (because yes, water has a taste!). So you want to make sure you are getting the best at all times to keep feeling refreshed and replenished.