LATELY, IT IS OFTEN SAID THAT THE RECOMMENDATION TO drink six to eight glasses of water a day is an unsubstantiated invention. On the one hand, this is true – there are recommendations for the daily intake of the total amount of fluid, and not specifically water. On the other hand, we are talking about two to three or more liters per day, and it is logical that it can be difficult to get all this amount from food or other drinks. Water contains no calories, you can buy it anywhere – in general, it is just convenient and easy to drink. Let’s try to figure out whether it makes sense to filter the water, which one is better to choose when buying, and is it true that there is an overdose of mineral water.
The safety of tap water depends on the country or region – when traveling to exotic places, it is better to study this point in advance in a travel guide. In Russia, tap water is generally considered safe, although experts say sometimes its quality deteriorates after passing through old pipes. As a result, bacteria and a wide variety of salts can appear in tap water, which impairs its taste and can harm health in the long term. You can find out about the peculiarities of local tap water and methods of its purification on the website of the water utility for the corresponding settlement. The Moscow Vodokanal allows you to view even the results of water quality control at a specific address , including weekly and monthly ones – and, in principle, there is no need to fear pollution with nitrites from industrial plants or algae from wastewater.
It is important to know how much fluoride is contained in tap water: in too high concentrations it causes dental fluorosis, and if it is insufficient, on the contrary, it contributes to the development of caries. The optimal content of fluorine compounds is 0.7–1.2 mg / l. If there is less fluoride (and less of it almost everywhere), then it is very important to use a toothpaste with fluoride from childhood; if there is too much of it, as in Tver, Tambov and some cities of the Moscow region (for example, in Kolomna), then it is better to refuse drinking tap water. Now there are filters that not only purify water, but also enrich it with substances that were lacking – the same fluorine for the prevention of caries. Boiling water, by the way, only destroys bacteria (which should not be higher than normal in tap water anyway), and does not affect the mineral composition.
By and large, tap water in our country can hardly be poisoned (unless there was an accident on the pipeline), but with the help of filters you can improve its taste and usefulness. A completely safe intermediate option is to use filtered water for drinking or making soups and coffee, and ordinary water for washing your face, brushing your teeth and dishes from which the water ends up draining (for example, boiling pasta in it). In any case, if the house runs out of bottled water or the filter breaks, you should not be afraid to drink from the tap. It makes sense to find out about the composition of water in a particular area or house and, if necessary, select an adequate filter – but nothing will happen from occasional drinking from the tap.
Purchased water in bottles of various sizes (from fit in a bag to installed in a cooler) is convenient, but can be misleading about the supposedly high quality. In many cases, this is ordinary tap water, which has undergone additional purification. This does not mean that such water is bad, but it is unlikely to be tastier or more balanced in composition than tap water. It happens that you cannot drink the recommended amount of water simply because it seems tasteless; then it makes sense to try different brands to find something to your liking.
If we are talking about water from a natural source, then it can be of different mineralization – and so-called table water is suitable for daily drinking and cooking. It contains mineral components in sufficient quantities so that it is not tasteless, as if distilled, but it also does not harm. It is better to be more careful with “medicinal” mineral water; if you use it as the main source of fluid, then you can get, for example, too much sodium – the very component of salt that doctors recommend limiting to 1500 mg per day and which we get in significant quantities from ready-made food.
In theory, medicinal mineral water can be used instead of dietary supplements – for example, drinking iron with a lack of iron on a vegan diet . But it is difficult to say how much more convenient in practice it is than taking a pill, and whether too many other mineral components will not enter the body at the same time.
When people say that soda is harmful, they usually mean not water, but drinks like cola – simply translating soft drinks is easiest as “sodas”. Doctors say sparkling mineral waters like Perrier, Vichy Catalan, or San Pellegrino are perfectly safe, even for pregnant women or people with kidney disease. However, you can’t count on any special benefits of soda either – it’s just water, which does not have additional useful or harmful properties.
It is sometimes said that carbonated mineral water can harm the stomach due to its carbon dioxide content – but so far there is no evidence of this. If you drink a glass of water with gas quickly, you may experience hiccups or discomfort in the stomach, nothing more. There is some evidence that avoiding soda may help people with heartburn – but no connection has been found between its occurrence and water with gas. Moderation is important in drinking soda – as in virtually everything else; one glass or jar will definitely not harm, but at the same time will quench your thirst and bring pleasure.