What water is the best water?
17 – 23 March is National Water Week (SA) and while a lot has been said about the quality of some of the water around the country, it should not detract from the importance of drinking adequate water during the day to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
So while we all know it is important to drink enough liquid during the day, do you know how much and what you should be drinking?
Health professions recommend that women drink eight glasses (250ml) of water per day and that men need even more, up to 12 glasses of water per day.
Peter Jordan, Principal Officer at Fedhealth, says that we should take care not to drink too much fruit juice, flavoured water, sweetened sports drinks and sweetened tea and coffee. “Rather eat fruit and drink water to get your fluid intake,” says Jordan. “You can always enhance the flavour of water by adding lemon, cucumber slices, mint leaves or pieces of fruit.”
Is tap water as safe as bottled water?
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who oversee bottled water, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who regulate tap water, the two are generally comparable in terms of safety. In other words the choice of tap or bottled is mostly a matter of personal preference. However, the EPA does not regulate private wells so, if your tap water comes from a private well, you should test your water frequently (at least every year) for contaminants.
“It is important to note that some people are more vulnerable to getting sick from contaminants in drinking water than others. You may be in this group if you are undergoing chemotherapy, living with HIV/AIDS or have received a transplant. Pregnant women, the elderly and children also may be at greater risk. It is always a good idea to ask your doctor about whether you should take additional precautions, such as boiling tap water or drinking bottled water,” says Jordan.