For some obvious reasons, I’m a big fan of water. We cannot live without water for more than 3 days. Water mediates every metabolic process in our bodies. Our enzymes need water to the work of digestion, protein production, DNA replication and management, and waste removal. Our bodies are about 90% water, and each of us seems to carry a small part of the sea within us.
I have long marveled at the role that water plays in our bodies. Water is in all of our food, all of the beverages we drink, and every excretion from our bodies includes some water. That is yet another reason we need to keep drinking water.
My experience over decades of life have led me to choose water as my primary beverage. I can still recall how my dad always kept a large tumbler of water nearby when I was a kid. I recall that my parents never really bought pop for the home. We just didn’t stock our refrigerator with soda like Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola or Pepsi. I did have a neighbor who liked to stock up on Squirt, that lemony soda pop. And to this day, that is still my favorite of all the sodas.
But my truest love is water. I’ve tried all the others and found then wanting. I’ve tried tea since I don’t like coffee, and found it wanting. I might have a soda once a month or so, and still, like tea, it leaves my mouth dry. I’ve tried juice, but cranberry juice makes me cough. Orange juice is nice, but it’s very strong. Apple juice is very sweet, almost too sweet for my tastes. I’d rather eat apples and oranges than to drink their juice.
I have tried Perrier and other carbonated mineral water and still, the same thing keeps going through my mind when I drink them: I exhale C02. Why would I want to drink water with CO2 dissolved in it? I still have some Perrier from time to time, but I cannot make it my daily beverage. Plain water is still better than that.
I have tried many, many beverages, and none can give me the feeling I get from drinking water. Water is hydrating. I’ve found that drinking anything else seriously reduces my thirst for plain water. Even Perrier will reduce my water intake. And to me, anything that decreases my water intake is not a good thing.
So I’ve made it a point to always keep a bottle with me. Over the years, my bottles have changed shapes and sizes, and even materials. I like bottles because they have a cap. I’m clumsy and I work in front of computer a lot, and that means an open glass or cup of water is a no-no. A capped bottle has prevented many spills around my computers. And now that I have kids, a capped bottle is a requirement.
I avoid tap water and have all of my life. My parents got Sparkletts water delivered to our house. As a young, independent adult, I too, got water delivered in 5 gallon bottles. I also got my own bottles and would get filtered water at the store. For awhile there, I was buying bottled water by the case.
Then I got married and we bought a house. Then we traded up to another house. Within a few weeks of our moving into that second house. A salesman came by, selling water softener and filtration systems. He showed us how murky the water was. Our water was actually clear but he used a bit of chemistry to show us what was in it.
And I thought of how my first daughter suffered with eczema. And I thought of how our second daughter might suffer with eczema. Heck, I live in a mining town. Our water is hard. I bought the filter and the water softener on time. I found the money to pay off the loan early, and now I own it. I pay about $200 a year for service for both the filter and the water softener and I’m totally OK with that cost. With that purchase, my life around water flipped.
Eczema disappeared from our kids. Our skin wasn’t so dry anymore. We use less soap. I don’t know if our clothes are cleaner, but we’re just more comfortable. I’m aware that there are environmental issues around water softeners, and maybe someday, we’ll get that worked out. But for now, we have relative comfort with bathing in soft water.
But that spigot in my kitchen did something else to me. I have a 3-stage reverse osmosis filter system. 99.99% of the bad stuff is removed from our water. When I want something to drink, I go there. I drink 2–3 liters of water a day now. No longer do I lug big bottles of water from the market. No longer do I lug cases of bottled water.
When I consider the ecological disaster that is the disposable water bottle, I think I’ve made a decent compromise with the filter and the water softener. I recycle everything anyway, but still. That recycling requires energy and effort. The spigot in my kitchen eliminates a ton of plastic waste and effort. I use one or two plastic water bottles for a few years and recycle them when they’re done. Yes, that’s recycling, but that’s very efficient recycling.
But there is something else I have with that spigot. I have a far greater level of trust in that spigot than I do with the drinking fountain at the fitness club, the bottled water I can get at the store or the water from the tap. That encourages me to drink more water, just like I should.
Water is the first beverage. I drink water first in the morning. I drink water throughout the day. And I will choose water before all other beverages. It is, by design, the only beverage I will ever really need to drink.