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Business, Environment, STEM

Planning to Stay Hydrated in 2017? Know Your Water Source.

glassofwaterA recent Business Insider post, Why top executives swear by a 30-second morning habit anyone can adopt [Ref 1], caught my attention a few months ago. Three business execs: Kat Cole, president of FOCUS Brands – the parent company of Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, and Cinnabon, Huffington Post’s founder Arianna Huffington, and former Birchbox Man chief Brad Lande reported that they all start their day reaching for water instead of coffee! “Should I be doing the same”, I asked myself.

Since reading the above post back in September, I am reaching for a glass of water as my first beverage of the day on some mornings instead of hot coffee or tea. As many of those who made New Year resolutions know, old habits are hard to break. In my last post, It’s 2017: Resolutions, Goals and Opportunities, survey results provided by Brain Statistics cited that more than one-fifth (21.4%) of the respondents stated that losing weight/eating healthier is their Number 1 goal for 2017. Adopting a healthier diet often includes drinking more water as a tactic for achieving weight loss.

In addition to the above survey, an earlier Quick Reader Poll for this blog asked readers the following question: Can a person drink too much water?

Six readers responded and all checked “yes”, the correct answer. Therefore, if staying hydrated is a habit you want to form in 2017, one of the first questions to ask yourself is “How much water should I drink each day?” A common response might be 8 cups (8 ounces each) of water, or 8 x 8 which is easy to remember. However, 64 fluid ounces may not be the correct amount for you.

A better answer is tied to your age, gender, activity level, climate that you live in, liquid intake from other sources (food and other beverages), and whether or not you are on medication(s). In an interview with Self Magazine, Jessica Fishman Levinson, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., and founder of nutrition counseling company, Nutritioulicious, offers the following advice on how much water to drink? [Ref 2]: If you’re thirsty, your body’s telling you that you need more water. “You might already be dehydrated,” Levinson says. Another good way to determine your fluid status is by taking a peek inside the toilet after you pee. “If your urine is light yellow, you’re probably getting enough fluids. If it’s dark or smells strongly, you probably need more water.

Next, take a look at the sources of drinking water that are available in your area. The two most common sources are tap and bottled, however, individual drinking water wells occasionally get added to the list. OBTW, I grew up on a farm and a groundwater well supplied our drinking water. Let’s stick with tap and bottled water sources for this discussion. Which do you prefer: tap or bottled?

aquafina-bottled-waterExperts at Mayo Clinic say that tap water and bottled water are generally comparable in terms of safety. However, others will argue that one is safer than the other. The biggest chorus of responses will come from those who cite a big difference in the taste between the two. For most persons, the choice between tap or bottled is mostly a matter of personal preference.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the production of bottled water.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates tap water and the production, distribution and quality of drinking water — including source water protection, operation of drinking water systems, contaminant levels and reporting requirements. However, similar standards are used for each to ensure public safety.

The EPA mandates that water utilities provide annual quality reports to customers. These customer confidence reports provide information, such as source (river, lake, aquifer), contaminant levels and potential health effects. However, the EPA doesn’t regulate private wells. So if your tap water comes from a private well, you should test your water every year for contaminants, more frequently if needed.

The FDA has identified good manufacturing practices specifically for bottled water. Some of these practices and requirements for bottled water producers are:

  • Process, bottle, hold and transport bottled water under sanitary conditions
  • Protect water sources from bacteria, chemicals and other contaminants
  • Use quality control processes to ensure the bacteriological and chemical safety of the water
  • Sample and test both source water and the final product for contaminants

Therefore, whether it’s tap or bottled, drink up!

 References:

  1. Why top executives swear by a 30-second morning habit anyone can adopt, in Business Insider – Strategy Section, September 23, 2016, http://www.businessinsider.com/executives-drink-water-when-they-wake-up-2016-9?utm_content=bufferae7b9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer-ti
  2. Here’s Exactly How Much Water You Should Drink Every Day, by Amy Marturana for Self Magazine, July 22, 2016, http://www.self.com/story/how-much-water-should-you-drink-a-day
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About Vi Brown

Vi is principal and CEO of Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC, an Arizona firm that provides business and engineering services to private and public clients. Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 2001, Vi worked with Motorola, Maricopa County Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, CH2M Hill, and Procter & Gamble. As an adjunct faculty member, Vi teaches undergraduate calculus classes and graduate level environmental courses. She is also a professional speaker.

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