Considering your brain is comprised of 80% water, staying hydrated is essential for optimal brain function. But how can you be sure your drinking water is safe?
The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, has been making headline news for years. Residents had noticed changes in the water’s color, smell, and taste, which led to the discovery that the drinking water contained lead and other toxins.
Contaminants in Drinking Water
What about your drinking water? You may not be able to see anything wrong with the water that comes out of your tap, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. Even tap water that measures up to legal standards can contain harmful substances. For example, a study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 22 carcinogens commonly detected in tap water could result in over 105,000 cancer cases throughout the life span.
The study looked at water quality profiles for 48,363 community water systems and analyzed contaminants, such as arsenic, hexavalent chromium, disinfection byproducts (such as chloroform and dichloroacetic acid), radioactive elements (such as radium, uranium, and strontium), and carcinogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
One study found that water quality violations are widespread with anywhere from 9 million to 45 million people experiencing negative health effects each year.
Chronic exposure to trace amounts of water contaminants may also negatively impact brain health, according to another study. Neurotoxins, such as lead, aluminum, arsenic, and cadmium that have been found in drinking water are linked to brain abnormalities, neurodegenerative disorders, and other issues.
What can you do?
To reduce exposure to water contaminants, using a water filter at home is a good place to start, according to the EWG. Personally, I use a water filtration system at home to eliminate impurities.
Buying bottled water is another option, but be sure you don’t go for plastic bottles, which are problematic for other reasons. Plastic containers may contain phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA). Phthalates have been found to disrupt hormone function and lower IQ, and BPAs have been linked to negative effects on the brain and behavior issues in children. Choosing water in glass bottles is a smarter option.
Don’t skimp when it comes to water. Hydrating with clean water is one of the foundations of life as a Brain Warrior. Drinking water contains some of the minerals that are essential for a healthy life, but it doesn’t provide everything you need.
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