Devrait-on boire l’eau du robinet?

Left and right we are repeatedly told to drink enough water to stay well hydrated and healthy. But does the type of water we consume matter? Is there really a difference between aqueduct water, bottled water, distilled water, filtered water, alkaline water, etc.? Is there one more beneficial for our health?

Our body needs pure, healthy and balanced water with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5 (neutral pH). This means that the water we drink should not contain contaminants such as toxins (pesticides, heavy metals, disinfection by-products, etc.), pharmaceutical substances (antibiotics, hormones, etc.) or pathogens ( bacteria, viruses, microorganisms).

What does tap water contain?

The quality of the water coming from the tap depends mainly on its source (municipal aqueduct, private aqueduct, surface well, artesian well, etc.). Most aqueduct water contains many contaminants , including fluorine (which presents many health risks 1 ), chlorine by-products (carcinogens 2 ) and other disinfectants, various chemicals (such as pesticide Atrazine), heavy metals and even pharmaceuticals 3 4like hormones (estrogen), Naproxen and acetaminophen (Tylenol). The water from the aqueduct runs for kilometers of pipes (some of which are not new) and may collect certain metals, including copper and lead.

Even if there are government regulations regarding the quality of drinking water, the fact remains that only 90 contaminants, molecules or substances are tested, out of a possible more than 100,000 commercial products. Ouch! If your water comes from a well, a complete laboratory analysis will allow you to see if it contains pathogens (the risks are greater since the water is not treated), to know its pH and to see if it is hides contaminants.

What about bottled water?

There are many reasons not to drink bottled water. First of all, in addition to spending considerable amounts, we are not assured of better quality. Some companies bottle water from the aqueduct (treated, fluorinated or demineralized…). Imagine! Paying (and expensive aside from that) for the same water that comes out of our tap. Then the plastic in the bottles can release substances into the water, such as bisphenol A (linked to various health conditions). Finally, water bottles are a real environmental disaster : recycling facilities are not always sufficient and plastic ends up in our environment (rivers, forests, etc.).

A quick note on alkaline (ionized) and distilled water

Alkaline water (with a pH over about 8) is popular. You can find it in a bottle or prepare it yourself using various devices. A debate remains in the scientific community. According to Drs Josh Ax, chiropractor, and Joseph Mercola, osteopath, there is no evidence to link alkaline water to better health. Those who advocate it say that alkaline water helps neutralize the body’s acidity. Unless you have kidney disease, there doesn’t seem to be any contraindication to occasional consumption of this type of water. However, according to these two American luminaries, alkaline water could in the long term create an imbalance in the acidity of the stomach and lead to poorer digestion, in addition to disturbing the overall balance of the body. They mention that drinking alkaline water occasionally or as a one-off therapy (for gastric reflux, for example) may be beneficial. The key? The balance!

The distilled wateris another debate. Distilled water does not contain minerals, which should make it pure water with neutral pH. However, several experts mention that the distillation processes of certain companies (and other factors) make water generally more acidic. Dr Mercola, DO, does not recommend its consumption on a regular basis for this reason. Other experts do not recommend it either precisely because it does not contain minerals and it can cause diarrhea. But those who defend it report that the majority of the minerals we consume come from food, not water. It is also necessary that the diet is healthy and varied. Distilled water can also contain contaminants with a boiling point below that of water.

So what to drink?

In an ideal world, one would drink the water that gushes out of the frozen mountains; it is one of the healthiest waters in the world (with a pH of around 6.5). But there you go, we don’t all live in the Rockies, do we? The optimal solution is therefore filtration . There are many filtration methods, with their advantages and disadvantages. In summary :

  • Activated carbon filter. Activated carbon binds to many contaminants (chlorine, lead, mercury, etc.) thus removing them from the water. However, it is ineffective for certain contaminants such as arsenic and fluorine. The quality of this type of filter varies greatly from one brand to another.
  • Ceramic filter . It blocks large particles and sediment, not chemicals.
  • Ion exchange filter. It can remove heavy metals, minerals and charged ions to soften hard water.
  • Ozone generator filter. Ozone kills bacteria and microorganisms, but does not remove chemicals.
  • Reverse osmosis filter. It catches all molecules larger than water via a permeable membrane. This filter is more efficient than activated carbon because it also removes fluoride. This is the choice of choice of Dr Josh Ax, DC

We also find filters on the current market that combine more than one process. Water filters are available in several forms, the prices and maintenance of which vary (pitcher, system attached to the faucet, system for the whole house, etc.). Find out about the contaminants they remove and, above all, do regular maintenance (filter change) to prevent the proliferation of microorganisms.

You can also search for a source to collect your water near you at findaspring.com . Most Quebec sources are located in the Laurentians, but we can still find them all over Quebec.

Structured water: the future?

M. Gerald Pollack, bioingénieur à la tête d’un laboratoire de l’Université de Washington à Seattle, révolutionne tout ce que l’on sait sur l’eau. Auteur du livre The Fourth Phase of Water, il mène plusieurs recherches sur l’eau structurée (ou l’eau vivante). L’eau structurée (aussi appelée EZ water) serait la quatrième phase de l’eau, située entre la phase liquide et la phase solide. Lorsqu’on l’observe au microscope, l’eau structurée présente des cristaux bien ordonnés (comme ceux de la neige, par exemple). Selon M. Pollack, l’eau que l’on retrouve dans nos cellules et nos tissus serait de l’eau structurée. Elle possède une charge ionique négative et a la faculté d’emmagasiner l’énergie (sous forme de biophotons) et de la restituer. Cette eau est dynamisée et agit comme une pile. L’eau froide des glaciers et celle que l’on retrouve à l’intérieur des végétaux (donc dans les jus de légumes) sont concentrées en eau structurée.

Les recherches en sont à leurs balbutiements, mais la découverte de cette phase de l’eau pourrait bien expliquer de nombreux mystères biochimiques, entre autres l’origine de l’énergie qui permet la circulation de la lymphe.

Le Dr Joseph Mercola, D.O., et, plus près de nous, le Dr Gaétan Brouillard (auteur du livre La santé repensée) s’intéressent particulièrement à ce type d’eau. Selon Mercola, pour améliorer la structure de l’eau, on peut en abaisser la température et la dynamiser en créant un vortex avec une cuillère. Les rayons infrarouges et la minéralisation sont aussi d’autres façons de rendre l’eau plus structurée. C’est pourquoi l’eau de source (très froide et minéralisée) est souvent structurée. Le Dr Brouillard propose quant à lui d’envoyer des vibrations positives à notre eau et nos aliments (un peu comme la bénédicité d’une autre époque). L’eau serait ainsi plus structurée. Malheureusement, la science ne nous permet pas de conclure hors de tout doute que l’eau structurée est bénéfique pour la santé, mais les avenues sont intéressantes.

En attendant des données plus concluantes sur l’eau structurée, on choisira une eau pure au pH équilibré. Pour ce faire, on choisit une eau de source ou de puits (qu’on aura fait analyser au préalable) ou une eau de l’aqueduc qu’on aura filtrée à la maison. Et pourquoi pas lui donner un petit coup de cuillère en la sortant du frigo (dans un contenant de verre et non de plastique)? 😉

Pour briser la monotonie

L’eau demeure le meilleur choix pour s’hydrater. Mais comment peut-elle satisfaire nos papilles en quête de plaisir et concurrencer un Kombucha hibiscus ou un jus de fruits? Ajoutez quelques tranches de citron ou de lime, 1 ou 2 gouttes d’huile essentielle d’agrumes (occasionnellement), du concombre, de la menthe poivrée ou encore quelques fruits congelés pour lui donner de la saveur.

1. Peckham S, Awofeso N. Water Fluoridation: A Critical Review of the Physiological Effects of Ingested Fluoride as a Public Health Intervention. The Scientific World Journal. 2014;2014:293019. doi:10.1155/2014/293019.

2. Société canadienne du cancer : http://www.cancer.ca/fr-ca/prevention-and-screening/be-aware/harmful-substances-and-environmental-risks/chlorinated-water/?region=qc

3. http://beta.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1023513/des-pesticides-et-des-produits-pharmaceutiques-dans-votre-eau-potable

4. http://www.quebecscience.qc.ca/reportage_qs/Une-eau-encore-bonne-a-boire

5. http://french.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/02/21/boire-suffisamment-d%E2%80%99eau.aspx

6. https://draxe.com/tap-water-toxicity/

7. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/01/29/dr-pollack-on-structured-water.aspx

8. http://faculty.washington.edu/ghp/