Water is one of the few things that is good for you and has no calories. Generally, tap water is healthier in terms of chemical and microbiological purity than bottled water. Transforming water into hibiscus tea and drinking that instead increases your daily antioxidant intake dramatically (see also here, here). The safe limit for tea consumption is approximately 10 cups per day. Adding cow’s milk or soymilk to your tea, however, may block the beneficial effects of the phytonutrients in tea as well as the phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables.

In Greece, where a health agency formulates the dietary guidelines, it is recommended to always prefer water over soft drinks. Alkaline water has been found to reduce cholesterol; it can be inexpensively made by adding 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda to a liter of plain tap water. The New York City water supply recently tested safe for the presence of pharmaceutical and personal care products. Rather, the concern is the bioaccumulation that results from fish actually swimming around in these products, though this has been found to occur mostly in the brains of fish tested.

Drinking plain water while pregnant is safest. If you choose to drink coffee while pregnant, try to stay under 200mg of caffeine per day. The safety limit for benzene in drinking water is 1 microgram per glass. Commercial carrot juice has been found to have benzene levels exceeding this limit. The safety limit for acrylamide in drinking water is 0.12 millionths of a gram per glass of water. Fast food french fries may exceed this limit by 30,000%.

Topic summary contributed by Denise.
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