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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Ted

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. Proper hydration can prevent fainting, dry eyes, affect mood, prevent the common cold and kidney stones, and even make your kids smarter. Eating ice, however, will not make you lose much weight. Rinsing with water cleans fruits and vegetables better than commercial products. To increase antioxidants, making hibiscus tea from water increases your daily antioxidant intake dramatically, but its acidity may harm your teeth, so rinse your mouth with water after drinking. While unfiltered coffee may raise blood pressure, tea has a beneficial effect on your blood vessels. Tea is equally hydrating as water and the safe limit for tea consumption is approximately 10 cups per day, though less for children. Adding cow’s milk or soy milk 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 drink 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 safety limit for benzene in drinking water is one 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%.


Image Credit: Ethan Sykes / Unsplash. This image has been modified.

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