Posts Tagged ‘hydration’



In your lifetime, it’s likely that you have taken some type of medicine – whether over-the-counter or prescription. Chances are you were well-aware of the medicine you were taking, the possible side-effects and the reason you were taking it. But what if you were exposed to certain medications without your knowledge – or permission? Sounds kind of scary, doesn’t it? Well, that very thing might be occurring right now.

A recent investigation and subsequent report by the Associated Press reveals that drinking water supplies in 24 major metropolitan areas were found to include a vast array of prescription drugs, including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones, as well as OTC medicines such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Is your water affected? How did this happen? Are you in danger? You’re sure to have many questions regarding this recent discovery. Take a look below for some clarification and information about this possible health scare.

Should you fear for your health?
While your immediate health and well-being is likely not at risk, the threat of long-term consequences is not known at this time. The concentration of drug levels found is quite low (reportedly measured in parts per billion or trillion) and the water utilities insist the water is safe. But representatives from both the government and private organizations claim to be unsure whether the levels are low enough to discount harmful health effects.
The Associated Press reports that recent laboratory research found that small amounts of medication have affected human embryonic kidney cells, human blood cells and human breast cancer cells – specifically, the kidney cells grew too slowly, the blood cells showed activity associated with inflammation and the cancer cells proliferated too quickly.

Another concern is that certain drugs, or a combination of drugs, may be harmful over time because water is often consumed in sizable amounts every day. And while your body may be able to deal with a larger, one-time dose, it may suffer more from smaller amounts ingested over a longer period of time.

How did the water become tainted?

According to the Associated Press’s report, there are a number of ways the drugs could have entered the drinking water supply:

• Unused and unneeded medications flushed down the toilet
• Undigested or unabsorbed medications passed through urine or feces
• Pharmaceuticals resistant to wastewater treatments and cleansing

The issue becomes even more relevant as the number of prescription medications have risen considerably over the past five years.

Some treatment methods, such as adding chlorine, can make certain pharmaceuticals even more toxic than they were to begin with.

Are certain individuals, like babies and the elderly, more susceptible to possible effects?
As with any other environmental or medical threat, fetuses, babies and toddlers are more sensitive because their bodies are still developing. Pregnant women, the elderly and those who are ill may also be more susceptible.

What can you do to make sure your water is safe?

While boiling water usually eliminates harmful substances, it won’t work for this problem. Also, if you think you’re preventing exposure by drinking bottled water – you’re wrong. Twenty five percent of bottled water actually comes from the tap.

Some filtration systems, such as those which perform reverse osmosis, may reduce the levels of pharmaceuticals but not completely eliminate them.

You can be proactive in raising awareness by contacting your local public utilities and asking them what pollutants they test for in drinking water. And of course, you can help prevent further contamination by disposing of unused medications properly – by NOT flushing them down the toilet! Instead, put medications in a sealed container and in the trash – but make sure children or pets can’t get to that container.

So – health scare or health hoax?

Realistically it’s too early to determine what kind of effects the contaminated water can have on human health, as there are so many unknowns at this point. However, you can be sure that the issue is an area of great concern and will be investigated further.

Get Strong! Stay Strong!



The Coca-Cola Corporation recently got in some legal hot water due to its claims of what its product VitaminWater could do. In fact, a lawsuit was filed on the basis that Coca Cola’s marketing tactics were “unsubstantiated and deceptive.” Before you allow yourself or your kids to get hitched by the vitamin-fortified drink craze, take a few minutes to read the following article. There are some very interesting and revealing facts about these products.

Before you jump on the “vitamin drink” bandwagon, consider the following information:

Health and Mood-Boosting Waters: Glaceau VitaminWater

Glaceau VitaminWater is a popular Coca-Cola non-carbonated beverage product that is fortified with various amounts of vitamins and minerals and comes in 15 different flavors.  It is also enriched with lutein, caffeine and guarana.  Guarana is considered to be a stimulant and many  manufacturers claim that it increases mental alertness, stamina and physical endurance, and fights fatigue. A 20-ounce bottle of VitaminWater contains 125 calories; much of those come from added sugar.

A majority of the claims on the product are not supported by scientific studies.  Much of the satisfaction that you get will probably be due to the taste of these beverages, more than the feeling of being energized, focused and relaxed. Some are not even advisable for pregnant women.

Diet Waters: Special K2O Protein Water

K2O, another health beverage was launched by the Kellogg Company in September 2006.  It comes in an assortment of flavors, including strawberry-kiwi, lemon twist and tropical blend. It is a low-calorie alternative protein drink and comes in a 16-ounce bottle.  It contains 5 grams of protein, 10% DV of calcium and 50 calories.  It was re-launched in 2007 and introduced a new flavor, mixed berry.  This new product is fortified with 5 grams soluble fiber and 20% DV each of vitamins B3, B6, and B12.  It has maintained the 50 calories in the new product.

While you may be misled by the play with the brand name, K2O, this health beverage does not actually contain potassium oxide.  The combination of protein and fiber increases the feeling of being full but both are also readily available in your regular diet. You could easily get the same benefits simply by upping your intake of protein and fiber-rich foods.

Skinny Water

Skinny Water is packaged as a diet aid. The manufacturer claims that drinking a bottle 30 minutes before a meal helps curb your appetite and blocks the absorption of carbohydrates.  It contains artificial sweeteners and two active ingredients, CitriMax and ChromeMate.

There are no conclusive studies to back the claims of Skinny Water as an effective weight-reducing drink.  However, there are several independent studies made that suggest that the added extract of Garcinia cambogia can be used as an appetite suppressant.

Crystal Light Metabolism

Each pack of this product contains green tea and 50 mg of caffeine designed to mix with water in a 16.9 ounce bottle.  It promises to give you a short-term metabolic boost when taken three times daily. The manufacturer makes a disclaimer that it is not a weight-loss product.

Studies done on the metabolic and weight-loss effect of green have not been conclusive, but the other benefits of green tea are numerous. However if you want those benefits, drink green tea. The Crystal Light Metabolism product is sweetened with Aspartame, which is believed by many health experts, including the Editors at Alternative Health Journal, to be dangerous to your health!

Vitamin/Mineral-Enhanced Waters: Propel Fitness Water

Propel Fitness Water comes from the makers of Gatorade. The vitamin drink is lightly flavored, vitamin enhanced, and low in calories.  It comes in 13 flavors, and one variant, Propel with Calcium, is fortified with this bone-building mineral. 

The truth is you do not lose vitamins by sweating, so the product really cannot function as a sports drink. People may say that they tend to take more fluids because of the flavor and it helps them stay hydrated.  However, this is also the case for all beverages, vitamin-enriched or not.  

If you’re looking to “get healthy” by drinking vitamin-enhanced waters, you may want to reconsider. Remember, the safest and easiest way to get the vitamins and minerals you need is through your diet and via supplementation from trusted sources. You should know by now that the best thing you can do for your body is replace all of these kinds of drinks, including sugary sodas, with good old-fashioned water. . . and add a squeeze of lemon or splash of cranberry juice if you want to liven it up!

Get Strong! Stay Strong! (and buyer beware!)
While there are many different types of bottled waters on the market, is one any better than another? That depends on your needs and your taste preferences. Read on to learn the differences between the most popular options. 

Spring water: This type of water comes from natural springs that get their water from underground geological formations. The water can be collected directly from the spring or it can be extracted through a tap. 

Purified water: Added steps to the purification process results in water that is reportedly lighter, cleaner, and more easily absorbed into the body than spring water. More impurities and dissolved solids are reportedly taken out of water that is purified than through the standard filtration process.

Mineral water: Some of the dissolved solids (sulfur, salts, gasses) that are typically removed are left in mineral water, or are added through an additional process. The minerals are believed to help cleanse the system and have restorative health properties.

Artesian water: To qualify as artesian, water must come from a well that taps into an underground layer of rock or sand.

Sparkling water: This bubbly water is filled with carbon dioxide, giving it a pleasant fizz similar to that of sodas and ginger ale. 

Electrolyte-infused water: Electrolytes—salts that are essential for proper muscle and nerve function—are commonly found in sports drinks, and have found their way into some brands of bottled water. The electrolytes can help remove toxins and excess waste materials that pollute the system.

Flavored water: Tired of plain water? Several brands on the market have added flavor—citrus, berry, etc.—designed to keep your taste buds entertained. Some do this without adding any calories, but most add a negligible amount (5 calories or less per serving).

Oxygenated water: Added O2 makes the water bubbly, which supposedly helps people feel fuller—making these waters attractive to people who are trying to suppress their appetites and shed pounds—and also can aid in muscle recovery post-workouts. Oxygen waters tend to have a heavier taste and a thicker consistency that regular H20.

Tap water: In most areas that draw from a municipal water supply, fluoride has been added to reduce tooth decay. However, fluoride is a toxen so don’t rely solely on tap water. Most bottled waters fail to add fluoride, and those that do don’t always add enough to make a difference. 

If you’re concerned about your oral health or that of your family, check water bottle labels carefully and opt for brands that have the most fluoride.

Get Strong! Stay Strong! (Stay Hydrated!)


Hydration Tidbit

Posted: May 23, 2008 in Nutrition Tidbits
Tags: , ,

Many people often substitute high sugar and caffeine drinks for quality hydration.  Soda, coffee and teas contain caffeine and sugar, which can dehydrate as well as add extra calories and rob your bones of calcium.  Dehydration can lead to false sugar cravings, which can turn into extra pounds which most people nowadays dont need!  Substitute your soda for good old H2O.  Adding fruit or a little lemon or lime can make water more palatable.  Sports drinks are another alternative.  Be careful of sugar content in these drinks and use them to flavor water or make sure to dilute them. They should not be used in place of water.   Being properly hydrated is imperative for health and performance.  Try to drink at least 8, 8 oz glasses of quality water each day.  Yes soda, coffee and beer have water in it but so does sewer water.  That doesnt mean its good for your body (coffee in moderation does have some health benefits)!  Think of the stress to your kidneys and liver to filter out all the toxins in soda and other drinks.  Also many of the ingredients in those other drinks inhibit vitamin/mineral absorption which can effect your health and well being in the long run.  Thirst is not an accurate mechanism to go by.  Usually by the time you feel thirsty you may already be 2-3% dehydrated.  Checking urine color is a quick and practical way to monitor your hydration level.  It should be clear to pale yellow.  It amazes me how many people neglect this simple but important aspect of health and then wonder why they feel like crap all the time or do not heal quickly.  So, if your a water drinker keep up the good work!  If your not, get with it and start drinking!


Get Strong, Stay Strong!