Water: Wit, Wisdom & Whatnots
The taste of Natural Springs
Natural springs are as unique as a fingerprint. No two are identical. They occur randomly, and each one has its own personality. Some are gushers while others gurgle. Some are still while others are carbonated. Some are boiling hot while others are near freezing. But one thing all springs have in common is that each one has its own unique water analysis.
The taste of spring water reflects different geologic strata where water absorbs minerals and trace elements, some over a year or two and others over centuries. These minerals are described in the water's mineral analysis and are perceived in its taste. Highly mineralized water can sometimes taste metallic, and high bicarbonates can taste salty. Water with hydrogen sulfide tastes like rotten eggs, and high iron in water can taste like a rusty nail. People tend to prefer their non-carbonated water in the range of 30 - 100 parts per million of total dissolved solids -- that being the measure of these minerals and trace elements. For carbonated waters, higher levels of minerals are more acceptable. (Excerpted from the Taste of Water by Arthur Von Wiesenberger.)
The pH, or "potential of Hydrogen" is a logarithmic scale that measures the relative acidity or alkalinity of a solution. Solutions are measured from 0 (totally acid) to 14 (totally alkaline) and 7 is neutral. The optimum blood pH in a healthy body is slightly alkaline and should fall within the narrow range of 7.35 and 7.45. The human body is constantly struggling to maintain the healthy alkaline pH level. Maintaining this slightly alkaline state is a constant challenge for the body because of all the acid producing foods we consume. The mineral waters of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico have a pH value of exactly 7.
Water Facts thanks to the Bottled Water Store: http://bottledwaterstore.com
|Water is the only drink for a wise man.
-Henry David Thoreau
|If there is magic on the planet, it is contained in the water.
|Water is the driver of Nature.
-Leonardo da Vinci-
|Water sustains all.
-Thales of Miletus, 600 B.C.
From Earth in Balance:
Human beings are made up mostly of water, in roughly the same percentage
as water is to the surface of the earth. Our tissues and membranes, our brains
and hearts, our sweat and tears--all reflect the same recipe for life, in which
efficient use is made of those ingredients available on the surface of the earth.
We are 23 percent carbon, 2.6 percent nitrogen, 1.4 percent calcium, 1.1 percent
phosphorous, with tiny amounts of roughly three dozen other elements. But above
all we are oxygen (61 percent) and hydrogen (10 percent), fused together in the
unique molecular combination known as water, which makes up 71 percent
of the human body.
- Al Gore, Earth in the Balance-Nearly
|97% of the world's water is salty or otherwise undrinkable. Another 2% is locked in ice caps and glaciers. Only 1% can be used for all agricultural, residential, manufacturing, community and personal needs.
-Drinking Water Week
|"The noblest of the elements is water"
- Pindar, 476 B.C.
|“Pure water, when and where you need it, is worth whatever it costs to get it there.”
Americans drink more than one billion glasses of tap water per day.
In China, water is considered the specific abode of the dragon, because all life comes from the waters
In 218 CE, after defeating the Romans, Hannibal and his armies stopped to imbibe the waters at Perrier in the south of France
In the Canticle of the Sun, St. Francis of Assisi praises God for water: "Praised be Thou, O Lord, for sister water, who is very useful, humble, precious, and chaste"
In natural waters, various substances are found dissolved
In India, the sacred River Ganges embodies for Hindus the water of life
Mineral water contains a great variety and quantity of minerals (usually a compound of calcium, magnesium, or iron)
Salt water contains a large amount of sodium chloride (common salt)
In Japan, water prefigures the purity and pliant simplicity of life
Certain water is called "hard"
The Roman philosopher Seneca declared that "Where a spring rises or a water flows there ought we to build altars and offer sacrifices"
The United States withdraws 339 billion gallons of ground and surface water a day
In the Vedas, water is referred to as the "most maternal" (mätritamäh)
The lotus-stream of the Buddha or Boddhisattva rises up from the waters of the soul, in the same way the spirit, illumined by knowledge, frees itself from passive existence
Water is essential to the manufacture of starch by plants
In ancient Greece, the souls of the dead were ferried across the dark waters of the River Styx
Many foods, such as milk and fruit, have high water content
Water present in the earth is called ground water (its upper level is called the water table)
When drunk, the waters of the Lethe, a river in Hades, produced forgetfulness
Water's composition by weight is one part of hydrogen to eight of oxygen (or 11.1 percent of hydrogen and about 88.9 percent of oxygen)
Water is an agent in erosion of the land
Water is the FONS ET ORIGO, the fount and origin of all forms of life, and naturally connected with women
Water is colorless in small amounts, but exhibits a bluish tinge in large quantities
Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love, was born of the sea
Water is relatively incompressible
In the Koran are the words "We have created every living thing from water"
By convention, one cubic centimeter of water at 4°C. (its temperature at maximum density) weighs one gram
Water is linked with the moon through the movement of tides and by its moon-like flowing, shape-changing quality
In Christianity, baptism links the concepts of the water of life with the waters of purification
When cooled to its freezing temperature (0°C., 32°F., under standard pressure), water changes to a colorless, crystalline solid (ice)
The Garden of Eden is watered by a river that divided into four rivers
Water is less dense as ice than as a liquid at 4°C.
In Judaeo-Christian culture, God is called "the fountain of living waters" (Jeremiah 2.13)
Unlike other liquids, water expands in freezing
In 1513, while searching for the fountain of youth, the Spanish conquistador Ponce de Léon discovered Florida.
When water is heated to its boiling point (100°C., 212°F., under standard pressure), it vaporizes to steam
In the cosmogony of Mesopotamian peoples, the abyss of water was regarded as a symbol of the unfathomable, impersonal Wisdom
Scientists believe that the structure of liquid water consists of aggregates of water molecules that form and re-form continually
At ordinary temperatures, water undergoes evaporation
In China, the water of the fountain at Pon Lai was believed to confer a "thousand lives on those who drink it," according to Wang Chia, writing in the Chin Dynasty (265-420 CE)
Completely pure water is a poor conductor of electricity
In dreams, birth is usually expressed through water-imagery
The Babylonian moon goddess, Ishtar, was associated with sacred springs, and her temples were often situated in natural grottoes from which springs emanated
Water covers about 70 percent of the earth's surface in the oceans, lakes, rivers, and glaciers
The ancient Egyptian Heliopolitan creation story recounts that the sun god Atum (Re) reposed in the primordial ocean (Nun)
Ninety-seven percent of the water on the planet is in the form of salt water. Only 3 percent is fresh, and two-thirds of that is ice
Chemically, water is a compound of hydrogen and oxygen, its molecule consists of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen - H2O
The physical and chemical properties of water are extraordinarily complicated and incompletely understood
In Assyro-Babylonian mythology, first the gods and subsequently all beings arose from the fusion of salt water (Tiamat) and sweet water (Apsu)
Water is necessary for life
Water falls from the sky as rain and issues from the ground in springs
The water molecule is not linear but bent in a special way. As a result, part of the molecule is negatively charged and part positively charged
The holy books of the Hindus explain that all the inhabitants of the earth emerged from the primordial sea
Water constitutes the greater part of the fundamental substance (protoplasm) of which animal and plant bodies are made
Sap of plants and blood of animals contain large quantities of water
At the beginning of the Judeo-Christian story of creation, the spirit of God is described as "stirring above the waters," and a few lines later, God creates "a firmament in the midst of the waters to divide the waters" (Genesis 1:1-6).
From H20 - The Mystery, Art, and Science of Water, Chris Witcombe and Sang Hwang, Sweet Briar College
“Water is the most ordinary matter on this planet, but at the same time it is multidimensional and connected deeply within our own consciousness. By sending our love and thanks to water we believe that we can not only purify the water on this planet, but also raise our own collective consciousness toward peace in the world.”
SURVEY: AMERICA'S POOR DRINKING HABITS
CONTRADICT KNOWLEDGE OF HEALTH RISKS
Survey Shows Awareness of Water's Benefits Is High, But Amount Consumed Is Low
On average, Americans consume 17.6 eight-ounce servings of beverages each day. Of that amount, 6.1 servings are water, including 2.3 servings of bottled water.
- In addition to water, Americans drink 5.6 servings of beverages such as milk, juice, carbonated soda without caffeine, new-age beverages and sports drinks.
The remaining 5.9 servings are beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol. Research has shown that these substances are diuretics that can cause the body to lose water, thereby lowering the net total of hydrating beverages. In fact, 33% of what Americans drink every day can cause dehydration.
Here's a look at the beverages Americans say they drink each day:
|Carbonated soda without caffeine
|New age beverages
|Total Hydrating Beverages
|Carbonated soda with caffeine
|Total Dehydrating Beverages
Few Drink the Daily Recommended Amount
- Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of Americans know that health and nutrition experts recommend drinking eight or more eight-ounce servings of water daily. However, 51 percent admit to drinking less than this amount.
- Only 34 percent claim they drink eight or more servings per day. Twenty-eight percent drink three or fewer servings, and nearly 10 percent say they don't drink water at all.
- In addition, Americans claim to experience health problems on a frequent basis that are symptomatic of dehydration. These include frequent tiredness or grogginess when waking up or at mid-day (19 percent), dry or itchy skin (14 percent), headaches (11 percent), indigestion (9 percent), lapses in concentration (7 percent) and constipation (4 percent).
Inconvenience Biggest Obstacle to Proper Hydration
- Americans give a variety of reasons for not drinking enough water, with lack of time or being too busy cited most often (21 percent). Other reasons include: don't like the taste (13 percent), prefer other beverages (12 percent), forgetting (10 percent), not feeling thirsty (8 percent), no bottled water available (4 percent), can't leave their desks for a hydration break (4 percent), worry about too many restroom breaks (2 percent).
Highly Conscious About Health Benefits of Water
- Most Americans are aware of the importance of water consumption to their overall health. Overwhelming, Americans (91 percent) know that drinking enough water is important for pregnant and breast-feeding women, and that water is the best choice to replace fluids after exercising. In addition, 88 percent know people shouldn't wait until they're thirsty to drink water, and 77 percent are aware that caffeine and alcohol can cause the body to lose water.
- Bottled water users are significantly more health conscious and cite health as a reason for beverage consumption twice as often as others (15 percent vs. 7 percent). Fifty-six percent of bottled water users cite taste and 55 percent cite convenience as the strongest influences on their decision to drink bottled water. More than a third of bottled water users cite trust in its treatment (37 percent) and source (35 percent) as reasons that influence them very much.
- Despite general understanding of the importance of water consumption, 63 percent of Americans don't know that U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates bottled water as a food product.
- Knowing that the FDA does regulate bottled water makes most people (53 percent) feel more confident about bottled water's purity and safety.
- Seventy-one percent of Americans feel that the quality of bottled water is high. Thirty percent feel that it is extremely or very high, while another 41 percent feel it is somewhat high.
- Half of Americans know that using bottled water to prepare tea, coffee and powdered beverages improves the taste.
Knowledge Gaps Persist
- Americans are unclear about hydration as it relates to certain physiological conditions. Thirty-two percent of respondents do not know that giving a child water instead of juice or regular soda may prevent childhood obesity. Nearly half (49 percent) believe the body loses less water while asleep. Thirty-seven percent think people need fewer fluids when the weather is cold than when it is warm. And 39 percent do not realize that a headache may be a sign of dehydration.
Regional Variations Revealed
- The survey revealed some interesting variations in water consumption among residents in the 14 cities participating in the survey. For example:
- Residents of Los Angeles (3.2 servings) and San Diego (3.2) drink the most bottled water during the course of an average day.
- Detroit drinks the least bottled water (1.3).
- Residents of San Diego drink the most bottled and tap water overall (6.9), followed by Dallas (6.5), Los Angeles (6.4) and New York (6.4).
- The least amount of water is consumed in Detroit (5.4) and Seattle (5.6).
A total of 2,818 American adults (approx. 200 per market) were surveyed between February 1and 20, 2000, in each of the following 14 metropolitan markets: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Tampa. Total sampling error + 1.8 percent.
Findings from a survey of American adults conducted by Yankelovich Partners for The Rockefeller University and the International Bottled Water Association.
Women and Water
Ten years ago water was almost the sole premise of women. With a powerful image of promoting youth and beauty it became a fashion icon for models, entertainment and sporting personalities and office workers, both as an indicator of healthy living and an aid to dieting.
In the workplace, coffee and tea were eschewed in favor of a bottle of Evian or Contrex concealed under the desk and caffeine or decaff demoted to an after dinner drink. The black coffee and cigarette brigade of workers were suddenly viewed as unhealthily aggressive, whole water blossomed into 50 cl and sports cap bottles sold alongside the sandwich counter. With the development of PET, water in desirable lightweight containers became the ultimate portable beverage, embodied by the beautiful celebrities who carried it through airports, while out shopping and with their children.
A bottle of water has become an in-car essential for the independent modern woman and, as the educational process of the re-hydration massage took hold, men gradually have followed suit. Women – and men- now take water into gyms and leisure centers, nightclubs and out shipping. As avid label readers and analysts of beverage content, women were the first to realize the benefits of drinking water over carbonated soft drinks. Most importantly, as a recently developed product, bottled water holds particular appeal for the young, with its inherent health qualities, has a desirable and youthful image. Excepted from "Women and Water" by Claire Phoenix, bottledwaterworld magazine.
Bottled “water is a dose of purity in a modern world filled with grime and pollution. We think of tap water as stuffed with chemicals and lime scale, but in a bottle of water you can buy freshness and mountain air which leaves you feeling clean and virtuous.” – Collette Harris, Here’s Health magazine.
Collette Harris conducted a survey of the reasons why women buy bottled water and received many lengthy responses, which we condensed and listed below:
Women buy bottled water for use as:
A hangover remedy: half a liter before bedtime and half again upon waking.
A very good remedy for constipation
Great for Bad breath and/dry mouth especially before a meeting
Prevention against osteoporosis (Calcium enriched water)
Slimming. Water contains no calories
Hydration. For health conscious women.
Dewatering. Low sodium or no sodium water does not retain water.
Heart Care. Water with high magnesium content.
Aqua Therapy for Skincare.
Excerpts from bottledwaterworld magazine, January-February 2003
Hydration Requirements for Athletes
If a marathon runner were not to perspire, his body temperature would reach 42 degrees. And this in less than a quarter of an hour. All athletes will tell you: losing 2 to 4% of ones body weight means losing 20 to 40% of ones physical strength. Scientific evidence and studies confirm it, athletes must drink before, during and after exercise!
The amount of water required when not exercising is about 2.5 liters per day. Approximately 1.5 liters of this is ingested in the form of drinks, the rest in food.
During intense physical activity water loss can reach about 2 to 3 liters per hour. Daily requirement therefore is doubled or tripled.
For athletes the best drink is water, pure and simple because it fulfils the essential role of re-hydrating the body. Salts and other nutrients can also be beneficial (in excessive heat for example), but they are accessories as it is mainly water that the sportsman’s body needs.
Doctors, dieticians and other nutritionists are skeptical about the effectiveness of most other drinks; those that contain caffeine are diuretic, drinks with added soleplates are purgatives and alcohol… is the last thing to drink when doing sports.
Scientists are all in agreement that pure, simple water is the one and only drink that can be drunk in whatever quantity.
Water and the Sacred
Water is a primordial element which under lays creation myths and stories around the world. The Egyptian Heliopolitan creation story recounts that the sun-god Atum (Re) reposed in the primordial ocean (Nun). In Assyro-Babylonian mythology, first the gods and subsequently all beings arose from the fusion of salt water (Tiamat) and sweet water (Apsu). The holy books of the Hindus explain that all the inhabitants of the earth emerged from the primordial sea. At the beginning of the Judeo-Christian story of creation, the spirit of God is described as stirring above the waters, and a few lines later, God creates a firmament in the midst of the waters to divide the waters (Genesis 1:1-6). In the Koran are the words We have created every living thing from water.
Water divinities of various kinds appear in the mythologies of many cultures. And not surprisingly, the world abounds in sacred springs, rivers, and lakes. Even within the Judeo-Christian tradition, which generally avoids the veneration of the various phenomena of Nature, there are numerous examples of sacred springs or wells, and rivers. In most cases, the spring or river has acquired sacredness through connection with a significant or miraculous event. The water of the River Jordan is sacred because Jesus Christ was baptized in it by Saint John the Baptist. The spring at Lourdes is sacred because of its healing properties in connection with the appearance of the Virgin Mary to Bernadette. In some cases, such as the holy well at Chartres, or the Chalice Well at Glastonbury were probably already sacred in pagan times.
While sacred in their own right, sacred springs also draw attention to the sacredness of water itself, reminding the Christian, for example, that water is a symbol of grace (and as such is used for baptism). Water is also one of the four elements possessing fundamental characteristics. In the Canticle of the Sun, St. Francis of Assisi praises God for water: Praised be Thou, O Lord, for sister water, who is very useful, humble, precious, and chaste. In many cultures, water appears as a reflection or an image of the soul. In Japan, water prefigures the purity and pliant simplicity of life. It can be both calm and animated, and the Japanese may contemplate the unruffled surface of a temple pond or make pilgrimages to waterfalls. The lotus-stream of the Buddha or Bodhisattva raises up from the waters of the soul, in the same way the spirit, illumined by knowledge, frees itself from passive existence.
In India, the sacred River Ganges embodies for Hindus the water of life. Bathing in the Ganges frees the bather from sin, the outward purification serving as symbolic support of inward purification. The source of the Ganges lies in the Himalayas, the mountains of the Gods, and descends to the plains of India as if from Heaven.
The identification of the sources of rivers, streams, springs, and wells as sacred is very ancient. Springs and wells were perceived as the dwelling place of supernatural beings, and stories and legends grew up around them. Often it was claimed that the waters healed the injured or cured the sick with the result that well or stream came to be regarded as a sacred shrine. The Roman philosopher Seneca declared that Where a spring rises or water flows there ought we to build altars and offer sacrifices. This was frequently undertaken.
In some cases wells or streams were oracular. Pausanias (VII, 21. 11) reports that a sacred stream in front of the sanctuary of Demeter at Patras served as an infallible mode of divination using a mirror. Wells and springs inhabited by spirits with the gift of prophecy were places of pilgrimage. The Celts venerated natural springs of water for their sacred and medicinal value and many examples of holy wells are known, many of them were later Christianized through rededication to a saint. This practice of venerating sacred wells continued into the Christian era in the West, though they were now referred to as wishing wells.
Springs and wells also took the form of sacred fountains, which were claimed to be the Fountain of Youth, or the Fountain of Immortality, or the Well of Knowledge. A Fountain of Youth was believed to exist in the newly discovered Americas, and the Spanish conquistador Ponce de Léon set out in 1513 on an expedition to find it in Florida. In China, the water of the fountain at Pon Lai was believed to confer a thousand lives on those who drink it, according to Wang Chia; writing in the Chin Dynasty (265-420 CE), and a similar reputation was attached to the springs of Mount Lao Shan.
Wells and springs were often associated with a god or goddess and the sacred water dispensed there could ensure life, health, and abundance. The Babylonian moon goddess, Ishtar, was associated with sacred springs, and her temples were often situated in natural grottoes from which springs emanated. The Ancient Greeks who erected artificial basins and placed icons of the deity or deities nearby enshrined sacred springs. The Celts and Romans connected goddesses and nymphs with certain rivers, springs, and wells. Often the river was named after the goddess, such as the Shannon River, after Sinann, and the Boyne, after Boann, in Ireland, and the Seine, after Sequana, in Gaul (France). In 1963, at the Gallo-Roman Fontes Sequanae sanctuary at the source of the Seine, 200 wooden figures were excavated carved from the heart wood of oak to represent all or part of the human body (heads, limbs, trunks; with internal organs carved in relief on wooden plaques). These ex votos indicate that the goddess of the sacred spring was believed capable of curing a whole range of infirmities.
A special sacred significance was attached to springs and wells whose waters could heal. In the New Testament, St. John (5:2) describes the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, surrounded by five covered colonnades, where a great number of disabled people used to lie -- the blind, the lame, the paralyzed waiting to be the first to enter the pool when the water is stirred. When in the mid-19th century soon after Bernadette's vision of the Virgin Mary, the water issuing from the grotto at Lourdes began to bring about cures in people, the spring was designated a place of miracles.
From these underground sources also bubbled forth mineral water, which could be imbibed or bathed in to effect cures. Later, these springs became baths and spas. The hot (120 degree Fahrenheit / 46.5 degrees Celsius) mineral springs at Bath in England were already being used 7000 years ago. The Celts subsequently established a shrine there dedicated to Sulis, and later the Romans built on the same spot a temple to Sulis Minerva (and renamed the town Aquae Sulis).
The Romans also developed other mineral springs. In Germany the waters at Aquae Aureliae became the famous spa of Baden-Baden (bath bath). In 218 CE, after defeating the Romans, Hannibal and his armies stopped to imbibe the waters at Perrier in the south of France. The water at Evians-les-Bains, on the southern side of Lake Geneva, was discovered in ancient times; in 363 CE, the Roman emperor Flavius Claudius Jovianus stopped there on his way to Germany. The natural spring waters at Evians-les-Bains are marketed today as Evian. The waters at San Pellegrino in Lombardy in northern Italy have been known since Roman times. Rediscovered in the 12th century, one of the famous pilgrims (pellegrino means pilgrim) who came to take the waters there was Leonardo da Vinci. The spa was established there in 1848, and bottling of the water begun in 1899.
-From SACRED PLACES written by Christopher L.C.E. Witcombe, Professor of Art History Sweet Briar College in Virginia, USA
Important Reasons to Choose Water
1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated (likely applies to half the world population).
2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.
3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%.
4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost100% of the
dieters studied in a U-Washington study.
5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.
Water and Summer
We all know how important water is for our health. It becomes even more of a necessity when engaging in physical activity especially now in the warm weather months. Without adequate hydration:
- Water will be taken from blood volume during the first few hours of water deprivation
- It will take longer for nutrients to be delivered to and from muscles thereby affecting their performance.
- If fluids are not replaced, the body’s cells will lose water which will lead to dehydration and overheating.
- Water losses of 9-12% total body weight can be fatal.
- With strenuous exercise, the body can lose two quarts per hour.
- Maintains water balance
- Presence of indicates mild dehydration
- Can be blunted by exercise and overridden by the mind
- Need to drink enough daily to replace losses from urine, sweat, feces and respiration
How much do you need?
- Generally, 1 oz of fluid per kg body weight (i.e. for a 150# male... 150/2.2 = wt in kg = 68/8 = 8.5 cups daily.
- Weigh yourself before and after exercise, for each pound of weight lost replace with 16oz. fluid. OR: Drink enough until your urine is clear.
- Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day?
“A river is water in its loveliest form, rivers have life and sound and movement and infinity of variation, rivers are veins of the earth through which the life blood returns to the heart.”
- Roderick Haig-Brown