2018 is starting off on a very concerning note as far as health and wellness goes, and if this is any indicator of what the next 12 months will bring, I’m honestly a little scared for our insides. Normally, I’d give even the most ridiculous health trends at least an A for effort, but this is a little too much for me, guys. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you might have heard, or even tried, the latest "health trend" raw water. If not, you might be wondering what is raw water, and should I be drinking it, too?
Unless knowing every sip you take could lead to potential illness and a case of the runs sounds like a good time to you, I’m going to go ahead and give this (hopefully temporary) fad a hard pass. Raw water is just that: raw, unfiltered water collected from the Earth, and packaged as is. According to The New York Times, it's high in demand along the West Coast, and could cost you nearly $40 for just a couple gallons (and here I am thinking Fiji water is expensive).
We are, apparently, entering an era of "water consciousness," in which we demand more from the average bottle of H2O. It's true that pure, untouched water is swarming with minerals and microbes, but the reason filtering is so necessary is because water pollution and nature in general can contaminate the springs we derive the liquid from. In other words, who's to say unfiltered water is actually safe to drink?
The reason we filter our drinking water is to prevent disease; by drinking raw water, you'd be doing the opposite.
Look, I think it’s brilliant that people are stepping up to the plate, speaking out against different industries, and making a conscious effort to pay close attention to what they’re actually putting into their bodies. The truth is, it’s something we should all do our own research on and be aware of.
I also understand the idea of having a goal to consume more unprocessed foods, and liquids that come from the Earth in the name of nourishing the body with wholesome, natural vitamins and minerals. But just because something is “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s necessarily “healthy.” There’s a reason why scientists and environmentalists have worked so hard to improve our systems and how they go about cleaning the water we drink: because water can potentially be contaminated and cause disease. Trust me, an upset stomach is the least of your worries, here.
According to The Verge, however, the United States has made a significant difference in how it cleans our water, so take note. Ever since experts honed in on removing disease-causing microbes from the water in the 20th century, for example, cases of "deadly diarrheal diseases like typhoid and cholera" have decreased. In other words, you're less likely to experience gut-wrenching cramps from bottled water than you are from downing an unfiltered batch.
If nothing else, this is a great example of why you should do your own research before automatically conforming to social trends.
I’m well aware that what I’m about to preach may come off as hypocritical because, as a health and wellness writer, it's part of my job to test the latest trends in the space. However, before diving into any experimentation, I do thorough research on the topic before making up my mind about whether what’s "hot" is actually not, or whether it's worth trying myself.
We're living in a digital generation, which means a lot of us thrive on anything worthy of an Instagram photo opportunity or those satisfying “I tried this” bragging rights. In my experience, a lot of these “trends” popping up on social media have proven to be worth the hype. But, at the same time, a lot of them aren’t; depending on the circumstances and how your body operates, they could be dangerous to your health. Raw water, for instance, is one of them.
If you're really that concerned about what's going into your water, there are way healthier alternatives to raw water that share the same concept.
As tempting as it is to try new trends, there are plenty of ways to do so that don't require you to compromise your well-being. The wellness industry continues to make amazing strides with new products that taste good and are good for you, and your water supply is no exception.
Now, for those of you pro-raw water readers shaking your heads at everything I just wrote (if you’ve even gotten to this point of the article without clicking out), I see where you’re coming from. No one wants to drink water that’s been messed with, but (at least, most of) the people cleaning your water are doing so with the best intentions. If you still have your reservations, there are better-for-you bottles on the shelf.
CORE Hydration, for example, is a gem. I became BFFs with this brand during a challenge over the summer when I drank 64 ounces of water every day for a week, and I've never looked back. CORE is described as ultra purified, and is loaded with electrolytes and minerals to keep your body's natural pH stable throughout the day. It actually tastes more like water than regular tap water, if that's even possible.
Hydrogen water has also boomed in popularity over the past year or so, and the first infused bottle — HTWO — was made by Dr. Cody Cook, president/chief medical scientist of HTWO Beverage Company and founder of MitoGene. The water is infused with molecular hydrogen to boost energy levels, endurance, and nourish the body with antioxidants.
Both of these options aren't exactly cheap, but for what they offer, they aren't overly expensive, either. Just keep in mind it's a trade-off: At least with these bottles, you know you won't have to make an emergency pit stop at the bathroom after sipping. Bottoms up!