Don’t Drink This Water at Work
What Do You Do When You’re Thirsty?
I knew I was in trouble when I got to work and I didn’t have my water bottle. I didn’t even have an empty bottle that I could fill up.
I was thirsty and a bit dehydrated from the previous night’s workout.
There was FREE locally roasted coffee, caffeinated and decaf available. There was also plenty of hot water with a great selection of decent quality green tea.
I could also head to any of the multiple faucets and fill up one of the reuseable coffee mugs work offers with this totally free water.
I didn’t want to do any of that! Nope, not the locally roasted coffee, not the water and not even the cucumber infused water.
Actual picture from my workplace (when I’m not working from home)
What Would You Do?
Do you head into work and fill up on the free coffee?
Do you get water from the faucet when you’re thirsty?
I don’t, and you shouldn’t either.
Unless you are really dehydrated and don’t have any other choice, don’t drink tap water. Tap water is better than no water, but it’s far worse than you might want.
It’s true, we probably have some of the safest water in the world, and it’s amazing. Being free of harmful viruses and bacteria doesn’t mean it’s free of toxic additives. In fact our tap water may not be good for us if we value our health.
What’s in Tap Water?
- Chlorine – to reduce and eliminate pathogenic microbes that cause sickness and disease. However, the addition of chlorine can and does lead to potentially carcinogenic by-products. The chlorine in the water combines with other impurities and creates hazardous substances.
- Fluoride – added to most, but not all municipal water supplies. Fluoride is said to be added for tooth health, but the impact of this addition is debatable at best. Fluoride is also a potent neurotoxin and used as a thyroid drug. Steer clear.
- Pharmaceuticals – not a water additive, but end up in water anyway. When we take pharmaceuticals, we don’t always metabolize all of the drug in our blood and we then excrete thee unmetabolized drugs and flush them down the toilet. When the water is cleaned and dumped into the streams and lakes and oceans, it is not cleaned of pharmaceutical compounds.
- Agricultural Chemicals – run off of farms using herbicides and pesticides as well as antibiotics in livestock and end up in the water supply.
- Chemical Combinations of all those things – chlorine and other compounds can combine to form chloramines which and other potentially toxic substances. What other compounds are being formed in your water that could harm your health?
So That Free Locally Roasted Coffee at Work?
Yes, that coffee, the tea and the tap water certainly contain chlorine unless your work is filtering it out. The water also likely contains fluoride unless you live in one of the very few areas (San Francisco) that doesn’t add fluoride to the water. And the water likely contains unprocessed birth control pills, anti-depressants and other pharmaceuticals that enter the water supply but aren’t treated for. In addition to the agricultural chemicals that enter the water there’s all the compounds that are formed when these various substances combine into new substances that we know nothing about.
Bring Your Own Water
The best water to bring with you at work is natural spring water taken from a real spring. Yes, people do this all the time. It’s not for everyone, but if you can fit this into your water strategy, it’s a great way to get the highest quality water.
The options in descending order after that are:
Here’s my RO spout and minerals at home
Whenever I travel, I grab a big Fiji water at the airport. When I land I head immediately to Whole Foods or the local grocery store to pick up a few large bottles of spring water in glass bottles.
Grab the highest quality water you can afford at the airport. For some people that’s a local spring water that’s as inexpensive as anything else. For others, aim for San Peligrino or Fiji water.
When you land, go to the grocery store and stock up on some spring water and use those spring water bottles to fill up your own reusable water bottle each day before you leave the hotel.
If you really messed up and don’t have any water at the hotel, go down to the hotel gym and fill up a bottle of water from the ever-present spring water they keep in the fitness center. It’s usually bottled spring water that comes in a 5 gallon jug and is far better than what’s coming out of the tap in your hotel bathroom.
Unless you know your company filters out fluoride and chlorine (and some do), or offers free spring water, bring your own water to work.
And please, don’t drink the tap water.