The restorative and health-related character of water has taken on an increased importance during the pandemic for people interested in emerging healthy from this public health crisis. A NY Times article (Jan. 5) headlines, “Hydration is trending. It’s the latest lucrative frontier of the wellness boom.” As an example, the story describes the value one woman places on drinking a cup of hot water with lemon every morning.
In the Charleston region, looking backwards and forwards in time, communities and individuals have been coming up with water for health options. God’s Acre Healing Springs in Blackwell (pictured above right) within a two-hour drive has been known at least for the past 300 years as a hub for taking restorative waters. The Springs are open 24/7. Visitors arrive bringing containers for filling or they may purchase empty containers at a nearby store.
Charleston Water System oversees the drinking water it provides to the 450,000 people who consume it across the Lowcountry. This public utility has a statutory responsibility to provide the public with an annual water quality report, which it does each May. In addition, in response to customer requests, monthly water quality reports and ad-hoc reports focused on contaminants of emerging concern are made available on their website detailing aspects of water quality that go beyond EPA requirements.
Charleston region’s recreational water is monitored by The Charleston Waterkeeper, a non-profit organization.
The two agencies generally focus on different aspects of our local waters, but occasionally work hand-in-hand on projects such as the current multi-agency task force helping to create a positive outcome for James Island Creek, which consistently has elevated bacteria levels.
Assurances that water is clean coinciding with a heightened concern about health in the COVID period, may explain why many people are interested in drinking water to improve their well being. This is understandable. Water is accessible and its potential benefits are clear. Charleston Water System says that thankfully, consumers can rest assured knowing that treated drinking water does not harbor Coronavirus or other pathogens due to a modern treatment process and chlorination.
With assurance that water is clean and a heightened interest in health, the interest many people have in drinking water to improve their well being is understandable as water is accessible and its potential benefits are clear.
According to the CDC, “Water helps your body:
- Keep a normal temperature
- Lubricate and cushion joints
- Protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues
- Get rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements”
As a daily matter, in addition to wearing masks and securing shots in their arms to prevent Covid, many people are looking for stress relief. They focus on breathing and relaxation training, they are investing money and time into the use of Peloton bikes and home exercise routines. And, along with these activities, they are more focused than ever on the attributes of water, in the form of a warm bath, hot tub soak, restorative refreshment of mineral waters, health routines that include drinking alkalized water or warm water laced with a slice of lemon.
In recent weeks, Kate Rhue (right), an integrative nutrition health and life coach from Mt. Pleasant, received lots of interest when she inquired on a local blog if her neighbors were interested in alkalized water from her in-home water ionizer machine that increases the hydration capability of tap water.
An enthusiastic rep for the company, she explains, “This process works via an electrical process rather than by adding chemicals, the means commonly used in store bought electrolyte-fortified bottled water.”
She says the water she drinks after treating this way has made a noticeable positive impact on her health.
“I’ve had problems with vertigo and chronic back and digestive issues,” Rhue said. “I drink about 8 glasses of water a day. Since using the Kangen Water machine my health is much better because the water has added hydrating value. People find they may be drinking less water than they might of unfiltered water.”
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