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A critical element for all aspects of food preparation and consumption. Water is an important part of human health as it provides nutrients and oxygen to the body, works to regulate temperatures within the body, helps to hydrate all parts of the body from skin to organs, and is essential in keeping our body in top condition. Medical experts suggest that the human body needs approximately 80 to 120 ounces of Water daily in order to keep healthy and maintain peak performance. However, there are others who believe we simply need enough to sufficiently supply amounts to our body that keep us energized and fit. By monitoring the color of a person's urine, it is possible to determine the level of hydration. Lighter yellow colors typically indicate sufficient Water intake while darker colors of yellow may indicate insufficient amounts of Water. Factors such as weight, the daily amount of caffine or alcohol consumed, the elevation at which a person lives, daily activity, illnesses, and smoking may all increase the amount of Water required.

Water consumed daily could be provided by several different sources such as well Water, municipal Water (city tap Water) or bottled Water. If Water is being consumed from deep wells, it is always advisable to have the Water tested periodically for arsenic. Arsenic can be in the Water coming from wells, so it may be present in rural homes and homes supplied by muncipal utilities that use deep wells for their supply. Other contaminents that may be present could be in the form of microorganisms such as bacteria, runoff chemicals, factory deposits, or other similar forms of contamination. Any Water that is suspect for contamination should be tested as soon as possible.

Lead is another contaminent that should be considered when checking the quality of household Water. Older homes constructed with plumbing fixtures containing lead may be prime sources of lead contaminents. Thus, it is very important to check not only the Water in the house but also the plumbing in the house to determine if it may be harmful to health.

Water filters are made to eliminate a wide range of contaminents, so it may be advisable if there is a concern of if contaminents are detected to install a household filter that eliminates the contaminents found in the water. By going to the U.S. Government's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website at www.epa.gov a person will be able to become more informed on water quality and the potential concerns existing. Then, if a filter is determined to be of value, seek guidance in determining which filter is best for removing the pollutants contained in the Water.

Tap Water can be stored for approximately 6 months while bottled water can be stored for up to a year without becoming stale. To store Water, keep it in a cool dry area away from direct sun or sunlight. Glass containers are the best option for storage since they keep out unwanted chemicals (bug or weed chemicals, gasoline, and other fuels) as well as gases that may be absorbed by plastic containers. The weaker plastics such as the polyethylene materials used to manufacture juice, milk and some water containers can be penetrated by chemicals and gases adjacent to stored containers. Alternatives to household tap Water include a variety of water-based beverages that are commercially produced for consumption. Beverages such as bottled water in the forms of: Artesian Water, Spring Water, Purified Water, Enhanced Water, Flavored Water, Fitness Water, Mineral Water, or Sparkling Water are all options to consider when seeking replacements for traditional tap water.

USDA Nutrition Facts

Serving Size1 package 3 oz, yields 2 cups
Total Fat0g
Total Carbohydrates14g
Dietary Fiber0g
Serving Size1 package yields
Total Fat0g
Total Carbohydrates62g
Dietary Fiber0g
Serving Size0.5 cup
Total Fat0g
Total Carbohydrates4g
Dietary Fiber0g

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