tapping into london

July 11, 2009

My friend Angela, a chiropractor, asked a very good question in response to my post about the ban on bottled water in the Australian town Bundanoon.  Is it safe to drink from the tap in London?  The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI), which regulates public water supplies in England and Wales, says yes.

Now, I spent a year-and-a-half rowing on the Thames, and I can tell you it totally put me off drinking tap water.  The media is quite quick in issuing warnings against drinking from the tap during floods, but I still put all my water through a Brita filter.

However, I was pleased to read that the DWI advises against using water from the hot tap as it may contain high levels of copper.  I’ve known this for some time and am glad to see transparency on their part.  Even if you are boiling it, get your water out of the cold tap.

What about when you’re at a restaurant?  Should you be asking for tap water?  Some sources say that water interferes with digestion; others contend it’s perfectly fine to drink and dine.  I personally find that if I’m fully hydrated there is no need for water at all during meals.  Except for the occasional wine with dinner, I like to have a fresh juice as a first course when I’m dining out – remember it takes 20-30 minutes for fruit to digest.  And the way to make sure you’re fully hydrated is to enjoy lots of fresh, whole, water-rich fruit and veggies.  The only time I ever feel the need to gulp down a glass of water is upon awakening and after vigorous exercise.

This topic is specifically important in the context of the UK, since it’s no secret we have another drinking problem here – the kind that flows from an altogether different kind of tap.  Alcohol, as we know, is dehydrating, and the problem is compounded with the concept of “eating is cheating”.  Of course, the only thing you end up cheating during binge drinking is your body.

The latest “Know Your Limits” campaign (below), which I’m sure was a blast for the ad boys to make, doesn’t really tell me what I should be doing instead of alcohol.  I’d love to whip out my advertising skills and do a really visual campaign about getting drunk on fruit.  That brings me back to the Green Appetite motto: it’s not about what you can’t have, but about the joy that comes from choosing to have what your body really wants.


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  1. Jess September 27, 2009 at 22:18

    Hi, Ang! I don’t give much thought to water besides using a Brita at home and consuming lots of raw, water-rich fruits and veggies. But here’s more from the Mayo Clinic:
    Need to do more research! Let me know if you discover anything. xo

  2. dr angela grove September 25, 2009 at 20:00

    hey jess! i’m back on the water questions again! i recently read in ‘get fresh magazine’ about alkaline water. where can i get this, or better yet, can i make my own? i know that an alkaline diet is healthy but don’t know about this type of water. is it hype or for real?
    and how is the water back in the US?
    thanks! :)

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