Make sure your H20 is safe before you drink it.

Editor’s note: check out Water4Patriots for our top choice of personal water filtration.

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Most of us can recognize bad water when we see it. It’s usually darker than normal or murky, and it might even have visible algae forming in it. And even if the water appears to be clear, we can certainly recognize bad water when we taste it. The sour and disgusting taste makes us spit it out immediately.

But what is it that actually makes water unhealthy? In the U.S., we’re fortunate enough not to encounter bad water too often. We can almost always confidently drink all of the water that comes from our taps, as well as the bottled water we purchase in stores. Such is not the case in many parts of the world, however. According to the World Health Organization, more than 3.4 million people die annually worldwide because of water supply, sanitation and hygiene issues that lead to diseases, infections and malnutrition.

Following are six issues about which we should be concerned regarding the water that we drink. They are not life-threatening in most cases, but they can pose problems.

• Bisphenol A. This chemical, which is also known as PBA, is found in some plastic water bottles. It can seep into food and drinks, and has the potential to cause health risks, especially among infants and children.

• Not Washing Your Bottle. Utilizing reusable bottles can save money, but it’s important to keep those bottles clean with hot, soapy water every day. Otherwise, bacteria that enjoys warm, wet places can form.

• Drinking from the Shower Head. It doesn’t get much warmer and wetter than a showerhead, so this can be a place where bacteria forms as well. Even if you’re thirsty when you take a shower, wait until you can get a drink from a better source.

• Crystal Light. This flavoring that’s used in some bottled water contains plenty of ingredients that you may not want wandering around inside your body. You don’t need artificial sweeteners and other additives. Try a slice of lemon instead.

• Drinking Too Much. Too much of anything is bad, even water. Excessive amounts of water in your system can lower sodium levels so much that your cells will begin to swell, and this can cause hyponatremia, which can result in seizures and coma.

• Caffeine. Some bottled water contains caffeine, which depending on your body chemistry can cause problems when you drink too much of it.

Have you ever experienced problems from the water that you have consumed? Is most of the water you drink from the tap, or do you prefer bottled water? Hope to hear from you about this.

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