Saturday, November 18, 2017

Add life to your water

It is not recommended to drink the water coming from the tap in the Dominican Republic.

It is not recommended to drink the water coming from the tap in the Dominican Republic. Especially after heavy rains the water that will come out of the public water supply will be slightly muddy and not particularly appetizing.

Most hotels and apartment buildings in Cabarete have a water filter installed at the main entrance of their water pipe which filters out the bigger particles such as sand but it doesn’t filter out small particles. Also most projects will have a water cistern to ensure 24/24h water service, which means the water is likely to have traces of chlorine, which is added to cisterns to counter algae growth.

So which water to drink when tap water is not an option?

Most people in the Dominican Republic drink water from big 5 gallon water bottles called botellones that are sold all over the country. The water in these bottles, independent of the brand that is selling them, is without an exception water that has been purified through reverse osmosis. The process is very effective at taking out all the impurities of the water. Unfortunately, it also takes out everything else as well making it taste flat and, contradictory to what you might think, less thirst quenching.

Water in its natural form always has a number of minerals in it except in the cases of fresh rain water and freshly defrosted ice water.Water in its natural form always has a number of minerals in it except in the cases of fresh rain water and freshly defrosted ice water. Since the sixties of the previous century the demineralization of drinking water has become much more wide spread as it was propagated that pure water (i.e. demineralized) was better than normal water.

Add life to your water, Cabarete, Dominican RepublicSeveral studies have been undertaken since to look at the health effects but one of the most thorough and eye-opening discussions on the topic of minerals and safe drinking water published to date is a study published by the World Health Organization in 2004. The conclusions are shocking. Very often reverse osmosis or other purifying methods are marketed as making the water healthy but the study clearly shows that the consumption of “pure” water leads to the demineralization of the body in a very short amount of time.

This is because the body in order to absorb the water needs to add minerals to it, taking the minerals from the body. When demineralized water is consumed for several months often complaints arise of headaches, tiredness, weakness or muscular cramps. According to the same study, a diet with higher mineral content does not offset the effects of low mineral content in water, although it does help.

That being said this water can be drunk safely for weeks, months and even years as long as you replenish your mineral intake from other liquid sources. People visiting the Dominican Republic for a few weeks will not see any adverse effects if they consume only purified water during their stay but the following tips might still be of interest.

Filtered water
Many restaurants in Cabarete and elsewhere use an extensive filter system which filters out all the bad stuff but leaves in the necessary minerals. The water tastes great and there’s no need to buy and transport plastic bottles. The downside is the initial cost of the investment, when you want to install the filter system in your home.

Bottled mineral water
Most bottled water bought in the Dominican Republic is also purified water. Check the label to see what you’re drinking. Mineral water (water with bubbles) is called club soda in the Dominican Republic and will help you ingest some necessary minerals. Often you can still get this beverage in glass bottles, which will help diminish plastic waste as well.

Coconut water
One of the upsides of being on a Caribbean island are the many coconut trees. Fresh coconut water is said to be one of the best rehydrating drinks around and is a great and healthy alternative for water when you’re thirsty.

Electrolyte drinks
There are numerous sports drinks with added electrolytes to replenish your minerals. However, many also feature a lot of sugar. Follow this link to make your own electrolyte drink so that you know what you’re drinking.

Rehydration solution
From time to time drink some rehydration solution. These can be bought at the pharmacy at a very low cost.




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