Erica Digap / Jan 29

I’m a nutritionist, and I only use filtered water. Here’s why. 

Erica Digap / Jan 29

As a nutrition industry professional, I’m always looking for ways to “biohack” my daily routines to better take care of my body. I’m definitely not perfect (after all, I got into this business first and foremost because I love food in all its forms, healthy or not!), but I’m a firm believer that the little good habits add up to a lifetime of wellness. 

So proper hydration has always been a big deal for me. As a northern California native who lives in a town where the drought and water shortages influence the decisions I make daily, I’m all too keenly aware of how important water is, and how mindfulness can go a long way when it comes to meeting my hydration goals. 

I also have the privilege of knowing exactly where my water comes from: the stream just steps away from my home. But even though I can literally see where my water is coming from, and despite the fact that it goes through a cleaning and purification plant before it eventually finds its way to my tap, I definitely still filter all my water before I drink it … and I think everyone else should as well. 

Here’s why I depend on a water filtering pitcher for every bit of H2O I consume, from drinking to cooking to making my ever-important cups of coffee.  

LARQ Pitcher PureVis™ filters with proprietary Nano Zero technology to remove lead, chlorine, mercury, PFAS/PFOA, HAA5, and more. PureVis™ acts as a second layer of protection that activates UV-C LED light to eradicate bacteria and viruses such as E.Coli.

The best tap water filter will eliminate lead and other heavy metals. 

If there’s one water quality issue that you’re aware of, it’s probably lead contamination. As evidenced by the Flint, Michigan water crisis that came into the headlines a couple of years ago, lead pipes in old homes and underserved communities can have very real and serious consequences. 

Lead is a metal that was historically used to build water pipes. But as scientists and health professionals began to discover in the 20th century, lead is extremely toxic: once ingested and stored in your body, it’s been linked to a variety of serious and sometimes permanent health concerns involving your blood formation, kidney function, cardiovascular system, reproductive system, and more. Even worse, children are especially at risk of lead exposure since it can negatively affect their brain development. 

The US banned the use of lead in metal pipes in 1986 due to the metal’s toxic properties. Even still, many lead service lines still remain throughout the country, and the degradation of those old lines can lead to lead leaching and lead exposure from tap water. In fact, it’s estimated that a staggering 15-22 million Americans are still drinking lead-contaminated tap water due to remaining old lead service lines in their plumbing. 

My house is old, built sometime in the 1940s. I’m in the process of getting the paint outside of my house safely replaced because it was painted with lead paint way back when, and I have similar concerns about my plumbing. So I take zero chances here and run my tap water through a filter whenever I’m planning on consuming it, whether that means for drinking or for cooking. 

The bottom line: when it comes to toxic metals like lead, of which there is no recognized safe level and which your body has no means of getting rid of, it gives me a lot of peace of mind to filter my water first. 

Filtering tap water can fight off contamination and subsequent water quality issues. 

One of the biggest reasons I use a water filter system in my home is that I don’t want to run the risk of contracting a waterborne illness, nor do I want to accumulate potentially hazardous chemicals in my body. 

Even though the water in the United States has to go through several quality assurance steps to ensure that it’s safe for drinking, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t still at risk of being contaminated by pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and other microbes. In fact, the CDC estimates that there are about 7.15 million illnesses in the country every year from waterborne pathogens like norovirus, giardia, cryptosporidiosis, and Campylobacteriosis. These harmful bacteria can grow in pipes or water towers, and they can even make their way into the water supply, which means that contamination is still possible even if your water supply company is diligent about testing water quality at their lab and along their main waterways. 

Many standard water filters aren’t designed to eliminate bacteria and other microbes, and your water supply company might treat your tap water with chlorine and other chemicals. Unfortunately, these chemicals have side effects of their own – for example, chlorine can combine with natural compounds to form disinfection byproducts like haloacetic acids or trihalomethanes, which are potentially carcinogenic.  

There’s also been a growing concern about “forever chemicals” PFAS/PFOA (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) and for good reason. These substances, which were used in manufacturing, get their scary nickname because they literally don’t degrade. In other words, once products that are made with these chemicals are discarded, they stay in the environment for years and years, eventually making their way into our water supply. So even though the use of these chemicals was banned years ago, they remain a huge problem. And here’s why this matters: they’re potentially carcinogenic and have been found to have a severe impact on your immune and cardiovascular system even at tiny, near-zero levels. 

A good water filter pitcher or water filtering bottle can eliminate many of these concerns. Even better, pitchers with UV capabilities like the LARQ Pitcher PureVis can also prevent the growth of bio-contaminants that could otherwise occur after you filter out chlorine, which ultimately gives me even more peace of mind before sipping. 

Filtered water is ultimately better for the environment.

In addition to its various health benefits, the use of water filter pitchers also comes with huge returns for the environment. 

Rather than springing for a single-use plastic water bottle that will ultimately end up in a landfill or in the ocean, a filtered water pitcher or filtered water bottle allows you to take full advantage of your available tap water in the safest way possible. This means less plastic waste and microplastics (and yes, filtering your water can help eliminate microplastics from your hydration supply as well). 

Filtered water just tastes better. 

Filtered water just straight-up tastes better to me, which means that I’m more likely to reach my hydration goals every day (100 fluid ounces, or about 4 25-oz LARQ Filtered bottles, if you’re curious). 

Filtering my water helps eliminate some of those strange-tasting compounds that get into the water supply: think chlorine, which is added to water to disinfect it but can leave an unpleasant aftertaste, or sediment, rust, and particles that can be picked up from the pipes as the water makes its way to my taps. It’s also great for “hard water,” or water that has a high mineral content. While those naturally occurring minerals like magnesium and calcium aren’t doing you any harm, they can definitely leave a bitter, salty, and generally unpleasant aftertaste. 

Important note: I only use filtered water when I’m cooking, too.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I spend a ton of time in my kitchen. It’s one of my happy places! So I only use filtered water here as well. 

I use a water pitcher with filter every time I need water while I’m cooking. I just keep my LARQ Pitcher PureVis filled up with filtered tap water, which makes it easy to filter large amounts of water at once. Then I grab it and pour out clean, filtered water every time I’m brewing up a homemade broth, making soups and stews, boiling my carbs … basically every time I need water to cook. 

Not only does using filtered water versus straight tap water give me peace of mind (from all various reasons listed above), but it also eliminates some really annoying issues that unfiltered water can have on my food and kitchen tools. For example, that icky build-up that you see on your coffee makers and water kettles is usually due to limescale, or calcium and magnesium deposits in your tap water that is left behind after the water is boiled. Using a filter pitcher to filter tap water means no more unappealing build-up and better-tasting meals and drinks that go beyond your simple glass of water. 

How I filter my water

So, what products am I using to get the most out of my tap water? 

The bottom line here: no matter how high-quality I feel like my tap water is, I still can’t drink it or cook with it straight out of my taps without filtering it first. Using high-quality water filters like I get with the LARQ filtration systems lets me get the hydration I need without compromise.