1. Water contaminated for up to 1 in 4 Americans

    80 million Americans are drinking dirty water

    Clean water is something we all just take for granted.

    But we shouldn't.

    You could have what looks, smells, and even tastes like fresh and pure water flowing from your tap. You might even chill it in a pitcher with a built-in filter, just for extra protection.

    It's all just an illusion, as new research shows how your water probably isn't as pure as you think.

    And odds are, that little pitcher filter isn't giving you the protection your family needs.

    The new report finds that up to 1 in 4 Americans are routinely drinking contaminated water, quietly ingesting dangerous toxins with every sip and slurp.

    An analysis of EPA reports finds that rural communities -- across the heartland in particular and especially in Texas and Oklahoma -- have some of the biggest water quality issues.

    But really, the problems can happen anywhere, from Flint to Florida, from Washington D.C. to Washington State.

    The EPA reports find that the biggest issue are bacteria, especially nasty poop germs from both humans and animals.


    The study also finds viruses and parasites routinely swimming around, including Cryptosporidium and Giardia lamblia.

    Next time you're sick with nausea and diarrhea, it might NOT be "something you ate."

    I could be something you drank -- specifically, your own tap water!

    To cap it all off, the report also finds problems with metals including arsenic, lead, and copper.

    As bad as this is, it's barely a ripple in the scope of the problem. This report was based only on whether the water in a given area meets U.S. EPA standards, which are nothing short of a national embarrassment.

    They were written in another era... and completely ignore many of the metals, drugs, hormones, fuel residue, antibiotics, and other poisons that routinely turn up in the water.

    You could be drinking a drug-laced soup, with just a hint of rocket fuel, and the feds could insist that your water meets "standards."

    Set a much higher standard for yourself and your family -- and that means that if you're not filtering your water yet, it's time to get started.

    I know many people use filter pitchers already.

    Nice try.

    You're wasting your money, because they just can't handle everything that's coming out of the tap these days.

    There are two options that you can use at home that will ensure clean water with every sip.

    The first is reverse osmosis, which connects under your sink or -- for a bigger unit -- outside your home.

    The second is a distiller, which sits on your countertop.

    Either one will cost a couple hundred bucks -- but on the plus side, you'll never need to buy bottled water again, since the stuff you're filtering at home will be the cleanest water money can buy.

    Do a little homework and see which system is best for you.

  2. Water can help you lose weight

    The simple trick that can speed weight loss

    Don't ignore the simple things in life.

    Whether it's getting outside to enjoy a sunny day... calling a friend just to say hello... or drinking a tall, cool glass of water before dinner... the basics can do so much more than you realize.

    That last one might even help you to lose weight!

    Don't get too excited; you can't drink water with a bacon double cheeseburger and call it a diet.

    If anything, you'll gain weight.

    But one new study shows how adding water as you cut calories can help you feel fuller so you eat less -- and that, in turn, will help speed your weight loss so you get thinner faster.

    In the study, overweight and obese folks put on a low-cal diet lost between 11 and 17 pounds over 12 weeks. But the ones who were on a low-cal diet who drank 16 ounces of water half an hour before each meal dropped nearly five extra pounds in that time.

    The reason? Water made them feel fuller, so they ate 40 fewer calories at each meal.

    That may not sound like much, but that's 120 fewer calories per day -- and over the course of a week, that's roughly two fewer meals... so it's not surprise at all that they lost nearly five extra pounds.

    Other studies have shown similar results, including one last year that found drinking 16 ounces of water before meals could help you lose nearly 10 pounds over 12 weeks even if you make no other changes to your diet.

    Another new study shows why water is so important, especially if you're overweight or obese and trying to get healthy.

    Water is needed by every single part of your body; so as you get bigger, you need more of it.

    But most folks don't drink more water as they get bigger.

    Many actually eat more food instead.

    That's what leads to even more weight gain, and it becomes kind of a vicious cycle -- one you can cut off now if you drink more and eat less.

    But if you REALLY want to lose weight -- if you want to drop pounds fast and keep them off -- you need to go an extra step.

    Eat less and eat better, as you add more water to your diet.

    The one thing to watch for of course is that U.S. drinking water often contains trace levels of chemicals, drugs, hormones, and more. In many places, fluoride and chlorine are even dumped into the water deliberately.

    You don't want any of that in your body, so be sure to filter your water with either reverse osmosis or a distiller.

  3. Your tap water could contain hormone drugs

    Water quality in the United States has been plunging, and new research finds traces of hormone drugs in the water are causing fish to switch genders.
  4. A shocking source of Legionnaire's disease

    There's a pathway to disease in your home right now -- an open door that lets germs flow into your food and drink and then directly into your body. And if you get sick from this hidden source of disease, you probably won't even realize where it came from. It's your own faucet, which is almost certainly overflowing with drugs, chemicals, metals and germs. Continue reading →
  5. Sugary drinks could be one of the causes of kidney stones

    A new study links sugar sweetened drinks like soda and fruit punch to a rise in kidney stone risks.
  6. Tap water can contain stomach-wrecking bacteria

    A fifth of all stomach illnesses in the nation may be caused by nasty bacteria lurking in your tap water.
  7. Study proves that fluoride lowers IQ levels

    Harvard researchers have confirmed that water fluoridation can harm intelligence and low IQ levels.
  8. Get a whiff of concentration

    I always get a kick out of the fridge in my local 7-11. It's loaded with drinks that make all kinds of promises. It's a laugh, because no matter what promise they make, most of these drinks have the same basic ingredients: sugar, water, and artificial flavors combined with small amounts of vitamins or large amounts of caffeine.
  9. Soaking up the benefits of water

    It almost sounds like the benefits of some promising new blockbuster drug: Just a little bit can help lift mood, concentration and energy levels -- with virtually no side effects. Well, there is one side effect: You might need to pee a little more.
  10. Bursting the water balloon

    But if you've developed a serious bottled water habit because you've heard it can make you faster, thinner, younger, or healthier... well, on some level you probably know it's not that easy, right?

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