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Oxygenated water offers pure water with added bonus

By EDWARD MARLOWE emarlowe@paducahsun.com

The need for clean water in all parts of the world is hardly a joke.

The water crisis being observed in Flint, Michigan, the site of the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and a host of Third World nations in constant need of fresh-water supplies are some of the more extreme highlights in the world today.

Most Americans drink water from a local municipal supply, simply provided with a quick walk to the kitchen faucet or bathroom sink.

A July report from Frankfort states drinking water in the commonwealth is "excellent," with all 441 public water systems consistently producing excellent quality water in compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

"This report illustrates that Kentucky public water systems, which serve more than 95 percent of Kentuckians, reliably provide high-quality drinking water to our citizens," Peter Goodmann, director of the Division of Water, said in a state news release. "Given all the challenges faced by public water systems, this record of compliance is admirable."

Paducah Water's Quality Report from 2015 -- which concluded with surveys from sources in the previous year -- showed only two positive samples for coliform bacteria, less than 1 percent on contaminants such as copper, barium, fluoride and nitrate.

1 clean solution

Water, however, can always be safer and cleaner.

Raymond Morris, a Paducah native, has 33 years of water treatment experience with his company Mountain Fresh Water -- which has dispensing kiosks in Paducah; Murray; and Clarksville, Tennessee.

Using a six-step process which includes most of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's water treatment suggestions -- filtration, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet sterilization -- as well as a method for "super oxygenation," Morris has taken Paducah Water's tap supply and created a crisp, clear, cool beverage usable for drinking, cooking and general maintenance around the home.

"Oxygen is just something that's needed," he said. "In rich oxygen streams, fish are healthier and reproduce better. In less rich streams, it's worse."

Morris' first mission, he said, is to give people pure water, while the oxygenation process (adding extra oxygen molecules to the water) is an added bonus. He also touts another benefit to his water systems: increased recycling, as customers are encouraged to refill old milk jugs and water containers when they make a purchase.

He makes no health claims whatsoever with his super oxygenated product, but there's no questioning its cleanliness.

It is estimated that nearly 25 percent of all bottled water consumed in the United States is from municipal water supplies, and Morris' water is one step cleaner.

Oxygenation is a fully accepted process by the Food and Drug Administration, but its benefits have been questioned. A study of oxygenated water and athletic performance was conducted at Duke University Medical Center in 2006 by Dr. C.A. Piantadosi, and in summary notes that "oxygenated water fails both quantitative analysis and practical physiological tests of exercise performance and recovery.

"Only minuscule amounts of oxygen can be dissolved in drinking water compared with that required for exercise, and significant intestinal absorption of oxygen is unsubstantiated. Ergogenic claims for oxygenated water, therefore, cannot be taken seriously."

However, it has to be better than chugging a Diet Coke and hitting the pavement for an afternoon run, right?

Why is water so important to us?

Food editor and 'Today' correspondent Phil Lumpert, who also runs supermarketguru.com, notes that adults tend to lose about 10 cups of water a day through normal bodily functions.

To replace the loss, Lumpert suggests 8-12 cups of water per day, depending on activity levels. Drinking water is the best course of action to replenish, sure, but other liquids like low-fat milk, coffee, tea and fruit juices -- as well as some foods -- contain water.

Participating in strenuous activities? Drinks like Powerade, Gatorade and other energy drinks also have a high-water content mixed with electrolytes and carbohydrates, but bear in mind these drinks also have a high sodium and glucose content, and as such need to be burned off in continued activities.

Lumpert has other suggestions to avoid dehydration -- drinking two cups just two hours before you exercise, drinking 1-2 cups 15 minutes before a workout, drinking 1/2-1 cup every 15 minutes during an exercise and to drink two cups of fluid for every pound lost during a big workout.

Lumpert also admits water filters can be "very good," but to change the filters as often as recommended by the product.

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