Water is crucial to our survival. The Earth is a little over 70% water. Your body is 75% water. You can live only 2-3 days maximum without water.
Drinking more water increases "yin"- making the body light and airy and expanding energy through your whole system If you are too "yang" (tight, contracted) chances are you suffer from stress, headaches, tension and are often ill- and simply drinking more water will balance these symptoms better and faster than any pill in the world!
There is even such a thing as "water therapy" highly regarded in other cultures not just for balance but for actual healing benefits. Maintaining hydration can: Prevent pre-mature aging, eliminate pain and headaches,lessen hypertension, aid in digestion, flush the kidneys and bladder of potential toxins and aid in weight loss- just to name a few.
It is highly regarded in both Japanese and Chinese cultures to drink water immediately upon waking every morning. and drinking hot water with lemon first thing in the morning is great for cleansing the liver. Sipping warm water all day is a very accepted treatement for cleaning the lymph system (which is where you carry most of your immunity). If you are a coffee drinker- please consider having a glass of water before your cup of joe and re-hydrating with 2 glasses of water for each cup of caffeinated beverage you drink. Americans waste many calories on drinks. From coffee drinks to soda to juice and even sports drinks- nothing in the world satisfies thirst like good old H2O. The mind will interpret actual thirst as hunger first so it is always good to have a glass of water before grabbing a snack. Sweet cravings can also be eliminated by drinking water before you reach for that kit kat. Fruits and vegetables that have high water content will also hydrate and help fill you up sooner.
With and after meals it is best to drink warm or room temperature water and here is why: cold water will solidify the "oily stuff" from your meal and will slow down your digestion. This sludgey liquid will line the intestine and turn into fats which may lead to cancer and other diseases after time.
Bottled or not? Federal standards for tap water are actually higher than those for bottled water and plastic bottles are a huge strain on the environment. Since most tap does contain chlorine, floride and sometimes lead your best bet is to get some kind of filter system. My favorite are the Brita products as they are relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain. I fill my pitcher from the tap- change my filter every 3 months- and carry a non plastic bottle which I fill from my pitcher.
Whatever source you choose: The best and easiest thing you can do for your overall health is to drink water. Lots of it... Bottoms up!