So What Is The Ultimate Best Source of Drinking Water?
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends filtered tap water as the number one source of drinking water.
Not only is filtered tap water cleaner than any form of bottled water, it’s also far cheaper for you to live on filtered tap water than on bottled water.
It’s funny how we don’t think twice about forking out a good few dollars per gallon for bottled water (more than the price of gasoline!), and yet wonder if we can handle the financial burden of paying mere pennies per gallon for a standard water filter.
The trouble with water filters is there are hundreds of different makes and models to go for, and the task of selecting the right one for your needs can be pretty daunting. But worry not – they all use a small number of technologies to remove toxins. I'll tell you about two of the best types of water filter, including something that's better than any filter, a little later in this article.
Which Water Purification System is Best for Removing Estrogen?
Well reducing estrogen and reducing the feminizing effect of tap water are two different things.
The major types of estrogen found in our water supply include estrone, estradiol, estriol, and the synthetic ethinylestradiol from medications like the oral contraceptive pill. You could just focus on removing these estrogens from your water supply, and a number of studies have focused on exactly that.
The trouble however, is that many of the other more than 100,000 chemicals in wastewater effluent, also have an estrogenic effect on our bodies. These include dihydrofolliculin, octylphenol, nonylphenol, polyethoxylates, trihalomethanes and bisphenol A.
Scientists have also discovered a new class of chemicals that have anti-androgenic (i.e. anti-testosterone) properties. Anti-androgens can be just as feminizing as estrogens.
So rather than look for a water filter that’s just good at removing estrogen, I really think it’s better to look for one that’s good at removing all toxins and impurities in general. This will not only give you water that has a lower feminizing effect on your body, but removing other toxins will be better for your health in general.
Choosing A Water Filter That’s Right For You
There are hundreds of different water filters to choose from. The filter that’s best for you depends on the type of contaminants in your local water supply and your budget.
Your first step is to get a copy of the ‘Water Quality Report’ published annually by your water utility. It may also be called a ‘Consumer Confidence Report’, or just ‘Drinking Water Quality’. You should be able to find it online.
On the report, take note of the pollutants that are close to or exceed the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) set by the government (it will say so on the report). When choosing a filter, do your research to make sure it can filter out these particular chemicals.
Activated Carbon Filters
Activated carbon filters are very cost effective, easy to install, and take up very little space. They are effective at removing a wide range of different chemicals including estrogens, but don't fare so well with dissolved minerals like fluoride.
In general, activated carbon filters are your best choice if you are on a tight budget. They remove a wide range of different contaminants, including steroid estrogens and many estrogenic substances like trihalomethanes.
Carbon filters are cheap to buy, cheap and easy to maintain (just one inexpensive cartridge to replace every 6-12 months, or every 1-2 months for water filter pitchers), easy to install, and don’t take up much space.
Carbon filters are not as thorough as reverse osmosis and distillation (see below). They struggle with toxic metals, and don’t remove mineral-based contaminants like fluoride very well.
Studies show they remove about 80% of estradiol, which is far better than no filter at all, but not as thorough as reverse osmosis and distillation.
Also, the quality of water drops with use of the filter. So if you buy a 2 month filter, you'll get the purest water in the beginning, and your water will become less and less pure toward the end of that second month.
You can get activated carbon filters in the form of in-line filters that are installed in the plumbing under your sink. These can be hassle or cost extra money at first to have installed (either by yourself or by hiring a plumber), but in the long-run, you get better filtration (if you pick the right filter) and cheaper running costs than when using a water filter pitcher.
Unfortunately, I haven't yet done any detailed research on good under sink activated carbon filters you can purchase. Please email me and let me know if you'd like me to look into it. Meanwhile, if you are buying one yourself, make sure it's NSF certified to at least NSF/ANSI standards 42 and 53, and check exactly how many contaminants it is certified to filter under standard 53. Do avoid ones with poor online ratings, but don't just get one with the best ratings, make sure it's certified.
Most people start with water filter pitchers, because they're easy to get started with, you don't need to install anything under your sink. Most of the water filter pitchers on the market are terrible however, you have to do your research to find a good one…
The Best Water Filter Pitcher
I personally started off with a basic water filter pitcher.
Ideally you'd want to get one that's made of glass, but I'm yet to find a good one that's compatible with a good NSF certified filter cartridge.
Having tried a few pitchers, I found the following to be best at filtering my water:
Brita Elite (aka Longlast/Longlast+) Water Filter Pitcher
I've researched all of the popular water filter pitchers in detail, and found the Brita Elite water filter pitcher to be the one that is certified to remove the most number of contaminants.
It is certified against NSF/ANSI standards 42 (aesthetic chlorine, taste and odor), 53 (for removing 15 health contaminants), and 401 (for removing 15 emerging contaminants, including pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and estrogenic contaminants like estrone and bisphenol A).
You can get a Brita Elite/Longlast water filter pitcher here.
NB: Brita filters don't remove fluoride. If you live in an artificially fluoridated area, your best bet is to invest in a reverse osmosis filter or a distiller (see below).
The Only Other Water Filter Pitcher That Comes Close To The Brita Elite
The only other water filter pitcher that comes close is the Pur Plus, which removes 14 health contaminants under NSF/ANSI 53, and 8 emerging contaminants under NSF/ANSI 401. However, a test by a reliable Youtuber found the Pur water filter pitcher to add lead to the water! So I won't be using a Pur filter unless I first get it tested to ensure it doesn't add lead to my water.
The Best Budget Water Filter Pitcher
Amazon Basics is a decent budget filter, being made in Europe and certified against NSF/ANSI 42 and 53. Under standard 53, it is certified to reduce only 3 contaminants, compared to the Brita Elite's 15.
You can get the Amazon Basics water filter pitcher here.
Why Most Other Water Filter Pitchers Suck
Other popular water filter pitchers like ZeroWater, Waterdrop, Aqua Crest, Nakii, Aquagear, and Soma, don't even come close to the Brita Elite.
ZeroWater is great at reducing total dissolved solids (TDS), but reducing TDS doesn't necessarily improve the health of the water, most estrogenic contaminants have nothing to do with TDS, and the ZeroWater filter misses out on these. In trying to unnecessarily remove all this TDS, a lot of people complain that ZeroWater filters get clogged up and stop working after just 1 to 2 weeks. ZeroWater is the only water filter pitcher that removes fluroide really well, but it's such a rubbish filter in general, that if you need to remove fluoride, you are better off investing in a reverse osmosis filter or a distiller.
Waterdrop and Aqua Crest are made in China by the same Chinese company. That's enough to not want to buy their product. Their NSF certification is also minimal, only being certified against NSF/ANSI 42 (aesthetic taste and odor), and 372 (which ensures it doesn't add significant amounts of lead to your water).
Nakii filters are made in Japan, the pitcher in China. They are only certified against NSF/ANSI 42 (aesthetic taste and odor).
Aquagear and Soma both claim to be NSF certified, but I could not find any evidence for this on the NSF or WQA websites.
Epic Water have a seemingly decent made in U.S.A. water filter pitcher. However, though they claim to be NSF certified via the IAPMO (International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials), I couldn't find evidence of any active certification on the IAPMO website. My other gripe with their pitcher filter is that it's the only pitcher filter that removes microbes, and you pay a premium for this. This is great if you want to take a water pitcher filter with you on holiday, but most of us want a water filter pitcher to use with our tap water at home, which is already treated to remove harmful microbes.
Reverse Osmosis Filters
Reverse osmosis uses high pressure to force water through a membrane with tiny holes that only let water and very small particles through. It will remove some dissolved salts, organic chemicals, bacteria and pyrogens.
Reverse osmosis filters are very effective at removing impurities from your water. They have to be integrated into your plumbing, and with multiple filters and a storage tank, can take up quite a bit of space.
Reverse osmosis (RO) does a great job at removing contaminants that carbon filters don't, like fluoride, arsenic, nitrates and perchlorate. Most RO filters are combined with a carbon filter, so they end up removing everything a carbon filter does and more.
As reverse osmosis membranes age, the pores in the membranes become larger and allow more and more impurities to pass through into the treated water. So like with activated carbon filters, the quality of water decreases with use.
High purchase and maintenance cost is another factor. Depending on your model, you are generally advised to replace the reverse osmosis membrane every 2-3 years (though some models last much longer), and multiple (generally 1-5) carbon filter cartridges every 6-12 months.
A LOT of water is wasted as well. Some reverse osmosis filters can waste as much as 10 gallons of water for every 1 gallon of purified water.
Also, you need a plumber to install one of these (although you can do it yourself if you're a bit of a handy-person), and since it consists of a storage tank, a membrane, and usually multiple filters, it can take up quite a bit of space.
So reverse osmosis filters are better (though not perfect) at removing impurities than activated carbon, but are a lot of hassle to set up, and expensive to maintain.
Finding A Good Reverse Osmosis Filter
There's a huge selection of reverse osmosis systems in the U.S.
Unfortunately, many of the reverse osmosis systems on Amazon are made in China. I don't recommend buying water filters that are made in China, because you never know what's in them that will be passed into your water.
Chinese brands on Amazon like “Frizzlife” and “Simpure” have high ratings, but lack NSF certification, so should be avoided.
Here Are Some Reverse Osmosis Systems I Recommend
APEC Water Systems
The APEC Water Systems reverse osmosis system is one of the few that are made in the U.S.
You can get the APEC Water Systems RO-90 here.
You can get the APEC Water Systems RO-Hi here.
This is another reverse osmosis system that's made in the U.S.
According to the NSF website, their Whirlpool WHER25 reverse osmosis system is NSF certified to NSF/ANSI standard 58 to reduce the following:
That's a pretty impressive list compared to most other NSF certified reverse osmosis systems, which are only really certified to reduce TDS.
You can get the Whirlpool WHER25 reverse osmosis system here.
Reverse Osmosis Systems I Don't Recommend
There are lots of other highly rated reverse osmosis systems on Amazon that I don't recommend. Express Water, Home Master, and iSpring are all based in the U.S., but their filters and other components are made in Taiwan. Waterdrop is based in China, with filters made in China. The NSF certifications of these filters are not very impressive at all. At best they are certified only against NSF/ANSI standard 58, and only for reducing TDS.
This is the gold standard of water purification.
Distillation mimics the hydrological (water) cycle, which NATURE uses to purify water.
In the water cycle, the sun heats up and evaporates water from the ocean. The evaporated water rises, until it cools and condenses to form clouds. It then rains, and the water makes its way back into the ocean through the ground.
Pure water is made available to us through streams, lakes, and rivers. The higher up in the cycle, the more pure the water is. If it wasn't for air pollution, rain water would be 99.9% pure.
With a good water distiller, you get the purity of rain water minus the air pollution.
In a distiller, tap water is heated and boiled in a boiling chamber. Purified steam rises up from the contaminated water, leaving the impurities behind. The steam moves into a cooling coil, where it is run over a fan that cools the steam to condense it back into water. From there the purified water flows into a glass jar or stainless steel holding tank.
Unlike with barrier methods (e.g. activated carbon and reverse osmosis) that remove contaminants from the water, distillation removes the water from the contaminants.
Distillation purifies water in the same way mother nature's hydrological system does it. No other system can improve upon the natural processes that govern the hydrological cycle, which has supported life on Earth for billions of years.
Unlike with filters, which lose effectiveness with use, distillation will consistently remove impurities, whether you are using the distiller for the first time, or 10 years later.
Distillation by itself still doesn't remove everything. There are some contaminants that have a lower boiling point than water that will rise up with the steam. These are called “volatile organic compounds” (VOC's).
However, a lot of distillers use a simple filter at the end of the distillation process to get rid of the VOC's.
Also, I haven't searched far and wide for one, but there doesn't seem to be a widely-available water distillation system that you can hook up to your kitchen tap, like you can with reverse osmosis. Since distillation requires water to be boiled then cooled, all of the units I've seen so far are separate from your kitchen sink.
Distillation is an energy-intensive process. It takes a lot of energy to boil water. Most units I've seen are electrical, though gas units are available too. Either way, expect to be using quite a bit of gas or electricity. Saying that, it's still cheaper to distill your own water, than it is to buy distilled water from the shops.
Unlike with activated carbon and reverse osmosis filters, you can't get water on demand with distillation. It takes time for the distillation process to happen, so you'll have to distill your water in advance. You can overcome this problem with an automatic distiller, but these are a lot more expensive.
There are some scaremongers out there (usually water filter manufacturers) who claim distilled water is harmful because distillation removes important minerals like calcium and magnesium. But that's nonsense, because all you need out of water is water. If your body needs minerals, you get it from your diet. Dark green veggies like broccoli and spinach contain far more calcium and magnesium than any source of water.
There's also the fact that tap water contains both beneficial organic minerals, and harmful inorganic minerals. Filters have no way of differentiating between the two. So if a filter manufacturer claims their filter leaves beneficial minerals behind in the water, then you can bet they also leave harmful minerals behind too.
How To Find A Good Water Distiller
Unlike with filters, you don't need NSF certification for distillers, because distillation doesn't require any filters. You just need to make sure you get a distiller from a reliable company, that the machine doesn't go bust after just a year of use, and that the water doesn't come into contact with any plastic during the distillation cycle.
I would never purchase a water filter that's made in China, because you don't know what the filter is adding to the water. However, it's no big deal buying a made in China distiller, because all you need to do is inspect it and make sure the water isn't coming into contact with any plastic.
Provided the water doesn't come into contact with chemical leaching components like plastic, the end result is the same regardless of which distiller you use. This is unlike water filters, where the end result depends very much on the type of filter used.
A good distiller should last you at least 5 years of once a day use.
It's a good idea to buy a distiller from a reliable company with a warranty that sells spare parts on their own website, should one of the components of your distiller stop working. Replacing a spare part is a lot cheaper than replacing the entire unit.
A Good Starter Water Distillation Unit
It consists of a stainless steel boiling chamber at the bottom, a stainless steel coil-based fan assisted cooling system at the top, and a glass collection jar. Any plastic on the unit does not come into contact with the water.
It produces 1 gallon of water in about 5.5 hours, though you can get that gallon a lot faster if you use boiling water to start with.
It also comes with a post-distillation carbon filter, which removes any remaining VOC's.
To use it, all you do is fill the water chamber with tap water, put the cooling unit over it, position the collection jar, and turn the unit on. Then the fan will come on, and if you used cold water, pure and natural distilled water will start to collect into the collection jar in about 30 minutes. Once the water is all used up, the unit will shut down by itself.
This is one of the smaller distillers out there, and is ideal for single users, couples, and small families.
There are other types of distillers available that offer more convenience for a higher price. I haven't gotten one of these for myself yet, and haven't done much research on them, so I'll leave it up to you to do some research and find one that works well for you.
Other Things You Can Do
In the modern world, we are bombarded by estrogens, estrogen-like particles, and anti-androgens from all directions. They are in the food we eat (in the form of preservatives, flavor enhancers, fertilizers, hormones and more), in the air we breath (from vehicle exhaust fumes and general pollution), and the cosmetics we use on our skin (in the form of parabens and other chemicals).
Although the government and industry will argue there is not direct evidence, there is more than enough indirect evidence to suggest these chemicals are responsible for various cancers and countless diseases and developmental disorders. Studies suggest these chemicals are linked to decreasing sperm counts and testosterone levels in men, and increased incidences of conditions like gynecomastia.
Estrogen is everywhere in the modern world, you'd have to be living in a bubble to avoid it all. But thankfully, you can take specific measures to defend yourself.
You’d have to be living in a bubble to avoid all of the feminizing chemicals in your environment. The least you can do though, is avoid as many as you can.
Eating organic produce and avoiding grains and refined carbohydrates can help to reduce the estrogenic effect on your body. Steaks, organ meats, seafood, nuts’n seeds and the right vegetables can help boost testosterone levels.
If you have man boobs, it's probably because you have too much exposure to the female hormone estrogen. Filtering or distilling your water is a crucial step in eliminating man boobs, but there's a hell of a lot more you can do.
The How To Lose Man Boobs Naturally Video gives you the lo-down on all the different methods you can use to lose your man boobs by combating excess estrogen, and raising levels of the male hormone testosterone.
By bringing your body's estrogen to testosterone ratio back into its natural, masculine balance, you will finally see that chest start to flatten out. To learn more, click the following link to watch the video: