AN ELGIN FITNESS centre owner is warning of the dangers of using water filters after suffering from low energy levels and joint pains.
Mark ‘Spike’ Russell posted a social media alert this week after discovering that the sudden cause of his aches and pains as well as a lack of motivation was his ‘healthy’ option of using a water filter rather than tap water.
Mr Russell – who operates the Focus Martial Arts and Fitness Centre in Elgin – has for several years been using a popular brand water filter in the belief that it would improve local tap water. However, he had recently been reading about the health effects of pH in water – a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in a diluted solution.
Acid in water is indicated by a pH count of below 7, while higher alkaline content in water is above 7 on an overall range of 0 to 14 – with the health effects of drinking water depending on where the pH content falls. A pH content of between 6.5 and 8.5 is recommended for drinking water by environmental protection groups.
Mr Russell explained: “When I tested the water in the jug after being filtered to my amazement it was between 4 and 4.5 – very acidic. On testing the tap water I found it to be neutral at a pH reading of 7.
“It has affected me in various ways – motivation and energy levels and eventually sore joints. I managed to do everything I wanted to but it was harder to start and recovery was terrible.
“I usually drink mostly water and only from the filter but would not feel good especially in the mornings. If I had juice I would feel energised but once I started drinking water again I’d feel bad.”
After discovering the low pH reading in his filtered water Mr Russell stopped drinking it and switched to water straight from the tap – and instantly felt better.
He said: “The reason I’m writing this is so others don’t make the same mistake – I’m a physical trainer, coach and gym owner and I thought I was doing my body some good. I thought the tiredness and sore joints were just age or job related – but I’m glad to say it was just the water.”
It is believed that the reason the filter lowers the pH in the water is that an active carbon is used which, while fine in areas where the water supply is ‘hard’ such as in large cities, in Moray that is generally not the case.
Scottish Water say that it is necessary for them to control the pH level of drinking water and so it is adjusted to the correct levels to ensure it is neither too acidic or alkaline.