Page:Guide to health.djvu/40

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Many people do not know that water is of two kinds, soft and hard. Hard water is water in which some kind of salt has been dissolved. Hence, soap does not readily lather in it, and food cannot be easily boiled in it. Its taste is brakish, while soft water tastes sweet. It is much safer to drink soft water, although some people hold that hard water is better by virtue of the presence of nutritious matter dissolved therein. Rain water is the best kind of soft water, and is therefore, the best for drinking purposes. Hard water, if boiled and kept over the fire for some half an hour, is rendered soft. Then it may be filtered and drunk.

The question is often asked, "When should one drink water, and how much?" The only safe answer to this is this: one should drink water only when one feels thirsty, and even then only just enough to quench the thirst. There is no harm in drinking water during the meals or immediately afterwards. Of course, we should not wash food down with water. If the food refuses to go down of itself, it means that either it has not been well prepared or the stomach is not in need of it.

Ordinarily, there is no need to drink water; and indeed, there should be none. As already mentioned, there is a large percentage of water in our ordinary articles of food, and we also add water in