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Not all bottled waters are the same
Water used to be a plain and simple drink that came from the tap. Today, there are a dizzying array of bottle water products that fill the grocery shelves. But what are the differences between the all the various brands and types of water you can buy?
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulates the way bottled water is described, and the terms are based on either the source of the water or how it’s been processed.
Spring water must be drawn from a spring to have this label. That one is a little obvious, I know. A spring is a natural source of water, that flows up from the ground under pressure.
Mineral water has at least 250 ppm of naturally occurring dissolved minerals. No minerals can be added after the water is drawn, and the source of the water must be natural (no tap water). Typical minerals found in this kind of water are calcium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. The exact mineral composition of any mineral water will be different, from brand to brand. Check the labels. PPM stands for parts per million, by the way.
Purified water has been thoroughly processed to remove minerals and impurities. Another term is distilled water. Water with this label doesn’t have to have a natural source and can be water from a municipal system. In other words, it may simply be purified tap water.
Sparkling water is water with naturally occurring carbonation, so this does not include manufactured products like soda water or seltzer.
These are a new product that has quickly become popular among people who want to increase their water intake but really don’t like the taste. These water drinks are sweetened with artificial sweetener to keep them calorie free. Though I think it’s a good way to have more water, I’m not too keen on the aspartame and sucralose content.