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

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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. Since it is mineral-rich, its pH would be neutral or slightly alkaline.

Where can you get it? Well, bottled spring water is convenient since a bottle can be purchased at any gas station or supermarket. However, bottled spring water companies will often lie about the source (it does not actually come from a natural spring). And there are few things that should concern you. If you buy bottled spring water on a regular basis, the costs will add up. Isn’t environmentally friendly unless the bottles are recycled.

Mineral water

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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, chromium, copper, manganese, molybdenum iodine, selenium, iron, and zinc. Micro minerals are minerals that your body requires in very limited quantities.

Since minerals are still in their electrolyte or ionic state when added to water, they are much more readily absorbed by the body. However, Mineral water contains a lot of sodium and should be avoided for people who have high blood pressure.
It could be more costly.

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

Purified water has been thoroughly processed to remove minerals and impurities. Another term is distilled water, deionization and reverse osmosis. 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.

Purified water is water that is free of toxins. Bacteria, algae, fungi, parasites, metals such as copper and lead, and chemical contaminants are all present.

Several processes are used to purify water.

  • Distillation. The method of purifying a liquid by heating and cooling it.
  • Deionization is a term used to describe the process of passing a liquid through two resins to remove charged atoms or ions, one of which eliminates positive sodium ions (Na+) and the other negative chlorine ions (Cl-)
  • Reverse osmosis. As pressure is applied to a solution (such as seawater) on one side of a semipermeable membrane, fresh water flows through it.

One thing to note. It can absorb carbon dioxide from the air. Because carbon dioxide causes water to become acidic, the more a person drinks, the more acidic their pH level becomes.

Distilled water

Generated by distillation, clean water is heated into steam and distilled back into liquid in a separate, sterile bottle. There are no dangerous pollutants, however, beneficial minerals are lost during the purification process.
It does create free radicals, which are atoms in the body that have unpaired and unequal electron numbers, which may lead to inconsistency in the body’s composition.

Sparkling water

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Sparkling water is water with naturally occurring carbonation, so this does not include manufactured products like soda water or seltzer. It’s healthier type of soda (carbonated but without the harmful chemicals used in soda products), aids in the treatment of indigestion and it’s an excellent stain remover

Some of the downfalls of drinking sparkling water is that the minerals are eliminated, reducing the health benefits. Can result in stomach ulcers, it is known to inhibit calcium absorption and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Since it is highly acidic, it should not be consumed on a daily basis.

Artisan waters

It’s drawn from an artesian well. Water in the aquifer must be under enough pressure to push its way to the well’s surface. There are no additional minerals or compounds that have been applied to make the water any different than the other varieties.

Flavored waters

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.

Alkaline water

Alkaline water has a more basic pH than acidic water.

One of two methods is used to process the data.

  • Water naturally flows over rocks (like springs) and picks up minerals, raising its alkaline levels.
  • An ionizer is a device that is used to increase the pH of ordinary water. Electrolysis is a term used to describe the process.

By neutralizing acidity, it aids in the regulation of the body’s pH level. Cancer and other chronic illnesses are prevented. It also aids in the elimination of acid reflux symptoms, cleanses the colon, aids the immune system
However, too much alkaline can cause metabolic alkalosis, which wreaks havoc on bone health and causes nausea.