What Water to Drink | Tap Water | Bottled Water | Mineral Water
Water makes up about 60% -65% of the human body. It is easy to understand why it is recommended to drink 1.5 to 2 liters of water a day, or about 600 liters per year. Between mineral water, sparkling water, spring water, and tap water, there is plenty of choice to hydrate!
But not all waters are equal. Here is a light on the subject, written with the help of an experienced nutritionist.
Can We Trust Tap Water?
In most of the countries, tap water is available of good quality. Although it is very controlled, it nevertheless arouses suspicion. Its portability assessed by more than 60 criteria, established by the WHO (World Health Organization and calculated in relation to the most vulnerable populations (infants, pregnant women). These criteria regulate in particular the mineral content, which must not be too high. Water is first captured in nature, then treated, stored, consumed, cleaned and finally returned to nature.
Today, water treatment plants have multiplied and pollution by nitrates and pesticides is becoming very rare. Regarding lead, the water distributed contains very little. Only the old pipelines and un-renovated buildings can still have the lead. In this case, stagnant water can be loaded with lead. It is, therefore, recommended to let the tap water run for a moment before consuming it.
Depending on the region, the tap water is more or less chlorinated to destroy the bacteria that may be there. Consumed in excess, chlorine promotes the acidity of the body. But, its amount in the water is very small and does not represent a reason to avoid tap water. In the same way, if the limestone gives an unpleasant taste to the water, it is however without danger on the health.
Some question about the presence of drug residues in the water. To date, no scientific study has proved their significant presence, which does not mean, however, that they are totally absent.
Is Kitchen filters Really Useful?
In developed and under-developed countries, trust in tap water remains very relative. Filtering systems are then adopted in order to obtain water of even better quality despite the many controls already carried out. But according to the National Agency of Sanitary Security (ANSES), the effectiveness of these Jugs is questionable. The filter cartridges thus prove to be microbe nests and the filter decanters then contribute to the spread of microbes in the water.
Tap water is the most controlled food product in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, France and most of the countries. So, its consumption is safe for 95.0 % of consumers. However, another 5% of the population receives non-compliant water, mainly in intensive agriculture areas, and in small rural communities.
How to Choose Bottled Water?
Bottled waters are naturally drinkable and do not undergo any treatment. There are two types of bottled water:
They come from the river; dams and underground water tables located in all regions, and are subject to the same regulations as tap water. They must meet all the criteria of the potability and therefore contain about as many minerals as tap water. They do not undergo any treatment; the people think that the bottled water is thus purer than that of the tap, even if the difference remains very small.
Their origin is underground, just like spring water. On the other hand, they are subject to specific standards and can reach high levels of minerals that are not tolerated for tap water.
The first factor to consider when choosing a water bottle is the amount of dry residue it contains. It is the number of minerals (sodium, magnesium, sulfate, calcium, etc.) remaining once the water is evaporated. Contrary to what one might think, good water is a little mineralized water. Excessive consumption of minerals can be harmful to the body. The presence of minerals in large quantities in the water can interact with those brought by the food, reducing the assimilation of these. The dry residue should thus ideally be less than 100 mg/l. It is identifiable after the nutritional values of the bottle by the words: “180 ° dry residues”, “180 ° dry extract”, “total mineral salts content at 180 °.
Read On: Best Water Bottle for Travel
In general, people consume mineral water in a limited way. They are often too rich in sodium and other minerals. The argument often put forward by these waters is that the presence of minerals can reduce some deficiencies, including calcium and magnesium. However, the assimilation of calcium and magnesium in these waters is low. Thus, these waters are of little interest and should not be consumed daily. When deficient, mineral water is not a solution, deficits in magnesium or calcium can’t be restored with water, you restore through a better diet.
Spring Water Vs Mineral Water:
On the other hand, spring waters contain significantly lesser minerals and may be suitable for everyday use. People take an interest in the replacement of tap water. In case, it has a too pronounced taste of chlorine for example or in polluted rural areas.
The second element to consider is the pH of the water. The stomach is a very acidic environment, and the too much consumption of basic water (as opposed to acidity) can disrupt gastric digestion. The pH of the water must, therefore, be neutral to slightly acidic (between 6.5 and 7). On the label, the pH indication is after the dry residue.
Are Plastic Particles available in Bottled Water?
Bottled water of many brands is contaminated by tiny plastic particles that come loose and migrate into the water. The risk of transferring particles to food is even greater with heat and light, which contribute to plastic degradation.
For the moment, we have unknown dangers to our health and further studies needed to know if we really need to worry about their presence.
Read More: All about the Insulated Water Bottles
Is Sparkling Water Interesting?
You can consume soda water but in small quantities during large meals. As the acidity of our stomach becomes very high. Or for people who suffer from gastric acidity. Indeed, it promotes digestion because the bicarbonate contained in the water. It contributes to the neutralization of the acidity produced during digestion. It also regulates the pH of a stomach too acidic. Nevertheless, you should avoid in case of bloating because it releases gas in the digestive tract.
In addition, bicarbonate is useful for athletes to reduce the acidity that has been produced in quantity by the muscles during an effort. This acidity, called lactic acid, causes muscle aches and pains. Following an effort, the consumption of sparkling water will then make it possible to reduce muscular fatigue more quickly, by regulating the tissue acidity, and thus accelerate the recovery.
Sparkling water can be consumed from time to time but must not be the major source of water for the body because they are loaded with minerals. In the two previous cases, it is better to favor an occasional consumption of the least mineralized aerated water possible and rich in sodium bicarbonates (> 600mg/l).
Making Environment of the Bottled Water:
The production of bottled water is an extremely energy intensive process. Between the transport of raw materials, the manufacturing process, and the routing to supermarkets, it is a balance of 8kg of CO2 released per liter of water. That is to say, as much as a car that rolls 80 km, for a single bottle of 1.5 L.
In addition, once drunk, the bottles end up in landfills, incinerators, recycling centers, or in the wild. Discharge and incineration are problematic options because they release toxins into the soil we grow and into the air we breathe.
Most tap water has a distribution system that is much more economical and less energy consuming than bottled water.
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Finally, What to Do?
1- For your daily consumption, prefer tap water, cheap, quality and environmentally friendly. Buy the coldest bottle to carry the water with for regular drinking need of the day.
2- If you are living in a risky area or you don’t like it. Go for very low mineralized spring water with a dry residue rate below 100mg/l and a pH between 6.5 and 7.
3- Avoid mineral waters. If you are deficient, do not see the mineral water as the solution and try to fill your gaps through a more suitable diet.
Following an effort or a hearty meal, you can drink a glass of sparkling water rich in bicarbonate to reduce the acidity of the body.
The most suitable and healthy option is to buy a Stainless Steel Water Bottle, that is reusable and fill it with normal tap water and keep drinking healthy liquid at regular intervals with low cost.