What type of water do you prefer? The difference is not just between tap water and bottled water; there are more classifications of water than most of us realize. Take a look, there’s:
- Ground water found in underground cracks and spaces in soil, sand, and rock
- Mineral water defined as water with more than 250 parts per million of total dissolved solids
- Artesian water which is well water collected with external force. If you visit Hawaii for a week or so, your tour guide may advise you to transition slowly back to your normal drinking water when you return home, as their artesian water is so pure.
- Demineralized water, i.e. distilled water
- Sparkling water has the same level of carbon dioxide as the original source, but may have been replenished during treatment
- Spring water comes from underground sources
- Sterile water, which is required to meet specific US sterility guidelines
- Well water which is taken from a hole bored or drilled into the ground to tap into the source.
It’s probably no surprise that the United States is the largest market for bottled water worldwide; followed by Mexico, China, and Brazil. According to Wikipedia, the number of brands have sky rocketed – in 1970, there were 16 reported brands; by 1998, there were 50; and by 2012, there were 195 brands available.
What makes mineral water stand out and be perceived by many to be a healthier choice? Basically, it’s the mineral content found in the water; you’re drinking water which is good for your body, plus you’re adding some nutrients at the same time. Depending on the brand you select, the amount of mineral content can vary depending on the source. For instance, Vichy water from France has a high sodium content; one liter equates to about half the daily requirement for sodium, a factor to consider is you’re trying to minimize your sodium intake.
Most mineral water is imported from Europe. It is bottled at the source from natural springs known for their high mineral content. Mineral water is not chemically processed as is most water and has no additional minerals added per the FDA. Some mineral water may be carbonated naturally; some may have carbonation added. There is also a non-carbonated mineral water, known as still water; however, it is not readily available in the United States.
Mineral water usually contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, or sodium in varying percentages. These minerals help to regulate blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and nerve functions. Calcium is well-known to help strengthen bones. These minerals promote good digestive health, nerve impulses, and muscle contractions. It’s no wonder that many athletes drink mineral water regularly for the added boost of nutrients.
There is a myth that regular drinking of mineral water can damage tooth enamel; however, there is far less risk of that versus the damage caused by a steady intake of sodas.
Mineral water does have a distinctive taste. If you don’t particularly like that taste, simply add lemon, fruit, or lime until you get the flavor you like. Give mineral water a try; supplement some of your daily water with the additional nutrients from a natural source.
Sources: quickanddirtytips.com / medicalnewstoday.com