What is the best water to drink?

There are multiple factors to consider when deciding what the best water to drink is. Today, you can find water that is not just simple H20, but may also have added minerals, vitamins and fruit flavoring.   

You also can consume water from other sources like tea, coffee, soda, even fruits and vegetables.   

Whether your drinking pure H2O or water with added ingredients, it is still important to address the quality and safety of the water you choose.  

Water quality in the United States is highly monitored. For the most part, tap water is clean and safe to drink. However, other water sources may not be as pure to drink and may contain harmful contaminants.   

This article discusses the various types of water we drink, water quality, safety issues, and the best types of water to drink. 

best water to drink

Different types of drinking water

There are many different types of drinking water. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Tap Water: This is the most common type of drinking water. It is easy to get, pre-treated to eliminate harmful contaminants and designed to be safe to drink.
  • Mineral Water: This water has added minerals that are good for the body like magnesium and calcium and perceived to be healthier than tap water.
  • Spring Water: This water is sourced from an underground aquifer and naturally rises to the surface. If a water is sold as Spring water that implies the water has been bottled at the source.
  • Distilled Water: It typically used for manufacturing or medical purposes. It has gone through a process to remove its minerals through steam technology or ionization.
  • Purified water: This is tap water that goes through a Reverse Osmosis filter removing particulates down to .0001 micron. This type of water is free of contaminants, impurities and is technically the safest water to drink.
  • Bottled water: There are many types of Bottled water from Spring, Filtered, Alkaline, Vitamin and Flavored water. They are more convenient and expensive than tap water to drink.

Which types of water are better than others?

Don’t assume that all bottled water is safe to drink because it’s in a bottle! (1Trusted Source). While Bottlers are supposed to process and clean the water before bottling, studies have found many standard brands to be just Tap water.

The United States has established safety guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for tap water, while bottled water is supposed to be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (2Trusted Source)

To determine which water is better depends on how the water is treated and personal preference in taste.

 

The potential drawbacks of some types of water

No matter where it comes from, all water carries the risk of being contaminated at the source. While most contaminants are harmless, some have the potential to cause severe gastrointestinal illness- such as E. coli. (3Trusted Source) Other sources could contain high levels of minerals that can negatively overwhelm bodily functions.

You might think that because your tap water comes from a municipal water source, it would be automatically monitored and regularly tested for the presence of pathogens. However, this is not always the case. If tap water comes from a private well, you may need to hire an agency to test the water quality regularly. (3Trusted Source).

Something else to think about when it comes to the drawbacks of bottled water is all the plastic waste it creates as well as the added expense over tap water. Furthermore, there are added risks of bottle contamination requiring the FDA to recall bottles of water.

If you have access to safe tap water, drinking it instead of buying bottled water can help you save money and reduce the amount of plastic waste you create.

 

SUMMARY

There are several types of drinking water available with varying degrees of health benefits. Still not all drinking water may be safe to drink and choosing bottled water over tap water will be more costly.

Does water PH matter?

The pH scale measures the acidity or alkalinity of a liquid. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, with lower numbers between 1-5 are acidic and higher numbers of 8+ are alkaline.   

The pH level of most drinking water is neutral, ranging from 6.5 to 7.5. However, some types of water can be more acidic or alkaline. For instance, bottled and distilled water is typically more acidic while commercially-available alkaline waters are more alkaline. (4Trusted Source).   

Since 2010, the Alkaline water category has grown due to the perceived health benefits of consuming more alkaline based foods vs. Acidic foods.  As the American consumer becomes more educated in ways to live a healthy lifestyle, doctors have cited the benefits of eating a more Alkaline based diet.  Studies suggest cancer is fueled by diets that are acidic which occurs when eating foods that are high in salts, fats and starches, whereas a diet of fruits, vegetables and grains are more alkaline. This understanding has led to the growing consumption of Alkaline water for improved health.   

As of now, the science behind this growing trend is limited so it’s best to evaluate for yourself if Alkaline water truly improves your health.

SUMMARY   

The pH of most water is between 6.5 and 7.5. However, distilled & bottled water is technically acidic, while water with a Ph 8+ is alkaline.  The benefits of Ph water is subjective and requires further evaluation. 

What is the importance of minerals?

The human body requires naturally occurring minerals like magnesium and calcium for optimal health, but many tap water sources have other minerals that negatively affect a household. 

Certain water with high levels of minerals can cause deposits or stains in sinks and toilets and may have a slightly discolored appearance.  Extra high mineral levels in water can cause it to appear brown or have a distinct smell. For example, sulfur – although safe to drink at low levels – may cause your water to smell like rotten eggs. (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9).  This type of water is called Hard Water and needs special treatment.  To reduce the mineral content, water companies offer Softeners that are salt based to minimize the mineral content in turn reducing the discoloration, smell and mineral buildup.  

Drinking Water that is advertised as mineral water doesn’t have minerals added to it, but instead comes from an underground source with naturally occurring minerals.   

 

SUMMARY   

Each glass of water you drink contains a small number of minerals, though not enough to have any impact on your health. Water that is classified as ‘hard’ has a higher concentration of minerals and can potentially cause stains, discoloration, or foul odor. ‘Mineral water’ is water that contains naturally occurring minerals, with no additional minerals added.  

Is it advisable to stay away from certain types of water?

Naturally occuring water sources, water from aging infrastructures and water with added sugars should be avoided to the best of your ability.  

Drinking water from natural sources like lakes, ponds, rivers, or the ocean is not recommended. Several contaminants can be found in water sources that can cause serious diseases. In addition, ocean water is too salty to drink and would lead to dehydration rather than hydration. (10).  

Some areas and countries may not have access to clean drinking water. Flint, Michigan is an example; the municipal drinking water became contaminated with lead in 2014 due to corroded water pipes. (11Trusted Source).  

When drinking Bottled Water, another vital factor to consider is the sugar content. Water is essential to a healthy diet, but not all types are created equal. Some waters contain added sugar and calories, so choosing wisely is important.  

Tonic water is a type of carbonated water that is often used to make mixed drinks. Even though it has a bitter taste, it contains a significant amount of sugar. In fact, there are around 32 grams of sugar in a 12-ounce can. (14Trusted Source).  

Popular drinks like Vitaminwater are often called water beverages. However, these drinks contain more than just water – they also have added sugar. (15Trusted Source).  

Although it’s OK to have these drinks occasionally and in moderation, consuming too many sugary beverages has been associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. (16Trusted Source).  

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults limit their intake of added sugars. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain and other health problems. This is about 50 grams or 12 teaspoons per day. (17Trusted Source).  

 

SUMMARY  

Make sure to steer clear of lakes, ponds, rivers, and other natural bodies of water when looking for something to quench your thirst. Also, it’s essential to be aware that some bottled or canned waters, as well as water-based beverages, can contain high levels of added sugars.  

What type of water should you drink?

Most people can drink Tap water without any problems. It is a safe, economical option and produces less plastic waste than bottled water.  

However, if your water from the tap is discolored, has an unpleasant odor, or has received official communication that it is unsafe to consume, you may need to buy a Reverse Osmosis water filter for drinking and cooking. 

Safety and taste may necessitate bottled water even when the local water is safe to drink. This cost can quickly add up and create a lot of plastic waste.  As an alternative, we recommend buying a Reverse Osmosis system, so you get the same great taste and quality of Bottled water, without the increasing cost and plastic waste. 

 

REDUCE PLASTIC WASTE – Why use one-time-use plastic bottles when you can have an easy-to-setup bottle-less water cooler or reverse osmosis filter from us. Our installation is free, so why wait? Give us a call today! 

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Email - mgilmore@aquachill.com

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