According to a recent study by Beverage Marketing Corp, bottled water is currently America’s favorite beverage by volume. This comes as no big surprise, considering we humans are made up of 70% water and need water to survive. Many large companies have invested heavily in marketing bottled water based on themes of nature and purity.
Drinking water has lots of benefits, so it is no wonder that so many people are moving away from carbonated drinks, which are full of additives and sugars. The health benefits of ‘mineral’ water are well documented. However, what isn’t mentioned is that the refreshing drink in your hand may be doing more harm than good.
Is It Really Mineral Water?
Many experts always say to check the label before buying. The issue with this is that you don’t know if the label is telling the whole truth. This is a common business practice that most of us are aware of but usually ignore.
A lot of so-called purified water actually comes from the same place that tap water does. It may have gone through some extra treatments, but it is still essentially the same thing.
This purified water is refreshing but sadly lacking in essential minerals. This is one reason why the leading brands claim to be superior and list their contents prominently on their packaging.
Water from natural springs and mountains should be higher quality, but the benefits of the contents can be minimized by the bottle itself.
What Was Used to Make the Bottle?
One of the major problems in the environment is the overuse of plastic and its impact on the ecosystems. Plastic is a very common material that is used in all aspects of daily life.
In the case of water, many bottles contain a substance called BPA, which can leach into the bottle’s contents. This contamination has been linked to various health problems, such as leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and type-2 diabetes.
The big problem with this is that BPA is all around us and is a commonly used product. It can also get into natural ecosystems and the water table as a result of breaking down in landfills. So, no matter how conscious you are, it can be quite difficult to avoid.
There has been a conscious effort to use better quality bottles in recent years, but even these bottles can have an adverse impact on the water if they are stored incorrectly.
So, How Pure Is It?
This is a difficult question to answer as we don’t know how the water is treated before it is bottled. We do know that by-products of the water treatment process can remain in the finished product. This is the same for tap water.
As we mentioned above, many brands of bottled water are usually prepared the same way as the local water supply. It may even come from the same source. So there is no real benefit in choosing bottled water over tap water. Chlorine and fluoride can be found in the water, and these are known to be harmful to humans in large doses.
So you might be thinking that mineral water is the safest bet, as it often says that it is natural on the label. Unfortunately, the water didn’t get to the bottle by itself and most likely picked up several unwanted gases, minerals, and sediments along the way. These could either be naturally occurring or human-made.
The truth is that without access to a lab and scientific equipment, it is difficult to tell how pure the water we drink is.
What Do I Do?
The best source of water is usually at the source, in natural springs, streams, or through an artesian well. However, this isn’t so easy to do, or even possible if you live in the city. This leaves you with a choice of tap water or bottled water.
There are a few things we can do to get around this problem. We can make use of filters and reverse osmosis treatment systems. Many people are put off by the high cost of installation, but the cost of buying gallons of water a year from the store can be very high, as can the associated health risks of consuming contaminated water.