Water is water, right? Not quite.
While nearly all of these options are clean and drinkable, they each come with their own pros and cons to consider. Many American’s do not give much thought to where their water is coming from, and odds are you do not need to.
However, if you want to use water as a healthy replacement for other sugary beverages, one of these options may be a healthier, yet similar choice.
For the vast majority of US residents, their tap water is clean to drink right out of the facet. Tap water can come either from a city supply or a private well.
City water supplies add chemicals to kill bacteria, fluoride to protect teeth, and filtration for debris. Private wells have a choice in regard to if they use chemicals or not.
Filtered Water (common bottled water)
This is the most common type of bottled water. It simply is tap water that is filtered to remove the chemicals that are present in tap water.
Some people will claim that bottled water tastes better than tap water. The difference in taste is largely due to the absence of chemicals.
Despite the name, it is rare that spring water is actually bottled at the source. Because spring water needs to be transported to a bottling facility, it commonly has to be treated with chemicals, just like tap water (though maybe to a lesser degree). This process will vary depending on the water brand.
Think spring water but with the presence of minerals like sulfur, magnesium, and calcium. For this reason, mineral water has nutrients you will not find in regular water. If you are eating a healthy diet, you likely are already receiving enough of each mineral anyway, so supplmeneting it in water is not necessary.
This water has a higher pH level and contains alkaline minerals and negative oxidation-reduction potential.
Simply put the higher pH level helps neutralize acid in the body. Too much alkaline water though and you could reduce your stomach acid, resulting in a decreased ability for your stomach to kill harmful bacteria.
This is what we were referring to when we mentioned a potential substitute for sugary beverages.
Sparkling water is infused with carbon dioxide to give it a bubbly feel, similar to soda. There are now many different flavors and brands of sparkling water available at most grocery stores – each with unique flavors. You will need to consider how you feel about artificial sweeteners, as these are common in sparkling water.
However if you are switching from soda to sparkling water, it can be a big step in the right direction!