For something as seemingly simple as water, it sure can get complicated. Beyond the many different brands and bottles available at markets, there are questions about types of water and where your water is sourced. Navigating the watery regions can be difficult but knowing the answers to some commonly asked questions about good old H2O can help you understand the nuances and make informed decisions when it comes to staying hydrated.
Is Electrolyte Water Better for You than Alkaline Water?
Electrolyte water is enhanced water that contains electrolytes. The most common electrolyte water is coconut water. If you’re physically active, then electrolyte water can help replenish the electrolytes you lose when you sweat. For rigorous workouts that leave you sweaty and dehydrated, then electrolyte water is the way to go. But if you’re just sitting at your desk or taking it easy, then you don’t need the enhancement. Regular water is just as hydrating and doesn’t contain extra calories or sugar, even those naturally occurring in coconut water.
Alkaline water is based on the alkaline-diet principle that you can neutralize the pH level in your blood to reap more nutritional benefits. The alkaline diet is highly controversial and the water is too. There’s no proof that drinking alkaline water helps regulate your blood’s pH levels since your body does that already.
What Is the Difference Between Spring and Mineral Water?
Both spring and mineral waters come from underground sources, as per FDA regulations.
With spring water, the water flows naturally to the earth’s surface before it is collected. Mineral water also flows to the earth’s surface, but not before passing through rocks and elements that allow it to collect minerals before it is processed. Although spring and mineral waters are alike, they pick up different minerals on their journey and thus taste a little different because they have slightly different compositions.
Spring and mineral waters are both regulated for labeling purposes. Not all bottled water is spring or mineral water; some is tap water that has been filtered or treated before being bottled.
Does Sparkling Water Hydrate You as Much as Regular Water?
Whether you have a SodaStream or just opt for bottled bubbles, many people wonder if sparkling water is as hydrating as regular water. Fear not, the answer is yes.
If you prefer bubbles to still water, you’re not alone. That tickle under your nose makes water much more palatable for many people. And although there are rumors that the carbonation leeches calcium from your bones or rots your teeth, the evidence is pretty limited and skewed. So feel free to drink the bubbly stuff if you enjoy it.
Is Tap Water Really That Bad for You?
Crises like the one in Flint, Michigan have people more concerned than ever about the quality of their tap water. While tap water is regulated by the government and should be safe – and it is when compared to the water available in third world countries – studies have found that most tap water contains numerous contaminants including carcinogens.
Many bottled waters are nothing more than tap water, so your best bet is to install a quality water filter on your kitchen faucet that filters out a wide range of contaminants, not just chlorine and zinc.
Choose your drinking water carefully and hydrate well.