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Did you know that bottled water is the No. 1 beverage in the United States, by volume? Every person in America is drinking an average of 43.7 gallons (165 liters) of bottled water per year.
There is no denial that hydration is an essential part of our overall health routine. But have you ever asked yourself what kind of water might be best for you?
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We would love to share our latest water knowledge with you. Let’s start with the basics.
Table of contents
- What are the Different Types of Water?
- What is Tap Water?
- And What is Drinking Water?
- Is Bottled Water The Best Water to Drink?
- What is Filtered Water?
- What is Reverse-Osmosis Water?
- Is Mineral Water The Best Water to Drink?
- Is Spring Water The Best Water to Drink?
- What is the Difference Between Spring Water and Artesian Water?
- What Is Well Water?
- What is Purified Water The Best Water to Drink?
- What is Alkaline Water?
- A Word From healthylifestyle.com
What are the Different Types of Water?
According to the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine women who appear to be adequately hydrated consume an average of approximately 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of total water. But which water is the best? Just going through your local supermarket isle raises the question: you will note that there are so many different types of water. But what are these many different bottles of brand ? And which one should we take home?
What is Tap Water?
Tap water (also known as faucet water, running water, or municipal water) is water running through a tap, a water dispenser or valve. People commonly use it for drinking, cooking, washing, and toilet flushing. In many countries, tap water is associated with drinking water because local governmental agencies commonly regulate its quality. For example, tap water is treated with chlorine or chloramines. According to the CDC “chlorine levels up to 4 milligrams per liter (mg/L or 4 parts per million (ppm)) are considered safe in drinking water. At this level, harmful health effects are unlikely to occur.”
Is Tap Water Safe to Drink?
The best way to tell exactly what’s in our water is to have it professionally tested, but there are a few ways to screen for contaminants using our senses.
- A good rule of thumb is to check for cloudiness.
- Make sure there are no colors in the water.
- If your water smells like bleach, be wary of excess chlorine.
- If water smells fishy, it could be a sign of barium or cadmium.
- A metallic taste could signal the presence of excess iron or copper.
What Else is in Our Tap Water?
Water provider treat tap water with fluoride. It is important to understand that certain people are vulnerable to fluoride in drinking water. For example bottle-fed infants whose formula is made with tap water or patients undergoing dialysis. Scientists are also not sure if fluoride may be toxic to the developing brain.
And What is Drinking Water?
According to the CDC “Drinking water comes from a variety of sources including public water systems, private wells, or bottled water. Ensuring safe and healthy drinking water may be as simple as turning on the tap from an EPA-regulated public water system. Other water sources may need a water filter, a check on water fluoridation, or an inspection to ensure a septic tank is not too close to a private well.” As a result, we should check the source of our drinking water. In addition, we might even test a sample before drinking it. This is especially the case if we use it for infants, immune compromised patients and as our primarily source of drinking water.
Is Bottled Water The Best Water to Drink?
According to the CDC “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the safety of bottled water. If these standards are met, water is considered safe for most healthy individuals. The bottled water industry must also follow FDA’s good manufacturing practices for processing and bottling drinking water.” The CDC encourages consumers to “read the label on your bottled water to learn where the water comes from and how it has been treated to make it safe for drinking.”
Cryptosporidium in Bottled Water?
The CDC encourages “consumers with weakened immune systems, such as people with HIV, diabetes, organ transplants or going through chemotherapy, to take special precautions with the water they drink. The reason is that the parasite Cryptosporidium can cause chronic or severe illness and even life-threatening symptoms in people with weakened immune systems. Healthy people would be more likely to develop a mild illness from this parasite.
Look for the following types of treatments for bottled water that protect against Cryptosporidium:
- Reverse osmosis
- Filtration with an absolute 1 micron filter
What is Filtered Water?
Many people use filters to clean their water. But different water filters have different functions. Some can make your water taste better, while others can filter out harmful chemicals or germs. No single filter can keep every type of contaminant out of your drinking water, and not everyone needs a water filter.
How to Find a Good Water Filter?
The NSF International is an independent organization that develops public health standards for products. Therefore look for an NSF certification on the label. You can look up specific products in the NSF database online to see what they are certified to protect against. In addition, look at the pore size of the filter. The size of the tiny holes in a filter that let water through makes a difference. The smaller the pores, the smaller the contaminants they keep out. If a filter has an “absolute” pore size of 1 micron, for example, each and every one of the filter’s pores is 1 micron or smaller.
What is Reverse-Osmosis Water?
Reverse osmosis is a water purification process . It uses a permeable membrane to separate ions, unwanted molecules and larger particles from drinking water. Unfortunately, the process removes both harmful contaminants present in the water, as well as some desirable minerals.
Furthermore, household reverse-osmosis units use a lot of water. The reason is that they have low back pressure. As a result, they recover only 5 to 15% of the water entering the system. The system discharges the rest as waste water.
Is Reverse Osmosis Water Healthy?
According to the World Health Organization“drinking water should contain minimum levels of certain essential minerals.” The reason is that drinking water with sufficient levels in calcium or magnesium has certain health benefits.
A study published in the Med J Armed Forces India points out that “recent studies also suggest that the intake of soft water, i.e. water low in calcium, may be associated with higher risk of fracture in children, certain neurodegenerative diseases, pre-term birth and low weight at birth and some types of cancer. In addition to an increased risk of sudden death, the intake of water low in magnesium seems to be associated with a higher risk of motor neuronal disease, pregnancy disorders (so-called preeclampsia) and some types of cancer.”
The FDA points out that bacteria can “grow” through membranes used in the process.
It is important to mention that these systems can be very helpful if your tap water quality is poor. But research suggests to be mindful otherwise and not drink But probably not gallons every day. Unless, of course, you make you get your minerals from other sources.
Is Mineral Water The Best Water to Drink?
Mineral water is water from a natural mineral spring. It contains various minerals, such as salts and sulfur compounds depending on the spring. It can be classified as still or sparkling.
The FDA labels mineral water as bottled water. In addition, per FDA, mineral water has to contain at least 250 parts per million (ppm) “total dissolved solids” (TDS) that come from “a geologically and physically protected underground water source.” This TDS content is the main difference between spring water and mineral water. Anything below that margin is spring water then, assuming it came from an actual spring in an unaltered state.
Health Benefits of Mineral Water?
Due to its unique composition of minerals and organic compounds, natural mineral water may offer some health benefits. This certainly depends on the exact mineral composition which depends on the source. According to healthline.com mineral water can promote:
- Bone health
- Heart health
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve constipation
When buying mineral water consider that there is a difference between plastic and glass bottles. Bisphenol A (BPA) is widely used in polycarbonate plastics. BPA is harmful for our health. We can find it in some plastic bottles and even in unfiltered tap water.
Is Spring Water The Best Water to Drink?
According to the FDA spring water is “derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface, this water must be collected only at the spring or through a borehole that taps the underground formation feeding the spring.”
It is characterized by its purity at source. Magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium are the main minerals found in spring waters.
Is Spring Water Healthy?
Theoretically spring water is one believed to be of the best waters available. But the quality of water discharged by springs can vary greatly. It depends on factors such as the quality of the water that recharges the aquifer and the type of rocks with which the groundwater is in contact. In addition, microbes, viruses, and bacteria do not die just from being underground.
What is the Difference Between Spring Water and Artesian Water?
According to geology.com “”Artesian water” is water produced from an artesian well. To be an artesian well, the water in the aquifer (a subsurface rock unit that holds and transmits water) must be under enough pressure to force it up the well to a level that is higher than the top of the aquifer. Although this is an interesting geological situation, artesian water has no special chemical or medicinal qualities.”
The difference between spring water and artesian water is that a well is dug into the ground in order to tap into the underground spring. On the other hand, an aquifer is an underground layer of permeable rock containing water which is bottled and sold as artisan water.
What Is Well Water?
A well is a hole drilled into the ground to access water contained in an aquifer. A pipe and a pump are used to pull water out of the ground. Water wells come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the type of material the well is drilled into and how much water is being pumped out.
Potential Health Problems Due to Well Water
Heavy metals can contaminate wells through groundwater movement and surface water seepage and run-off. If people consume high levels of heavy metals they risk acute and chronic toxicity, liver, kidney, and intestinal damage, anemia, and cancer. In addition, septic tanks and agricultural run-offcan cause contamination. Consider regular testing and treatment of your well water. According to the CDC The most common types of household water treatment systems consist of:
A water filter is a device which removes impurities from water by means of a physical barrier, chemical, and/or biological process.
A water softener is a device that reduces the hardness of the water. A water softener typically uses sodium or potassium ions to replace calcium and magnesium ions, the ions that create “hardness.”
Distillation is a process in which impure water is boiled and the steam is collected and condensed in a separate container, leaving many of the solid contaminants behind.
Disinfection is a physical or chemical process in which pathogenic microorganisms are deactivated or killed. Examples of chemical disinfectants are chlorine, chlorine dioxide, and ozone. Examples of physical disinfectants include ultraviolet light, electronic radiation, and heat.”
What is Purified Water The Best Water to Drink?
Purified water is water that has been mechanically filtered or processed to remove impurities and make it suitable for use.
According to wikipedia “distillation removes all minerals from water, and the membrane methods of reverse osmosis and nanofiltration remove most, or virtually all, minerals. This results in demineralized water, which has not been proven to be healthier than drinking water. The World Health Organization investigated the health effects of demineralized water in 1980, and its experiments in humans found that demineralized water increased diuresis and the elimination of electrolytes, with decreased serum potassium concentration.Magnesium, calcium and other nutrients in water can help to protect against nutritional deficiency.”
What is the Difference Between Spring Water and Purified Water?
As we learned before, spring water is natural water that is untreated by humans. Whereas purified water can come from different sources and then get treated to meet FDA regulations.
Is There a Difference Between Purified Water And Distilled Water?
Distilled water is a type of purified water. It had both contaminants and minerals removed. On the other hand purified water has had chemicals and contaminants removed, but it may still contain minerals.
What is Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water is water that has a higher pH level than regular tap water. The pH of something refers to how acidic or basic (also called alkaline) it is on a scale of 0 to 14, with 1 being very acidic and 14 being very alkaline. Regular tap water typically has a pH of 7, which is considered neutral.
It can come from natural springs that give the water a higher pH. Alternatively we can simply make our own by adding baking soda to tap water, by using a water ionizing machine, or by using a specific filtration system to create it. One can also buy it bottled. In this case it is subject to regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It sometimes has nutrients added to it to achieve an alkaline pH.
There is a school of thought claiming we should reduce our consumption of acidic foods and increase our consumption of alkaline foods.
Because alkaline water has a higher pH level than does plain tap water, proponents say that it can neutralize acid in your bloodstream. However, research suggests that alkaline water is unlikely to significantly change blood pH. Furthermore, some studies suggest that alkaline water might help slow bone loss. Unfortunately, it’s not clear if the benefit will last long term.
A Word From healthylifestyle.com
Is there one best water to drink? There definitely isn’t as it depends on the quality of each water and your personal situation. We recommend testing your water and also monitor your blood levels to ensure that your body gets enough minerals and nutrients.
Find your own approach to the best drinking water available and affordable. Drinking water should be a daily habit and not a luxury good. Thus, keep cost efficiency in mind as well.
Enjoy Water – You Will Love What You Can Be.
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