There’s so many options to choose from with bottled water, water filters and water purifiers. In this post I will explain the types of bottled water and help you understand which water you should be buying.

I want to start by telling you that I am not a fan of bottled water because plastic bottles are proven to be an endocrine disruptor meaning the plastics in the bottle can  increase your estrogen levels and decrease your testosterone. Even if they claim to be BPA. free, they still have a plethora of other chemicals that are in the water as soon as that bottle hits room temperature. If you store your water cold, that’s great but they aren’t shipped or stored cold in the stores you buy from. I use bottled water only when there is no other option. Athletes are often given water in bottles at events, practices and games. Control the environment you can, and use the plastic bottles when you don’t have another choice. Otherwise, use a Hydroflask or similar metal container with filtered water.  (you can get a non name brand flask on Amazon for 1/2 the price and it works just as well.)

Main types of water at the store:

  1. Spring Water is water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth. Spring water must be collected only at the spring or through a borehole tapping the underground formation feeding the spring. (Evian, Poland Springs, Mountain Valley Spring)
  2. Mineral water is natural water containing not less than 250 parts per million total dissolved solids. Mineral water is distinguished from other types of bottled water by its constant level and relative proportions of mineral and trace elements at the point of emergence from the source. No minerals can be added to this product. (Perrier, Gerolsteiner, Pellegrino, Volvic)
  3. Artisan Water- ground water that comes to the surface from pressure below the spring. Water will rise above the top of the aquifer and may even flow from the well onto the land surface. Water confined in this way is said to be under artesian pressure, and the aquifer is called an artesian aquifer.  (FIJI Water, VOSS, Eternal Water, JANA)
  4. Purified water is water that has been produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis, or other suitable processes while meeting the definition of “purified water” in the U.S. Pharmacopeia. Some people think of this as purified tap water but it must reach the purified and sterile conditions of the US Pharmacopeia to be bottled and sold.(Aquafina, Dasani, Nestle Pure Life, Smart Water, Penta, Core, Lifewtr)
  • it’s important to note that when a water label such as Smart Water says “electrolytes added they do not mean it helps hydration. Those electrolytes are add in for flavor only to replace what they removed from the water during the purification process. If you look at the label there is no sodium and it clearly states that electrolytes  are added in for flavor.

The following are types of water purifications:

  • Distilled – Boiled water that pulls out contaminates and impurities. Distilled water can pull in minerals from any material it touches. This means it can absorb trace amounts of plastic or whatever substance is in the container that’s holding it. Especially those cheap plastic gallon containers. It is also missing any minerals that we need from water.  (Smart Water)
  • Reverse osmosis- filters the water through a special material called a semipermeable membrane. This material allows fluid to go through, but it removes salt and impurities. (Penta, Propel, Dasani, Aquafina, Core, LIFEWTR, Essentia)
  • Ozonation– ozone (O3) is put through UV light and exposed to the water to remove any chemicals, organic and inorganic pollutants . It also removes bacteria, viruses and protozoa. As well as bad tastes and flavors. Ideal for purifying water from contaminated sources. In rat studies ozone water was able to lower inflammation and inflammatory markers such as TNF-a and increase SOD antioxidant. (both which could be helpful for athletes) . In my opinion ozone is the future of healing and medical treatment, we are only about to see the beginning of this use to help medical advancements and injury recovery.  (Penta)
  • De-ionized-treated water that removes salt and other mineral ions (molecules) from water. (electrolytes  are ions) similar to distilled but said to be more pure. (Essentia, Smart water PH)

When products such as Smart Water say “electrolytes added” they are simply putting back the minerals they removed when distilling the water. It is NOT enough to replace electrolytes lost when you sweat or are active. It is just to help the taste of the water because distilled water doesn’t taste good.

Alkaline Water

This topic gets it’s own area because it’s such a trending. Whats the deal with alkaline water? Heres the deal…

There’s two types of alkaline water.

  1. Most alkaline water we get in the stores is treated by a method called ionization which removes all of the minerals . You have to make sure they add minerals back in.
  2. Chemically treated -Most alkaline water we get in the stores is treated by a method called ionization which removes all of the minerals . You have to make sure they add minerals back in.

*** side note this is very similar to enriching foods. Most wheat products are enriched to put back in the nutrients removed during processing of the bread. ****.

Your stomach acid is about 2-3.5 pH which is highly acidic.  You need this so you can break down food and digest it properly. We don’t want to change our stomach acid and our body works hard to maintain homeostasis which is the state of being equal. If we try to throw things off it will work to balance them back out. We should have a blood ph of about 7.36-7.44 (slightly alkaline). If we become too acidic or alkaline our body will work hard to get back to normal. If people were walking around with acidosis or alkalosis they would know, and probably end up in a hospital pretty quickly. In other words – unlike the marketing and advertising we see people  aren’t all fighting a battle of being too acidic. Eating steak isn’t throwing you into acidosis because it has amino acids. Metabolism just doesn’t work that way.

Let’s get back to stomach acid. Once water hits that stomach acid it’s no longer alkaline. End of story. There’s no way drinking water at a PH of 9 is going to change your blood pH levels and you really don’t want it to. If you already have low stomach acid or low pepsin production you definitely don’t want to drink alkaline water. We need stomach acid to digest food and kill bacteria. Measuring a change in your urine pH doesn’t give a reflection of your blood pH.

Why do people want to drink Alkaline water ? I’d love to answer this but my answer is- I have no idea really. This all started with the premise that an acidic diet can lead to osteoporosis, or weakening of the bones. Ironically a diet higher in protein is linked to stronger bones, which throws this theory out the door. 

However a lot of people seem to think their is evidence behind drinking this water so  I searched Pubmed for hours to give you guys some evidence based studies that show a reason to drink alkaline water. Everything I found was in vitro (not inside a body) or in a mouse. From some blog posts and website that sell alkaline water they claim it helps prevent oxidation in your body. I think some people believe their diet is “acidic” and need to balance that out with an alkaline diet to prevent osteoporosis and oxidation. Most people who care enough about their water going into their bodies also care about the food too and I doubt they are eating a highly processed acidic diet. And if they are, they should focus on changing their food then worry about their water.

All of this means that you can drink alkaline water all day but there’s no evidence to say that it is doing anything to help your health. And if you have low stomach acid it could possibly be making things worse.

Which water is the best to buy and drink?

That is up to you. If you want to drink bottled water and have no budget I would suggest Penta, simply because it is ozonated. Otherwise I would drink a mineral water from a glass bottle ( I like Mountain Valley Spring Water b/c they only use glass and aluminum bottles) or whatever bottled water you feel tastes best and is in your price range. I personally don’t drink bottled water unless it’s absolutely necessary. I use a Berkey water filter and fill up my metal flasks which I carry without throughout the day. The next post will be on home water filters……