Where would you be without the cool, quenching, and unheralded drink that is water? Especially in the dog days of summer, there’s no more welcome sight than water purifying a particularly pasty mouth.
When you’re looking for a bottle of water to pick up, you may’ve noticed there’s more than just your standard water – you’re met with shelves, sometimes aisles, of options.
For example, the market currently is enthralled with ‘functional waters’, water that does more for the body than hydration, providing vitamins, minerals, herbs or even oxygen.
Even bottled water can come in variations. The Food and Drug Administration can classify bottled water as artesian well water, mineral water, spring water or well water. Other bottled waters are merely tap water that’s been filtered until it’s safe to consume.
How do you choose which water to quench your thirst? Let’s look at some of the more popular forms of the hydrating refreshment.
Mineral water can offer additional calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium to a drinker’s diet. The taste of mineral water can range from no taste at all to a slightly salty one; flavours and mineral counts vary by brand.
It may be surprising, but mineral water can be an excellent source of minerals for your body, providing a significant upswing. Be cautious if you’re monitoring your sodium levels however, as some mineral waters can have a fair amount of saltiness to them.
This carbonated water typically features an essence of fruit, but no added sugars. A potential substitute for soda in terms of feel, the fizzy water comes in a multitude of flavour combos. Perhaps the only concern surrounding sparkling water is the acidity of level of these drinks, and if they decay and deteriorate tooth enamel.
Sparkling water doesn’t provide the same health benefits of say mineral water, but is a much healthier alternative to sodas if you’re looking for a little flavour and fizz.
Alkaline or pH-Balanced Water
Alkaline waters have started to gain steam over the past few years thanks to its ability to keep the body in balance. There are critics of alkaline water who feel another way to maintain a body’s pH balance is unnecessary, as our kidneys do a fine job of that.
There’s actually no evidence that our body truly needs alkaline water to improve pH balance. But, there are types of alkaline water that are enhanced with minerals, like calcium, that can add a boost to bone health.
Coconut and Other Plant Waters
Coconuts aren’t just a source of milk – coconut water is pretty nutritious, too. Found in young coconuts particularly, a standard cup holds just 45 calories as well as electrolytes, such as magnesium, potassium and sodium. Carbohydrates are present in the tropical water as well, making coconut water an excellent source of fuel for exercise. Just remember to choose the unsweetened option to elude any added sugars or calories!
Other plant waters exist too, including artichoke, birch, cactus, maple and watermelon water. However, they’re all so new that there’s no tangible research on the health benefits of any of these plant waters to date.
Activated Charcoal Water
This last form of water isn’t the kind of water as you remember it.
Rather than a clear, blue, transparent appearance, activated charcoal water is chalky, dark, and opaque. Combine the rough exterior with the hefty price tag, and this H2O is more difficult to swallow than other waters.
Activated charcoal water has a different purpose than traditional waters – it’s not meant for hydration. Instead, it’s supposed to act as a cleanser for the body.
You’re likely picking up water to quench your thirst, so you really can’t go wrong with any of the above options (except the charcoal water of course). When deciding what water’s best for you, make your decision off the criteria of taste, added health benefits you need, and how much it costs.