Choices! We all like choices – paper or plastic, red or blue, steak or chicken, etc., etc. In terms of choices, it seems like bottled water brands are growing by leaps and bounds every day. It seems that there are now hundreds of choices for bottled water, the most common are listed below:
Spring Water – This is water that is taken from an underground spring containing significant amounts of minerals. Generally, the structure of the water is not altered although it may go through carbon filtration, ultraviolet disinfection and ozonation. This is often called “mineral water” if it has over 250 parts per million (ppm) of total dissolved solids.
Purified Water – Water is generally purified by a a variety of processes including deionization (DI), reverse osmosis (RO) and distillation. This water can essentially be from any source – municipal or well – because it goes through numerous processes, such as filtration, softening, carbon filtration, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet and ozone. It has to meet the FDA standards for purity. Aquafina is an example of water that has been purified by the above processes. On the other hand, some brands, like Dasani, add minerals back to the water.
Water With Additives – Some companies are adding things to the water such as carbon dioxide, to give it a sparkling effect, flavors such as cherry, lemon, line and others. Some allegedly add vitamins and minerals back to the water, which you may assume are good for you, but one thing to consider is this: Is water a significant source of vitamins and minerals? The answer is generally “NO.” You get vitamins and minerals in significant amounts from foods and supplements, not water.
I believe that it is vitally important to drink water that is as pure and contaminant-free as possible. There are thousands of potentially toxic chemical contaminants which can be in the water supply that can be easily removed by carbon filtration and reverse osmosis. That combination of technology removes the widest spectrum of contaminants of any of the water treatment processes. Many people (myself included) have home reverse osmosis systems which provide exceptionally high purity water for just pennies a gallon, but when traveling I generally buy Aquafina or Dasani because I know it has been purified by the best available technology.