Water 101

Today, there are abundant ways to get your water. Tap water, mineral water, spring water, fitness water, water from bottles, water filters, water coolers, and the list goes on and on. What works? What are the differences among them? How much do they cost? Here’s some help.

Bottled Water
It’s becoming more and more popular, despite costing a dollar or two per bottle (and generating a lot of waste). There are many kinds of bottled water.

Spring water comes from underground water springs. It receives the same filtration treatment that all water receives, including tap water, but that’s it. It is the more natural water and is typically characterized as tasting more refreshing.

Mineral water contains minerals or other dissolved substances that alter its taste or give it therapeutic value. Salts, sulfur compounds, and gases are among the substances that can be dissolved in the water. Mineral water, which is often effervescent, and can be prepared or can occur naturally.

The source of bottled water must be listed on its label. Not all bottled water comes from a spring. Many bottles of water contain nothing more than tap water, yet still cost up to $3.00 per bottle. One way to know that bottled water is actually tap water is to read the label. Look for "municipal" sources or words like "public water source" for clues. Dasani and Aquafina brands of bottled water are regular tap water, for example.

Another option is flavored water. Gatorade recently launched its own line of flavored fitness water called Propel, but there are many other options. These waters go through a similar process to mineral water, adding not only minerals and vitamin fortification, but also a hint of artificial flavoring. It’s not much different than mineral water; its main attraction is for individuals who do not like the taste of plain water. Flavored water costs nearly the same as regular bottled water.

Filters
Water filters are a more economically sound purchase. Filters come in several forms; the most popular choices are a filtered water pitcher to be stored in your fridge, or an attachment to your sink faucet. The filters block several elements of tap water, including zinc, chlorine, copper, lead, sediment and other materials, up to 99 percent of each item that comes through your sink. (These additives come from the pipes they flow through, so they are not in bottled spring water). Filters can be purchased for anything from $20 to $60, and are great alternatives to buying bottled water all the time.

Water coolers
Thought these were only for the office? While they require a bit more maintenance than filters, water coolers are another alternative to bottled water. The cooling units are more expensive to buy up front, (the cheapest ones start at $100) but in the long run, will save you money. Five-gallon jugs can be purchased for less than $10 and they equate to 32 regular size bottles of water (20 ounces). Plus, companies will regularly bring you new jugs at your convenience.

The choice is yours, between bottled, flavored, filters or coolers; just make sure you’re drinking 8-12 cups per day. Find out what works best for you and stick with it! It could be key to reaching your nutritional goals.

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints

Member Comments

thanks Report
Grateful to have wonderful cold mineral-y well water here! Report
Thank You for a very informative article. Report
I manage to get my 8 glasses in every day, sometimes I drink the water with fruit in it. Report
when I first switched to water from mostly soda, I drank only bottled spring water. I found that they seemed to make me thirsty and seemed to taste a little salty. I then switched to filtered water for a while. I now usually drink tap from a reused bottle. the thing I like about a water bottle is easier to keep track of how many glasses you are drinking. Report
My sweetie plumbed in a whole house filter in separate cold water line to its own spout in kitchen. We drink this water with every meal, fill our metal gym bottles, and water house plants with it. Also, usin filtered water to make coffee cuts down on gunkie buildup in the maker. Using filtered water to wipe down sink and counter leaves shinier surface. Report
Great info! Report
Good article Report
Thanks for the information! Report
ETHELMERZ
I just make coffee with the house water, drink that iced because it's summer, period. My dietitian told me all liquid you take in all day counts. It is not necessary to wear your poor kidneys out forcing down plain water every danged day. Really. Report
Think "Reverse Osmosis"! It costs some money at the beginning, (around $300,) but is easy to install yourself. It not only removes the things that taste bad, but also the contaminants that make you sick. Most municipal water is safe, but you never know when something will happen that will contaminate the water, nor how long it will take them to find out there is a problem. If you pay a little bit extra, you can get a system that retains the minerals that make water taste good, not tasteless. I drink water all the time, and love my reverse osmosis system. (It also keeps the water glasses cleaner!) Report
We have a filter under our sink with a separate spout for the drinking water. We have a lot of chlorine in our city water. I don't want to think about what else is coming from the old pipes in my house. The family loves it!

If I go to a restaurant, sometimes the water will still taste funny to me, so I usually ask for lemon to put in my water. Report
Over on G+, the picture is of muffins. This says, "Muffins for everyone!"; not a single visual word about "water". Why is this, dear SparkPeople Social Media Liaison..?? Why do we continue to get pictures that don't match the promised content..!?!? Report
RAVENCLAW-ANGEL
This reminds me I need to change my Britta filter! Although I do buy bottled water for when I am on the go or going to a party where there is usually only soda for drinks. Report
I've got a Britta at home and I have a stainless steel bottle and another kind of bottle with a filter that I can fill up and carry with me. I can't stand the chlorine taste of our water. For work I found that even the so called filtered water is disgusting and has stuff floating in it and has a very foul taste. I almost always have Evian water. That is the only kind of bottled water that I find doesn't taste terrible, like the plastic bottle or something, but it is also very expensive. Report