Hydration is essential to your health. And, despite all the colorful marketing campaigns for every specially-engineered beverage imaginable, water is still the absolute best way to hydrate. Most doctors recommend at least six to eight glasses a day. As important as it is to drink water, it’s just as important to understand that not all water is created equal. Just because water is drinkable doesn’t mean that it will give your body everything it needs to maintain proper hydration.
Most people know that tap water is one of the worst options when it comes to potable water sources. In some areas, it can even be unsafe for consumption. So most of us turn to the myriad of bottled water options flooding the shelves to meet ever-growing demands. It’s critical to familiarize yourself with the best options, especially since you’re spending money to fulfill your body’s most basic need.
It Starts at the Source
Do you really know where your bottled water is coming from? While every company strives to convince us that it provides the purest water from the most pristine sources, enchanting images of snow-capped mountains and crystal streams on the label are only worth so much.
The bottled water industry has worked hard to appeal to our desire for fresh, pure water that we can trust. The unfortunate truth is that it’s cheaper and easier for most companies to filter regular tap water and simply advertise it as something else. Even if they use a fancy filtration process like reverse osmosis or ionization to sanitize, it’s still tap water.
You should always verify that your water comes from a clean, natural source such as an aquifer or spring. This information is important because the source of the water affects whether it can be contaminated by pollutants. There aren’t many legal regulations governing the bottled water industry, so companies don’t have to disclose much information about the sources of their products. And if a company is choosing not to disclose that information, it’s probably because they don’t want you to know.
What You Can’t See
It’s difficult to judge whether a particular type of bottled water is satisfactory using only your eyes. Unless it’s discolored or murky, most bottled water looks the same. What really matters are the qualities that are too small to see with the naked eye. The best water contains minerals that your body requires to function, including magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, and chloride. You may know these magical little minerals as electrolytes. Most sports beverage makers build their advertising around the addition of electrolytes to their drinks – but these electrolytes occur naturally in high-quality water.
Electrolytes are necessary for all living things to thrive. They not only provide us with essential minerals, but they’re also responsible for the hydrating properties of water itself. Electrolytes carry H2O molecules to cells, maintaining the perfect balance of fluid in organs, muscles, and tissues. They may be invisible to the eye, but they’re immensely significant to our health. Everyone needs to replenish their electrolytes on a daily basis, especially if you’re particularly active. Nearly all of the major players in the bottled water industry are packaging filtered municipal water, which means they’re also filtering out all of those life-sustaining electrolytes. Always opt for water that contains at least some mineral content.
And when was the last time you saw bottled water that disclosed its pH level on the label? Water’s pH level plays an important role in determining its quality. If the pH is at a level eight or higher, the water is alkaline, which increases its efficiency at hydration. Because alkaline water contains smaller H2O molecules, those extra special electrolytes have a much easier time delivering the water molecules to cells throughout your body.
There’s a lot of science that goes into the best-bottled water, but the result is simple and straightforward. Most bottled water companies can get away with selling water that’s no better for you than what comes out of your tap, which means you’re flushing money away and without benefiting your health.
Water From a Volcano?
It’s easy to be duped into buying bottled tap water, which is why it’s so worth it to research water before you purchase. Companies like Waiakea Water are trying to initiate change and accountability throughout the industry. Waiakea pledges to provide full disclosure of its source and to be fully transparent about everything in its water.
This pioneering brand collects water runoff at the base of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii. The water is thus naturally filtered through layer upon layer of mineral-rich volcanic rock. Waiakea’s aquifer is also far removed from the polluting effects of major urban centers, keeping the water pure and untainted. It’s this process that also gives Waiakea water some of the highest mineral content you can find in a bottle. These are the electrolytes your body needs to stay healthy and hydrated. Remember the importance of pH levels in drinking water? Waiakea water has a pH level of 8.2, making it one of the few alkaline bottled waters on the market.
Everyone wants to be more health conscious nowadays, but few people understand just how much our water impacts our health. With so many bottled water options out there, it’s hard to know which ones are best. It’s very easy for companies to mislead consumers about the source and quality of their water, simply because they’re not required to disclose that information. Water brands like Waiakea are making an effort to change the industry. Hopefully, they’ll set a solid example for other bottled water corporations to shift towards more transparency and accountability. For now, Waiakea offers one of the only bottled waters that meet all of the criteria to be a verifiably healthy choice.