To maintain a glowing complexion you should drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. We’ve all heard the recommendations and most of us try our best to follow the advice. Drinking water used to be as simple as turning on the faucet. With so many choices out there, we’ve been wondering are all waters created equally?
The easy answer is all waters will hydrate you, but there are pros and cons to all.
Depending on where you live, your tap water will come from either a well or a municipal water source. Well water comes from a hole drilled in the ground that taps into a water source. You can have your well water tested for contaminants. Municipal water has usually been treated, processed and disinfected. It is purified with chlorine and generally has added fluoride. Even still there can be contaminants including radioactive elements, arsenic, and nitrates naturally found in tap water. A good quality, whole house water filter will remove the worst contaminants from your source water (tap or well) without removing the naturally occurring minerals, which are critical for optimal health. Other filters (counter-top, under sink, or pitcher) are effective at removing contaminants as well. In the US you can check with the EPA on the quality of your local water to ensure it is safe to drink (http://water.epa.gov/drink/local/). It’s still the cheapest option and with the proper filter maybe the healthiest.
Bottled water is convenient when you are on the go, but you can’t assume it is healthier than tap water. There are a few issues to consider with bottled water. Most bottled water comes in plastic bottles. Not only is it possible for dangerous toxins from some plastic water bottles to leach into your water, there is a hefty environmental impact of the plastic. 80% of plastic bottles do not get recycled in the US, they end up in landfills. And those that end up in oceans degrade, adding chemicals into the water supply. Source, taste and quality are other considerations.
Spring, Artesianal, or Mineral water
All of these waters come from a natural source. Natural spring water flows up from a natural spring and is bottled at the source. Artesian waters come from a natural source but are bottled off-site and are processed and purified. Mineral water could be natural spring water or artesian water, comes from an underground source, and contains at least 250 parts per million (ppm) of dissolved solids, including minerals and trace elements. The taste for these waters is usually more consistent and pleasant then regular tap water. All bottled water must be tested and meet regulatory standards in the US. However, according to the EPA, ground water sources for bottled water, just like tap water, can still contain naturally high amounts of certain contaminants, including radioactive elements, arsenic, and nitrates, or be vulnerable to contamination from human activities. You can request the latest testing for contaminants and any information on how the water has been treated from the bottler of the water you are purchasing.
Purified water can start out as any water, including municipal water, that has been purified to remove any chemicals or contaminants. Types of purification include distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis, and carbon filtration. The advantage of purified water is that potentially harmful chemicals may be taken out and the disadvantage being that beneficial minerals may be taken out as well.
Naturally refreshing, coconut water has a sweet, nutty taste. It contains easily digested carbohydrate in the form of sugar and electrolytes. It has fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than a sports drink and much less sugar than sodas and some fruit juices. However, coconut water has more calories than plain water. One 11-ounce container has 60 calories. If you are drinking solely coconut water to stay hydrated the calories can add up quickly. Coconut water has been found to be effective at replacing lost fluids in athletes, but for most people, regular water is good enough. And beware, coconut water with added sugar or juices are no different from other sugary beverages.
Newer to the market, maple water is the sap from the maple tree in its pure form, before it is boiled down to the sweet, sticky syrup that is used to coat pancakes and waffles. While there is some research that shows maple syrup contains more than 50 different phytonutrients, including polyphenols and lignans, which have cancer fighting properties, maple water has not been found to offer the compounds in nutritionally significant quantities. Maple water is also high in sugar. One serving of maple water contains three to four grams of sugar, compared to the zero grams of sugar found in regular water. Still better than soda, but if you are watching your sugar intake you should not consume maple water in large amounts.
Which water do you drink? Based on this article will you be making any changes to the water you drink? Share with us in the comments below.
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