What’s the difference between all these bottled waters?

What’s the difference between all these bottled waters?

We all know that we need to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water is not only essential for survival, but also has many health benefits – from healthier looking skin to protecting your immune system.

“Avoiding dehydration is important because more than half the human body is made up of water,” says Mallory Storrs, a dietitian at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, Ill. “More than 80% of our lungs are water, and the heart and brain are each nearly 75%.”

There are many kinds of bottled water that can vary in taste and in pH levels. According to the International Bottled Water Association:

  • Spring water is water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth.
  • Purified water is water that has been produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis or other suitable processes while meeting the definition of purified water in the United States Pharmacopoeia.
  • Mineral water is natural water distinguished from other types of bottled water by its constant level and relative proportions of mineral and trace elements at the point of emergence from the source. No minerals can be added to this product.
  • Sparkling bottled water is water that, after treatment and possible replacement with carbon dioxide, contains the same amount of carbon dioxide that it had as it emerged from the source.
  • Artesian water/Artesian well water is water from a well that taps a confined aquifer (a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand) in which the water level stands at some height above the top of the aquifer.
  • Well water is water from a hole bored, drilled or otherwise constructed in the ground, which taps the water aquifer.

There is also alkaline water, which has a higher pH level than tap water, meaning it is less acidic.

So, what’s the difference between all these waters? Do they all have the same benefits?

Alkaline water has a higher pH than normal tap water, but there have been a number of studies showing that, while there is no evidence alkaline water has harmful effects, there is also no evidence to support the health benefits of alkaline water.

Essentially, if all systems in the body are properly functioning, the pH of the blood won’t change much anyway. That’s why health experts say the amount of water consumed is more important than the type of water consumed.

But how much should you drink?

Storrs says you should drink half your body weight in ounces per day. For example, a 150-pound person should aim to drink about 75 ounces of water a day.

“Make it a habit to keep a water bottle on you as often as you can,” Storrs says. “The results – the way you look, the way you feel – might surprise you.”

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  1. If I drank 90 oz of water each day, it would mean 24 trips to the bathroom each day!!!

  2. I hope you would advocate use of reusable, refillable water bottles and not the plastic bottles pictured for two reasons. 1. reduce the plastic waste in landfills and waterways. 2. reduce chemicals from plastic that could leach into the water we drink from plastic bottles. You can filter your water with a reusable pitcher or water filtration added to your tap.

  3. Steven R Johnson January 3, 2021 at 6:06 am · Reply

    I agree with Cindy C. No need to purchase bottled water when most tap water is the same or better quality. As a country we overuse plastic and there are consequences.

  4. I also agree with Cindy. Better to stay away from plastic bottles altogether.

  5. Half of your body weight in oz??
    So you are saying that a person weighing 200 lbs needs to drink 100 oz of water each day? Would that much water have a major impact on the kidneys if you are drinking 100 oz of water a day? Are we going to start offering catheters to staff (LOL).

    Is there some other way to measure how much you actually need?

  6. I agree with Cindy and Steven. I think Advocate Aurora Health should quit pushing an article that promotes bottled water.

  7. Zippy Farquarh May 18, 2021 at 3:06 pm · Reply

    We do need to stay hydrated, but we don’t need to further burden the planet with the appalling quantity of single-use plastics to which many are addicted. And it’s not just bottled water; think of all of your bottles holding shampoo, hand soap, dish soap, cleaning products. Then multiply this by all the households in the First World (and Second, and Third). You get the idea. Make a change, please!

  8. I use the single-walled (non insulated) Klean Kanteen made with food grade stainless steel. Because it isn’t insulated, you can boil water in it to clean it (if you take the lid off). I fill it with *tap* water.

  9. Teri Kidd, DVM May 18, 2021 at 6:19 pm · Reply

    Absolutely 100% agree with those who are saying to forgo plastic single-use water bottles and get a refillable bottle. The amount of plastic used around the world is appalling.

  10. I think it is important to point out the importance of tap water. One of the greatest historical inventions was adding fluoride to tap water. It is the cheapest way to help prevent tooth decay. So drinking tap water is one way to help our oral health, which we know is so important in our overall health.

  11. A little research goes a long way. In reviewing freshman bio, I’ve recalled and confirmed the following from The Mayo Clinic. Your kidneys need all the help they can get to flush the toxins from your body, and water is the best way to get it done. It’s not an easier way, but a different way to figure out your hydration requirement is 85 if female to about 120 oz if male of fluids daily (with 20% coming from fruits and vegetables… so a balanced diet is essential to helping this endeavor!) So again, not easy… which is why the recommendation in general is 8 standard glasses of water. And here are some fun facts; an adult bladder typically holds about 24 ounces of urine, you also lose hydration through respiration and perspiration. So, while 64 ounces (or 8 8oz. glasses of water a day) sounds a bit much, it is minimum when considered against the backdrop of maintaining your body’s composition, (check it out at mayoclinic.org)

    Do the tap if you don’t mind the fluoride, recycle if you do the single use bottles, it really doesn’t matter when it comes to kidney health and dehydration. No matter where you live or your activity level, if you’re not urinating at least 4 times a day, you are dehydrated!

  12. Please, Aurora, do not advocate using bottles water. You have a responsibility to advocate for the planet, we ALL have a responsibility, but especially employers have a responsibility. The use of disposable plastic water bottles is very hard on the planet and not optimum for your health in almost all cases. Please advocate for sustainable practices. Perhaps you could consider an article weekly about a sustainable practice that everyone should be doing. (ie bringing your own bags for groceries, buying sheets of laundry detergent rather than in plastic jugs, riding your bike/walking to work, reducing meat consumption, etc….)

  13. I agree with reducing the use of bottle water.
    The article stated:
    “What’s the difference between all these bottled waters?”
    It was informative to let you know the different types of water being sold. The article did not state that you should buy water. However if you do, here’s the info.
    An article every now and then about sustainability not just with water but other tips to improve our overall health would be nice.
    I enjoy everyone’s comments and suggestions. Great reminders to save the earth.

  14. Your body will tell you when to drink more water… when you get thirsty.

  15. I believe that I’d drown if I drank that much water daily :-).

  16. I drink half my bodyweight in water. Its not that hard to do when you acclimate to it. I saw ppl saying “drink when you’re thirsty “. That’s actually a great way to know you’re already mildly dehydrated. Work your way up to your bodyweight. So your body can adjust without just peeing it all out. I only drink a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, water all day, and then a cup of tea at night. Its easy to hit your mark when you get used to it. It’s also best to drink a large glass of water before and after meals. (Not a nutritionist, just do extensive research on this subject.)

  17. What about distilled water. Is it cleaner/better?

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.