In impoverished parts of the world, such as Africa, India and Bangladesh, people struggle to find a source of clean water to drink as they fall victim to waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid. However, for most of us in the developed world, water is taken for granted, the entity that covers over 70 percent of the Earth or the molecule that contains two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. In fact, we in the United States have so much wealth that we have an endless number of different types of water, all suited for unique purposes to enhance the hydration experience. Considering how lucky we are that we not only have access to clean water, but various brands of clean water, it only makes sense to draw the line between good water and bad water in order to find the perfect one.
Despite the fact that some might think that all water more or less tastes the same, there are certainly specific brands of water that clearly knock others out of the – you guessed it – water. While it’s well known that tap water, especially in Southern California (NorCal tap is so much better), doesn’t quite make the grade, there is debate over which bottled waters triumph over others. Many claim to be all-natural water from mountain springs or other numerous sources. Although it’s difficult to contest which type of water is more natural, one’s taste buds can give an indication of which bottled waters have an upper hand.
Without a doubt, Arrowhead and Crystal Geyser are at the bottom of the list when it comes to quality. Each one has an odd, unsatisfying aftertaste as if all the minerals have been stripped from the water, a feature of purified water that one might get from a home filtration system. Conversely, Evian water is full of minerals, but due to its high mineral content, it doesn’t have a smooth, refreshing taste.
Among the lesser-known bottled waters, Canada’s Ice Age Premium Glacial Water comes off quite flat without a crisp aftertaste, perhaps since it is merely glacial water without vital minerals and earthly nutrients. Not to mention, while these companies might have “natural” water, the onslaught of pollutants in our air increasingly contaminate the water cycle as particulate matter in the clouds brings down chemically tainted water droplets during condensation.
On the other hand, Fiji Natural Artesian Water does not come in contact with the air, or humans for that matter, located in a part of the Pacific Ocean far away from the polluted, CO2-filled air of the industrial world. Derived from an artesian source (water that comes from deep within the earth) surrounded by impermeable volcanic rock, Fiji’s water has a soft, smooth and crisp texture as a well as a clean, refreshing finish that is unparalleled in quality, especially when served chilled. Containing a multitude of minerals due its underground source, Fiji also contains silica, a mineral from the volcanic rock that not only gives Fiji a smooth taste, but has physical advantages in that it strengthens bones, connective tissue and teeth.
Beyond the traditional forms of water, there are even differences between electrolyte-filled water. Electrolytes, which generally consist of ions including magnesium, potassium and sodium ions, are necessary elements for the human body. However, they do not all have a satisfying finish like Fiji. Metroelectro, a micronutrient water full of antioxidants and electrolytes, and Glacéau Smart Water both might give someone that extra edge on the athletic field by properly hydrating cells for peak performance, but they have a stale, dead aftertaste similar to the Arrowhead and Crystal Geyser.
Whereas Metroelectro and Glacéau Smart Water fail when it comes to taste, AquaHydrate offers the complete package. Not only does it have a clean finish that produces that relaxing “ahhhhh” reaction, but its physical benefits make it appealing as well. Since our diet is generally acidic, AquaHydrate is slightly alkaline water meant to balance out the pH of the human bloodstream. This can lead to increased endurance and focus, and can improve the functioning of crucial organs such as the liver as well as minimize obesity or control insulin production for those with diabetes.
Although non-carbonated water is generally more common and ideal for physical workouts, carbonated (sparkling) water has its benefits as well. Sparkling water might be associated with fancy functions or high-end restaurants, but it is an excellent substitute for carbonated soft drinks, which can cause a substantially higher increase in tooth decay up to 100-fold in comparison to sparkling water, according to a study by the School of Dentistry in England’s University of Birmingham. Between the two major carbonated waters, Perrier and Pellegrino, the latter has a flatter taste that makes it less desirable, but in the end, both go well with meals and help with digestion, offering certain advantages that non-carbonated waters don’t.
As blessed as we are to have such a wide variety of water while others suffer to find clean water, there is no reason not to take water seriously and find the right type that will offer long-term, sustainable health while leaving a refreshing taste in your mouth. Considering how important water is in that it’s the only item that a human could solely survive on, it might be a good idea to do some research and pick the right one.