Stay Hydrated, But Look Out For Whatever Else Is In That Drink
Here in Miami, it’s easy to take drinking water for granted. There are almost limitless choices of bottled water varieties available and a seemingly endless supply on tap. And we all know adequate water consumption is essential to good health.
But if you want to support your body’s overall health, which one should you drink? Is tap all that bad? Is “pure” water best? What about so-called enhanced water? In this post, we take a look at what’s best for your body.
Let’s start by defining the various terms used to describe water:
- Pure/Purified means filtered tap or groundwater, a process that removes some chemicals, contaminants, and impurities such as bacteria, algae and fungi, parasites, and metals.
- Distilled has both contaminants and minerals removed (purified water can still contain minerals). Since it doesn’t contain minerals, it tends to leech them and may pull small amounts from your body. It also can absorb trace amounts of plastic from its container.
- Spring is defined by the FDA as “derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface, this water must be collected only at the spring or through a borehole that taps the underground formation feeding the spring. If some external force is used to collect the water through a borehole, the water must have the same composition and quality as the water that naturally flows to the surface.”
- Additionally, according to the FDA, beverages labeled as sparkling water, seltzer water, soda water, and tonic water aren’t considered bottled water. These beverages are soft drinks.
Which Water Is Best?
Much of the decision about which water to drink comes down to two things: taste and additives. Taste, of course, is personal and totally subjective. As far as additives, there are many, many options when it comes to bottled water:
- Minerals – To be called mineral water, the H2O in question must have at least 250 parts per million total dissolved solids. Plus, these minerals and trace elements must come from the source. If you know you need more of the specific mineral(s) in that bottle, that’s definitely a win.
- Vitamins – You also can obtain other bottled water with minerals and/or vitamins added. But, if the bottler adds significant amounts of sugar as well, you’re not necessarily doing your body any favors. In that case, you’re much better off eating a balanced diet to meet your nutritional needs.
- Probiotics – Yes, there are now probiotic water varieties, making an easy (and vegan) way to boost your gut health if yogurt or pills aren’t particularly appealing.
- Alkaline – You can find water with a pH above 7 if you want to try to offset high acidity in your blood. The science is still being debated on whether consuming more alkaline foods and beverages actually has any effect, although there certainly may be health benefits.
Time To Tap Out?
Keep in mind that not all water from the faucet is inherently bad—but it can vary greatly. Miami’s tap supply, drawn mostly from the Biscayne Aquifer, is safe to drink according to EPA and international standards.
So what about filtering your own tap water with a Brita or other system? That simply depends on whether you prefer the taste.
As long as you watch the ingredients to make sure you’re not getting something your body doesn’t want, the most important thing is to stay properly hydrated in order to help maintain optimal health.
Really want to eat healthier but need some help? In the Miami area, look to The Pickled Beet for delicious, healthy meals custom-prepared with the freshest ingredients. We work with individuals, couples, and families to find meals that are tasty, nutritious, and best fuel the body no matter what dietary requirements might be part of the equation. Contact us for a free consultation.