Hydration is important – especially as we experience the hottest months of the year. There’s no argument that everyone should be drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, but is all water created equally?
We have been conditioned to believe that bottled water is more pure, tastes better, and is all-round healthier for us, but are there any facts to back this claim up? Or is this just marketing tactics by water bottling companies? Read on and judge for yourself.
In recent years, several studies have been released proving that bottled water may not be everything that it is claimed to be. One report showed that less than 2 percent of the nearly 200 bottled water brands tested disclosed three important facts that can affect safety: the water’s source, purification methods, and chemical pollutants in each bottle. A study from a Texas Southern University tested 35 different kinds of bottled water for certain strains of bacteria. In nine of the brands tested, the study found detectable levels of bacteria. While considered by regulations safe to drink, if a person has a compromised immune system, those bacteria could cause health problems.
Not only is bottled water neither safer, nor purer than tap water – a surprising percentage of bottled water IS tap water. According to the National Resources Defense Council, 25% to 40% of bottled water is tap water. That can be an eye opening fact to learn considering bottled water costs 240 to 10,000 times more than tap water.
In addition to the expense and impurities, the packaging from some bottled water provides even more health and environmental risks. Chemicals with known health risks like BPA and other similar chemicals called endocrine disrupters are used in the production of plastic water bottles, and have been found to leak into the water. This can be particularly harmful to expectant mothers. On the other hand, tap water may carry trace amounts of chemicals that are known human carcinogens such as trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids or bromate.
So should you quit drinking bottled water?
It is obviously a personal decision whether or not to consume bottled water but it makes sense to educate yourself on what’s in your water and if it’s safe for you to drink. Bottled water wouldn’t be so popular if it didn’t have some advantages like convenience and consistency in taste. There is growing evidence suggesting that tap water is as good for you (or better) than bottled, combined with the widespread use of refillable water bottles and an increasing abundance of places to fill them, suggests that society may be adapting to the environmental and health benefits of tap water.
Filtered Water – The Healthiest Solution
The best and healthiest solution to the problems of both bottled and tap water is filtered water. Most water filters remove more dangerous contaminants than any other purification method, and the filters are designed to work with even municipally treated water. Water produced from most water filters is designed to remove contamination, and cryptosporidium, a chlorine-resistant protozoan, that can cause GI upsets, from contaminated water. Neither municipal water treatment plants nor bottled water companies are able to remove both the contamination and cryptosporidium. However, you should always check that your water filtration system can remove contamination and cryptosporidium. It’s much more economical to drink filtered water than bottled water, and it doesn’t cost that much more than plain old untreated tap water. If you’re concerned about cost, when it comes to installing a water filter inside your home, it uses no more energy than what’s already required to propel water through a home’s plumbing system.
When it comes to deciding whether to drink tap water, bottled or filtered water, we certainly think that the best choice is filtered water, but it’s your personal preference on the type of water you drink. What is important is to keep your digestive system healthy to control any bad bacteria or chemicals found in the water – bottled, filtered or otherwise. One of the best ways to maintain a balance of the right kind of bacteria in the intestines is by following a regimen of eating a healthy diet and taking a quality probiotic like Natren’s Healthy Trinity. Natren has always recommended taking our capsules or powder probiotics with unchilled, filtered (chlorine free) water.