While I love using my reusable water bottles and take one with me pretty much everywhere, still, from time to time, I either forget to bring my bottle or drink all my water before I get a chance to fill it back up. Either way, I'm out and about and thirsty, so buying bottled water becomes the next best option. It's not the most environmentally friendly thing to do, but hydration comes first when you're in a pinch. With so many bottled water options, it can be confusing to know which bottled water is the best choice in terms of quality and maximum health and hydration.
The best bottled water to buy for maximum hydration and health
First off, Riese emphasizes that all water will hydrate your body. Your body doesn't care what kind of water it is or even if it's actual water or water from foods with high water content, such as lettuce or cucumbers, which contain 98 and 95 percent water, respectively. In other words, if you're dehydrated or your body trying to tell you you're not drinking enough water, sipping (or eating) up is the most important thing regardless of the type of water.
That said, if you do have options to choose from, and you want to buy the best bottled water for hydration and health, according to Riese there isn’t one specific brand to buy. Rather, the most important thing to note is the water source. "I like my water coming from natural occurring sources," he says, specifically pointing to spring, mineral, iceberg, or glacier water. Some brands Riese has recommended on TikTok include Ice Canyon, Evian, Just Water, and Fiji. Brown agrees that water from natural sources is ideal and particularly recommends spring water.
Water from natural sources contains electrolytes
The big reason why water from natural sources is best is because it contains electrolytes such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium, which our bodies need. "These minerals are part of the processes involved in energy production and structure," Brown says. "Calcium is not only beneficial for building strong bones, but helps with muscle contractions along with magnesium. This means your body can perform better under all kinds of stress, both physical and mental."
While we get a lot of these minerals from our food, Brown adds that the average American is not reaching adequate intake levels of these micronutrients. "This is an opportunity for them to consume a beverage that doesn't infuse these electrolytes with added sugars and calories," she says. "Depending on the brand, mineral water can contribute between 2–5 percent of the daily recommended intakes."
Plus, not only are the minerals dissolved in water good for you, but they also make the water taste better. Yes, different waters have different tastes. "I am fascinated that depending where the water is coming from, and from which stone layers the water extracted the minerality, you can taste the region or what wine lovers would say, the terroir," Riese says.
Avoid purified bottled water
The types of bottled water Riese definitely recommends avoiding are purified, distilled, and vapor-distilled water. He notes that most bottled water sold in the United States comes from municipal sources. In other words, it's straight-up tap water. According to Riese, bottled water companies filter everything out of the water—including the minerals our bodies need—and add in very small amounts of electrolytes for taste purposes.
"I think to hydrate yourself [with] filtered tap is totally fine, but don't buy highly processed tap water in stores," Riese says. "Many of those brands' [have] labeling in big letters ‘electrolytes added.’ The consumer might think there is a good amount of electrolytes dissolved, but there are no regulations on how many electrolytes have to be dissolved. Most of the time, natural occurring waters have way more minerals/electrolytes dissolved then purified water brands. I personally think it's misleading, and I would never buy those brands."
If you’re going to buy bottled water, buy ones that are derived from natural sources such as spring water and avoid ones marketed as purified or distilled water.
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