Which Bottled Water Should You Choose?

By Michael A. Smith, MD

With so many types of bottled water on the market, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re reaching for these days. Mineral water, spring water, purified water — what do all of these typical labels actually mean?

Hopefully this quick guide will help you make some sense out of the available options:

  • Mineral water must contain at least 250 parts per million of dissolved minerals and come from a geologically and physically protected underground water source. If you’re interested in drinking water that closely resembles nature’s normal mineral content, this is the water for you.
  • Purified water is tap or ground water that has been treated by distillation, deionization or reverse osmosis. If you’re worried about water pollution and already supplement with a high potency multivitamin and mineral formula, this is likely a fine choice for you.
  • Spring water comes from natural aquifers located around rock beds and soil. If the water bubbles to the surface from an underground source and has no natural tributaries, it’s considered spring water. Because it’s collected in small pools, spring water is often processed with chemicals and advanced filtration systems before being sold. This usually depletes some of its mineral content.
  • Artesian well water travels through porous rock from a higher elevation and rises to the surface. These “pumpless” wells seem to defy gravity because the pressure that builds up between layers of rock gets relieved when the water finds a path to the open air. For nearly 1,000 years, people have drilled wells to drink this cold, naturally filtered water. Artesian well water offers a good supply of minerals, but it’s also expensive.
  • Ground water comes from the ground. The water is located in soil pores which form when rocks split and fracture. Most of us drink ground water but don't even know it. The upside: it’s cheap. The downside: it’s highly filtered and processed, stripping it of most of its minerals.
  • Well water comes from a drilled hole that taps the water of an aquifer and is pumped to the surface. It’s cheap and commonly used in rural areas, but it often contains a higher concentration of iron.
Which type of water is right for you? That’s up to you to decide. At least now you’re armed with a little more information when making your decision.

For more information on why staying well-hydrated is important, check out our blog post on the lesser-known benefits of water.

If you want personalized advice on the different types of water and how much you may need yourself, feel free to consult one of our health advisors by phone, toll-free, at 1-800-226-2370 or by e-mail at advisory@lef.org.

Do you have a preference when it comes to bottled water? Please share yours in the comments!


Dustin Hoffman said...

Mineral water is by far my favorite, because I can taste the minerals. It just tastes better in my opinion.

Life Extension said...

Dustin, our own Dr. Mike agrees with you. He loves mineral water over all other types because of the taste.

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