It wasn’t that long ago I remember the bottled water selection being pretty basic.
Though sparkling mineral waters like Perrier were around, they seemed to be reserved for the bougie, even though they didn’t cost more than a soda.
Long gone are those days, as we now have aisles of wonderful waters to choose from.
I’m happy to see that soda sales are steadily declining while alternative beverages such as bottled and sparkling water are enjoying growing sales figures.
In fact, Americans bought 11.7 billion gallons of bottled water last year.
And La Croix – the sparking water company that’s gained somewhat of a cult following – has seen sales double in the last two years, up to $225 million.
These sales are cutting into soda’s profits and I’d say that is a win all around.
With this abundance of selection comes the following question:
Which of these waters is the best and why?
Today, we are going to check out the different waters on the market and figure out which are best.
Instead of breaking this down into a long comparison of each brand, I’m going to cut right to the chase and tell you which waters I recommend and why.
But first I want to talk about the three major categories of waters and give you a little background into the philosophy behind each: Mineral, sparkling, and pH.
I’ll also touch on major brands and give you my two cents, even if they don’t make the best-of-the-best list.
So, let’s get started.
First, the differences between mineral, pH water, and sparkling.
While tap water can contain some minerals, every water supply varies greatly. There is growing concern surrounding other nasty stuff floating around in our water too, such as pharmaceuticals, but I digress.
Mineral water is more than a refreshing bubbly drink for you to enjoy, it’s also underestimated as a health supplement. High in mineral content, these waters contain:
- Calcium – Strengthens bones
- Magnesium – Great for your immune system and over 300 biochemical processes in your body
- Sodium – Regulates blood pressure
- Potassium – Regulates blood pressure and your body’s electrical impulses
- Sulfates – Supports nervous system, joints, muscles, and helps detox your body
- Iron – Delivers oxygen to your organs
- Chlorides and bicarbonates – Balances your digestive system and reduces acidity in your body
Mineral water supports natural detoxifying processes, replenishes electrolytes, and truly quenches thirst.
So, next time you’d like to order a delicious bottle of sparkling mineral water, there’s no need to feel like you’re splurging because these bad boys actually support your health and are tasty too.
You may or may not be familiar with the health claims regarding the acidity and alkalinity of water. Acidic water has a pH between 1 and 7 (7 is neutral) and is thought to be not too good for you. This is mostly observational and theorized because acidic substances corrode materials, can harm other species of animals, and tumors are acidic.
Alkaline water, on the other hand, has a pH between 7 and 12 and has been loosely associated with a myriad of health benefits. Some of these benefits include immune system support, anti-aging properties, Improved skin health, and weight loss.
The jury is still out on the scientifically backed benefits of acidic versus alkaline water. But, full disclosure, I drink alkaline water after sauna and working out on occasion and have come to love the taste. In fact, I am so intrigued by the concept I recently purchased an Ionizer Plus from High Tech Health for our infrared sauna room for staff and patients to drink during and after their infrared sauna sessions in order to enhance detoxification and elimination of toxins. If you love alkaline water, you may consider purchasing the same unit for your home. Mention Dr. Jill to Emery at High Tech Health to get my patients-only discount too. 🙂
Sparkling water that isn’t mineral water is mostly just fun and bubbly. Though it can be an excellent replacement for sodas and many use it to wean themselves off pop.
You can buy bubbly waters or you can make your own carbonated water at home. Making your own water can actually be a lot of fun because you can add your own fresh flavoring. I like to crush up blueberries and mint with a splash of lemon. If you like a bubbly water, you will get much more health benefit by drinking mineral waters if you have the choice.
Next, here are my top four favorite waters.
Mineral Water – Gerolsteiner
When compared to most other mineral waters, Gerolsteiner blows their mineral content out of the water (pun intended).
Except in sulfates, see San Pellegrino below. Plus, I really like the taste of Gerolsteiner. It’s bubblier than San Pellegrino and has a slightly stronger taste.
|348 mg (35% DV)
|108 mg (27% DV)
|11 mg (<1% DV)
|118 mg (5% DV)
|200 mg (20% DV)
|52 mg (10% DV)
|4 mg (<1% DV)
|36 mg (2% DV)
|170 mg (17% DV)
|6 mg (2% DV)
|1.5 mg (<1% DV)
|12 mg (<1% DV)
*Please note – these numbers naturally have slight variations
I’d say the only drawbacks to Gerolsteiner are that it has fewer sulfates than San Pellegrino and is a bit more difficult to find, though it’s gaining popularity.
pH Water – Essentia
If your goal is to get more alkaline substances into your diet, then Essentia is the way to go. In a simple pH comparison of over 20 brands of water, Essentia came in with a pH of 9.
It is also reverse osmosis filtered, ionized water, and has minerals added for taste. It tastes delicious and smooth.
Sparkling Water –
La Croix is a great sparkling water because of its low cost and wide variety of. It tastes great and is replacing sodas for a lot of people, which is something I can get behind.
I sometimes worry when I see labels that simply say, “natural flavors” but La Croix appears to address this on their website. They state the natural flavors are derived from “essence oils” extracted from the named fruit and do not contain any sugars or artificial sweeteners.
Honorable Mentions – Mineral Water
San Pellegrino, my personal favorite, has 445 mg of sulfates compared to Gerolsteiner’s 38 mg. While I don’t think this alone is enough to justify it being a better option than Gerolsteiner, I do think it makes it an amazing alternative that is available nearly everywhere, especially if dining out. It is widely believed that ingesting food or beverage that contains sulfur is good for the hair, skin, nails and connective tissue.
If you haven’t heard of Topo Chico yet, it’s wonderful for those who absolutely love bubbles as main ingredient. It’s by far the most carbonated of the bunch.
Derived from a spring in Mexico, Topo Chico naturally has mineral content including sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese.
Topo Chico mineral content isn’t available anywhere I could find online though, which is a shame, because I’d really like to see how it stacks up.
Honorable Mentions – Regular ol’ Water
With a pH of 7.5 I’m going to recommend Fiji water as a great option for a regular ol’ bottle of water. It’s also a great option because pH water isn’t widely available and Fiji often is the only thing to come close and fill that void.
It also is a great bottle of water overall because it contains some natural minerals and electrolytes from the volcanic rock it runs through before being pulled from the underground aquifer on the island of Viti Levu in Fiji.
At the end of the day, your preference in water will come down to what you like the taste of best. However, I do encourage you to add a mineral water to your day or week. And above all, if you can replace your soda intake with sparkling or even better, mineral water, that’s an excellent choice for your body and overall health.
I hope you enjoyed this article over a nice, refreshing glass of healthy bubbly. Appropriate as we come to the end of our summer. Share this article with a friend who loves bubbles and see how their favorites stack up against mine.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician. Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.