The No-nonsense Guide to Bottled Drinking Water

It’s important to know the differences between the four common types of bottled water before you rehydrate.

Mineral? Spring? Artesian? Alkaline? With all the different water types available today, it’s enough to drive someone to drinking tap water. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, though you may not like the taste of what comes out of your kitchen faucet, and, you may want water that offers more health benefits, too. Here’s a no-nonsense look at four popular types of drinking water and the differences between them.

Mineral Water

Perrier Carbonated Mineral Water is bottled at its source in south France. Perrier

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Minerals in water do two things: They make it taste better, and they make it healthier. Your body needs calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and other elements, and mineral water provides them. These minerals are also what gives water that great “clean” taste.Per the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, water labeled as mineral water must have at least 250 parts per million of minerals and trace elements at its natural source. Minerals must be naturally occurring and none may be added to the water.Many mineral waters are carbonated. Some are naturally carbonated (although that carbonization may be removed for purifying purposes, and then added back during the bottling process) while others are not.

Spring Water

Evian Natural Spring Water is sourced in the Alps and has a neutral pH of 7.2. Evian

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Spring water is just that—water that comes from a spring. Bottled spring water brands have varying amounts and types of minerals, which make each kind taste differently. Be sure the spring water you buy is clearly labeled as to its source.

Artesian Water

An artesian spring in southern Norway is the source of VOSS Artesian Still Water. VOSS

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An artesian spring is one that is naturally occurring, consisting of water pushed to the earth’s surface by subterranean pressure. Many people feel that such a process makes the water taste better because of the natural filtering that occurs during that process—as well as the minerals that are naturally added to it.

Alkaline Water

Essentia Water is ionized and has a pH of 9.5 or higher. Essentia Water

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Alkaline water has a higher pH than regular tap water, meaning it’s less acidic. It’s made that way via additives or an ionization process. Although all the research isn’t in, many alkaline water drinkers believe that it provides more energy, rehydrates faster than lower pH water, aids in digestion, supports the immune system, and has anti-aging properties.