Think your water is healthy? Think again.

July 11, 2017 Providence Health Team

Your water may not be as healthy as you think

These days, water isn’t just water. With all of the different types, flavors and flavor add-ins available to us, it’s hard to tell anymore if what we’re drinking is even good for us. When walking through the grocery aisle, we may find sparkling water, mineral water, seltzer water, club soda and myriad others. Just like anything else, drinking in moderation will most likely not cause any harm. But when does too much water become a bad thing? Here’s what you should know about “good” versus “not-so-good” water.

Mineral Water

As its moniker states, mineral water contains minerals. In fact, a bottle of mineral water may contain more than 300 milligrams of calcium per liter. This much calcium is more than 40 percent of the recommended daily value. But that’s not all; mineral water also contains magnesium which plays a vital role is supporting protein, muscle and nerve function. In addition to other minerals and trace elements, most mineral waters are naturally carbonated. If you’re not particularly fond of regular flat water, this might be a good option for you. The only time mineral water isn’t particularly good for you is when it contains sugar or artificial sweeteners and flavors. Be sure to choose a variety free from these add-ons.

Tonic Water

Just like mineral water, tonic water is carbonated. In this case, the bubbly nature of this drink isn’t naturally occurring. Tonic water may be ideal for mixing with cocktails or drinking on its own but be warned: there is a very distinct flavor associated with tonic water. Quinine is an additive that is bitter in taste and was traditionally used as a generic medicine to treat malaria. In small amounts, specifically, the amount contained in tonic water, it’s perfectly safe to drink. While a refreshing beverage, tonic water contains around 120 calories per 12-ounce serving. It also contains added sugar, usually associated with unhealthy weight gain. If tonic water is your drink of choice, it may be best to explore the diet version instead.

Club Soda

Club soda is also carbonated water, and just like tonic water, the bubbles are added in by the manufacturer. Club soda contains different minerals than regular water, but the difference is so slight there is a good chance your body won’t tell the difference. Club soda doesn’t have any calories, protein, fat, carbs or sugar, which makes it a great option for hydrating on warm summer days. However, always be sure to check the nutrition label. You’ll want to steer clear of cans that carry higher levels of sodium.

In short, nothing beats plain, regular, water. Whether it's in your home or around town, it's our ubiquitous source of hydration …that is assuming you're not currently in Rome. But, if you're looking for bubbles the main difference between these waters is taste, whether naturally occurring or artificial. When choosing the water that's right for your body, look out for those with added sugars and salt. If you like drinking sweeter beverages, try adding strawberries or lemons to your water. The vitamin C will give you a boost of energy and won’t leave you feeling sluggish during the day like artificial sweeteners.

When you’re looking for a sparkling beverage, what do you choose? Share in the comments below.

About the Author

The Providence Health Team brings together caregivers from diverse backgrounds to bring you clinically-sound, data-driven advice to help you live your happiest and healthiest selves.

More Content by Providence Health Team
Previous Article
Pro football player Joe Anderson and Providence clinicians weigh in on alternative medicine
Pro football player Joe Anderson and Providence clinicians weigh in on alternative medicine

We sat down with three experts to gather some insights on the usage and benefits of alternative medicine.

Next Article
How can you keep a marriage healthy? Follow these expert tips.
How can you keep a marriage healthy? Follow these expert tips.

The way a couple handles conflict says a lot about the health of their relationship, says our expert.