A look at the labels on bottled water
Choosing a bottled water should be simple--after all, it's just water, right? But look at the labels and you'll see plenty of buzzwords--purified, ionized, distilled and more--that can make the choice more complicated. Is one water better than others? Dayne Grove, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at the Mission Hospital Wellness Corner at Sendero Marketplace, dives into the world of water.
- Distilled. "Depending on its source, water can be a good dietary source of minerals such as magnesium, calcium and sodium," says Grove. "But while distilled water goes through a boiling process that removes any contaminants, the minerals are also removed. While there are different views on whether it's beneficial to drink distilled water, several organizations, such as the World Health Organization, caution against it because it could cause a mineral deficiency in the body. There are many other ways to get the water your body needs that have the necessary minerals, so distilled water shouldn't be your first choice for drinking water."
- Ionized Alkaline. In this water, the pH balance is more alkaline than acid because the ions in water are reconstituted. Because of that, proponents say that ionized alkaline water has the power to reduce acid levels in the body--and in turn, it can improve the condition of the muscles, skin, joints and colon, among other health claims. "While medical research is slim," says Grove, "a couple of studies have indicated ionized alkaline water may be helpful with acid reflux, or in reducing metabolic acidosis, which is caused when the kidneys can't eliminate enough acid from the body. But most of the health claims are unsubstantiated."
- Purified. "Purified water has been treated to remove most chemicals through various processes, including distillation or reverse osmosis," Grove says. "To earn the purified label, the lowered levels of chemicals in the water must meet federal standards."
- Filtered. Filtered water usually means that it's been treated to remove chlorine. "Filtered water is different from purified water--the latter is filtered, but then undergoes other purification steps to meet those federal standards," Grove says.
Despite all the different labels and trendy buzzwords, the bottom line is that, in general, most people are fine drinking regular bottled water. "If you are drinking bottle water because you have concerns about your tap water, you can get testing reports from your local water agency," Grove says. "But you can get a home filtration system and then put the water in a reusable stainless-steel or glass bottle, which has the added advantage of being better for the environment than standard plastic bottles."
If you do choose bottled water, you can get more information on where it was sourced and how it was treated from the manufacturer. "The standards for bottled water safety and labeling are set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which also requires labels to include contact information for the manufacturer so consumers can ask any questions," Grove says.
About Mission Hospital Wellness Corner
The Mission Hospital Wellness Corner complements the care you receive from traditional medical providers, helping you achieve complete wellness and vitality –improving the way you feel all the time. Our highly trained interdisciplinary care team delivers a holistic approach where we personalize your care plan with safe, natural therapies that deliver optimal health.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.