Carrying a bottle of water around is a convenient way to stay hydrated throughout the day. A bottle of water is absolutely essential if you’re a gym-goer pushing through workouts or an active person who occasionally jogs or cycles throughout town. With all the various kinds of bottled waters out there choosing the right one isn’t easy.
Of the hundreds of brands of bottled water available, some 25% use water extracted from municipal sources, otherwise known as free tap water. This shocking fact was derived from a 4-year long study conducted by the U. S. National Resources Defense Council.
Tap water can vary in quality and toxicity from area to area, but almost all tap water sources contain fluoride, chlorine and other toxins, harmful chemicals and carcinogens that can–over time–have an adverse effect on your health. Check out our tap water article to learn about the hidden dangers of tap water.
Furthermore, bottle water brands using drinking water extracted from taps may or may not be purifying it, as not all bottle water brands are transparent about their product. This leads us to our first rule to abide to when choosing the right water bottle brand:
Choosing Transparent Brands
An organization focusing on protecting the environment and human health known as the Environmental Working Group urges all bottled water consumers to look for qualified label transparency when choosing a brand.
Bottled water companies are not legally obligated to be 100% transparent about where their water comes from or whether it has undergone any sort of special filtration. This is why an estimated one-fourth of all bottle water brands use water derived from free public sources–nothing more than free water sold in packaged form.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted a ranking based on the transparency of bottled water brands. The level of transparency in question depends on a number of factors, including a brand’s openness towards disclosing information about their water sources, water purifying/filtration methods, and water-quality test reports.
According to the ranking, the highest quality water brands with the most transparency regarding their production process are Gerber Pure Purified Water, Penta Ultra-Purified Water, and Nestle Pure Life Purified Water.
Let’s go over and compare these three top-tier water bottle brands.
Best of Brands
Gerber Pure Purified Water
Gerber’s Pure Water is specially made with added minerals for better taste. It’s unique in that it contains no fluoride and sodium, making it completely safe for consumption for those with sensitive bladders.
While it’s an unconventional choice of bottled water for fitness enthusiasts, the cleanliness and purity of Gerber’s Pure Water are an unmistakable guarantee. This makes this brand of water great for toddlers and those with bladder/kidney problems, as it contains naturally low pH content (7-8) and no harmful additives, chemicals or preservatives whatsoever.
Penta Ultra-Purified Water
The world’s only patented water, Penta-Ultra Purified water undergoes an 11 hour 13-step state-of-the-art filtration and purification process (using purely solar energy) that eradicates 99.9% of chemicals and particles, including arsenic, chlorine, bisphenol A, trace pharmaceuticals, chromium 6, fluoride, MTBE, lead, BPA and BPS and pesticides.
Penta water is infused with oxygen and contains less than one ppm (parts per million) solids, so it has a very hydrating and invigorating taste while being hundreds of times more pure than the average bottled water. It’s also affordable despite its production process, with a price that’s on par with other bottled water offerings.
Nestle Pure Life Purified Water
This brand of bottled water is perhaps the most popular bottled water in the U.S., and for good reason: it’s arguably the cleanest and best tasting water available on virtually every corner for a very affordable price.
Nestle Pure Life Purified Water is infused with minerals to enhance taste, and the nutritional label reads a minute amount of less than 1 gram of sodium and 6% calcium in a 16-ounce serving.
Chlorine and trihalomethanes (organic chemicals) are eradicated through a pre-distillation process. As for the filtration process, the water packaged by this brand runs through micro-filters small enough to remove particles 0.2 micron in diameter. The details of the extraction, purification, mineralization, filtration, and quality assurance processes of this water are well documented onto their site in a very transparent manner.
This makes Nestle Pure Life Purified water one of the most openly informative bottle water brands out there.
What to Look For
With the hundreds of bottled water brands available, the most noticeable giveaway that implies a bottled water’s quality level is a logo, seal or approval from the International Bottled Water Association and/or NSF International.
Bottled water brands containing these certificates on their packaging meet model code standards that ensure their quality. Food companies who are members of these quality-assuring organizations undergo annual testing and inspection in order to ensure compliance with US FDA standards.
Bottled tastes better than tap water due to its filtration process, mineralization and/or source. A water’s taste isn’t defined by the sort of ‘flavor’ it possesses, as pure water is flavorless. Rather, the taste of water largely depends on its composition–some water tastes ‘heavy and gravely’ while others are considered ‘smooth tasting and pure’. This difference in taste is directly affected by a water’s microscopic-level composition.
There are four main sources of water used by bottled waters:
- Artesian and well-water derived from underground wells
- Spring water collected once traveled to the surface from its natural spring source
- Mineral water collected from the ground (which contains specific levels of minerals)
- Distilled water collected from condensed steam caused by boiling water
Artesian and well-derived water can have a ‘gravel-like’ taste. Spring water and distilled water usually taste ‘smoother’. Mineral water is–as the name implies–mineralized in order to enhance flavor, so it’s generally the most preferred water type when it comes to taste.
Keep in mind that the taste of water relies on the source as much as it does on the minerals.
If you’re after clean water that yields superior taste and hydration, the Environmental Working Group recommends installing a quality water filter on your tap. A water filter, when maintained properly, ensures your tap water is devoid of all the harmful substances and toxins which can otherwise be present.
Since you can’t easily take a filter with you everywhere you go, bottled water is your next best option.