Bottled water vs tap water - find the best for you
Thirsting for knowledge about spring, still or sparkling water? Whichever type of water floats your boat, a bottle of water has become the ultimate fashion accessory in today's world.
A study found sales of bottled water have soared by a staggering 17% in the last five years, with experts attributing the rise to 'convenience, maintenance of fluid balance and fashion and culture'.
Its undoubtedly more trendy to care about you and your family's health and hydration than it has ever been before, and being seen sipping bottled water is a sure-fire way to show the world that you are one of the health-conscious enlightened, and encourage the kids to drink water too .
Requesting a bottle of still or sparkling water for the table has become the perfect way to impress when dining out (and it's always a bonus to know your Volvic from your Evian).
However amusing this might sound, a fashionable passion for water is not a bad thing. Drinking water is sexy, because it shows you understand how your body works and want to take care of it.
Prevent Dehydration and Headaches
Experts reckon we need to drink eight glasses of water or water-based fluid a day just to prevent us from dehydrating. And be warned - there's more to dehydration than feeling parched, with scary symptoms ranging from tiredness and headaches to loss of concentration.
Water isn't just there to quench our thirst - it's essential for hydration and washing nutrients around our bodies to make sure they reach the parts they ought. In the same way, it flushes toxins (the bad bits deposited by fatty foods and alcohol) out of our body through our kidneys in the form of urine. Its also just as important to get the kids into drinking water early for these reasons.
Tap water versus bottled water?
Retailers have been quick to cash in on our latest thirst for bottled water, and the vast array of different types of water now on offer can be a bit bewildering.
It's easy to become obsessed with finding the bottled brand to best refresh your mind body and soul. But don't forget the liquid that trickles out of your taps at home. It might not look as sexy as the stuff in the bottles, but it does the trick!
Tap water in Australasia has to pass stringent tests before it's deemed up to scratch for our kitchen sinks, so it's unlikely to do you or the family any harm. And from a health point of view, it fulfils all of the essential functions mentioned above. There is a large range of water filter options available now too, from filters fitted to taps, to Brita fridge water jugs. And if you're worried about the metallic taste of tap water, try boiling the water first (then cooling it).
There are two basic types of bottled water, spring and mineral. Spring water has been collected directly from the spring where it arises from the ground and must be bottled at source to be classed as spring water.
Mineral water is water that comes out of from the ground and then flows over rocks before it is collected. It has a higher content of various minerals, picked up as it flows over the rock.
There is no hard evidence that either of these is any better for your health than plain old-fashioned tap water, although flavours vary so its more a matter of personal taste.
Sparkling water or still water?
As long as the water is not flavoured with anything then it still has zero kilojoules and it will leave you feeling just as hydrated whether bubbly or not. The only thing to watch out for with sparkling water is the bubbles; as with all carbonated drinks, when drunk in excess it can be bad for your teeth.
Funky flavoured bottled water
The concept seems sound enough - liven up the flavour of water and make a healthy choice as palatable as possible. But beware - these drinks may look like a healthy alternative but a glass of some brands may contain as much sugar as a glass of sugar, so be sure to check the nutritional label first.
Top tips for incorporating water into your day:
- Kick-start your digestive system in the morning with a glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon.
- Keep a jug of drinking water by you at work or at home and sip it throughout the day. If it's at hand you'll be more likely to drink it.
- Keep bottled water in your handbag. You'll be surprised how often you feel thirsty enough to reach for it.
- Experiment with different types of water for the kids. Not everyone enjoys tap water and it may be that you find a brand of bottled water that you prefer.
Find more Healthy Eating articles:
- How to cook with your kids and have fun
- Cook the family friendly way
- The facts about good and bad oils
- Get the most out of your exercise
- Diet friendly frozen desserts
- Bottled water vs tap water
- Food shopping for weight loss
- Manage family snack attacks
- Easy meal ideas when you don't want to cook
- 52 weeks of health and happiness
- 4 budge foods worth cooking from scratch
- Healthy smoothie ideas
- Add flavour (not fat) to your meals
This article was originally written for Kidspot.com.au in conjunction with Weight Watchers as part of their Positively Life Changing initiative.