Head down the water aisle in your supermarket – and it’s like spin the bottle – so many choices, which one do you land on?
With so many options available, choosing the healthiest water can be a confusing task.
Here’s what you need to know about your H2O.
AKA soda water, is water with carbonation added to it under pressure so it dissolves. It usually has and a small amount of salts added to it like sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, potassium citrate. You may be most familiar with salt being sodium chloride or table salt. The amount of sodium in the soda water is small about 7mg per 100ml - a small amount of your dietary intake. In other words, if salt is a worry for you, take a look at the foods contributing to your intake, before the soda water. Also, there is no research to suggest carbonation may leach calcium out from the bones.
Traditionally water collected from a natural spring, it contains a range of minerals that naturally occur in the ground. The bottled type in the supermarket on the other hand, is collected from a spring, carbonated and sometimes flavoured. This is where the health concern begins. It is not the water. All of the waters, tap, soda, sparkling and mineral are great ways to keep hydrated. But when we start to add other ingredients like sugar and citric acid, the pH of the drink changes – affecting primarily, your teeth. Once the pH goes below 4 the acid dissolves the outer layer of tooth enamel. Plus, the excess sugar can also contribute to high blood sugar levels and be very energy dense with no added nutrient value (apart from the carbohydrate energy).
In Australia, fluoride is added to the water supply for the dental health benefits. In general, water in Australia is safe to drink straight from the tap. Bonus: It’s the most economical and eco-friendly way to get your water.
The takeaway? Drink water. Enjoy it with or without minerals and bubbles, it doesn’t matter. What matters, is that it’s unsweetened. Bottoms up.
Simone Austin is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Accredited Sports Dietitian. She’s also a dietitian at Swisse Wellness.