If you make tea with bottled water and have wondered, 'is bottled water healthy?', here are a few bottled water facts, as well as some tips to help you make smart, healthy water choices.
Bottled water has become so popular over the past few years, not only for its convenience, but also due to increasing public awareness of some of the risks associated with (and often unappealing taste of) our public water supplies.
Convenient, yes... But is bottled water really any safer or healthier for us?
Unfortunately, the bottled water industry and labeling standards are not yet well regulated, and we consumers are usually left with unclear (or misleading) details regarding water sources and processing methods for bottled water.
So, if you do regularly choose bottled water as your source of water for tea, drinking, or cooking, it's essential that you protect yourself and your household by being an informed consumer. Be sure you know how to read labels wisely so you know just what is (and isn't) in your bottled water.
Most of the bottled water you find on the shelves of your grocery, corner, or big-box store is simply water from public water supplies (i.e. tap water) that has been distilled or filtered to remove harmful bacteria and some (but not all) of a variety of contaminants. (You can learn more about some of the concerns with water from public water supplies here.)
And, with many types of bottled water, while the water is being processed, it is also stripped of important, beneficial minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
If you do choose bottled water, keep these tips in mind when you are at the store, wondering which brand or type of water to choose from the many options...
Choose healthy bottled water. If you can, avoid bottled water labeled as 'purified,' 'drinking,' or 'demineralized' water, and choose water labeled as 'natural,' 'spring,' or 'mineral' water, instead.
These types of water come from natural sources and will contain minerals and natural elements that are essential for good health.
Choose a healthy water bottle. We've all heard about the potential serious health dangers of toxins leaching from plastic water bottles into the water they hold, especially when the bottles are reused, stored for extended periods of time, or exposed to heat.
If you purchase plastic bottles of water in bulk, be sure to store them in a cool location, away from any contaminants or chemicals that could affect the taste or smell of the water. Or, if you have concerns about drinking water from plastic bottles, try as much as possible to choose glass bottles. A reusable stainless-steel or ceramic water container is a great choice, too.
Choose what's good for our planet (and our kids and grandkids). Bottled water is not environmentally friendly, with processing and transporting bottles (a bad carbon footprint), as well as a lack of recycling (only about 20 - 25% of plastic bottles are recycled in the U.S. each year - and the rest end up in landfills!).
Don't only ask yourself, 'is bottled water healthy for me?', but consider the impact of bottled water use on our environment, too. Be sure to do your part as a resident of our planet, and be vigilant in recycling if you are a bottled-water user. Make sure those bottles don't end up in landfills to degrade and leach into our soil and watersheds (and so further damaging our water supply). Consider larger, refillable containers, and why not pour your water into a pretty, eco-friendly, stainless-steel water bottle?
If you're interested in reading about other ways we can ensure we're choosing the healthiest water we can, you'll find more tips here.
It only takes a few minutes to learn more about the water we use regularly for making tea, cooking, and bathing, and those few moments have long-lasting benefits, as you can feel easier about the water you and your household are using.
Making wise water choices (such as recycling water bottles, choosing a reusable water container, and encouraging others to do the same!) can have long-term benefits for our planet, too, so give yourself a pat on the back for making a difference for Mother Earth and all of us who call her home!