Time to Hydrate: Tap vs Bottled Water

Let’s dive in with some Fun Facts

* Our entire body is over 80% water

* Muscles are approximately 75% water

* Our brain is just over 70% water

* Bones are approximately 22% water

* Water is required for every single metabolic process in our body

* 8-10 days without water and life probably wont end well

* Blood thickens without sufficient water intake; affecting heart health

* Studies have shown people who drink over 5 glasses of water a day are significantly less likely to suffer heart related events (heart disease, heart attacks, arrhythmias)

* The most expensive bottled water is Acqua di Cristallo, made from Fijian natural spring water, and encased within a 24-gold carat bottle. It retails at around a whopping £52,000 per bottle

* You’re more likely to die from a shark bite or lightning strike than become ill from tap water in developed countries (including here in the UK)

Bottled or Tap?

Doing research for this post I was pretty stunned at the statistics I came across. The impact of bottled water in my opinion outweighs any potential health benefits. In fact, bottled water doesn’t come off that well all things considered:

While free from chemicals, mineral water contains microbes, some of which are disease carriers (including those which lead to cholera).

While tap water has been show to contain traces of pharmaceutical drugs (antidepressants, oestrogen, ibuprofen), 65% of bottled water has also been found to contain the same detectable levels.

BPA (found in plastics) has been banned in many countries due to evidence of being an endocrine disruptor, affecting sex hormones and genes. It’s been linked to hormonal cancers (breast, ovary, prostate) and low-birth weights.

In blind taste tests, while acknowledging bottled and tap waters taste different, there is no discernible link between source, cost and desirable taste. In fact, tap water usually performs in the top 3 most favoured.

So it would seem that it comes down to personal taste. If you’re concerned about the health implications of tap vs bottled water, there’s not much difference, but what IS different is the global environmental impact of the plastic bottle industry. I wont even go into the migration of plastics into our food sources as that’s a whole other topic! For the last few years I’ve used metal refillable water bottles and now I value this even more having become aware of some of the research out there. Whether you choose bottled or tap water is of course your choice. What I will say is any type of water is definitely preferable to carbonated drinks loaded with sugar.

​Bottled Water

With rising trends in consumer purchases veering towards bottled water, is it actually any better for us? The research is pretty clear on this one…

There are 3 types:

Purified Water chemically processed tap water containing a few added minerals

Spring Water derived from underground natural sources with variable mineral content. It cannot be treated with chemicals and has been deemed fit for human consumption

Mineral Water similar to spring water in its origin, but must contain a minimum level of mineral or electrolyte content with a constant water flow

Bottled Considerations

* The energy required to produce bottled water is 2000 times greater than for tap water

* It takes 4 litres of water to purify 1 litre

* It takes 10 litres of water to make the plastic bottle for 1 litre

* 1 in 5 bottles are recycled

* 10% of recycled bottles become bottles again ( in the UK)

* Worldwide 20,000 bottles are produced per second

* 8 million tonnes of plastic make their way into oceans each year

* The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of France