| ||Water 101
| ||Learn All the Ways to Get Your H2O
|Author:||Zach Van Hart, Staff Writer
|Date:||4/29/2004 12:00:00 AM
Everyone on the Atkins Diet, raise your hands. Everyone on the South Beach Diet, raise your hands. Everyone who counts calories, raise your hands. Everyone on the jelly bean diet, raise your hands.
What do you all have in common? Water. No matter if you eat zero carbs or 3 servings of beef jerky each day, water is the cornerstone of every diet.
Today, there is an abundance of ways to get your water. Tap water, mineral water, spring water, fitness water, water from bottles, water filters, water coolers, and the list goes on and on. What works? What’s the difference between them? How much does it all cost? Here’s some help.
It’s becoming more and more popular, despite costing a dollar or two per bottle. There are typically two kinds of non-flavored water you can purchase – mineral and spring. And yes, there is a difference between the two. Spring water derives its name from the fact that it comes from underground water springs. It receives the same filtration treatment that all water receives, including tap water, but that’s it. It is the more natural water and is typically characterized as tasting more refreshing.
Mineral water is spring water that goes through a chemical treatment process. This adds minerals to the water, but in exchange, causes water to lose some of its refreshing taste. The technical name for the added minerals is "Totally Dissolved Solids." If there are less than 250 mg/liter in the water, it’s considered spring. Above 250 and it’s mineral water. In fact there are three different levels of mineral water. The low mineral content is what’s normally found in stores. Bottles of water typically go for $1.25, or you can buy them in packs of 6 for $5-6.
Another option is flavored water. Gatorade recently launched its own line of flavored fitness water, but there are many other options. These waters go through a similar process to mineral water, adding not only minerals and vitamin fortification, but also a hint of artificial flavoring. It’s not much different than mineral water; its main attraction is for individuals who do not like the taste of plain water. Flavored water costs nearly the same as regular bottled water.
Water filters are a more economically sound purchase. Filters come in several forms; the most popular choices are a filtered water pitcher to be stored in your fridge, or an attachment to your sink faucet. The filters block several elements of tap water, including zinc, chlorine, copper, lead, sediment and other materials, up to 99 percent of each item that comes through your sink. (These additives come from the pipes they flow through, so they are not in bottled spring water). Filters can be purchased for anything from $20 to $60, and are great alternatives to buying bottled water all the time.
Thought these were only for the office? While they require a bit more maintenance than filters, water coolers are another alternative to bottled water. The cooling units are more expensive to buy up front, (the cheapest ones start at $100) but in the long run, will save you money. Five-gallon jugs can be purchased for less than $10 and they equate to 32 regular size bottles of water (20 ounces). Plus, companies will regularly bring you new jugs at your convenience.
The choice is yours, between bottled, flavored, filters or coolers; just make sure you’re drinking 8-12 cups per day. Find out what works best for you and stick with it! It could be key to reaching your nutritional goals.