Not all water tastes the same. No, really! Have you ever had a bottle of water that you’ve thought tasted a little funny? Most of the time, that unfamiliar taste isn’t due to the container seeping chemicals into your water, but the water itself.
Water can taste different based on the filtration process, source, or treatment method. Some drinking water are said to feel lighter than others, while some are reported to taste sweet or are easier to drink than others. Animals, insects, and plants can actually detect different flavours in water, and some organisms have been studied to prefer one type of water over another.
We’ve taken a page from My Own Water Singapore (you can check them through https://myownwater.com/) on the different types of bottled water and how different sources and treatment methods can affect the taste and feel of water.
Purified water refers to a wide range of sources and treatments that make water potable, but usually connotes groundwater or tap water that has been filtered using a reverse osmosis treatment, followed by carbon filters and micro filtration to remove miniscule particles in the water.
The end result is a crisp, clear water that is free from contaminants and microbes. However, depending on the purification process, purified water may run a low pH level, making the water taste slightly sour or acidic. Some supermarket brands have drawn flak for their acidic flavour, which is usually confused with the water quality.
Natural spring water is pretty self-explanatory. The water comes from natural resources that are then treated to remove any parasites and microbes, leaving you with fresh, clean water that tastes slightly sweeter and more complex than purified water or distilled water.
Bottled water filled with natural spring water organically has trace amounts of dissolved minerals in the water that gives the water a different taste. Depending on the source of the natural spring water, minerals may include calcium, magnesium, sodium, and more. While the minerals are too little in amount to make a difference to your health, their concentration impacts water flavour.
Natural spring water sourced from protected California springs have been said to have the best tasting water out of all other natural sources, making the water easier and tastier to drink.
The only difference between purified water and distilled water is that the latter goes through a distillation process to completely eliminate all impurities from the water, including parasites, bacteria, and pollutants. Distilled water is purified by boiling the water, and collecting the condensation gathered from the water vapour.
However, the distillation process also leaves behind the nutrients and minerals from the water. Distilled water is essentially water in its purest form, sans the naturally occurring minerals that could have been beneficial to your health.
Those electrolytes you hear from sports drink commercials may actually help regain energy and replenish much-needed nutrients that your body loses after exercising. Electrolyte enhanced water works just like sports drinks in keeping you hydrated, but without the high levels of sugar and sodium in them.
Electrolyte enhanced water has added minerals to replenish the fluids lost during exercise, and when you sweat. Perfect to drink after a heavy workout, or simply during your daily commute, electrolyte enhanced water helps to keep your body in peak condition by providing the body with supplemental energy and nourishment.
Since the water contains no sugar and much less sodium than sports drinks, electrolyte enhanced water can move more nutrients into your cells, while regulating your body pH levels and functionality of your organs.
Alkaline water measures on the higher end of the pH scale, steering away from acidic levels. Since most of our available foods can cause our bodies to become acidic, many people believe drinking alkaline water helps regulate our body pH levels from all the acidity.
Although the topic is still upon discussion, some studies suggest that alkaline water may hold a part in regulating blood sugar, maintaining blood pressure, and lowering cholesterol. In terms of taste, alkaline water may taste slightly bitter, as bases should be, or metallic, depending on the alkalinization process.