In today’s world, we are concerned about health and consciously choose everyday products. Bottled waters occupy an important place in our shopping baskets, offering not only refreshment and hydration, but also a variety tailored to individual tastes and health needs. Natural mineral waters are a true treasure, characterized by their original purity and unique mineral wealth. There is only one problem: which water to choose ? Store shelves are overflowing with different types of water, so choosing the right one is not always easy.
Bottled waters – a difficult choice for the consumer
The key element differentiating bottled waters is their degree of mineralization, which determines the content of substances important to our bodies. However, we must remember that the law does not regulate the minimum mineral content as a prerequisite for the name “mineral water.” Now any water extracted from under the ground can bear this name, regardless of composition. This is important information. Therefore, in order to make an informed choice, taking into account the chemical characteristics and individual needs, let’s check the labels.
Would high mineral water, rich in nutrients, or low mineral water, ideal for preparing meals for the youngest, be better? Each type has its own unique characteristics and advantages. In the remainder of this article, we will take a closer look at the different categories of bottled waters, their chemical compositions and uses to facilitate informed and health-beneficial choices.
Mineral components contained in bottled water
The mineral waters for sale are a true gift of nature, drawn from underground intakes, and their original purity makes them an excellent alternative to tap water, or “tap water.” Natural mineral waters are richly saturated with minerals from different geological layers.
Among the most important ingredients present in mineral waters, a few are worth mentioning. The most important of these is magnesium. For preventive-health purposes, it is recommended to consume waters that contain at least 50 mg/L of it. Since this element is not subject to overdose, it is an excellent preventive measure against many diseases. Another key ingredient is calcium, the recommended daily intake of which is 800 to 1,200 mg. For preventive-health purposes, it is advisable to consume mineral waters containing at least 150 mg/L. Calcium is essential for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, and calcium deficiencies can lead to serious conditions, including osteoporosis.
Sodium and chloride, present in mineral waters, are beneficial for people engaged in intense physical activity, athletes, as well as during periods of high exercise and loss of salt with sweat. In such cases, it is recommended to consume waters containing up to 1,500 mg/L of sodium and chloride. Bicarbonates, which are present in water in excess of 600 mg/liter, play an important role in regulating stomach acidity. Sulfates are beneficial to the liver and pancreas, especially in the early stages of diabetes. Their effect is noticeable from a level of about 250 mg/l. Iodine, although rare in mineral waters, is physiologically important if the amount exceeds 0.2 mg/L. Fluoride, present at 1 mg/L, has a beneficial effect on the mineralization of teeth and bones.
Iron, in its divalent form, has a positive effect on the human body when the amount reaches 1 mg/L, and carbon dioxide, which is primarily of taste significance, makes water refreshing. Contraindications for drinking carbon dioxide waters include certain stomach and vocal cord disorders.
Bottled waters – types
Bottled waters are usually classified by the degree of mineral saturation, which determines their use and health effects.
Highly mineralized mineral waters
Highly mineralized waters have 1,500 to 4,000 mg of minerals per liter. They contain significant amounts of calcium, magnesium or potassium, which play a key role in metabolic processes. Consumption of highly mineralized waters can help offset mineral deficiencies in the body and serve a preventive-health function.
Medium mineralized mineral waters
Waters with mineralization between 500 and 1,500 mg/L offer a moderate amount of minerals. They do not disturb the electrolytic balance, which allows them to be consumed in any quantity to quench thirst. They are characterized by a delicate taste, which makes them an attractive choice for many consumers. However, they are unsuitable for children under the age of 3, as their kidneys are not yet fully formed and should not be burdened with excess minerals.
Low mineralized mineral waters
Waters with mineralization of less than 500 mg/l are ideal for domestic use. They are suitable for cooking and preparing drinks for babies. They are an alternative to tap water. Low-mineralized waters are excellent at dissolving nutrients, making them a beneficial addition to the daily diet.
They come from a natural source, i.e. self-flows, or from underground intakes that draw resources from aquifers, but shallower than mineral waters. The advantage of spring waters is that they retain their original purity and are free of contaminants from the external environment. They are an excellent alternative to mineral waters, thanks to their natural taste and chemical composition.
It is a combination of natural spring water and filtered tap water, containing various minerals. They belong to the category of functional waters, recommended for preventive-health reasons.
They are a special category – they have pharmacodynamic properties. They are usually characterized by a mineral content of more than 4,000 mg/l, and the therapeutic effect has been confirmed by clinical studies. Their use should be under the supervision of a doctor.
Knowledge the basis for informed choices
In order to make more informed decisions about choosing water for consumption, we should pay attention to two key issues: the degree of mineralization and the content of individual components. Understanding whether a water is high, medium or low mineralized, or whether it contains additional ingredients, allows you to tailor your intake to your needs and preferences.
Taking care of proper hydration by consciously consuming different types of mineral waters can significantly contribute to maintaining a proper lifestyle. Properly balanced water consumption, taking into account both taste and health aspects, can affect the overall health of the body, supporting its metabolic functions and protecting against potential deficiencies. Knowledge of the characteristics of the waters is therefore becoming a key tool for informed consumers, allowing them to make health-beneficial decisions. Bottled water is a product that is readily available to meet the diverse needs of consumers.