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Article Title:
BOTTLED WATER: Full of Health or Full of Hype?

Article Description:
Is this often high-priced commodity (water) really the best choice 
when it comes to fulfilling our daily H2O quota? Or has over half 
the population fallen prey to yet another marketing extravaganza?

Additional Article Information:
1188 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
Distribution Date and Time: Fri Feb 10 04:16:37 EST 2006

Written By:     Kelly Hayford, C.N.C.
Copyright:      2006
Contact Email:  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

Article URL:

For more free-reprint articles by this Author, please visit:,_C.N.C.


BOTTLED WATER: Full of Health or Full of Hype?
Copyright © 2006 Kelly Hayford, C.N.C.
Award-winning author, "If It's Not Food, Don't Eat It!"

"Drink plenty of water" is a phrase indelibly imprinted on each 
of our minds, constantly reminding us of the necessity of this 
life-sustaining gift of nature. 

Gone are the days of filling up a canteen at the side of a 
pristine running stream, however. Clear plastic bottles sporting 
designer names and labels are most people's choice today. 

In fact, the bottled water industry has become the fastest 
growing segment of the overall beverage industry. Sales have 
tripled in the last decade and now exceed over $7 billion per 
year worldwide. Fifty-four percent of all Americans drink bottled 

But is this often high-priced commodity really the best choice 
when it comes to fulfilling our daily H2O quota? Or has over half 
the population fallen prey to yet another marketing extravaganza? 

As a nutritional consultant I have long been asked these 
questions. Unfortunately, there is not a simple yes or no answer. 
There are multiple factors to consider in order to make wise, 
informed decisions. 

First, there are a few basic categories or types of bottled water 
available on the market today (see descriptions), each of which 
usually has one or another purported health benefits associated 
with it. Whether or not the health benefits associated with these 
types of water are valid or not, is the topic of much debate 
among health professionals with no definitive answers. 

Regardless of any potential health benefits that may be 
associated with any given type of bottled water, the most 
important thing for people to know is that all brands are not 
created equal. 

Although there are pure, high quality bottled waters available, 
discerning the good guys from the bad can be dicey business. Due 
to substandard and challenging government regulations, what it 
says on the label outside the bottle is not always what's inside. 

For example, a study done by the Natural Resources Defense 
Council (NRDC) found that an estimated 25% of bottled water 
tested is really just tap water in a bottle! 

In another example, last year 500,000 liters of Coca-Cola's 
Dasani brand water was recalled in Britain due to high levels of 
bromate, a carcinogenic chemical. Pathogens can also be a problem 
as the NDRC further reports that one-fifth of the bottled waters 
tested exceeded unenforceable state or industry bacteria 

Other concerns voiced by those in opposition to the proliferation 
of this industry include: the 1.5 million tons of plastic used 
for bottling and the toxic chemicals that can be released into 
the environment during this process; possible consumption of the 
toxic chemicals that may leach into the water from the plastic 
bottles in which the water is contained; and the enormous amount 
of resources expended in the overall production, packaging and 
transportation of bottled waters. 

All things considered, in conjunction with the NDRC, I will 
continue to recommend water filtered at the source either through 
a quality in-home filtration system or one available at most 
natural foods stores, as the safest and usually most economical 
overall drinking water for daily consumption. 



The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) product definitions for 
bottled water are: 

Purified Water: 
Produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis or other 
suitable processes (see glossary). 

Drinking Water: 
Water sold for human consumption in sanitary containers that 
contains no added sweeteners or chemical additives (other 
than flavors, extracts or essences that do not exceed 
one-percent-by-weight of the final product). Must be 
calorie-free and sugar-free. 

Artesian Water / Artesian Well Water: 
Bottled water from a well in which water is tapped from a 
confined aquifer (permeable stratum of rock overlaid by 
impermeable rock). 

Spring Water: 
Water that flows naturally to the earth's surface from an 
underground formation without the aid of drilling or pumps. 

Mineral Water: 
Contains not less than 250 parts per million total dissolved 
solids (mineral and trace elements) collected naturally by 
passing through various layers of earth and rock to the well 
or spring. No minerals added. 

Sparkling Water: 
Naturally carbonated water (i.e. contains the same amount of 
carbon dioxide that it had at emergence from the source, 
after treatment and possible replacement with carbon dioxide.) 
Note: soda water, seltzer water and tonic water may contain 
sugar and calories, and are considered soft drinks, not 
bottled water. 



How does your favorite brand of water measure up? The National 
Resources Defense Council provides objective information on 
bottled water and has a study listing contaminants found in 
various brands. You can view the study at 

For a water analysis provided by leading bottlers, visit 



Reading the labels on bottled water can be wrought with 
confusion. Here's a list of some of the most commonly used 
terms to help sort things out: 

Carbonation: saturation with carbon dioxide. 
Under pressure, the gas in water becomes carbonic acid. 

Charcoal filter: 
device for removing dissolved gasses, such as chlorine, 
from purified water. 

Deionized or Demineralized: 
process of reducing water to a non-mineral state by passing 
it over a bed of resins. Generally, deionized water is 
considered of higher quality than distilled water and is 
more economical to produce. 

purified by passing through an evaporation-condensation 
cycle that removes most dissolved solids (minerals). 

a naturally occurring or artificial process in which water 
passes through filters and is depleted of certain minerals 
and other elements. 

a process whereby ions are separated and/or exchanged 

Municipal water: 
water supplied by a city for public use, otherwise know as 
tap water. 

a method of sanitizing water by using ozone which is made by 
forcing compressed air through a high voltage arc into the 

Reverse osmosis: 
process by which water is reduced to a non-mineral state by 
passing through a plastic membrane under pressure, which 
separates the water from other elements. 

Ultraviolet ray: 
invisible rays beyond the violet end of the visible spectrum 
used to kill pathogens. 



One of the growing trends in bottled water is fruit- and vitamin-
enhanced waters. They sound like an easy way to pack in more 
fruit and vitamins into your day, but they don't provide any true 
health benefits. The quality of these products is based on the 
quality of the water and the substances added. Consumers seem 
better off with a natural mineral water, than drinking isolated 

Fruit waters should not be considered as a substitute for 
drinking water. They are officially categorized as beverages by 
the FDA and should be treated accordingly. As with any beverages, 
sugar content should be taken into account. Keeping in mind that 
4 grams=1 teaspoon of sugar can be helpful when making wise 

Kelly Hayford, C.N.C., is the award-winning author of 
"If It's Not Food, Don't Eat It!" As a former junk food 
junkie turned nutrition and health coach she has helped 
thousands reverse dis-ease, and restore their health, 
energy and natural weight. For tips, talks and teleclasses 
on healthy eating and holistic self-care, visit: or call 303.746.8970



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