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Drinking Water - So Many Choices?

General | August 9, 2018 | Author: Naturopath


Drinking Water - So Many Choices?

Tap water, spring water, mineral water, soda water, tonic water, alkaline water, vitamin water - who would have thought there would be so many types of water available. This article looks at the differences and whether some choices are better than others, and whether some should be avoided altogether.

Carbonated Waters

Carbonated Waters – are the drinks with the bubbles, such as soda, tonic or sparkling water. They have become a popular drink with people believing they are a healthy alternative to other types of drinks. Consumers can make their own carbonated water at home and vary the degree of carbonation (the sparking component). Carbonated water is a combination of carbon dioxide and water and is also found with sweeteners or fruit flavours added.
Too much sugar can affect health, so try to avoid those with added sugar.

Plain carbonated water sounds like a refreshing alternative to plain water but unfortunately there is negative effects of carbonated water on dental health. Like soft drinks, carbonated water is an acidic drink, the more carbonated the drink, the lower the pH – the more acidity. Teeth can suffer demineralization when pH is at 5.5. making this drink detrimental to dental health. Whether carbonated drink effects teeth is also dependend on the proportion of calcium and phosphate concentrations within the drink. When these are available the affect on teeth enamel is reduced. It can be hard to make a definative claim on carbonated water. Best advice is - don't drink too much.

A bit about teeth

Carbonated WatersDental enamel is made mostly of hydroxyapatite (calcium, phosphate and hydroxyl (OH-) ions). If you consume liquids without calcium or phosphate ions in them, or with decreased hydroxyl ion amounts (such as acidic solutions), some of the minerals from our teeth may dissolve into the liquid. Plain water has a neutral pH so the de-mineralization from the teeth is minimal. Sparkling, soft drinks and fruit juice drinks not so good.

On a positive initial study has shown carbonated drinks may help people with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), by increasing cortical excitability (nerves to initiate the mechanism for the function of swallowing).

Alkaline Water

Alkaline water typically has a pH value of between 8-9 making it higher than normal drinking water. Remember it’s the acidity that can cause dental damage. It is because of this that some people advocate the drinking of alkaline water as it is believed it can neutralize the acid in the body. Studies have suggested drinking alkaline water may help with acid reflux, acid-base balance and hydration, blood viscosity and acts as an antioxidant.

Alkaline water can be made by a number of different methods such as - electrically enhancing water (ionizing), reverse osmosis,  pH drops or by using  product such as baking soda or lemon juice. You can also purchase it ready made.Carbonated Waters

Tonic Water

Originally tonic water was developed as a prophylactic treatment against Malaria in regions of the world where this was present. It was a combination of Soda water and quinine. Quinine is a bitter compound extracted from the bark of the Cinchona tree.

In the early 19th Century, British officials stationed in India began mixing the powdered quinine with soda and sugar to make it more palatable – which led to the development of the soda water drink as a tonic for Gin – and the Gin and tonic was created.

The original medicinal tonic water was just soda and quinine but todays tonic water contains much smaller amounts of quinine and is usually flavoured with sugars such as corn syrup, high fructose or sugar. Diet tonic water will be sweetened with artificial sweeteners. Not necessarily a better alternative.

Some people prefer the bitter taste of the quinine added to their drinks but there is also a risk of getting too much quinine. Quinine has been prescribed for the shortterm treatment of nocturnal leg cramps.


Whilst you might feel encouraged by the name to buy this water thinking it is healthy for you, unfortunately you may be mistaken. Water, crystalline fructose and cane sugar are the first ingredients followed by some vitamins and natural flavours.

The Vitaminwater Zero is a better choice as it does not contain sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Natural Mineral Waters

These are bottled water purported to have been sourced from earth springs, underground reservoirs and offering specific hygienic features and containing minerals offering healthy benefits. Traditionally these waters were used at their source as spas, baths and wells for their health-giving properties. Today we get our mineral water, sparkling or still, in bottles. Mineral composition of mineral water is what enables them to be classified as such. They may contain different levels of minerals such as sulphate, chloride, calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium and fluoride.

Although most water purchased comes in plastic bottles, mineral waters many offer positive health effects with several studies supporting their properties and their role in different physiological and pathological conditions.
Click Here For Article on Plastic

Minerals are essential for as we cannot make them ourselves so rely on getting them from our diet. Minerals from foods sources are bound to complex molecules whereas the minerals obtained from water are free ions and more absorbable.

Australian governments - Food standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) has tabulated the various chemical substances and their respective maximum levels of bottled water sold in Australia.
Click Here for Information 

Water from The Tap

Australian drinking water is managed by the Australian Government National Water Quality Management Strategy (NWQMS) which is a joint national approach to improving water quality in Australian and New Zealand waterways. The main policy of the NWQMS is to achieve sustainable use of water resources. [1]

The Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) states

“The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (ADWG) are designed to provide an authoritative reference to the Australian community and the water supply industry on what defines safe, good quality water, how it can be achieved and how it can be assured. The guidelines have been developed after consideration of the best available scientific evidence and provide a framework for good management of drinking water supplies to ensure safety at point of use. They address both the health and aesthetic quality aspects of supplying good quality drinking water”. [2]
Click Here For Article on Sydney Water
Click Here For Artiecle on Why we need Water

Water from Bottles

It must be taken into consideration consuming any fluid that is contained in plastic may pose a risk to health. But also, we should take into consideration the burden on our environment from plastic consumption. Purchase products in a glass where possible.
Click Here for Article on our Environment

INatural Mineral Watersn conclusion

Water covers our earth and most of what we are made of. It is important for us to keep up our fluid intake. Water is contained in most of the foods we eat – especially our fruits and vegetables but also in milk, cheese and even meat. It is still important that we drink a good amount of water to keep us well hydrated.  Australia’s best online discount chemist


Effect of carbonated water manufactured by a soda carbonator on etched or sealed enamel

Brain and behavioral effects of swallowing carbonated water on the human pharyngeal motor system

Quinine, an old anti-malarial drug in a modern world: role in the treatment of malaria

Effectiveness of quinine in treating muscle cramps: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, multicentre trial.

Quinine and the ABCs of Long QT: A Patient’s Misfortune with Arthritis, (Alcoholic) Beverages, and Cramps

Natural mineral waters: chemical characteristics and health effects

[1] National Water Quality Management Strategy

[2] Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (2011) - Updated October 2017

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