With all the many forms of water on the market today, it is sometimes difficult to make a decision as to which we prefer. Sparkling water is plain water that has carbon dioxide (CO2) dissolved in it. This CO2 produces the fizz that we see in carbonated drinks like sodas and seltzer. In order to produce water that is sparkling, a person can use either a soda siphon which contains pressurized CO2 together with a charger, or he can use a sodamaker which is a little more expensive.
Sparkling mineral water
Sparkling mineral water is mineral water with CO2. Pure mineral water is obtained from springs and is bottled and sold as mineral water. Some mineral water may also absorb CO2 from the rocks over which it passes. The FDA classifies mineral water as water that has 250 parts per million of dissolved solids. These may be organic or inorganic substances. In some countries mineral water is believed to have therapeutic benefits. This type of water usually has a higher mineral content than that of drinking water, however the World Health Organization has not put forward any guidelines for or against this water as having health benefits.
Low mineral water
There is great variation in the amount of minerals found in bottled water. According to a report published in the American Journal of Medicine, the ideal bottled wated should be rich in magnesium and calcium and low in sodium. Magnesium and calcium contribute to the hardness of water, and are said to be protective of cardiovascular health. Drinking soft water is believed to lead to cardiac rhythm problems. Cooking high-magnesium foods like green leafy vegetables, cereals and seafood in soft (low mineral)water, causes them to lose their magnesium content.
On the other hand, sodium intake should be limited. Sodium is blamed for hypertension. The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium intake to 3000 mg per day, while the average daily intake in North American has been estimated at 4000 to 6000 mg per day. One brand of bottled water contains 1095 mg of sodium per liter. Therefore one bottle of water alone supplies 45% of the recommended daily allowance.
Distilled water is water that has been purified to remove impurities. This is done by boiling the water and then condensing the steam into a clean cup, leaving all the impurities behind. Water that has been demineralized or deionized has had all the minerals removed and is very pure water similar to distilled water but without the scale build up. Bottled distilled water is sold in supermarkets for drinking, and many beverage manufacturers use distilled water to ensure the purity and taste of their product.
However, this form of drinking water has been both encouraged and discouraged for health reasons. Since distilled water has had the minerals removed, it lacks the minerals mentioned above, and is therefore lacking in certain health benefits. Distilled water also lacks fluoride which is important in preventing tooth decay. However, some advocates of distilled water counter that only a small portion of calcium, magnesium comes from our drinking water, therefore as long as we get enough of those minerals we should not have to worry.