Charcoal water. Enhanced water. Tap water. Mineral water. Spring water. Purified water. Distilled water. Coconut water.
When did drinking water become so complex? Proper hydration is key to health, but with so many options out there, it's become overly complicated. Do I need to buy that newest trend water I see all over social media? How much water should we actually be drinking in a day? What about sports drinks?
Most people have heard the conventional wisdom that says we should drink 8 glasses of water a day, which is a reasonable goal. Depending on various factors, some people may need more, some people may need less. You are most likely adequately hydrated if you rarely feel thirsty or if your urine is colorless to light yellow.
First, enhanced water is a large umbrella that can include alkaline/ionized water, electrolyte water, vitamin water, basically any water that has added elements. As for what kind of water should you be drinking, let's run through some of the main kinds.
•Tap water: depending on where you live, suitable for drinking. Check with your local municipality. (Most undergo routine quality testing and meet standards for drinking water)
•Mineral water: naturally contains minerals, obtained from underground sources. Suitable for drinking.
•Spring/well water: does not pass through a community water system. Considered suitable for drinking.
•Alkaline/ionized water: Some studies have supported the claims that ionized water helps achieve a more balanced internal pH, but the amount of data is still fairly small.
•Electrolyte water (sports drinks): depending on brand, the sugar and calories in these drinks mean they should not be used for standard hydration; however, if you are engaging in high physical activity where you're losing electrolytes rapidly, these can be helpful for replenishing.
•Flavored water: if they don't contain sugar or sugar substitutes, these can be helpful for people who don't prefer the taste of plain water.
The best option for vitamins is always to absorb them naturally through the foods they're found in. Simply put, if you're eating a balanced, healthy diet, and regularly drinking good old H2O, you don't need these trend waters. As always, if you have questions about your child's consumption of these drinks, please contact our office or talk to your provider at your next visit.