Drink water — Which one?

By Pat Brinkman - OSU Extension

Walk in the grocery store and you can find 10 different types of water on the shelf. Is one better than the other? Should I be sure to drink one or more of them? What are some of these waters?

Plain Water

This is tap water or well water. Tap water is tested to make sure it meets safety requirements. It usually comes from a municipal water system. In rural areas many people have well water, which should be tested every year to make sure it is safe. It may need to be filtered to remove excess iron, sulfur or other chemicals.

Raw Water

Bottled Raw water is marketed as unfiltered, untreated spring water. Although this water is marketed as untreated it is tested for safety. It is not safe to collect your own mountain spring water as it could be contaminated. This water has no advantage over tap water and costs more.

Alkaline Water

Alkaline water has a higher pH than 7 which is neutral on the pH scale. Proponents claim it can change the pH of your blood, which they claim may help you reduce your risk of disease. These claims have not been proven. It doesn’t treat acid reflux, nor is it better for hydration.

Hydrogen Water

This water has added hydrogen molecules. Increased endurance, reduces fatigue are claims for hydrogen water. Tests showed no real evidence to back up the claims.

Deep Ocean Water

This water comes from the ocean and is desalinated (salt removed). The claim for this water is that it contains a blend of electrolytes and trace minerals which will hydrate you twice as fast as spring water. However, the study is not specific and is missing details. To be honest it’s just plain water.

Protein Water

Protein water has the addition of whey protein isolate. It’s a low calorie protein drink which claims it replenishes muscle and increases energy and endurance. A study found no difference in drinking plain water versus protein water in hydrating after exercise.

Electrolyte Water

This water has added electrolytes. Most of us don’t need added electrolytes, as we don’t participate in intense exercise for more than one hour.

Vitamin Water

This is water with basically a vitamin pill added. It’s cheaper to take a vitamin pill and drink plain water. There is no evidence that this water does provide any health benefits.

Coconut Water

Coconut water is the liquid from a green coconut. It usually has about 45 to 60 calories and contains some potassium and other electrolytes. It is similar to a sports drink. Studies comparing it to water and sports drinks have had mixed results. The extra calories can be a problem if they are not accounted for and can add 5 to 6 pounds a year.

What’s Best?

In comparing different waters your best option is still plain water. Companies are just trying to get you to spend extra money on their latest liquid. Save your money and enjoy plain water – cold or hot!

Pat Brinkman is the Family and Consumer Sciences Educator for Ohio State University Extension.


By Pat Brinkman

OSU Extension