With the good weather coming, the need to stay well hydrated remains important, but which waters to favor? So rather tap water or bottled water?

The differences and the a priori fakes are not always what we think, here is a true or false to see more clearly.

Reading time: 6 minutes  
Does bottled water harm the environment?
Does tap water taste different?
Is bottled water more expensive?
Is tap water worse from a health point of view?
Does bottled spring water have a more stable composition?
Does bottled mineral water meet the criteria for drinking water?
Is it safe to give baby tap water?
Does bottled water have more virtues?

Bottled water seriously harms the environment : TRUE

It is a fact that is really starting to be taken into account and known by the general public, bottled water pollutes much more than tap water. About 180,000 tonnes of plastic bottles are produced each year in France, about 3 kilos per person per year. The degradation of a plastic bottle amounts to hundreds of years if it is thrown into the environment. In addition, plastic can only be recycled 2 or 3 times maximum and then it becomes waste! Normally a plastic water bottle should not be reused as the risk of water contamination increases. Glass bottles if they are for single use are not better for the environment either.

Tap water does not always have a pleasant taste : TRUE (and FALSE)

Critics of tap water will tell you about its sometimes unpleasant taste. It depends on the localisation, some tap water systems have a very neutral taste. However, it is true that some tap water can have a chlorine taste, this comes from the addition to the water of a chlorine treatment to prevent the proliferation of microorganisms. Rest assured this taste can be removed by letting the water in the refrigerator before consumption.

Bottled water is 10 times more expensive than tap water : FALSE

So no, bottled water is absolutely not 10 times more expensive, it is 100 to 300 times more expensive per liter than tap water! Tap water averages 0.3 euro cents per liter while bottled water costs 30 euro cents per liter on average. You will understand that it is not bottled water that will allow you to save money!

Tap water is of lower quality (sanitary) than bottled water : FALSE

Both tap and bottled water follow very strict regulations. You should also know that tap water is one of the most controlled food products. No less than 54 different parameters are monitored and are regularly checked. In France, tap water is therefore perfectly healthy and can be consumed daily. It should however be noted that in certain regions it happens that tap water, a few days a year, is polluted (by pesticides, nitrates or other residues), in this case, the population is warned. The consumption of tap water implies taking into account the type of piping. Buildings built before 1948 are likely to have lead pipes, which can later be found in water. Only in this case tap water is not recommended for children and a filtration system is recommended.

Does bottled spring water have a more stable composition? FALSE

This is a generally overlooked fact, but the composition of bottled spring water can vary greatly for the same brand. The spring waters can come from different underground sources even if the name on the bottle remains identical, the result is a composition varying over time and depending on the location. Let’s take a concrete example, with a bottle of water labeled “Cristalline”. Some bottles of this water may contain 102mg / L of calcium and 4.2 mg / L of magnesium while other bottles will contain only 44.4mg / L of calcium and 1mg / L of magnesium. So check the labels carefully if you buy these spring waters for a particular mineral content.

Bottled mineral water meet the criteria of drinking water : FALSE

It may seem surprising, but mineral water does not meet the criteria for drinking water. Do not panic, you will not get sick, these waters still meet criteria but these are specific to them. Their excessively high content of certain minerals leaves them in the drinking water category. For example, the fluorine limit is set at 1.5 mg / l for drinking water; mineral waters can, however, contain up to 5 mg / l. Be careful with the consumption of mineral water if you suffer from certain pathologies which require a limited supply of minerals (sodium, calcium, magnesium, fluorine …).

 It is very risky to give baby tap water : FALSE

We tend to give Evian, Mont Roucous water or any other water containing the words “suitable for the preparation of food for infants” to babies because they are weakly mineralized waters which meet their needs. However, tap water may be suitable if certain precautions are taken. Firstly, it is imperative that the pipes do not contain lead. It is also necessary to let the water (at a temperature below 25 ° C) run for a few seconds before using it for babies and it is strongly advised to boil it before use.

Bottled water has more virtues than tap water :  TRUE et FALSE

When you drink tap water you are constrained on its properties (pH, minerals, hardness …), while the consumption of bottled water allows you to choose which properties to favor according to desires or needs. There are several types of mineral water:
  • Calcium mineral waters (with more than 150 mg / liter of calcium) supplement the calcium intake;
  • Magnesian mineral waters (with more than 50 mg / liter of magnesium) supplement the magnesium intake and fight against constipation;
  • Bicarbonate mineral waters (with a bicarbonate content of more than 600 mg / liter) improve digestion;
  • Natural mineral waters (rich in sodium with more than 200 mg / liter of sodium) are recommended for athletes who exert intense efforts.

Meersens health point: :

Even if mineral waters have virtues it is advisable to vary the type of water consumed by alternating with tap water for example. Indeed, water rich in calcium can be at the origin of kidney stones and are therefore not recommended in case of kidney problems, water rich in sodium is not suitable if you already have hypertension problems or are on a low sodium diet . Just like in food, variety is the key to good health.
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