Growing up, there was filtered water at home, and a bottle of Bisleri if you were outdoors. There wasn’t any thought given to it, but with millennials proving to be a fitness-conscious generation, it’s different now. New health trends like activated charcoal and smart water have emerged, but are these really necessary?
Hit your nearest grocery store, and you will see multiple high-end brands pushing smart bottled water. While one promises water sourced from the foothills of the Himalayas, another claims to be “India’s softest water”. There’s even a brand called Diet Aqua. Last we checked, water didn’t have calories.
With buzzwords like “untouched by human hands”, “added minerals”, “packed with antioxidants” on the fancy packaging, we wondered if regular water was suddenly not good enough — like the small town boy who gets overshadowed by the NRI-return. But who should win?
Mumbai-based nutritionist and food consultant Anjali Peswani puts things in perspective: “Traditionally, we relied on water drawn from wells, which naturally contained minerals from the soil. Today, we make use of water filters which kills these minerals, so a lot of people today are mineral-deficient.”
But there’s a catch. Peswani says that since FDA (food and drug administration) laws in India can be lenient, companies could get away with promising a lot and delivering little. Which means even if they add, say, 10% minerals, they can claim the “added minerals” tag.
Ideally, water is supposed to be neutral — neither acidic nor alkaline. But a couple of brands highlight the fact that their product is highly alkaline, with one likening its water to being like green tea because of the alkaline. The parallel to green tea is drawn to then promote the fact that it can help your skin glow, and you can lose weight naturally. “If you’re body’s PH levels are neutral, you need to ask yourself whether you really need such water. It can, however, be helpful to people who have high acidic levels and suffer from bloating and acidity,” says Peswani.
Peswani adds that flavoured water can be an option to increase your water intake but not too frequently though, because they are high on sugar and preservatives.
The bottom line is this: Drink water (plenty of it) and opt for bottled water — only if your body requires it. And if you’re wondering how much to consume, according to Peswani, you should ideally drink one to one and a half litre of water.