- Ridiculous claims made by companies who sell bottled water
- The willingness of consumers to believe in water magic.
I think perhaps I should change my business name to water exploitation is the new gold. Wherever I look these days I find some knucklehead preying on the good-intentions of unsuspecting consumers by selling them fortified water products that offer no real benefits at all. Let’s tackle some of the more egregious ones.
Mineral Water – As a rule, tap water has minerals in it already. Calcium, Magnesium, Carbonate, Sulfate, you name it, anything found in mineral water is found in your tap water as well. Furthermore, while our bodies need minerals, The concentrations of minerals found in mineral water is generally so low, you could not drink enough water in a day to substantially satisfy your need for them.
For instance, a one liter bottle (a little more than a quart) of San Pellegrino™ water will deliver these daily quantities of minerals. 18% of Calcium; 13% Magnesium; and 2% Sulfates. Drinking a gallon of this stuff would still not fulfill your daily mineral requirements.
Consider for example that an 8 ounce glass yields 40% of daily calcium. That’s more than the amount in 1/2 gallon of mineral water. If you like the taste of mineral water, by all means knock yourself out. If however, you drink it for nutritional value, you are deluding yourself. Water is not high in nutrition.
Alkaline Water – Makers of these products claim that the alkaline pH helps neutralize acid reflux, normalize the pH of the blood, and other equally ridiculous things like boost your metabolism. Here are some truths.
The pH in the human stomach ranges from 1.5 – 3.0. No matter how much alkaline water a person drinks, the nature of one’s stomach, and chemical laws will quickly turn alkaline water into acid water.
What about acid flux? Sorry, Alkaline water will not stop acid re-flux. For a solution to change the pH of another solution it has to offer a substantial enough amount of acid or base to cause a neutralization reaction. A typical antacid tablet, can offer 400 mg/l of calcium to neutralize acid. A typical 8 ounce glass of mineral water typically offers 30 mg/l or less.
Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) – Last but not least in the parade of bogus water claims comes H2O2. I don’t even know where to begin with this topic. Proponents of H2O2 like to claim that the extra oxygen invigorates the body fortifying the blood, and is an anti-oxidant that will get rid of harmful free radicals in your body. Once again voodoo ignores science. Oxygen finds its way into your blood by way of your hear and lungs, not your stomach. If you find a way to get extra oxygen in your stomach, you will belch or fart. That is all that will happen.
Also, and again, because the pH of the stomach is so acid, H2O2 begins to break down as soon as you begin to drink it. Additionally peroxide is not easy on the esophagus and can cause burning. Fortunately, drinks don’t contain enough peroxide to do much of anything.
So, what is our takeaway today?
AS FAR AS THE HUMAN BODY GOES – WATER IS WATER