We all know that water is essential to our health as it keeps us hydrated, protects our joints, protects teeth against cavities (if water is fluoridated), and helps our whole body function smoothly. The evolution of bottled water, with extras like hydrogen gas or electrolytes, is expanding with more options coming to market. Is there an advantage to these designer bottled water over tap water? Here’s what you need to know about different options before “upgrading” your H20.
The claim: Water already contains hydrogen, but hydrogen water brands add more of the gas to their bottles. They say that because of its antioxidant properties, it can increase energy and improve post-exercise recovery.
The science: More research is needed, but some small studies suggest it can reduce oxidative stress, which could speed up recovery in theory.
The claim: Oxygen water is made with extra oxygen molecules said to go directly into the bloodstream (rather than through the lungs like when you inhale it) for energy during a workout.
The science: Although it did nothing to enhance performance, one small study (25 runners) found that oxygenated water helped clear lactate concentration from the blood after a run, which could aid in post-workout recovery.
The claim: One brand, Sportwater, says that the 330 mg of magnesium, potassium, and calcium help “put more oxygen into your muscles faster.”
The science: There’s not much research available specific to electrolyte-enhanced waters.
The claim: Formulated to have a higher pH and additional minerals, alkaline water is purported to be better at rehydrating the body compared to plain tap.
The science: One study (100 people) suggested that an electrolyzed alkaline water was better at helping adults rehydrate after a workout.
More research is needed on these additives in bottled water. What is tried and true is tap water with fluoride. Bottled water frequently contains less than the recommended levels of fluoride, which could cause a rise in tooth decay among children. So raise a glass of good, old-fashioned tap water to toast this news: when it comes to water, bottled may not be better. Not only will you save $$, you will also save teeth. Find out more about fluoridation in water: https://www.ada.org/en/public-programs/advocating-for-the-public/fluoride-and-fluoridation/5-reasons-why-fluoride-in-water-is-good-for-communities.