There’s a new type of packaging you may see your water come in — a box. But is drinking water from a box healthier than drinking good old bottled water?
There is certainly no shortage of trendy ways to hydrate yourself on a hot summer day: smoothies, energy drinks, kombucha teas, vitamin-infused waters and, lest we forget, the ubiquitous coconut waters. Not to mention the boring old plain water that comes out of your tap — free. But if you’re thirsty for yet another option, you’re in luck. The latest beverage to show up at the grocery store is maple water.
Not to be confused with sweet, sticky maple syrup, maple water is basically the thin (supposedly not sticky) sap that is tapped directly out of the tree. “It takes 40 gallons of maple water to boil down to one gallon of syrup,” explains Kate Weiler, Co-Founder of Drink Maple. “People think maple water is going to overly sweet but are pleasantly surprised by its refreshing quality.”
What if I told you that there was a “pill” that, when you consumed it, helped you get a better workout, which of course leads to more strength and better calorie burning? The same pill would also help you focus at work or home so you could get the important things in your life done better and faster. Oh, and by the way, it’s been shown to lead to an increased metabolism, lower calorie intake at meals and better weight loss. How much would you pay for that pill? $10 a bottle, $20, $40? How about free?
It’s the battle over water! Should you be dropping cash on bottled versions or is tap the way to go? We’re diving into this controversy and sprinkling you with all the facts.
There are different varieties of bottled water, depending on their source. Here is a rundown:
- Mineral water comes from an underground source and contains a certain amount of minerals and trace element like copper, zinc, and arsenic.
- Spring water is collected from a spring that flows naturally through the surface.
- Municipal water comes from a public source that is usually treated before it’s bottled. You may see it labeled as “purified water.”
Having bottled water available when you’re on the go is convenient and less messy (many reusable bottles leak), but recent studies conducted will make any bottle-loving person a skeptic.
According to a 2008 investigation conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a variety of contaminants were found in every tested brand of bottled water. Although tap water is typically tested annually, bottled water doesn’t have to meet the same testing standards and they don’t have to disclose results of any contaminant testing conducted. After conducting this research, the EWG concluded that the “purity of bottled water cannot be trusted…[and] consumer confidence in the purity of bottled water is simply not justified.”
Also, bottled water has a larger carbon footprint than tap water and doesn’t contain any of the added nutrients found in tap water (like fluoride)—though you can find bottled water that has been fortified with fluoride. the problem is, over-consumption of fluoridated water can lead to fluorosis which causes a brownish discoloration on the teeth. It also costs thousands of times more than tap water.
With the Grammy’s right around the corner we sought to answer questions like how do musicians keep their voice in tip-top shape, or what do musicians eat on the road? I had the pleasure of speaking with registered dietitian Wendy Jo Peterson, who provides nutrition counseling for musicians including the guys from Reckless Kelly who are up for a Grammy this year.
Q: What’s your role as a dietitian for musicians?
When working with musicians I take on the role of a nutrition coach, culinary expert and sports nutritionist. I work with musicians on the road but also music festivals, catering companies and event coordinators. Besides working with some of the guys from Reckless Kelly, I have also worked with musicians from last year’s Grammy-winning group, Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses.
Q: You counsel your musicians to eat like athletes. Do musicians really burn that many calories? Does this philosophy apply to the entire band (i.e. drummer, guitarist)?
Interestingly the current data is quite outdated in regards to calories burned by musicians, but I have measured calories burned with many of the artists I work with and yes, they burn like athletes. Whether they are banging drums, bouncing around with a fiddle, or doing a choreographed dance while singing they are all burning calories that require nutrition and sport performance considerations. In addition to calories they have major sweat losses on stage, and until they see the evidence they don’t quite get it. I employ similar principles with my athletes as I do with my musicians. The results are impressive!
Tired of drinking calorie-filled sodas and juices? Make your own low-cal bubbly drinks with sparkling water or an at-home drink carbonator.
In this week’s nutrition news: The unique experience of dining in the dark, diet soda linked to pre-mature delivery and meet the woman who inspired Michael Pollan.
Reading List: Diet Soda Linked To Premature Birth, Vitaminwater Lawsuit and Kids Addicted to Energy Drinksby Toby Amidor in Food News, July 30, 2010
In this week’s nutrition news: Logging on helps keep the weight off, recalled foods found on market shelves and Vitaminwater sued for deceptive health claims
If you’re looking to eat healthier, completely overhauling your diet is not the answer — you’ll be back to your old habits in no time. Studies have shown that making small changes is the best way to create long-term habits. In this new series, we suggest small, easy steps you can take to become healthier. First up: Staying hydrated.