Exploring Different Types and Brands of Bottled Water

Bottles of mineral water with blue caps on an assembly line

Buying a bottle of water isn’t as simple as it sounds. At most supermarkets and even at some vending machines, there is a wide variety of different brands and types of water to choose from. If one label says “purified” while the next says “natural spring water,” does that mean the spring water isn’t pure? Is “sparkling water” just a fancy name for seltzer, or is it something entirely different? Here, Columbia Distributing breaks down all the different types of bottled water to help you make the right decision next time you need to quench your thirst.

Why Bottled Water Is Better

There are many reasons for choosing water from a bottle instead of the tap. The most obvious reason is safety. American tap water is safe in the sense that you won’t get a digestive illness from drinking it. However, in many locations, the chemical content can be higher than some would prefer. Buying water in bottles can often be a safer alternative.

A Matter of Taste

Do you enjoy drinking tap water? New York City gets spring water from the Catskill Mountains, but most places in the country aren’t lucky to have such a pure site nearby. Your local water might not taste very good on its own, and it will also have chlorine added to prevent diseases like typhoid.

Purified, Spring, or Mineral

We tend to think of pure water as being tasteless, but different types and brands can have distinctive flavors. This is especially true of mineral water, but spring waters can also vary. Different types of waters include:

Spring Water

Spring water comes from naturally occurring springs, usually in the mountains. Spring water is fresh and pure with a sweet or neutral taste. Arrowhead Mountain and Poland Springs are two well-known American spring water brands.

Mineral Water

Mineral water comes from natural underground springs and contains a high level of minerals, which may have health benefits. The minerals may also give the water a distinctive taste. Perrier is a well-known French mineral water brand widely available in the United States.

Alkaline Water

Alkaline water is water with a high pH level. That means it contains less acid than other water and is usually sweet and pure tasting. This is true whether the water has naturally high alkaline, like Eternal Spring Water, or has been electrically processed, like Aquahydrate.

Purified Water

When a bottle is labeled purified, it usually means the water comes from wells or a municipal water supply and then is further purified by the bottler. Some examples include Nestle Pure Life and Deja Blue.

Sparkling Water vs. Seltzer

Although the term “sparkling water” is used to describe any kind of carbonated water, there are some differences among them. The finest type of sparkling water is spring water that is carbonated naturally by minerals in the rocks near the spring. The most famous of these is Perrier from France. Italian San Pellegrino is also naturally carbonated.

Seltzer is just purified or tap water that’s been carbonated. Some seltzers are marketed as “sparkling water” because it sounds more upscale. Cascade Ice, which is both flavored and carbonated, is a good example.

Flavored and Enhanced Waters

There was a time when flavored water meant adding something like powdered Kool-Aid to the water from your tap. While Kool-Aid is still around, today you can find more sophisticated bottled alternatives. Most of these are low in calories and have added benefits, such as vitamins or antioxidants. If you need an energy boost, you can even find flavored waters with caffeine, such as Sparkling Ice and Yerbae.

Choosing Your Water

The water you choose will depend on your taste, needs, and budget. Purified water is the most affordable. If you usually use water to make coffee, tea, or other flavored beverages, purified water is perfectly adequate. Otherwise, try some spring and mineral waters to see what you like best. If you’re serving a special meal, indulge in a celebrated European water such as Acqua Panna or Perrier.

Always Have Your Favorite Water on Hand

Once you’ve settled on your favorite brand of water, consider having it delivered to your home or office. Don’t make weekly trips to the supermarket and lug home a bunch of heavy bottles! Delivery will save you time and money, plus you’ll always have bottled water on hand for emergencies. Columbia Distributing carries many brands of water and can also deliver soda, beer, and spirits. We serve the areas surrounding Portland, Oregon; Kent, Washington; and Santa Rosa, California. Contact us today to learn more about convenient beverage delivery.