My first blog post on this site is ironically not about food but rather water! There is a lot of controversy online over alkaline water and how healthy it may or may not be when compared to cheap bottled water or tap water. Living with Ulcerative Colitis I am very picky and careful about what I put into my body. Even when it comes to water! Recently I have been doing a lot of reading about water and the different types.
I am going to share with you what I have learned and tell you why I started drinking alkaline water.
What is Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water, also commonly known as ionized water, is water that has a pH level greater than seven. This water is generally produced with the aid of a faucet-based water ionizer, or “alkalizer” and features a number of health benefits. (Src: Fitday)
Is Alkaline Water Better For You?
This is a very controversial subject. I suggest you read some other reviews on alkaline water vs plain water.
- The Dangers of Tap Water (Tap vs Ionized Water) – Live Energized
- Is Alkaline Water Better For You Than Plain Water? – Mayo Clinic
- What Are the Benefits of Drinking Alkaline Water? – Livestrong
While there is not much scientific evidence for it, I still say if I am this concentrated on the water I am drinking well then I must be drinking more than I was before :) So really win win.
pH Levels of Water
pH is a measure of how acidic/basic water is. The range goes from 0 – 14, with 7 being neutral. pHs of less than 7 indicate acidity, whereas a pH of greater than 7 indicates a base. Tap water generally falls between pH 6.8-7.2 which is not that great. Remember, the pH scale is logarithmic meaning pH 8 is 10x more alkaline than pH 7 and pH 9 is 100x more alkaline. Most soda has a very low pH of around 3-4 and is very acidic.
I have Ulcerative Colitis and so I can’t handle highly acidic foods and have to stay away from them. Things like tomatoes are a big no no. So after doing some research on the water I was drinking (aquafina at the time) I realized it had a very low pH level of around 5.5. Lower then even tap water!
See this chart below on a comparison of some popular brands of water.
I then decided to read up on some reviews. Alkalife Ten, Evamor, and Essentia all have some pretty bad reviews about not being the actual pH as stated upon arrival. Same with Smart Water. There are hundreds of reviews about Smart Water’s actual pH level being way lower than 7.6. I haven’t tested it myself but it was enough for me to move on.
I finally decided to try the following two: Icelandic Glacial Water and Fiji water. After all, I drink a lot of water now and wanted to make sure I was giving my body the best. Both have good reputations and both seem to care about the environment and creating a healthy product.
Earth’s finest water, untouched by man, nature of water, the taste of paradise: each of these phrases have been used to describe the bottled water brand called Fiji Water. The company was founded in 1996 “out of a desire to share the earth’s finest water with the world” (1). Their water comes from an artesian aquifer in Viti Levu, the largest island in Fiji. An artesian aquifer is an underground layer that contains groundwater which flows over limestone or sandstone but is trapped between layers of rock, protecting the water from outside contaminates. According to their website, “Natural pressure forces the water towards the surface, where it is bottled at the source, free from human contact until you unscrew the lid” (1). Fiji Water is derived, bottled and shipped directly from Fiji, making it the leading export of the island.
As a leading export of the Fiji Islands, FIJI Water is now the number one imported bottled water in the United States and is enjoyed in over 60 countries across the globe. (Src: Fijiwater)
Since Fiji Water flows over layers of volcanic rock it naturally collects minerals and electrolytes along the way before it collects in the underground aquifer. Silica, magnesium, and calcium are just a couple of the minerals that contribute to the soft-mouth feel and smooth taste that Fiji Water is known for. One of the minerals, silica, is a mineral that helps regulate body temperature, carry nutrients and oxygen to cells, and removes waste from the body. There have also been some claims that the high-levels of silica in Fiji Water may help reduce Alzheimer’s risk. While there has been some controversy in the past regarding the amount of certain minerals in their water, the company states that they conform to all FDA regulations for bottled water. Their water quality testing reports are available online in both English and Spanish. While the water does contain electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride, all the electrolytes are naturally occurring and no additional electrolytes are added into the water.
Unlike some of Fiji Water’s counterparts, their bottled water is just barely considered alkaline coming in at a pH level of 7.7. Since Fiji Water is not processed or run through an alkaline water machine or reverse osmosis machine, it’s alkalinity is only a result of the natural minerals it contains. While the company uses the standard “best by” date for bottled water of 2 years, it does not make any claims about whether or not its alkaline pH level of 7.7 is maintained for the entirety of those 2 years. If you don’t know much about alkaline water, consider reading our article on the health benefits of alkaline water.
While some people have concerns about plastic and its impact not only on the environment but on our bodies, Fiji Water uses BPA free plastic bottles made with high-grade polyethylene terephthalate or PET plastic. PET plastic is FDA-approved for use with food and beverages and is also fully recyclable. Fiji Water encourages their customers to find a local recycling center and recycle all of their water bottles.
Fiji Water claims in their mission statement that they are “committed to doing business responsibly and seeking opportunities to make a difference. That means investing in its communities and the environment and focusing its efforts around meaningful issues with like-minded partners to enable positive change”. They have put their mission statement in to action by partnering with Conservation International, a leading environmental organization, to preserve the purity and biological wealth of the Fijian Islands. One of the projects they have worked on is establishing a conservation lease for around 40,000 acres of rain forest to prevent things like future logging. In their partnership, they have also worked to plant native tree seedlings to prevent soil erosion.
In addition to their partnership with Conservation International, Fiji Water launched the charitable trust, Fiji Water Foundation, in 2007. The Fiji Water Foundation focuses its efforts in three main ways: providing clean water access to rural communities in Fiji; building educational facilities to benefit children in Fiji; and providing access to healthcare in underprivileged communities of Fiji. The Fiji Water Foundation also helps support disaster relief when floods and severe water impact the islands.
Unlike many of their counterparts, Fiji Water does not list any celebrities on their website who support their water brand but many celebrities including Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Mary J Blige and even Barack Obama, the president of the United States, have been seen drinking out of the iconic square Fiji Water bottle. The company does however list restaurants, hotels and chefs that support their brand indicating the high-end nature their brand promotes. Fiji Water can be found in many high-end restaurants and hotels around the world including The Grand Del Mar in San Diego, Strip House in New York, Grosvenor House in London, The Ritz-Carlton in Cancun, MGM in Macau, and Fat Cow in Singapore.
If you are looking for a pure, natural, smooth-tasting water you may want to give Fiji Water a try. Purified by the equatorial trade winds, filtered by volcanic rock, and shipped directly to you or a store near you the pure, natural water is unmatched in any of its competitors. Fiji Water boasts a natural, mild alkaline pH level of 7.7. It also contains many natural minerals and electrolytes that offer excellent health benefits. Not only does the water taste delicious but the company’s mission to invest in local communities and work to better the environment will make you happy to purchase a bottle.
pH Level: 7.7 (updated)
Naturally occuring flouride: 0.26 mg
You can read more about it at fijiwater.com.
You can buy it on Amazon for $1.01 per bottle with subscribe and save 15% off.
Icelandic Glacial Water
Iceland, the land of “fire and ice,” is considered one of the world’s cleanest ecosystems. An article written in Forbes magazine in April 2010 ranked 163 countries based on 25 indicators including water and air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and impact of the environment on the health of the population. The results indicated that Iceland, at least in 2010, was the cleanest country in the world. When considering bottled water from natural springs, Icelandic Glacial water stands out because it comes from the legendary underground Olfus Spring in the cleanest country in the world, Iceland.
The Olfus Spring was formed during a massive volcanic eruption and is one of the world’s largest natural springs. The spring is shielded by a layer of lava rock and surrounded by 128,000 acres of protected land. The Olfus spring is continually renewed by rainfall and snowmelt that flows over and is filtered by untouched lava fields. Icelandic Glacial water makes it a priority not to deplete or damage the natural spring. Taking only 0.1% of the total water that flows to the surface, Icelandic Glacial water doesn’t come remotely close to depleting the spring. A Zenith International Source Sustainability certificate is provided on their website to show that an outside, 3rd party source acknowledges the fact that Icelandic Glacial water is not depleting the Olfus spring. According to Icelandic Glacial water’s website, the overflow from the spring is approximately 900,000 cubic meters a day which is almost twice as the amount of bottled water consumed worldwide.
The first time Icelandic Glacial comes into contact with the open air is when the bottle seal is broken. Nothing is ever added or taken away. (Src: Icelandic Glacial)
Icelandic Glacial’s water is known for its fresh taste and clean finish. There are several factors that may contribute to the water’s unique flavor and ability to hydrate. The water boasts an incredibly natural high alkaline pH level of 8.4 (2). It is quite uncommon to find a bottled water with a pH level this high without having been artificially enhanced. If you haven’t yet read our article on the benefits of alkaline water you may want to check that out. Unlike some of its premium spring water counterparts, Icelandic Glacial water has a very low total dissolved solids level. The total dissolved solids level reflects the amount of minerals, like sodium, calcium and magnesium, found in the water. While it is beneficial to have naturally occurring minerals in your water, the higher the amount of minerals in the water, the more likely you are to notice an extremely mild salty favor. The fresh taste of Icelandic Glacial water can be attributed both to its high pH level of 8.4 and the low mineral content.
In addition to the natural qualities, pH level and mineral content, that set Icelandic Glacial water apart, the company’s bottling process and facility is another one of their assets. The facility in Iceland, based at the Olfus Spring, is a completely sustainable operation fueled by geothermal and hydroelectric power. The fully automated and hands-free facility is one of the world’s cleanest and greenest. The water travels directly from the spring to the bottling facility, which maintains a positive air pressure to hinder outside air from entering, and doesn’t come in contact with open air until you open the bottle to take a drink. The facility and the bottled water are fully accredited by the NSF, recognized as the world’s leading third party standards certification authority, and always either meets or exceeds the U.S. Food and Drug administration and World Health Organization requirements. A number of reports and certifications are available on their website including their Kosher certification.
Icelandic Glacial water is passionate about being environmentally responsible. Since 2007, Icelandic Glacial has been working with Carbon Neutral, a leading carbon emissions consultant, to track their carbon emissions and reduce them whenever possible. In addition to their completely sustainable facility, fueled by geothermal and hydroelectric power, the company makes sure their water is bottled and packaged in only 100% recyclable material. The plastic bottles are made from PET-1, BPA free plastic and the outer shipping boxes are made from 50% recycled paper products. The company’s efforts were rewarded when they received the 2007 Bottled Water World Design Award for Best Sustainability Initiative.
One of the celebrities who promotes and supports Icelandic Glacial water with her business is Cher. In a US Magazine article, it was reported that Cher worked with Icelandic Glacial water to donate 181,000 bottles of water to residents in Flint, Michigan who were struggling to find clean water after the local water was found to be contaminated. Icelandic Glacial water has also been a sponsor at several different fashion events, providing water to the guests.
Icelandic Glacial water is distributed worldwide to a variety of countries including but not limited to South Africa, Qatar, Kuwait, Ukraine, Russia, France, United Kingdom, Australia, South Korea, Singapore, China, Canada, Columbia, Peru, Bermuda, and the United States.
If you are looking for a bottled alkaline water, Icelandic Glacial is probably one of the best options out there. First, the water comes from an exceptionally pure spring in the world’s cleanest country, Iceland. Second, the water has an uncommonly high natural pH level of 8.4. Most bottled waters with a pH level this high have artificially enhanced the water through reverse osmosis or ionization. Icelandic Glacial water is 100% natural and pure. Third, the company’s unique bottling process ensures that the water isn’t exposed to any outside air or contamination until you crack the bottle open to take a drink. Finally, Icelandic Glacial is committed to being environmentally responsible. This is evident by the fact they are continually working to reduce their carbon footprint working with Carbon Neutral, using a bottling facility that is entirely fueled by geothermal and hydroelectric water, and promoting recycling with their products. If you want to experience the clean, fresh taste from the “land of fire and ice” crack open a bottle of Icelandic Glacial water and enjoy!
pH Level: 8.4
Naturally occuring flouride: 0.1 mg(the lower the flouride level the better)
You can read more about it at icelandicglacial.com.
You can buy it on Amazon for $1.07 per bottle with subscribe and save 15% off.
My Choice of Water
So I sat down with both a cold Fiji Water, Icelandic Glacial Water, a cheap generic brand name bottled water, and a glass of tap water. You can purchase Fiji water and Icelandic Glacial at your local Fry’s, Safeway, etc. if you want to try them out. Of course if you drink them a lot you will want to purchase them on Amazon, otherwise they are quite spendy.
I took a sip of all four. You can definitely tell a difference. Both the Fiji water and the Icelandic Glacial go down so smooth. They taste amazing! Who knew water could taste so good. My personal favorite though was Icelandic Glacial. It literally tastes like your drinking a cloud or snow. It is hard to explain but it tastes awesome!
If you are looking at alkaline water then I definitely recommend giving the two above a try. And remember, when buying alkaline water, remember to store in a cool place.