- NUTRITIONAL WELLNESS
- KNOW YOUR SERVING
- BODY SMART
- MEAL PLANNING
- TIPS & TRICKS
- UNDERSTANDING FOOD LABELS
Origins and varieties
On average, we each consume 122 litres of water every day. We only use about 2 per cent of this amount for drinking and cooking. The rest is used for bathing, flushing the toilet, laundry and cleaning, and watering plants. All of this water is considered to be drinking water and is thus subject to strict hygienic requirements, which are specified in the German Drinking Water regulations Ordinance. Mineral water, healing waters and spring water all originate from deep waters flowing in underground rock layers. These waters are separated from groundwater by at least one water-impermeable layer, and are thereby protected from contamination. Today, there are over 500 mineral waters and 50 healing waters available, along with many other kinds of spring water and drinking water. Natural mineral waters, healing waters and spring water also contain natural minerals. These kinds of water must be bottled directly at the source. Healing water also is granted an additional official license if it has preventive, alleviative or healing properties, and if these effects have been scientifically demonstrated. Unlike mineral water, spring water does not require official recognition, but it does have to meet all the criteria prescribed for drinking water in terms of the minerals it contains. Bottled water is prepared drinking potable water that may be supplemented with additional ingredients, such as minerals and carbonation (carbon dioxide).
Ingredients and nutritional values
Experts in nutrition recommend that we drink at least 1.5 to 2 litres of fluids over the course of the day. Water is an ideal thirst quencher, since it has no calories but does contain vital minerals. It is good for keeping a trim figure and it also fills the stomach. A glass of water – drunk before a meal – can thus help lessen initial feelings of hunger. A glance at the label on the bottle will let you know which minerals and trace elements are found in bottled water and in what quantities. Depending on the source, water will contain different amounts of sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. For example, a mineral water may be labelled as “containing calcium??? if it contains more than 150mg calcium per litre. Mineral water labelled as “containing magnesium??? must provide more than 50mg magnesium per litre. In most cases, mineral water is additionally supplemented with carbonic acid. Whether or not the mineral water contains carbonic acid can also be found on the label. Iron and sulphur are removed from bottled water. The trace element, iron, would colour the water when exposed to air. Excessive sulphur content affects the odour and taste of the beverage.
Whether you buy water in glass or plastic bottles, in the form of “still??? water without carbonic acid, or as “fizzy??? water with added carbonation – the choice of the “right??? water is really a question of personal taste. The flavour of the water is determined by its mineral content and degree of hardness. So, for example, magnesium imparts a slight metallic taste and sodium combined with chloride gives a salty flavour.
If bottles remain sealed, water can be kept virtually without any limits. The natural purity of the water, hygienic bottling and the preservative effect of carbonic acid are crucial in determining shelf life. Nevertheless, the authorities require that a best-before date be provided, which is set at two years for water in PET bottles. This is because carbonic acid (in the form of carbon dioxide) can slowly seep through the plastic, which is not absolutely airtight, as well as through the cap. For glass bottles, the best-before date is limited to about two years after bottling.
Whether you’re an avid gardener or involved in fitness, sports, or strenuous labour, you need to keep properly hydrated. That’s especially important when it’s hot and humid. You need to drink fluids regularly throughout the day, as well as before, during and after physical activities. When working in a physical environment, or exercising, try to drink one-half a cup (125 ml) of water about every 15 to 20 minutes. Athletes will need more fluids and should consult with their physician or dietitian to determine their specific needs.
Water refreshes and relieves thirst. Carbonated water can even be used in low-fat cooking for searing meat, and for lightening pancake batter, dips and sauces.