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Ask Dr. Nandi: Is raw water all it's cracked up to be?

Posted at 5:27 PM, Jan 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-10 17:27:44-05

It's one of the latest trends in the bottled beverage business: often called “raw” water, some companies are now selling untreated spring water they claim contains special healing properties.

But is this true? Or is raw water just a dangerous fad?

According to the Center for Disease Control, our drinking water is treated for a reason. That’s because unfiltered water from nature— regardless of how clean it may look — is often filled with bacteria and parasites that can make you very sick.

We’re all made of water — so drinking plenty of it is critical to overall health. At the same time, the beverage industry has made a killing by selling water alternatives to the public. Raw water is only the latest.

Whether we’re talking about added minerals and electrolytes, or sweeteners used to make regular water taste better, companies are turning huge profits selling bottled water products.

At the same time, lots of studies show that bottled water may not be any healthier or cleaner than water coming from your tap, regardless of what’s added. So some of these companies' claims are overblown.

This is a hot topic these days, and different people will say different things. But I think as with most things, we just need to use some common sense. Here are my prescriptions: 

Partha’s Rx

1. If you’re going to drink water from a natural source, filter it first. Tap water is treated in America because we’ve contaminated most of our natural sources. 

2. If you’re concerned about chemicals added to tap water you can purchase one of the many home filtration systems on the market.

3. Stay away from products that add flavor to water. Many of them contain sugar and chemicals. Add some lemon juice or a sprig of rosemary to your glass instead. 

4. If you drink bottled water, store it carefully. Some studies have shown chemicals from plastic containers can leak into the water, especially in high heat.

The only difference between some brands of bottled water and the stuff that comes out of your faucet is, one’s in a bottle and the other isn’t.

Yet the bottled water can literally cost you a thousand times more money! So use sound judgment. If you filter your water properly, it shouldn’t matter if it comes from a stream or the tap.