Can you trump the tap, or is bottled best?

The average human is around 60% water, so it’s not surprising that we need to drink a lot of it to keep our bodies in tip-top condition. The NHS recommends six to eight glasses of water, or water-containing fluids, per day. Plain water is obviously the most direct route here. It’s up to you how you make that happen, but if you’re looking for plain water, you’ve got two choices – water from the tap, or bottled water.

These days, you’ll frequently hear people request tap water when they go out for a meal. As long as the bar is licensed, the law in England, Wales and Scotland says that the tap water should be free. It really is friendlier on the pocket, too. Martin Lewis, from Moneysaving Expert, calculated on his website that for the price of a single litre of bottled water, you could get 100 litres of tap water. Drinking tap water is also better for the environment, with 100g of carbon dioxide being produced for every bottle manufactured. Let’s not go into how that bottle will also take nearly 500 years to decompose when it’s thrown away!

Levelling the playing field, you may be curious about the purity of both bottled and tap water. While bottled water may be able to offer you additional nutrients, respected scientist Professor Paul Younger points out that any water used for drinking, be that from the tap or in a bottle, has the same standards to meet. In fact, tap water monitoring is probably more rigidly enforced.

The thing is, you really can’t beat the convenience factor of bottled water, which is often sourced from natural springs or hills a million miles from the smokey cities. It’s there, it’s usually available chilled, if you prefer it cooler, and it’s so much easier to pop a bottle of it into your work bag or carry it about.

There’s a taste factor to take into account, too. Mains water is processed in different ways across the country, with treatment plants using gasses and chemical compounds to kill off bacteria, so you may find that some tap water has a chemically tang, or an unpleasant aftertaste, especially if you’re used to water from somewhere else in the UK. At least with bottled water, you can usually be happy that it’s received some level of purification which should remove those nasties, leaving you with the pure water you’re so fond of.

However you choose to get your H2O, keep those six to eight glasses in mind. You really can’t beat a glass of water for hydrating your body and mind. Try it with a little fizz, or fruit flavouring, and we’re sure you’ll feel the benefits.