Bottled Water Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 03/03/22 •  7 min read
bottled water benefits and side effects

HEALTH

Energy: bottled water is good for / helps aid digestion, hydration

Longevity: bottled water is good for / helps reduce exposure to harmful toxins sometimes present in tap water | bad for / increases the risk of gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, neurological disorders *due to plastic packaging

Appearance: bottled water is good for / helps clear skin complexion, weight loss

Bottled water is…

a kids book about plant based eating
Teach Kids Where Our Food Comes From. Look Inside!

ENVIRONMENT

Water footprint: unknown

Carbon footprint: likely high, especially considering the manufacturing and transportation of bottled water is often unnecessary to access irrigated clean drinking water

Destruction: high, single use plastic water bottle manufacturing, waste and improper disposal is one of the leading causes of plastic pollution, the thin plastic material doesn’t decompose well and breaks into microplastic which is environmentally problematic and contaminates soil, water systems, etc. microplastics are highly disruptive and deadly to ecosystems and wildlife

Bottled water is…

ANIMALS

Kills: none, bottled water production does not require any animals

Harms: none, bottled water production does not require any animals

Indirectly kills or harms: ecosystems and wildlife, bottled water production microplastics harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil and water, wildlife (birds, fish, reptiles, etc.) animals often and unintentionally ingest microplastics which do not digest, accumulate in their bodies, resulting in their death

Bottled water is…

LABORERS

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers often experience exploitation, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Bottled water…

acidic foods and alkaline diet to improve ph levels

bottled water is acidic.

Is bottled water alkaline or acidic? Bottled water is acidic. What is the pH level of bottled water? Bottled water has a 5.5 pH level, once digested.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

bottled water is gluten free.

gluten free foods and what to eat on a gluten free diet

Is bottled water gluten free? Yes, bottled water is gluten free. Bottled water does not contain gluten.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

bottled water is not a common food allergen.

the most common food allergens include milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is bottled water a common food allergen? No, bottled water is not a common food allergen.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

bottled water likely has a high carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does bottled water have a high or low carbon footprint? Bottled water likely has a high carbon footprint compared to alternatives. Plastic production and transportation requirements involved in bottled water consumption far outweigh the carbon footprint generated by opting for tap water or buying a home water filtration system.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

There are a number of steps that we can take to reduce energy output. According to Oxford Martin School researchers, if the world went vegan, eliminating animal-derived products, it could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds and avoid climate damages of $1.5 trillion.

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

bottled water is unsustainable.

Overall, is bottled water eco friendly and sustainable?

Bottled water production is relatively unsustainable.

bottled water is vegan but harmful to wildlife and ecosystems.

Is bottled water vegan? Yes, bottled water is vegan. Bottled water is not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

vegan food to eat on a vegan diet

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non Vegan Foods List

bottled water may have labor issues and human rights concerns.

labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is bottled water a product with laborer issues? At this time, there are no known specific reports of worker mistreatment regarding bottled water production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can face harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade.

Sources:

CDC: Commercially Bottled Water

Harvard, The Nutrition Source, Water

Water: An Important Part of a Healthy Winter Diet – USDA ARS

Ground Water and Drinking Water | US EPA

Adriane Marie

As an educator, author and conscious consumer advocate, I study and organize ethical info for you to quickly see how our purchases impact animals, people and the planet. I hope you find this HEALabel knowledge useful and can apply it to your life for personal and societal improvement and empowerment.