Water is the “substance” of life! Our bodies contain up to 75% water, making hydration the most important requirement for our health and well-being.
To function properly, every cell and organ of the body needs water. Water also lubricates the joints, promotes the spine and other sensitive tissues, and regulates the body’s temperature (1). During our everyday functions, water is consumed by the body, and this needs to be replenished. It is obvious that we lose water through activities such as sweating and urination, but water is even lost during breathing (2).
However, we have two options for regulating our water intake. The choice is between tap water and bottled water.
Today we will investigate one of the popular water brands, Smart Water. We are going to summarize all the information available, giving you the final verdict. Read on!
What is Smart Water?
Smart Water represents vapor-distilled water, with the addition of electrolytes, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, providing you with more nutritional value that you don’t normally get from tap water.
Although, Smart Water contains different vitamins and nutrients, this beverage is still zero calories. Smart Water gives a special sharp taste, without any sugar, artificial coloring and favors, or even sodium.
The founders of Smart Water, The Glaceau Company were very precise with the flavor formulation, giving it a distinct taste.
Daily exercise and a strict diet are crucial for losing weight and being healthy. However, strenuous physical activity can dehydrate you, taking your electrolytes and nutrients. This is why Smart Water is a great option for any daily activity. Smart Water will replenish those lost ingredients, avoiding muscle fatigue and tiredness (3).
What Makes Smart Water Special?
As mentioned, Smart Water contains certain vitamins. Most of us known why we need vitamins in our diet, but not many of us known why we need electrolytes.
So why are electrolytes found in Smart Water so important?
Dehydration can occur very often during exercise. Your body needs to solve this problem with water, during and after exercise, in order to prevent dehydration and other problems. But over longer periods of strenuous activities, the body also loses electrolytes (4). These need to be replaced as well, and simple tap water does not contain them.
Our body needs electrolytes at all times. These molecules contain free ions (minerals), and help with regulating many processes in the body, including nerve and muscle function, hydration, blood pH, blood pressure, and healing of wounds (5). We can obtain electrolytes naturally through many foods, but the truth is, people simply don’t eat healthy nowadays.
Smart Water is an easy fix for this problem. Drinking small amounts of this water every 10 minutes during our physical activity is highly recommended. This helps to immediately replace the water lost through our body. Since you work hard to strengthen your muscles, replacing electrolytes actually allows your body to work harder and longer, without any cramps and discomforts. Electrolytes also have the ability to aid in recovery, relaxing your muscles and prepping them for the next physical activity.
Smart Water is Distilled Tap Water?
This is actually true. Smart Water is essentially similar to tap. According to the Glaceau Company, Smart Water starts just as tap water, but further on it ends up as distilled water with added minerals, vitamins, and electrolytes.
Distilling is the process of making purified water. This water has gone through a very strict filtration process to eradicate any contaminants such as viruses, bacteria, heavy metals, arsenic, mercury, etc. Even thought, this process also destroys the important elements. Without these important elements the hydrogen content raises, which makes Smart Water very acidic (6). This is bad, since water then tries to balance itself out by pulling minerals and nutrients from the body.
But since Smart Water provides various nutrients and minerals itself, this doesn’t stand as a big deal.
How Much Smart Water Should You Drink?
The recommended amount of Smart Water to be drunk per day varies from person to person, depending of many factors such as how active they are and how much they sweat. According to the Institute of Medicine, and adequate intake of water in general is approximately 3 liters a day. For women, an adequate amount is around 2.2 liters (7).
Many people heard about the famous sentence, “drink eight glasses of water a day,” which works out to be less than the recommended intake for both men and women.
Are the Smart Water pH Levels Affecting Taste?
There seems to be an on going issue with the taste of Smart Water. The question is can the pH levels of Smart Water affect taste? The answer is yes and no. In some cases different pH levels will result in more favorable taste, but in other cases it will result in a less pleasant taste. In the end it all boils down to personal preferences.
A recent experiment was concluded on this topic. The goal was to determine the link between pH levels and water taste.
The participants in this experiment where from completely different age groups. All of the participants were given different water brands, ranking each of the brand by taste. It’s interesting to state that Smart Water was actually on of the brands given to the participants. The conclusion was that pH levels could indeed affect taste, since people had generally more positive opinions on more alkaline water (8).
The Science Behind Smart Water and Tap Water
Unfortunately, there is no clear scientific evidence stating that Smart Water is superior to tap water or any other bottled water. Tap water for instance has fluorides which benefit our teeth and gums (9). Smart Water in the other hand is more convenient over tap water, with the addition of electrolytes and nutrients. If you have a week immune system, or for some reason don’t like tap water, you can always go for Smart Water. One thing is sure, Smart Water will keep you hydrated thought-out the day.
What Do Users Say?
Bottled water in general is a very controversial topic. In one hand, we have people that complete dismiss bottled water, saying that it’s no different from tap water, in the other hand, we have people that only drink bottled water.
People who generally prefer and use Smart Water are very satisfied with the taste, pointing out the great amount of nutrients and electrolytes found in Smart Water.
“I was not familiar with Electrolytes, I thought that it was a gimmick that had been added to water. I heard several people say that they did not have to deal with legs cramps when using this water. So I bought it and I really like the taste.”
“Nothing special really. Just distilled water with added electrolytes, which the bottle says you can taste…I couldn't. Overall, calling it Smart Water isn't very smart. The only thing good about this was the price, which at the time was $5.02 for 6-1L bottles. Personally I'd rather just distill my own tap water, it's cheaper too.”
Let’s be realistic, Smart Water has more benefits than tap water and other bottled waters. Not only does Smart Water prevent dehydration during the day, it also gives your body what it need to restore the lost electrolytes and nutrients, relieving different internal organs. It is true, you can get the essential electrolytes from various fitness drinks, but only with the added calories, sweeteners, sugars, etc. Smart Water is completely calorie free, with no added ingredients.
It all comes down to your personal preference and budget. If you don’t mind spending an extra dollar or two for the convenience and mild benefits, than by all means go for Smart Water!
- Barry M. Popkin, Kristen E. D’Anci, and Irwin H. Rosenberg. “Water, Hydration and Health.” Nutr Rev. (2010 Aug). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954
- Elizabeth A. Dennis, Ana Laura Dengo, Dana L. Comber, Kyle D. Flack, Jyoti Savla, Kevin P. Davy, and Brenda M. Davy. “Water Consumption Increases Weight Loss During a Hypocaloric Diet Intervention in Middle-aged and Older adults.” Obesity (Silver Spring). (2010 Feb). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2859815
- Shaun K Riebl, MS, RD, PhD Student and Brenda M. Davy, PhD, RD, FACSM. “The Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive Performance.” ACSMs Health Fit J. (2013 November/December). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4207053
- Noakes TD. “Dehydration during exercise: what are the real dangers?”
Clin J Sport Med. (1995). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7882113
- Shirreffs SM, Sawka MN. “Fluid and electrolyte needs for training, competition, and recovery.” J Sports Sci. (2011). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22150427
- Arik Azoulay, MSc, BComm, Philippe Garzon, BSc, and Mark J Eisenberg, MD, MPH. “Comparison of the Mineral Content of Tap Water and Bottled Waters.” J Gen Intern Med. (2001 Mar). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1495189
- Meinders AJ, Meinders AE. “[How much water do we really need to drink?].” Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. (2010).
Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20356431
- Amelia Rankine. “Does The pH Level of Water Effect the Taste?” (27 May 2015).
Viewed at: https://prezi.com/i7b5s9iq_-thw/does-the-ph-level-of-water-effect-the-taste
- Domen Kanduti, Petra Sterbenk, and Barbara Artnik. “FLUORIDE: A REVIEW OF USE AND EFFECTS ON HEALTH.” Mater Sociomed. (2016 Apr). Viewed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851520
Amanda is a gym instructor and a diet and nutrition fanatic that has reviewed 100s of supplements for the benefit of consumers. She struggled with obesity 7 years ago and after losing more than 30lbs, dedicates most of her time in helping others achieve similar results and transform their lives.