Is Aquafina Water Good Or Bad For You? How Safe Is It Really?

Aquafina

Aquafina is the leading bottled water brand in the world with annual sales of more than $1 billion. The much-favored brand is available in over 200 countries.

Owned by PepsiCo Beverages North America, the brand was introduced in the USA in 1994. The company is meticulous in sourcing, purifying, and packaging the product so that you get the purest form of refreshment and hydration.

So, what does the product contain? Is it really safe? Let’s uncover it for you.

What is in Aquafina water?

Total dissolved solids (TDS) and pH are chief indicators of the quality of drinking water.

TDS refers to the organic and inorganic matter that the water has accumulated as it flows through rocks and soil. The gathering of compounds in water is also influenced by human activities. On the other hand, pH suggests if the water is acidic or alkaline. While lower pH means the water is acidic, a higher pH implies that the water is neutral or alkaline.

Here are the TDS and pH values for Aquafina water.

TDS10 parts per million (ppm)
pH6

As you can see, the pH of Aquafine is 6 which is slightly lower than natural drinking water (6.5).

Where does Aquafina water come from?

Water for Aquafina brand is procured from public water sources, also referred to as local municipal tap water sources. The procured water undergoes stringent purification that involves reverse osmosis, ozonation, and carbon filtration. The process is aimed at removing salts, chlorides, and other harmful substances as recommended by the FDA.

Aquafina purification systems are located in over 40 sites across the USA and Canada. The company claims that the water that emerges from these systems is pure and tastes great. The purity standards followed by the company surpass those recommended by the US government and other local authorities.

Is Aquafina water acidic or alkaline?

Tests done by leading organizations and laboratories indicate that Aquafina water is acidic with a pH score in the range of 4.5-6.

Aquafina water’s pH values are lower than the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommended scores of 6.5-8.5 for drinking water. A pH of less than 6.5 is considered acidic and unhealthy. Regular consumption of water with these pH levels will cause toxicity and health issues like fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, organ damage, and poor immunity.

The alkalinity measure of Aquafina water at 40 milligrams/liter (mg/L) also confirms its acidic nature. The recommended alkalinity – a measure of the water’s ability to neutralize acids – is 20-200 mg/L for drinking water.

Is Aquafina water good for you?

The majority of the human body is made up of water. Every cell requires hydration for proper functioning. Nutritionists advise a daily intake of 8-10 cups of water to be healthy. Therefore, it is important to evaluate if the water you are consuming is good for you.

Let us start by looking into the chemical and mineral composition of Aquafina water – as furnished in its water analysis report.

CompoundsComposition
Nitrogen0.26 milligrams/liter (mg/L)
Sulfate0.96 mg/L
Total trihalomethanes0.0051 mg/L
Turbidity0.13 mg/L
Odor2 mg/L

The report does not furnish details of radionuclides – it only states that it complies with FDA and EPA standards.

The TDS of Aquafina water is 10 ppm as against the ideal TDS of 50-150 ppm recommended for drinking water. In fact, TDS of up to 500 ppm is acceptable as per EPA standards. The World Health Organization recommends a TDS of up to 300 ppm for drinking water.

TDS refers to the number of minerals and compounds like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and chlorides that exist in water. It is the presence of these elements that make water a healthy drink.

According to PepsiCo, the TDS of Aquafina water is low because its purification system is designed to eliminate traces of all minerals and compounds from water. The company also does not add any minerals back to the water after the purification process.

So, what does this bottled water have and not? Here’s a check.

Salt

Aquafina water does not contain salts. Its purification process removes the compound, which is not added back by the company.

Salt is naturally present in water in the form of sodium chloride. EPA limits sodium concentrations in drinking water to 30-60 mg/L. Since most of the salt we require comes from food, it is alright to have less or no salt in drinking water. However, drinking water that is high in salt will lead to dehydration, frequent urination, high blood pressure, and water retention.

Minerals

Pepsico’s purification system removes all minerals and compounds from water. Further, these minerals are not added back. Therefore, Aquafina water is devoid of minerals.

While purified water could be good because it is free of all contaminants, heavy metals, and bacteria, it is not healthy because it lacks nutrients. Frequent consumption of water that does not contain minerals will deprive the body of essential nutrients. The water will also taste bland without the minerals.

Sodium

Aquafina water undergoes rigorous purification that purges all organic and inorganic compounds. These elements are not added back to the water. Sodium is one such compound.

Health experts recommend the consumption of food and beverages that are low in sodium. Although it is an essential mineral, a high intake of it is known to cause increased blood pressure and risks of heart, kidney, and liver diseases.

Chlorine

Aquafina water is sourced from public water systems like municipal taps. However, it does not contain chlorine – the chemical is removed during the purification process.

Municipalities across the world add chlorine to drinking water to eliminate harmful organisms. At levels up to 4 mg/L, chlorine is considered safe. In higher amounts, or if you are sensitive, the chemical can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and throat irritation.

Fluoride

Just like other minerals and compounds, fluoride also gets eliminated during Aquafina’s purification process. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that water gathers from air, soil, and rocks. The EPA allows a maximum amount of 4 mg/L of fluoride in drinking water from public water systems.

Fluoride is important in maintaining oral hygiene, rebuilding tooth enamel, and preventing tooth decay. However, too much fluoride can cause toxicity, be detrimental to teeth and bones, and cause vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea.

Potassium Chloride

This is a mineral salt that occurs naturally in flowing water. However, this is removed during the purification process. Potassium Chloride is thus not present in Aquafina.

Potassium chloride is usually present at low levels in the water. Nevertheless, it promotes healthy cardiovascular, kidney, bone, and heart health, maintains optimal blood pressure levels, and helps in the good functioning of the digestive system.

Electrolytes

Electrolytes are substances with a positive or negative charge and are easily soluble in liquids like water. Magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium, chloride, and phosphate are the principal electrolytes found in food and beverages.

These substances are crucial for the human body as they maintain fluid balance, support hydration, direct nutrients to different parts, regulate muscle contractions and blood pressure, control pH levels, and provide energy.

Water is one of the important sources of electrolytes for us. However, Aquafina water lacks electrolytes. The naturally existent electrolytes in the water get cleared during the scrupulous purification process.

Magnesium Sulfate

Magnesium sulfate is a naturally occurring mineral that is important for healthy muscles and nerves. Experts recommend 20-50 ppm of magnesium and 250 mg/L of sulfate in drinking water.

Aquafina water does not contain magnesium – it gets removed during purification. However, it contains 0.96 mg/L of sulfate.

A deficiency of magnesium and sulfate can lead to celiac disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, high blood pressure, fatigue, asthma, mental disorder, memory loss, acne, and unhealthy nails and hair.

Sugar

Aquafina water does not contain sugar. In fact, natural water does not contain sugar. If you are looking for a sugary drink, opt for Aquafina FlavorSplash – the product comes in different flavors. It contains sucralose and may satisfy your sugar cravings.

Do Aquafina bottles have BPA?

According to PepsiCo, Aquafina bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic and do not contain BPA. Bisphenol A or BPA is a chemical compound used to make some plastics. Exposure to it is known to result in endocrine disruption, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Is Aquafina water safe to drink?

Aquafina water is sourced from public water systems, which are considered safe as they are compliant with safety standards. Further, the product goes through a tough purification process. It also does not have any additives. So, generally speaking, Aquafina is safe to drink.

In the following section, we examine if Aquafina is recommended during special instances like pregnancy. 

Aquafina during pregnancy

Aquafina water is not the right choice during pregnancy. Yes, it is exceptionally well-purified and does not contain contaminants that could harm you and your baby. But here are some reasons why you should opt for a different water source when pregnant.

  • Absence of electrolytes – Aquafina water is bereft of electrolytes. However, as pregnant, you require electrolytes to maintain fluid balance and hydration.

Loss of electrolytes is high during pregnancy – this mandates you to consume food and drinks that are richer in electrolytes. You require an immense measure of electrolytes to regulate blood pressure and hormones, help the formation of amniotic fluid, ensure good development of the fetus, overcome muscle cramps, enhance milk production, beat fatigue, and stay hydrated.

  • Lack of minerals – Aquafina does not contain any minerals, which are extremely essential during pregnancy. Minerals aid and support the healthy growth of the fetus in addition to helping your body manage the extra demands.

Calcium, potassium, and magnesium – a few essential minerals you need for your baby’s strong bones, teeth, muscles, and heart besides regulating your body fluids and for avoiding hypertension and preterm labor are absent in Aquafina water.

  • Low pH – The pH of Aquafina water is only 6. When you are pregnant, the pH of your blood drops due to higher estrogen levels.

To counter these changes and neutralize the pH of your body, you must consume water that is alkaline. Drinking water with higher pH will prevent acid build-up and is safe for you and your baby.

Drinking water with lower pH during pregnancy will aggravate morning sickness, nausea, and vomiting. Additionally, the acidic water in Aquafina will slow down digestion and delay the absorption of nutrients by the fetus.

  • Plastics – Aquafina water bottles are made of PET plastic and do not contain BPA. There is evidence showing that PET leaches toxic chemicals that interfere with estrogen and other hormones in the body.

Thus, stay put with tap water – it is rich in electrolytes and minerals. It also does not contain plastic toxins. Municipal tap water is also compliant with safety regulations, so is safe for you.

Aquafina for babies

The importance of good hydration starts right from day one. Your baby is growing every day – physically and intellectually. Drinking water – with appropriate pH, minerals, and electrolytes is important for the development of your baby’s bones, muscles, nerves, heart, teeth, and brain. It helps in maintaining proper body weight and immunity and supports good memory and attention.

So, in general, we do not recommend feeding Aquafina to babies. If you have a newborn, it is critical that you do not feed your baby any water. Replace it completely with mother’s milk. 

Aquafina for baby formula

The food and beverages that your baby consumes are not as diverse as yours. But their requirements of nutrients are greater – for their mental and physical growth are exceptional. You must provide your child with a multitude of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the limited assortment.

Aquafina water does not offer the required supplements to fortify your baby formula. It is deficient in all minerals, fluorides, and electrolytes. The plastic bottles that it comes in are not safe either – putting toxins inside a baby’s modest anatomy will result in serious short-term and long-term health problems.

Aquafina is however free of contaminants and heavy metals and is hence ideal for baby formula when traveling.

For day-to-day consumption though, avoid using Aquafina water for formula milk. Health experts recommend municipal tap water – it contains more nutrition and is safer. For improved safety, you can boil the tap water before use.

Is Aquafina water bad for your teeth?

Fluoride is an important mineral content in drinking water. It is vital for good oral health, reduced cavities, and strengthening tooth enamel. The EPA recommends a daily intake of 2-2.4 milligrams of Fluoride for children and 2.9 milligrams for adults. This consumption comes from food and water.

Aquafina water however does not contain fluoride at all. But having said that, your oral health is influenced more by the kind of care you take. Pick Fluoride-based toothpaste to protect your teeth from cavities

Is Aquafina water bad for dogs?

Water is a major constituent in a dog’s body too. Therefore, hydration is as important for your pet as it is for you. In truth, dogs lose a lot more water because of panting, rapid movements, frequent urination, and evaporation through their paws. Similarly, minerals and electrolytes are as significant for the optimal health of your dog.

Consequently, Aquafina water is not a good source of water for your dog. It will leave them dehydrated and weak. Use tap water – it is safer, nourishing, and cost-effective. You are, of course, free to use Aquafina during travel or for emergencies.

Does Aquafina water expire?

Aquafina product labels indicate that the expiry date is two years from the date of manufacture. While there is no expiration for water itself, the expiry date is more applicable for the plastic bottle. It is not safe to drink water that has been stored in plastic bottles for longer than two years. So, avoid drinking the water after the expiry date.

Should you avoid Aquafina water?

When you are sipping or gulping down water – you are not just quenching your thirst. You are also attaining a lot of nourishment. Water is an essential beverage and is crucial for hydration.

Here are some pointers on why you should avoid Aquafina water for daily water consumption.

  • If you feel hydrated after consuming Aquafina, it is probably a placebo. The product cannot offer hydration as it is devoid of electrolytes.
  • Aquafina does not contain minerals – so, frequent consumption will make you deficient in essential minerals and nutrients.
  • It has a low pH – you could experience acidity if you consume Aquafina regularly.
  • It comes in PET bottles – Goethe University research shows that PET leaches harmful chemicals into the water.
  • It is rated very poorly for taste – the absence of minerals makes it taste flat.

As a final word – do not be paranoid to consume Aquafina water when you are traveling or do not have access to any other uncontaminated water source. For regular consumption, always use municipal tap water – which is anyway the source for Aquafina water too!

Check out our guide on other bottled water brands

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