Is Dasani Water Bad For You? What’s Exactly Wrong With It?

Dasani water review

Need a bottled water brand that you can trust? Worried about Dasani’s controversial reputation? 

We would be too. But not for the wild reasons thrown around by conspiracy theories. Dasani may look innocent, but there are suspicious compounds in it. 

Misreporting has led to the belief that Dasani causes cancer. Others claim the potassium chloride used in lethal injections on death-row prisoners is the same you see in the water. These are all hyperbolic statements.

But it is true that many chemicals in Dasani are not healthy in the long term. There are no catastrophic consequences, but it isn’t a drink for choice for legitimate reasons as well.  

This article will give you properly researched information on what is wrong with this water brand. It will help you understand how much to believe and how much is just to create panic.  

What is in Dasani water?

Regular Dasani water contains Magnesium Sulfate or Epsom Salt. This compound easily dissolves in water. It is used as a laxative to treat constipation. It also boosts magnesium levels in the blood. 

The pH and TDS of Dasani water is listed below. 

TDS (Total Dissolved Solids)28 mg/L.
This means that the amount of dissolved minerals and substances is quite low. Dasani adds extra nutrients to their source water. 

Flavored Dasani has a different set of base ingredients and formulations. There are lemon and strawberry fruit flavors. 

Ingredients in flavored DasaniWhat purpose do they serve
Citric Acid This acid enhances flavor and is also an antimicrobial agent.  
Acesulfame Potassium (Ace-K) and Sucralose (Splenda) These are sugar substitutes that contribute fewer calories and are better for diabetics.  
Potassium sorbate, potassium benzoate, calcium disodium EDTA, and phosphoric acid These compounds are preservatives. They prevent the growth and accumulation of mold and bacteria. 
Sodium Citrate The salts of citric acid help raise the water’s pH and reduce acidity.  

Flavored Dasani waters like lemon, grape, and strawberry have a lower pH of about 3.05 to 3.47. This is very acidic and can erode tooth enamel. It is just a little less acidic compared to colas and other fizzy drinks on the market. TDS remains the same across all flavors of Dasani. 

Does Dasani water have chemicals or minerals in it? 

Dasani is essentially tap water purified through Reverse Osmosis (RO). This removes many heavy metals like lead, arsenic, and fluoride. It also removes salt, calcium, and sulfates. But RO doesn’t effectively remove organic compounds. 

In addition, Dasani replaces some chemicals and minerals removed by RO filtration like phosphates, sulfates, chlorides, and bicarbonates. These are added either to prolong the water’s shelf-life or to enhance the taste.

Does Dasani water have fluoride? 

Dasani water contains no fluoride at all. In rare cases, some bottles may contain minute quantities in the range of 0.00 to 0.07 ppm. This may be because of one region’s faulty filtration or a change in source water quality. 

Fluoridated water can be beneficial if the fluoride concentration is minimal. However excess fluoride concentration can contribute to skeletal and dental fluorosis. This is a disease that makes your teeth discolored and your bones weaker. 

Does Dasani water have sodium or salt? 

Dasani regular water does not contain any sodium, but it does contain salt (sodium chloride). Salt and sodium chloride are often used synonymously. But salt is not the only source of sodium. Sodium is a mineral found naturally in beetroot, milk, and celery. 

Sodium concentration in food and drinks increases with how much processing they undergo. Dasani flavored water contains about 60 to 70 mg of sodium.  This is still rather low compared to many other artesian or mineral waters which have 100 mg or more. Dasani makes a decent option for people living on a low-sodium diet.  

In addition, not all salt labeled in Dasani is actually sodium chloride. Salt also comprises other mineral salts like potassium bicarbonate and magnesium. 

Does Dasani water have potassium chloride? 

Dasani water’s most controversial ingredient is potassium chloride. Potassium chloride is added as a water softener. It is a chelating agent which removes hard metals and makes the water softer and mellower. 

Potassium chloride is naturally present in the environment. The concentrations in drinking water are usually not a matter of concern. But potassium chloride is easily soluble in water and accumulates in the body faster. 

This means that potassium toxicity is a possibility when water is treated with potassium chloride as compared to alternatives like sodium chloride or potassium permanganate. 

People with lifestyle diseases like hypertension, kidney disease, or bladder dysfunction are advised to avoid water treated with potassium. This compound may build up and cause adverse health impacts.

Does Dasani water have lead? 

Dasani doesn’t contain any discernible traces of lead. This is filtered out during the RO process. Regulations stipulate that lead concentration in bottled water should be less than 0.005 ppm. Lead quantity in Dasani water is less than this and can’t even be measured. 

But this doesn’t mean that the risk is completely absent. If the source water is contaminated with lead then this will filter onto the bottled water as well. If your local water supply becomes tainted with lead, avoid buying brands that use tap water as the source.  

Does Dasani water have electrolytes?

Dasani contains limited electrolytes. Calcium chloride promotes blood flow, protects the heart from excess potassium build-up, and also improves bone health. Ensure that you only consume this compound in moderate amounts. Large quantities can cause distress in the Gastro-Intestinal tract, and diarrhea. 

Sodium citrate also functions as an electrolyte when added with other ingredients. It allows other electrolytes to be absorbed quicker and more efficiently. It also regulates fluid balance which in turn maintains adequate electrolyte levels in the bloodstream.

Does Dasani water have sugar? 

Dasani water is 100% sugar-free. Regular Dasani water does not taste sweet and doesn’t have any sugar alternatives. Flavored Dasani water uses sugar substitutes like Acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) and sucralose (Splenda). 

Ace-K is about 200 times sweeter than standard table sugar, so only small quantities are required. Same with Splenda which is about 600 to 700 times sweeter than sugar. These are ideal for people trying to lose weight or limit calories. 

But both these sweeteners are controversial. Ace-K contains the carcinogen methylene chloride which could cause liver and kidney dysfunction and a range of cancers. 

There are also studies that suggest (though not proven) that cooking or heating with Splenda may release cancerous compounds called chloropropanols. If you are not accustomed to using artificial sweeteners, you may also experience blood sugar or insulin imbalances, obesity, or type 2 diabetes.

Does Dasani water have calories?

Dasani unflavored and grape-flavored water have zero calories per serving. The Dasani lemon flavor has 5 calories and the strawberry flavor has 2 calories per serving. The calories in the flavored varieties come from the flavorings or sweeteners used. 

This is a negligible number of calories. It’s not a zero-calorie still or sparkling water. But it is much less than many sodas and carbonated drinks on the market. If you want to cut off calories completely stick to tap, distilled, or natural spring water.

Does Dasani water make you thirsty? Does it cause dry mouth? 

Dasani may make some people thirsty. Additives like potassium chloride can make the water bitter with a metallic aftertaste. This may leave you feeling dehydrated. So can magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) which triggers dry mouth symptoms. 

Dasani also contains a fair amount of added salt. While the sodium levels may not be as high as some other artesian waters, it is enough to make you feel parched. Salt intake triggers the need for more water- this is quite a vicious cycle. 

Is Dasani water safe for babies? What about infant formula? 

Avoid giving Dasani water to babies, especially those below the age of six months. Bottled water isn’t recommended for infants in general. The bottles contain tiny plastic particles and many chemical compounds that could be noxious for little ones. 

The minerals added to Dasani cannot be processed by an infant’s digestive or renal system. They aren’t developed enough to need it and so it becomes toxic waste. Bottled water may also cause water intoxication because quantities are not clearly marked. 

Give your baby deionized or demineralized water preferably. Tap water also works well as long as you boil it first. Boiling sterilizes the water and removes germs and pathogens. If you trust your municipal water quality, stick to that. Don’t let babies ingest unnecessary minerals. 

Is Dasani water safe for infant formula?

Using mineral water, or water with added chemicals can cause a distaste for infant formula. Adding Dasani water to infant formula is not unsafe or dangerous for your baby. But it may cause the formula to taste slightly off causing rejection.

The best option is to use tap water which also contains a little fluoride. Fluoride can make your baby’s teeth stronger. You can alternate with de-fluoridated bottled water if you are concerned about fluorosis.

Is Dasani water safe for dogs?

Dasani water shouldn’t be given to dogs. Even tap water can be dangerous for dogs in some instances. If your municipality doesn’t treat the water properly, there could be heavy metals like lead remaining. This can make your pooch sick. Even chlorinated water can make it unwell. 

Dasani’s additives can be quite toxic for your dog. Opt for natural water sources or bottled spring water. The latter could be too expensive. So just pass tap water through a home-filtration system. This removes any poisonous chemicals and microbes that cause illness. 

Is Dasani water safe for fish?

Tap or RO water is the best for fish aquariums. In the case of tap water, you can use a dechlorinator or conditioner. This liquid removes chlorine compounds from aquarium systems which prevent fish fatalities. 

This way you get to keep the essential minerals present in the water. Don’t use distilled or deionized water. The benefit of RO is that healthy minerals are retained in the final leg of the process. This maintains the balance of the aquatic ecosystem.

Otherwise, your fish would die from a nutrient-deficit ecosystem. Never use Dasani because it uses additional minerals apart from the RO process. These can be quite noxious for your fish, because they are used to enrich water for human consumption, not for fish habitation.

Is Dasani water safe for plants?

Dasani water can be safely used for watering plants. It is RO-filtered, which means that any harmful pollutants are removed in the purification process. But unlike distilled water, Dasani RO still contains essential nutrients. 

These are crucial for the healthy growth of plants. If deionized or distilled water is used, plants will grow at a stunted or slow pace. They may also become withered and lifeless. Tap water is good; spring water is even better because it contains all of nature’s mineral bounty.   

Is Dasani water safe to drink while pregnant? Does it cause birth defects?

Pregnant or nursing women should avoid Dasani water since it contains magnesium sulfate, a teratogen. Teratogens are chemical compounds that can cause birth defects, retardation, and other pregnancy complications like miscarriages.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA.) has also classified it as a risk for unborn babies. The artificial sweeteners and the acidic pH of Dasani water will also do you no favors. They may worsen acid reflux, indigestion, or heartburn. 

Does Dasani water cause cancer?

The Dasani brand has been associated with cancer risk since it was recalled in the United Kingdom in 2004. This was after bromate, a carcinogenic compound was detected in its water. 

This is a one-off instance as no bromate has been found in water sources in the United States. But this does not mean that Dasani is completely risk-free. 

While most of its added ingredients are not carcinogenic, potassium benzoate poses a hazard. On its own, this compound is benign. But when mixed with vitamin C, ascorbic acid, citric acid, or sodium citrate, it releases carcinogenic benzene compounds. 

Since Dasani contains both sodium citrate and potassium benzoate, there is a high possibility that the chemicals will react. The cancer potential of this reaction hasn’t been proven so far. But you would be well-advised to avoid this combination, as it is already proven to be harmful.  

Does Dasani water cause kidney stones?

Dasani water might actually help reduce or prevent kidney stone formation. Dasani water is purified using RO filtration which may remove some calcium compounds like calcium oxalate. Deionized water is a much better option, though. 

Excess calcium is primarily responsible for causing kidney stones. Calcium accumulates in the bloodstream and forms deposits in the kidneys. By removing some amount of this compound from hard water, Dasani may help stave off this illness.

But kidney stones have many underlying reasons, of which hard water and mineral accumulation may only be one.

Consult your doctor about the type of kidney stones you have. Dasani water contains sodium citrate which flushes uric acid. Uric acid also leads to stone formation. But if your kidney stones are alkaline in nature, Dasani may not help much. 

Some kidney stones may also form due to excess minerals from the water. A medical consultation will help you understand your renal system better to see if this brand suits you. 

Does Dasani water cause acne? 

Dasani water may cause acne, although it is unlikely. Dasani’s purification process removes any abrasive or harsh chemicals. Hard water can make acne worse, but Dasani is soft and gentler. It also has a pH of 4.5 which is very close to human skin pH of 4.7.

So it is suitable for washing your face. The problem lies in the chemicals added post-filtration. Magnesium, phosphates, and chlorides may trigger outbreaks. If you notice an increase, try switching to de-mineralized water. Avoid tap water as it is much coarser. 

Does Dasani water cause diarrhea?

Dasani water may trigger diarrhea and other related stomach upsets. The potassium chloride in the water can cause gastrointestinal irritation and loose stools. This may be accompanied by stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting. 

Extended consumption can have an unnatural laxative effect. You will lose a lot of fluids, leading to weakness and muscle fatigue. People with existing illnesses and high levels of potassium in the bloodstream should avoid drinking Dasani.

It may contribute to the progression of serious health concerns.  

Does Dasani water cause high blood pressure? What about cardiac arrest? 

Dasani might contribute to fluctuations in blood pressure. In limited amounts the possibility of such illnesses is negligible. However, over-consumption can trigger several pH and mineral imbalances in the body that may cause disease. 

For example, Dasani water has an acidic pH. Excess consumption can lead to acid buildup or acidosis in the body. This in turn may lead to muscle spasms, cholesterol, and high blood pressure. 

Prolonged ingestion of water containing potassium chloride may also have serious adverse impacts. It can make your heart muscles weaker, cause blood pressure volatility and trigger cardiac arrhythmias. 

Dasani water by itself will not cause a cardiac arrest. But too much of it can make your body more prone to heart disease. 

The saving grace is that Dasani contains magnesium and very little sodium. Magnesium helps regulate blood pressure, hypertension, and stress to maintain heart health. The minimal sodium is also suitable for people who are prone to cardiac ailments.

In any case, the added minerals are in negligible quantities. Any side effects are quite possibly of low concern and life-threatening scenarios are rare. 

Can Dasani water cause a UTI?

Dasani water is unlikely to cause Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). These are caused by bacterial infections that start in the urethra and may extend to the bladder. Dasani water eliminates all toxins and microbes. It will not cause bacterial breeding.

In addition, drinking water helps to flush out bacteria from the lining of the urinary tract. Hydrating with any kind of water can only help, not hurt. Sparkling or seltzer water, sodas, and caffeinated drinks can aggravate the infection.

Since Dasani is still water, it will not irritate the bladder or urinary tract. Rather it will soothe the area and promote faster healing.

Can Dasani water give you a headache?

Getting a headache from Dasani water is uncommon. But there is still a possibility that you may suffer from headaches or migraines as secondary symptoms after drinking Dasani. 

Previous sections highlighted that Dasani may cause diarrhea, vomiting, and other discomforts. 

Due to bodily discomfort, you may experience tingling in your head or around your forehead. Twitching and lightheadedness may also accompany headaches. Potassium Chloride, the chemical that causes these other issues may cause headaches as well. 

Large quantities of potassium chloride can trigger all kinds of unpleasant side effects. 

Can Dasani water make you sick? Will it kill you? 

Different components and additives in Dasani water have the potential to make you sick. These illnesses are usually of a lower scale and temporary. They make you unwell and uncomfortable but are not usually lethal. It’s highly improbable that drinking Dasani will kill you. 

Unless of course, you decide to chug about 5 liters of Dasani and intoxicate your system with potassium chloride. In which case, your body’s reaction cannot be predicted, and fatal outcomes cannot be fully ruled out.

Moderation is key with any kind of food or beverage.

Can Dasani water give you heartburn or acid reflux? 

Dasani water can cause acid reflux and heartburn. It is not suitable for people who suffer from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Regular Dasani has a pH of about 4.5 and flavored Dasani has an even more acidic pH. 

This is alright for skin exposure, but not for the fluid pH balance in our system. It can cause overstimulation of stomach acid which is then regurgitated into the throat and mouth. For those with existing acidity problems, alkaline waters are a much better choice.

Alkaline soothes the stomach and protects the lining from wearing away or becoming sore. 

Can Dasani water expire? How long does it last? 

Dasani water has a shelf life of about one year unopened. Once opened, it should be consumed within a week or two, or a month at most. While technically water cannot expire, Dasani has chemicals and flavorings which can go rancid. 

The water may start to taste pungent, smell sour, or become discolored. Drinking expired Dasani water may make you quite sick. 

Micro-plastics from the bottle will also begin to leach into the water over time causing spoilage. It is important to refrigerate the water and keep it away from sunlight or heat. 

There may come a day when Dasani is the only option you have. We hope this article has shown you that it’s not the end of the world. In the world of portable waters, Dasani just doesn’t rank as high- but it won’t snuff out your life either! 

Check out our safety guides on other brands of bottled water



Anand Srinivasan
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