With so much information coming at us at all times, it’s no wonder that people are confused about what types of food or drinks they should be consuming. Beverages are especially confusing, in my opinion. It’s relatively easy to know how much fat or how many calories are in your favourite meal. But the real confusing part, for me, is whether natural sugars are that bad for you. Especially in the form of a drink. With the push to drink more water, I also think it can be confusing to make sure that you’re drinking calorie free water. Cause if it’s got calories, it’s not good for you. Right? I’ve heard that drinking pop, for example, is bad because you’re just consuming sugar. And there is no nutritional benefit from that sugar, ergo feeding your body with “empty” calories.
Pop is surely delicious, I must admit. I have mentioned in a previous post that I was drinking a lot of pop last year. It was flavoured Perrier that actually helped me to break that habit. The flavour as well as the carbon in the Perrier helped me to stop drinking pop. Perrier does have “natural flavour” in it, but contains no sugar to speak of. But not everyone opts for the sparkling water option, and end up picking something that is just as bad for them as juice. Growing up my Dad was always very stern about us drinking pop. He allowed it, but always said that we should drink more water. And while living with my parents, I did. I drank a ton of it. I guess I needed that watchful eye to keep me on track.
I’m digressing. It’s easy for us to choose a beverage that’s full of sugar or other additives without even realizing it. The companies that make these drinks spend a lot of advertising dollars to get us to buy their products. Especially the sugary ones. But what seems to be happening is that there has been a shift. We are now seeing bottled water sales exceed that of pop. Which is amazing. One issue, though, is that people still think that bottled water is better for you than tap water. And in some cases it probably is. But if you live in a city that properly treats it’s water, this shouldn’t be a concern. Making tap water just as “good” as bottled. Or vice versa.
A second issue is an environmental one. In Canada, I would say that most, if not all municipalities have a comprehensive recycling program. I know that this isn’t the case in other countries. I don’t necessarily want to debate the merits of recycling in this post, I do think that disposable water bottles are an issue. Like plastic grocery bags, we don’t always dispose of the bottles properly. They end up in landfills and aren’t being recycled to their fullest potential. Additionally, it takes a lot of energy to bottle and ship the bottles. I am lucky as locally there are several fresh water springs that produce bottled water. However, we might be over-using these resources.
In elementary school, I remember learning about the 3 R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle. Bottled water is definitely more convenient. I can take the bottle with me and throw away the bottle when I’m done. Never to think about it again. But am I doing my part environmentally? There was a push a few years ago to stop buying plastic reusable water bottles as they contained a harmful cancer-causing plastic – BPA (and maybe others). So everyone disposed of their plastic water bottles and started buying glass bottles. Again, a fantastic idea, but they can be expensive. I received one from Lululemon for Christmas which retails for about $30 CAD. Great idea, but not always feasible.
There are cheaper water bottles that are just as good. But you need to think about it in broader terms. I bought a comparable bottle for around $10 a few years ago. While money can be an issue for some people, I would encourage you to choose this option as it will save you money over time. I, myself use a combination of reusable water bottles and disposable bottles. As I said before, I like the disposable when I’m on the go. If I’m at the gym, or sitting at my desk, or even driving for work, I like the reusable bottles. If I’m away from my house for more than 3 days, my preference is the disposable bottles.
Drinking water, in whatever form, is better than choosing some other kind of beverage. Even if it is of the bottled variety. While not great for the environment, it is nice to see that bottled water is exceeding pop from a sales perspective. But remember – the companies that make pop, are also selling you bottled water! And guess who the winner is in all of this? The beverage companies!