Whether you drink 4, 6, 8 or 12 glasses of water a day- we all know it’s critical to stay hydrated. And, despite the fact that i used to drink 20, 30, or 40 cups of coffee a day- that was not the way to hydrate one’s body. (I don’t drink that much coffee anymore- nor do I drink any pop.)
But, I also don’t drink tap water. No, not because it’s not safe. Because I live in Alexandria, VA, where the tap water is pretty darned good. (It’s a very close second to New York City water, among the best in the US.)
I like my water flavored. I use chemicals and ersatz sweeteners. Yes, I know that those choices are not perfect- but they do provide one great benefit. Because they are not “natural flavors”, they lack the citric acid (and other acidic fruit essences) that many of the flavored waters contain.
LaCroix and San Pellegrino- with their lemon and tangerine flavors -have an inordinate amount of natural flavors. The San Pellegrino lemon version contains 14% lemon juice. And, those juices actually erode the enamel on our teeth. That means temperature sensitivity and dental caries are on their way, as the calcium in our teeth gets eroded.
Once the pH (the measure of the acidity) of the beverage falls to 4 or below, our dental health is at risk. (You already know that Pepsi and Coke are normally below (with their pH around 2.5) that pH range, right?)
And, it’s not just the flavors. The carbonation in these drinks is really carbonic acid- which means the pH is lowered just because the beverage is carbonated. Add grape, lemon, strawberry flavorings and the pH is often below 3. (Dasani, the water produced by Coke, hits pH 3 when the above flavors are introduced into the bottle.)
Let us not forget that some of these waters are also replete with MSG (monosodium glutamate). This neurotoxin causes a variety of allergic reactions. Some also contain high fructose corn syrup to ensure their sweetness. (I’m not saying cane juice or processed sugar is any better, but…)
So, stay hydrated. But consider the pH of those beverages and the other ingredients in the (flavored) waters we imbibe. Or be prepared to indulge ourselves with dental implants as we age. Because our teeth won’t be lasting our entire lives.