Among all the marketing claims and different label it’s hard to understand what type of water is best for our health. This step-by-step guide will clear up all confusion and help you find a natural and healthy drinking water that fits right into your budget.
1. Get to know your tap water | Nutrition & contamination
2. Learn what water is best for you | Healthy high-mineral water
3. Decide on a water budget | Costs range from 0.01 USD – 5 USD /day
5. Check out your local water options | Healthy store brands & delivery options
6. Make healthy drinking a habit
Let’s dive in and understand how safe and nutritious certain water types are.
1. Get To Know Your Tap Water
Let’s start with your tap water. Why?
Well, as it turns out, a lot of people brag about the good quality of their local tap water, but they don’t actually drink it themselves.
What makes water healthy in the first place? And what factors make it safe to drink?
We @NaturalPioneers did a large scale comparison of the US tap water quality and went through the current studies to reveal what’s actually going on.
The Health Aspect of Tap Water
That means, the more minerals (and trace) elements drinking water has, the more nutritious or “healthy” it is.
The two minerals that are of the greatest interest are: calcium and magnesium.
And tap water definitely does contain some amount of minerals. The main reason why supplemental minerals are added to tap water is that it improves the taste.
The more tasty it is, the more likely it is for the public to use it as a source of hydration.
At this point, it’s important to understand that, from a mineral standpoint, there are worse options than tap water.
By way of example, purified waters contain a negligible calcium concentration. Filtration was found to remove a considerable amount of calcium from the water, removing 89% on average. 
But how much calcium and magnesium comes out of my faucet, you ask?
And is the amount significant enough to make it a nutritious source of hydration?
Mineral concentrations vary from city to city. We found the highest concentrations of minerals in tap water in Indianapolis, IN. Indianapolis tap water showed 85 mg of calcium and 40 mg of magnesium per liter. This translates to 4 glasses containing 10% of your daily requirements of each, calcium and magnesium.
That’s not bad. If we drank our recommended 8 glasses of tap water a day, we could meet almost ¼ of our daily requirements for those two essential elements.
To answer our aforementioned question, yes, tap water is definitely a nutritious, healthy source of minerals.
How nutritious your tap water is, however, is in large part depending on your local tap water source.
The downside? Mineral levels vary from city to city and the average tap water will meet only around 4% of your daily calcium and magnesium requirements.
Now it’s time to check out the amount of minerals in your city.
The Top 10 cities with the highest amount of minerals in tap water throughout our research were:
- Indianapolis, IN
- Los Angeles, CA
- San Jose, CA
- San Diego, CA
- El Paso, TX
- Phoenix, AZ
- Philadelphia, PA
- Chicago, IL
- Kansas, MO
- Milwaukee, WI
Check out our full ranking at the bottom of our article: Best 18 US Tap Water Cities | Highest In Calcium & Magnesium
Can’t find your city?
While we didn’t cover every US city in our comparison, we still want to encourage you to go get this piece of information for your local tap water.
Take responsibility and be in the know when it comes to your tap water.
Usually, you can find some information on your local public health (.gov) websites.
Before you dive into research – there are two things you should know.
In case the mineral amount of tap water sounded compelling enough to make it your go-to option, let’s first take a look at the mineral amount in bottled water and then check the safety component of your tap water.
- Mineral amount in bottled water
I’ll make this short: European bottled water is, on average, significantly higher in minerals than US bottled water. And US bottled water (when choosing the right brands) is higher in minerals than tap water.
| European Bottled Water|
Vittel Hépar, France
| North American Bottled Water|
If you’re interested in using bottled water options as your daily source of hydration, make sure to choose water labeled “spring” or ”mineral” water.
They contain the highest amounts of naturally occurring minerals.
When we @NaturalPioneers compared the mineral levels of popular bottled waters we created a ranking for you.
This should make your decision much easier. Here’s our Top 10 best bottled water options.
- Vichy Springs, CA
- Canada Geese, Canada
- Utopia, TX
- La Croix, WI
- Lithia Springs, CA
- Naya, Canada
- Mountain Valley, AR
- Zephyrhills, FL
- Montclair, Canada
- Pure Spring Water, GA
For the full list of our Top 30 healthiest US bottled water brands click here:
Healthy Bottled Water Brands: Best 30 In Calcium & Magnesium
You like to get all out and fancy highest-mineral bottled water from Europe? Make sure you choose the right kinds.
We compared more than 70 bottled water brands of the European market for you. Here’s our Top 10 for you:
- Vittel Hépar, France
- Gerolsteiner, Germany
- Rosbacher, Germany
- Contrex, France
- Aproz, Switzerland
- Crodo Valle d’oro, Italy
- Valser, Switzerland
- Radenska, Slovenia
- Badoit, France
- San Pellegrino, Italy
Find the full list of our Top 50 European bottled water brands here:
European Bottled Water Brands | Best 50 In Health & Taste
PS: When chosing Vittel, make sure you look for Vittel Hépar, France. There is also Vittel Bonne Source and Vittel Grande Source on the market which contains considerably fewer minerals than Vittel Hépar.
Let’s not discount the tap just yet. Let’s check out the safety aspect of tap water before we jump to conclusions.
The Safety Of Tap Water
A topic where the facts are clear but the opinions divided.
We’ve covered this in other articles before but it’s important enough to repeat:
Time for real talk!
Is it important that the government provides drinking water for all people, wealthy or needy? YES.
Is it better for the system have hydrated people in “”ok” health than sick, dehydrated people? Hence, market tap water as a safe, great option? Hell, YES.
Will the government spend lavish amounts of money to provide the most luxurious tap water of the highest quality? NO !
And that’s ok. Our tap water is used for bathing, cooking, and washing clothes, just to name a few.
Given the choice, I would much rather have US tap water in my sink than the tap water of a developing country.
I feel blessed and grateful for living in a first-world country that has rules and regulations for the water that comes out of my tap.
Among the Natural Pioneers Community however, we aim to eat and drink the very best quality out there while still being conscious about the cost aspect.
Will tap water then fit our requirement for the healthiest water out there? No, it certainly won’t.
We’ve already covered the nutritional side of tap water and learned that it does contain some minerals, however, some bottled mineral water show superior levels.
What’s the deal with the frequently invoked tap water contamination?
The EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) Tap Water Database collects data from nearly 50,000 local utilities in 50 states.
And here’s the result of just one of the studies they’ve conducted:
Tap water is said to be safe but recent studies raise cause for concern. The disturbing truth: when most Americans drink a glass of tap water, they’re also getting a dose of industrial or agricultural contaminants linked to cancer, harm the brain and nervous system, changes in the growth and development of the fetus, fertility problems and/or hormone disruption. 
And we’re not done yet.
Moreover, medical professionals have all reason to provide people vulnerable to infections with boiled or bottled water.
The contaminants are just too much for a system in frail health:
“It’s important to note that some people are more vulnerable to getting sick from contaminants in drinking water. You may be in this group if you are undergoing chemotherapy, living with HIV/AIDS or have received a transplant. Pregnant women, older adults and children also may be at greater risk.” 
Says Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., at Mayo Clinic
What do these resources from high authority sources tell us?
Tap water is safe enough to be a source of hydration for people who cannot afford to purchase safer, healthier, less contaminated options.
Would we @NaturalPioneers make tap water our preferred option? We can answer that with a clear NO.
For anyone who prioritizes their own health and is willing to purchase better drinking water, there are a lot better options out there. Let’s roll up our sleeves and find out what they are.
Conclusion: It’s crucial to know that the contained amount of minerals in water are the “health” factor in water. With that in mind, it is everyone’s own responsibility to check their local tap water’s mineral content. Bottled water can be considered safer than tap water. Purification processes eliminate contaminants in water which makes it safe even for more vulnerable people (undergoing chemotherapy, HIV, pregnant women, etc.). For everyone who’s looking for the most nutritious water available, bottled European and US bottled brands offer higher amounts of minerals.
2. Learn What Water Is Best For You
Forget all the marketing claims out there!
From a scientific standpoint, it has been crystal clear for decades what water is healthiest for our bodies.
The ideal bottled water should be rich in magnesium and calcium and have a low sodium content. 
Especially for people who don’t follow a healthy diet, a water high in minerals has shown to have huge health benefits. 
When we talk about mineral water, we mean water labeled “spring water” and “mineral water”. Both contain higher amounts of magnesium and calcium. 
The calcium concentration of water varies from 1 to 135 mg/L across the USA. Most spring waters have an average calcium concentration of 21.8 mg/L (2% DV).
Mineral waters show higher concentrations and contain an average of 208 mg/L of calcium.  That is about 20% of your daily calcium with only 4 glasses consumed.
Avoid water that says “purified”, “distilled”, “remineralized”, “artesian”, “flavored”, or “nutrient-enriched”.
The WHO’s (World Health Organization) standpoint:
“Water that lacks essential minerals in it is not considered ideal drinking water, and therefore, its regular consumption may not be providing adequate levels of some beneficial nutrients.” 
What are the health benefits of drinking mineral water?
Mineral water, that is water labeled “spring water” and ”mineral water” comes with numerous health benefits. 
- Spring and mineral water contain high levels of calcium and magnesium. Mineral waters may provide over 40% of the recommended daily intake for calcium.  Drinking those waters helps achieve an adequate daily intake of those minerals. ; ; 
- Many studies show that higher-magnesium water is related to decreased risks for cardiovascular disease, especially for sudden death from cardiovascular disease. 
- Water low in magnesium may be associated with a higher risk of motor neuronal disease, pregnancy disorders, sudden death in infants, and some types of cancer. 
- Water low in calcium, is associated with a higher risk of fracture in children, certain neurodegenerative diseases, pre-term birth and low weight at birth and some types of cancer. 
- Minerals in spring and mineral water can easily be absorbed. The bioavailability of minerals from mineral water is good and can be compared with that of milk. ; ; ; ; 
- Spring and mineral water are a calorie free source of minerals. 
- Spring and mineral water help keep our bones healthy. ; ; ; 
- Water high in minerals could be useful in the treatment of osteoporosis. 
- Especially in aged people with lactose intolerance, mineral waters are recommended to achieve optimal calcium requirements. 
- A one-month intake of mineral water rich in calcium, magnesium bicarbonate, and sulfate decreased cholesterol and LDL levels dyslipidemic adults. 
- Mineral water intake reduces blood pressure among subjects with low urinary magnesium and calcium levels. 
Next to all the mouth-watering benefits let’s not forget one thing. High-mineral waters occur naturally and it even tastes better to humans according to studies.
If you ask me, I would say – given the choice – we would consume it naturally even if we had no idea how nutritious it was.
We @NaturalPioneers like to look for the very best natural option out there FIRST. And when it comes to water, I think we found a pretty damn good solution.
Mineral water meets a considerable amount of our mineral needs and is conducive to many vital bodily functions and tastes great. I personally never want to do without it again.
Conclusion: The habitual consumption of spring and mineral waters high in minerals contribute substantially to human health. Health professionals stress the importance of checking the mineral content of bottled water. ; ; ; 
3. Decide On A Water Budget
There are exactly 3 available options to get healthy, nutritious water to your home. Let’s compare costs.
- The cheapest option: You researched the mineral content of your tap water and want to use it as your daily source of hydration.
- You choose store-bought bottled water while making sure you pick high mineral water brands from our list. More pricey than tap water but in an affordable range.
- You opt for the most convenient way and have high mineral bottled water delivered to your home. While certainly the most expensive option, you can choose delivery in glass bottles which is the highest quality standard available.
Let’s take a closer look at each option and see how much money we should spend to get the most health benefits from our drinking water.
1. Tap Water
According to the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency), tap water costs slightly more than $ 2 per 1,000 Gallons. Using tap water as your source of hydration comes at a price of less than 1 penny per day. 
As we’ve discussed earlier, tap water does contain some amount of minerals which vary from city to city and the average tap water will meet around 4% of your daily calcium and magnesium requirements for every 4 glasses.
From a quality standpoint, there are bottled waters with higher mineral amounts available that, in addition, are significantly less contaminated. However, tap water – not empty tap water that went through a filter – certainly meets some of your mineral requirements while being the cheapest source of hydration available.
FAQ: Can I just drink filtered, empty water and take a mineral supplement?
Sure, you can do that. The reason we don’t recommend this approach is that we @NaturalPioneers look for the most natural options first. Natural options come with zero side effects and while providing your body with just the right amount of nutrition it needs (no overdosing).
Conclusion: While certainly the cheapest option for drinking water, tap water shows higher levels of contamination than other available options and doesn’t provide as many healthy minerals as some bottled waters. We cannot recommend tap water as a daily source of hydration unless your financial situation won’t allow for better options.
2. Store-Bought Bottled Water
Store-bought bottled water costs 90 cents per gallon at most common grocery stores. Make sure you choose a 1-Gallon bottled brand from our list to ensure high mineral levels.
If you can’t find those brands, make sure you choose “spring water” or “mineral water” over anything that has been filtered.
Store-bought bottled water is a great option to meet a great part of your mineral goals while still keeping your hydration affordable. Most people can meet their hydration needs for $ 1 per day with store-bought bottled water.
Conclusion: Store-bought bottled water offers a great source of hydration with high mineral levels and without industrial or agricultural contaminants. Bottled natural “spring water” or “mineral water” is are the most healthy options available. We recommend high-mineral bottled water over tap water.
3. Water Delivery Services
While certainly the most expensive option, it also is the most convenient one. While some water delivery services offer filtered water – which we definitely don’t recommend – the majority offers high-mineral spring or mineral waters.
We compared water delivery prices in the Los Angeles area in our article “Best Water Delivery In Los Angeles | Glass Bottles & Prices” to give you a reference for delivery pricing.
On average, high-mineral water (“spring water” or “mineral water”) in 5-gallon plastic bottles cost $ 1.36 per gallon and water in 5-gallon glass bottles cost $ 4.82 per gallon.
You might have noticed that even delivery in plastic is – while more convenient – definitely more expensive than store-bought 1-gallon bottles.
From a quality standpoint, water delivery in glass bottles is as high as it can get. High-mineral water in glass bottles are the gold standard for reasons we haven’t discussed thus far.
Plastic bottles are a common endocrine disruptor. That means plastic bottles and their residue in water they carry interfere with our hormone system. Especially PET bottles should be avoided since they show high estrogenic activity. 
You can find a list of all the harm plastic bottles can cause in our article: Tap Water Vs. Bottled Water: Go Better, Healthier & Safer!
We understand if your budget doesn’t allow to spend $ 4.82 per gallon for a glass bottle delivery at this time. For everyone who can afford it, I definitely recommend switching to glass bottle delivery.
From a scientific standpoint you get the highest quality of drinking water available which is a valuable investment in your and your family’s health.
Plus, their sleek bottle design makes them a prominent conversational topic when guests enter your home.
Don’t forget to choose a delivery service that offers a high-mineral water brand before you set it up.
Our article on water delivery services and prices has been a valuable resource to many people.
Conclusion: As far as water delivery goes, the average 5-gallon plastic bottle costs $ 1.36 per gallon and water in 5-gallon glass bottles cost $ 4.82 per gallon. As the saying goes: You get what you pay for. High-mineral water delivery in glass bottles is the gold standard and a valuable investment in your health. We recommend it to everyone who can afford it.
4. Check Out Your Local Water Options
After you’ve decided on a budget you’re willing to spend on high-mineral water, it’s time to check out your local options.
- Get to know your tap water’s mineral levels
- Check out your local grocery store’s bottled water brands and see if they carry one of the high mineral options from our list
- Scope out your local delivery options. Look at the mineral content of available waters and see what prices and delivery schedules your local services offer. Use our guide as a price reference.
All done? Congratulations. Wow, I’m impressed. You’ve taken major steps towards a more healthy YOU.
5. Make Healthy Drinking A Habit
Once you’ve made the switch to a healthier, higher-mineral water, it’s time to tweak your daily routine a bit in order to make sure you drink enough of your recently added high-mineral asset.
We’ve compiled a couple of tips for you:
- Have a glass of high-mineral water each morning after you get up. A squeeze of lemon can make it even more incentive to hydrate in the mornings.
- If you’re at the office all day, make sure you take bottled water with you. Especially for those of us who chose mineral water delivery in glass, it’s unlikely you will find this kind of quality outside your home. Make sure you fill up a high quality stainless-steel water bottle before you leave the house.
- Use your high-mineral water to make coffee and tea. Use good water as often as possible to add additional, natural minerals into your diet.
- Drink a glass of water before each meal. While studies suggest this additionally helps with weight loss, it’s an easy thing to implement into your routine if you’re struggling to drink enough throughout the day.
- If you get your high-mineral water delivered in 5-gallon bottles, make sure you position them at a spot where you can see them. Having water in sight helps remind you to hydrate more frequently. Plus, if you’ve chosen glass bottle delivery, the sleek bottles are worth showing off at a prominent spot in your home.
- Most restaurants will commonly serve tap water. To make sure you drink the best water, ask for high-mineral bottled water options. Most restaurants carry several bottled brands.