Dasani is a popular water bottle brand that sells plain bottled water, as well as sparkling water and flavoured water. Most people (even those who are health-conscious) don’t think twice before grabbing a bottle of water to quench their thirst – however, if you take a close look at the ingredient list on the back, you’ll be shocked to find that there is more than just water in there.
Minerals and other additives are thrown into the mix to “purify” or “enhance” the water, some of which are known to cause nasty side effects.
I don’t know about you, but every time I drank a Dasani in the past, my mouth would become terribly dry (after the fact), and my stomach would cramp up. Maybe it’s just my body, or maybe it’s the ingredients that are added in the water, but I know for one that my body cannot stand it (I’m a sensitive person to boot).
Not only does Dasani add ingredients to their water, many other water companies do too. Kirkland Signature water lists several ingredients added “for taste,” and so does Essentia, Aquafina, Dannon, Nestlé PureLife, and Smartwater.
Bottled Water Additives
The additives that bottled water companies stick in their water are to “enhance the flavour,” however, I don’t see how this is enhancing the flavour, considering these bottled waters contain additives that technically make them more bitter than delicious.
The chemicals they add are in small quantities, however, anything that enters your body shouldn’t be known to cause birth defects, and even death – which these chemicals are known to cause at high levels. I don’t know about you, but I don’t even want the smallest quantity of something entering my body that is a known toxin.
The ingredients that are commonly added to Dasani bottled water (and other bottled water companies) are magnesium sulfate, potassium chloride, and salt (not to mention their source of water comes straight from the tap – highly worth the three dollars, right? Note sarcasm).
Ingredient Number 1: Tap Water
Dasani, a company owned by Coca-Cola, bottles tap water. A substance free to most privileged people on the planet. Their tap water is filtered via reverse osmosis, however, paying for tap water is simply outrageous. It is bad for the environment (why would I buy bottled tap water, when I could just re-fill my own reusable stainless steel bottle with water?). I would understand it better if the water was from a spring, and loaded with minerals my body could use, but bottling tap water is just ripping people off, in my opinion.
Ingredient Number 2: Magnesium Sulfate
Magnesium sulfate is essential epsom salts or bath salts. It is a FDA Pregnancy Category D teratogen, drying agent, and laxative. Anhydrous magnesium sulfate on its own is a drying agent, which could explain the terrible dry mouth that I (and other people) experience after drinking Dasani. Why would Dasani add a drying agent to a product that is supposed to quench your thirst? Perhaps it is for the mere fact that you’ll still feel parched after drinking it, encouraging you to buy another one.
Magnesium sulfate has also been used to delay labor by inhibiting uterine contractions in pregnant women (1). This practice is slowly dissolving, however, as it has been shown that magnesium sulfate causes birth defects at high doses (2). After studies suggested that just 5-7 days of in utero exposure to high doses of magnesium sulfate caused birth defects, the FDA has now listed it as a known teratogen (Pregnancy Category D), with positive evidence of human fetal risk.
Of course, this effect comes with high levels, but as I mentioned above, I would personally choose a water that doesn’t have this chemical added, period. Plus, the chemical is known to have a “bitter taste” – why would Coca-Cola want to add something to their water that gives it a horrible taste?
Ingredient Number 3: Potassium Chloride.
This chemical is a FDA Pregnancy Category C. It is commonly used as a fertilizer, but it is also used in lethal injections to stop the heart, and in late trimester abortions to stop the heart of a fetus (3). Potassium chloride comes with a weak, bitter, slightly salty flavour with a chemical or metallic aftertaste. Not too sure why Dasani would want to add these horrible flavours to water that is supposed to taste like it just came out of a pure mountain spring (or maybe that’s not the effect they’re going for). The list of side effects from potassium chloride include: bowel lesions, gastrointestinal disruptions, cardiac arrhythmias, muscle weakness, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dyspepsia or heartburn, GI tract bleeding, hypersensitivity, nervous system damage and more.
Ingredient Number 4: Salt.
Sodium is added to almost all processed foods, so the last thing we need it added to is our water. It can create unnecessary health issues for people, especially if you’re someone who drinks 6-7 bottles of the stuff. Although salt isn’t a real chemical danger compared to the above two chemicals, it is still a concern that this stuff is added to the water.
Below is a list of other bottled water companies that add unnecessary ingredients to their water.
Kirkland Signature water: purified water (aka. tap water), potassium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate, calcium citrate, sodium chloride, magnesium oxide.
Essentia: purified water, sodium bicarbonate, dipotassium phosphate, magnesium sulfate, calcium chloride.
Aquafina: tap water, ozone (which, when in plastic, can become quite toxic).
Dannon Fluoride To Go Water: contains water and 23.0 mcg of fluoride per serving – and we all know how toxic fluoride is.
Nestlé PureLife: water, calcium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, magnesium sulfate.
Smartwater: vapour distilled water, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium bicarbonate,
Clean Drinking Water
Personally, I believe the only way to get clean drinking water is to filter it yourself, or of course, go to a natural spring and collect water. An affordable way of obtaining filtered drinking water is by investing in a device like the Big Berkey. I used to haul around jugs of reverse osmosis from the store, however, since getting the Big Berkey I’ve noticed that the water itself tastes 10x better.
Reverse osmosis is a good water choice, however, it also removes precious minerals from the water (the things that give water its quenching effects). Big Berkey keeps these minerals present, all the while filtering out all bacteria and viruses, chlorine, lead, MTBE’s and other heavy metals, fluoride and arsenic (if you purchase the fluoride filter to go along with the carbon filters).
Big Berkey also lets you filter out water from streams and lakes in the case of emergencies. Plus, they have a 3,000 gallon life, and the filters only need to be replaced every three or so years (except the fluoride filter which lasts about 1 year).
For the quality of water you’d be getting out of a Big Berkey Water Filter System, the cost is cheap. All you need to do is buy yourself a stainless steel water bottle to fill up every day, and you’re good to go! No more unnecessary purchasing of plastic water bottles that contain harmful chemicals that no one needs in their bodies.
The device itself is very easy to assemble, and it is also very easy to clean. There is no plumbing needed to install, and it has an attractive look on the counter. And if you’re wonder, I’m not affiliated with this company, I just think it is one of the most affordable and practical water filtering devices out there.