Let’s start the big drinking water test in Hungary!
There would be no life on Earth without it. About 65% of our body is made up of this, and, as we grow older, the amount decreases in us. Many say that it might be a source of conflicts and wars in the future. If you still not figured out what it was, I will help. It may come out from the tap; it might have healing effects or high mineral content. The answer is water – from which we have to consume more than average as the summer approaches. But which one should we choose? And how to decide? Let’s start the big water test! – GLOBS Magazine.
The vital drinking water is the only foodstuff that cannot be substituted by anything else. It is strange, but we would last up to a month without food. However, we would have only a week to live without water, even if we have a robust immune system. And why is it so important for our body? Water provides the circulation and osmotic pressure of the blood while dissolving, absorbing and transporting the necessary nutrients, as well as affecting the acid-base balance of the blood at the same time. Moreover, it has an crucial thermostatic function that ensures our constant internal temperature.
In the last century, drinking therapy had a great tradition as well. People did not just sit in spas, but they were also sipping thermal waters. Although these waters might be useful medications for many diseases, they are not suitable for everyday consumption.
We are lucky because in Hungary tap water is of the utmost quality, which is prepared by filtration and cleaning before it gets into the pipes.
However, the sad condition of the internal network is ruining its taste in many cases. Substances – releasing from the ageing pipes – may cause unpleasant taste or odour.
Mineral water might have spent thousands – or even millions – of years in the depths of the Earth, where soil and rock layers protect it against contamination coming from the surface. Thus, the inherently pure mineral water is the most suitable for everyday consumption. But which one should we choose from among the most popular brands on the market?
So, we compared eight kinds of mineral water in our test. Where the first aspect was the composition.
Most of the dissolved minerals are contained in Theodora, while the Primavera water has half of those in comparison.
Of course, the distribution of mineral content is also different. On some bottles, the label says: “Can be consumed during a sodium-poor diet.” And why is this important? Certainly, everybody knows the Hungarian folktale in which the old king gave his largest country to the daughter who says that she loves him as much as people love salt. This story describes everything about Hungarian eating habits; therefore, nothing is salty enough for us. However, too much sodium not only slows down weight loss but also increases the risk of high blood pressure and other circulatory illnesses. From this point of view, Jana water has achieved a prominent position with only 1.7 mg/l sodium content. Theodora has the highest sodium content (32 mg/l); therefore, it seems that high values are not always good.
There is also a low sodium content in Nestlé Aquarel, Primavera and Lillafüredi Mineral Water.
The crystals of calcium-phosphate provide hardness for bones and teeth. It has a decisive role in the functioning of muscles, the nervous system, the blood coagulation and some enzymes. The average need for an adult is between 800 and 1200 milligrams for a day. There is an unusually high calcium content in Theodora (144 mg/l), while there is only 23 mg/l in Primavera, which is very low. Nestlé Aquarel and NaturAqua stand between these two; though, Spar Verde and Lillafüredi have achieved outstanding results as well.
Irritability, insomnia and concentration difficulties may occur if we do not get enough magnesium into our body. Its presence is significant for energy recovery and functioning heart muscle. Among the listed products, Verde (41.4 mg/l) and NaturAqua (41 mg/l) showed outstanding results; however, the magnesium content is surprisingly low in Primavera (4 mg/l).
The HCO3 (hydrogen carbonate ion) accelerates metabolism. It exerts an alkalizing effect on the body, and thus, affects the acid-alkali balance. Furthermore, it has a good impact on the diseases caused by gastric hyperacidity. According to the law of great numbers, Theodora scored first place again, followed by Spar Verde, and then, with Nestlé Aquarel.
|Mineral Water Brand||Total dissolved mineral content||Sodium||Calcium||Magnesium||Hydrogen carbonate||Price/ 1.5 l|
|LILLAFÜREDI||550 mg/l||19.4 mg/l||75 mg/l||17.8 mg/l||348 mg/l||119 HUF|
|SZENTKIRÁLYI||520 mg/l||21 mg/l||63mg/l||26 mg/l||400 mg/l||129 HUF|
|SPAR VERDE||630 mg/l||23.8 mg/l||77.7 mg/l||41.4 mg/l||466 mg/l||79 HUF|
|NESTLÉ AQUAREL||610 mg/l||6.9 mg/l||83 mg/l||39.9 mg/l||451 mg/l||99 HUF|
|NATURAQUA||627 mg/l||18 mg/l||82 mg/l||41 mg/l||327 mg/l||115 HUF|
|PRIMAVERA||472 mg/l||13.8 mg/l||23 mg/l||4 mg/l||323 mg/l||85 HUF|
|THEODORA||904 mg/l||32 mg/l||144 mg/l||34.4 mg/l||487 mg/l||109 HUF|
|JANA||487 mg/l||1.7 mg/l||64.2 mg/l||32.1 mg/l||372,3 mg/l||229 HUF|
The loser of price competition is clearly the Jana. The price of one and a half litres is about twice as much (229 HUF – 70 euro cents) than in the case of others. Probably, since it is an imported product since the water has to be brought from the well of the city of Gorica Svetojanska, located in Croatia. The second most expensive is, perhaps, the best-known brand, the Szentkirályi mineral water (129 HUF – 40 euro cents), which is produced not far from Kecskemét. Private label brands are usually in the cheap category: our case is not different, because the Verde costs only 79 HUF. Supermarkets tend to buy it in large quantities, so it worth for manufacturers to produce them with a lower profit margin, which might be the reason for their cheapness. The mid-price range includes the Primavera (85 HUF) and the Nestlé Aquarel (99 HUF).
According to GLOBS Magazine, salted seeds, hazelnut, almond, cashew nut and various crackers were placed on the table of the editorial board. At first, I made my colleagues thirsty, and then, came up with the idea of the water (taste) test. They drank the contents of the unmarked glasses in a glimpse, but they still had one more task: evaluation them by points. Light, silky and moisturising. The Szentkirályi mineral water received these marks. “Refreshing, as if I was drinking from a crystal clear mountain stream,” was said by another colleague of mine. This is how he put his experiences with the Lillafüredi into words. The brand is certainly on the podium – he was right for sure because it carries the healing effects of the ozonic air and minerals of the Bükk Mountains. Theodora fell into the “love or hate” category, and it divided the opinions. It certainly has a stronger taste due to its high mineral content; therefore, it might have been the reason for this result.
Value for money
The first lesson is that even though the price is high, it does not mean that there are more minerals in our water. It is visible at Jana, which has the lowest content of dissolved minerals. While Theodora is the opposite because it contains twice as many minerals for half the price. However, there is something which worth clarifying: the theory breaks when we look at the amount of sodium which, considering our eating habits, is better if it has a lower value. In this aspect, Jana scored ahead of all the other brands.
Somewhat disappointing is the second most expensive product, the Szentkirályi mineral water. Although it is a well-known and acknowledged brand, it did not achieve outstanding results considering its contents. While the sodium content is the third highest, the calcium and magnesium content is not exceptional. However, the taste was clearly favoured by the editorial board. Just like in the case of the Lillafüredi mineral water, which – by the way – belongs slightly to the medium price range. Besides, due to its low sodium content, it has a beneficial effect on the prevention of hypertension, just like Primavera, NaturAqua and Nestlé Aquarel do. In these waters, all the other minerals – such as calcium, magnesium or hydrogen carbonate – are present in sufficiently high amounts.
It also turned out that even if a product is cheap, it does not mean that it has poor quality. This is also the case for private-branded products with a high magnesium and hydrogen carbonate content. Though, the sodium content is to high too.
Photo: GLOBS Magazine
Source: by Gabriella GYÖRGY, Journalist/GLOBS MAGAZINE