In 2013, Li was identified with a salivary gland tumor, which in the end required her to alter her dietary habits utterly—water consumption included. In consequence, the avid water drinker (even earlier than her expert-level certification) started to pay nearer consideration to not solely how a lot water she was consuming but in addition which sorts.
“Earlier than turning into a water sommelier, I by no means actually paid consideration to which kind of water I drank, however by analysis, I’ve realized that how we hydrate ourselves is equally vital,” Li says. After talking along with her, the reply was clear (pun meant) on which kind of water is her primary selection: natural mineral water. Extra forward on why this can be a sommelier’s drink of selection.
Why ingesting high-quality water is vital
In accordance with Li, water is integral to only about each bodily perform. “Our physique is comprised of 75 % water. All of the meals we eat wants water to hold these vitamins to totally different components of the physique. What’s extra, our physique has trillions of cells, that are made up of 90.5 % water, too. By understanding that logic, the significance of water turns into much more obvious,” Li says. And as we age, we tend to get more and more chronically dehydrated, that means that the standard of the water we eat turns into much more crucial. Li compares correct hydration to a plant’s want for water to develop or the requirement for the right sort of water for a fish tank to make sure the animals survive: It’s dire.
Whereas learning in Germany, Li shortly realized that the best way water is processed in Europe could be very totally different from the way it’s achieved stateside. “In Europe, they’ve very strict rules about what water merchandise might be known as or labeled. For instance, pure mineral water can solely be known as pure mineral water when it’s been sourced, harvested, and bottled correctly,” Li says, which helps of us know precisely what they’re shopping for on the retailer. That is particularly vital when distinguishing sorts of water from each other.
In accordance with a examine carried out by the World Well being Group (WHO), ingesting water devoid of pure minerals, demineralized (water freed from minerals by means of purification), or remineralized (water with added minerals) for an extended interval can have a negative impact on the body’s ability to absorb minerals or potentially lead to chronic illness.
The difficulty? Distinguishing pure mineral water—that means it comprises naturally-occurring minerals which might be bonded to water molecules—from remineralized varieties might be tough. “Labels ought to embrace an inventory of the sorts of minerals within the water. In contrast, this hardly ever is the case in the US and Canada; we don’t typically discover any such instructional info labeled,” Li says.
To that time, Li notes that North America’s high three bottled water manufacturers usually are not pure mineral water sources. “These common water manufacturers—Aquafina, Dasani, and Smartwater—fall into a distinct class of water I name ‘processed water,’ which lack the sturdy mineral content material of pure mineral water sources. It is because the primary precedence in relation to our hydration is that the water is clear and secure to drink. However once you delve into the world of water slightly deeper, we start to ask ourselves: How can we additionally obtain more practical hydration?,” Li says.
Along with this, Li explains that it’s vital to look into these manufacturers’ sustainability and harvesting strategies with a important eye. “As a result of industrial revolution, a lot of our pure water sources—like streams from mountains and rivers—have turn into closely polluted. As such, we should be wiser about the kind of water we drink,” Li says. For max hydration, she says it’s vital to seek out water sources freed from contamination, corresponding to pure mineral water, which is rigorously harvested and utilized in manufacturers like Clearly Canadian, a model Li has partnered with as a consequence of its high-quality and ethically-sourced merchandise.
How does a water sommelier store for water?
Firstly, Li says the most effective sort of water is one which satisfies three vital classes:
First, it needs to be clear, secure, and pure. “Once we make extra cautious decisions about the kind of water we eat, it’ll assist profit the subsequent generations to come back. We should always all be making sensible hydration decisions for the way forward for our planet,” Li says.
“Once we make extra cautious decisions about the kind of water we eat, it’ll assist profit the subsequent generations to come back. We should always all be making sensible hydration decisions for the way forward for our planet,” Li says.
When on the retailer, Li additionally tries to keep away from merchandise which might be “purified,” as they received’t include the hydration-boosting minerals present in pure mineral water. Some goes with distilled water.
Moreover, Li notes there’s been tons of buzz around alkaline water—with a impartial pH stage of about seven—and its assumed advantages. That stated, she reiterates what’s extra vital is how that alkalinity is achieved within the first place, aka how processed the supply is. “Pure mineral water needs to be alkaline as a consequence of its mineral content material. Conversely, once you add minerals to purified water, you’ll additionally obtain alkaline water, however it’s been way more processed,” Li says.
Other than these elements, Li additionally emphasizes one other main duty for a water sommelier: Sourcing water that really tastes good. When assessing water purely on taste, she’ll search for qualities like: How a lot pleasure it’ll convey to a eating expertise? How will this water make our day-to-day water consumption and hydration extra enjoyable? How does any such water pair with a sure type of meals?
“For a water sommelier, we discover that the totally different mineral content material gives you a really totally different style and sensation on the palate,” Li says. That stated, she notes that the most effective water is the one which’s accessible—particularly in the event you’re very dehydrated or parched.
An RD shares the highest meals for hydration: