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Premium Bottled Water Can “Increase One’s Energy and Metabolism”

Premium Bottled Water Can “Increase One’s Energy and Metabolism”

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This article is a reader contribution.

As a proud connoisseur of fine bottled waters, I was admittedly disheartened, and even distraught, that Rice Media would run an op-ed that so flagrantly mischaracterises premium bottled waters while dismissing their benefits. I cannot bottle up my feelings anymore so I am writing to you.

It is ironic that while bemoaning the “condescension” of a certain brand of spring water, you are guilty of the same thing. 

The “fake news” you disparage, and insinuate is promoted by bottled water advertising, has neither been proven as “fake” nor is it harmful as other pieces of fake news we should clamp down on. 

If anything, the other cases you cite, in which the government have intervened, are of misleading advertising. Whereas milk powder manufacturers are hesitant to explicitly claim that their product can help nurture better brains, marketers of the best bottled waters can rightly distinguish their products from the Dasanis and the Ice Mountains.

Indeed, water is water–but only to the extent that food is food. Beyond that, there are many obvious differences between one brand of bottled water and another. It is my hope that the readers of Rice Media can be better informed about some of them.

The packaging alone is a very important factor. Water that is bottled in glass (e.g. Speyside Glenlivet)  or BPA-free plastic (FIJI) is better than water that is bottled in normal plastic, not because of a placebo or a gimmick. The actual reason lies in the absence (or presence) of microplastics in the water. While scientists have yet to determine if taking in microplastics is detrimental to one’s health, I think that most people would rather not if given the option. To me this is an actual, legitimate benefit.

Which brings me on to my second point on choice. I have no qualms about spending $2 on my FIJI Water, as much as you or the rest of your incredible Rice Media team would gladly spend $7 on a cup of coffee at Starbucks that you could easily brew at home for around two bucks. 

Consumers should be free to choose what brands of water (or anything else) they wish to consume, provided their choice does not cause them harm. And that is why products that make fraudulent health claims or pose actual health risks are quickly recalled by the AVA when the truth comes to light. So far not a single person has died from consuming more expensive bottled waters. On the other hand, the waters themselves have their respective purported health benefits, a few examples of which I shall list below.

The alkalinity of luxury bottled waters is a big draw. Waters from springs and natural aquifers have a higher alkalinity than others. Using a simple pH indicator, you’ll soon see that waters are not made equal. FIJI Water has a pH value that is far superior to, say, Ice Mountain. 

And why does alkalinity matter? Not only does it sooth acid reflux, it helps to neutralise the overall acidity in the bloodstream. Consequently, the oxygen level in the bloodstream rises along with one’s metabolism and energy. 

Cleaner, more alkaline water can also cleanse the body and help one achieve a better immune system. Some machinery are so delicate that the cleanest of water is required to clean them: I think we should treat our bodies with that same level of respect.

In fact, our very own Hyflux has its own oxygenated Elo Water which allows for the better regulation of blood sugar in diabetic patients. Far from killing anybody, this brand of water has the potential to save lives!

To be sure, none of the aforementioned bottled waters’ benefits have been conclusively proven. As I admitted, they are “purported”. But I see nothing wrong with erring on the side of caution for the want of better health, especially if nobody has taken ill in doing so. In a similar vein I would urge people who nonetheless prefer to drink tap water to install water filters and ionisers if possible. 

Even in Singapore, where tap water is “safe to drink”, there is nonetheless the risk of contamination by rust in old pipes or other undesirable microorganisms at the sink; not to mention in other countries, where there is truly a need to be wary of what water you drink!

H2O molecules do not a great bottle of water make, nor flippant, tongue-in-cheek prose a good op-ed.

Thank you for reading this, and I would be most honoured and appreciative if Rice Media could reproduce this in full. I am sure it would not cost you anything more than a good bottle of FIJI Water.


For the record, most of the team here at Rice are kopi siu dai folks. For those of us who do drink atas coffee, we make it in the office for, as this reader mentions, around 2 bucks. 

Nonetheless, we’d love to hear from you if you have something to say about our stories. Reach us at In the meantime, read the original bottled water review here

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Ryan Wee RICE Reader