You may have come across bottled water labels having a description of ‘Packaged Drinking Water’ or ‘Natural Mineral Water’. In this article we will try to clear the air about the difference between the two along with advantages and disadvantages of both.  

What is Natural Mineral Water?

Natural Mineral Water is naturally occurring water that comes from springs or underground aquifers that contains naturally dissolved minerals or gases. The Food and Drug Administration of USA stipulates that 250 parts per million of total dissolved solids must be contained in mineral water. The minerals present consist of calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium bicarbonate, zinc and iron.  

This naturally occurring water is collected and bottled for drinking purposes. 

What is Packaged Drinking Water? 

Packaged Drinking Water is nothing but RO water, the most common type of purified water used for everyday consumption in India and over the world, where harmful contaminants like lead, mercury, chromium-6, chlorine, bacteria, parasites and other dissolved solids are removed by the Reverse Osmosis process.

On average RO process removes up to 98% of the TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) in water including the harmful chemicals This is the cost-effective way for water purification which is why bottled water plants use it to mass produce regular bottled water from various sources. 

Advantages of RO Water

  1. RO Water is a safe choice for drinking water in the absence of other alternatives
  2. In comparison it is cost effective option for mass supply of water

Disadvantages of RO Water

  1. Drinking RO water for a long term can lead to certain health concerns. 
  2. While the RO process removes the harmful contaminants, it also takes away all the essential minerals that are vital for optimal health.
  3. RO water is unfortunately free of all essential minerals, when used for cooking purposes it also tends to reduce the mineral absorption from  other food sources.
  4. RO water that is produced from removing 98% of TDS and minerals tend to be slightly acidic which tends to aggravate kidney disorders & gastrointestinal problems in the longer run.
  5. RO water due to its low minerals and TDS composition is less thirst-quenching than natural water. This reduced hydration further increases the need for consumption of more RO water.  
  6. Last but not the least, RO water while cheaper is not exactly environment friendly. To produce 1 Litre of Packaged Drinking water, 1 litre of water is wasted during the filtration process thus exacerbating the scarcity of water resources 

Benefits of Mineral Water

  1. Natural Mineral water is loaded with macro and micro minerals such as Calcium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sulphur, Iron, Zinc, Iodine, Selenium, and Copper in their highest bioavailable form for optimal health. This aids in higher bio-absorption of these minerals in the body
  2. Mineral Water is slightly alkaline due to its healthy TDS and mineral which is ideal for long term consumption
  3. Natural Mineral Water has higher hydration capabilities due to it’s alkaline nature and mineral composition. As a result it is more thirst quenching and at the same tome replenishes all the body electrolytes  

Disadvantages of Mineral Water

  1. Although not a disadvantage but comparatively speaking, Natural Mineral Water is not as readily available as packaged drinking water and can tend to be priced higher.


Natural mineral water is loaded with all the essential natural minerals for optimal health. It is highly hydrating due to its natural composition and as a result it is widely preferred by people all around the world for its health benefits. 

Though RO water tends to be safe it can trigger a slew of health problems and is not an ideal fit for daily consumption in the long term. That said, RO water is cheap and easily accessible and hence can only be resorted to if natural mineral water is not readily available. 

Clearly, natural mineral water is definitely the best type of drinking water that our body needs every day.