Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

By Anndee Hochman

Marie Claire magazine logo

Bottled water — already a more than $10 billion industry — is the fastest-growing beverage category in the U.S. But is it good for you? Here's the pure truth.

Myth #1: BOTTLED WATER IS BETTER THAN TAP.

Not necessarily. While labels gush about bottled water that "begins as snowflakes" or flows from "deep inside lush green volcanoes," between 25 and 40 percent of bottled water comes from a less exotic source: U.S. municipal water supplies. (Bottling companies buy the water and filter it, and some add minerals.) That's not really a bad thing: The Environmental Protection Agency oversees municipal water quality, while the Food and Drug Administration monitors bottled water; in some cases, EPA codes are more stringent.

Myth #2: PURIFIED WATER TASTES BETTER.

The "purest" water — distilled water with all minerals and salts removed — tastes flat; it's the sodium, calcium, magnesium, and chlorides that give water its flavor. The "off" taste of tap water is the chlorine; if you refrigerate it in a container with a loose-fitting lid, the chlorine taste will be gone overnight.

Myth #3: BOTTLED WATER WITH VITAMINS, MINERALS, OR PROTEIN IS MORE HEALTHY THAN REGULAR WATER.

"Vitamins, color, herbs, protein, and all the other additions to water — those are a marketing ploy," says Marion Nestle, Ph.D., professor of nutrition studies at New York University. Plus, the additives are usually a scant serving of the vitamins you really need in a day, adds Amy Subar, Ph.D., a nutritionist with the National Cancer Institute. Enhanced waters usually contain sugars and artificial flavorings to sweeten the deal and can pack more calories than diet soda. When it comes to providing fluoride, tap water usually wins, though that element is increasingly being added to bottled waters.

Myth #4: YOU NEED EIGHT 8-OUNCE GLASSES OF WATER EACH DAY.

The Institute of Medicine recommends about 91 ounces (a little more than 11 8-ounce glasses) of fluid daily for women. But here's the thing: It expects 80 percent of that to come from water, juice, coffee, tea, or other beverages and the remaining 20 percent from food. That means if you drink a 12-ounce cup of coffee and a 12-ounce can of diet soda, you only need 48 more ounces (three 16-ounce glasses, or four soda cans' worth) for the day.

Healthy Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

Top searches: Chicken, Chocolate, Salad, Desserts, Soup

Healthy Recipe Finder