{"id":605883826482,"title":"Is Topo Chico Bad For You? An Ingredient Analysis","created_at":"2023-07-13T21:13:19-04:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Is Topo Chico Bad For You? An Ingredient Analysis\",\n \"keywords\": \"is topo chico bad for you, is topo chico good for you, is topo chico unhealthy, is topo chico healthy, topo chico pfas, topo chico\",\n \"description\": \"Our research team analyzes the ingredients in Topo Chico unflavored and the flavored versions to give our take on whether the brand is healthy or if it's bad for you. We discuss a research report that found Topo Chico to be high in 'forever chemicals.'\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/is-topo-chico-bad-for-you\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"DJ Mazzoni\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": [\n \"M.S.\",\n \"R.D.\",\n \"C.D.N.\",\n \"C.S.C.S.\"\n ],\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/dj-mazzoni\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/dj-mazzoni-rd-cdn-cscs-00a33038\/\",\n \"http:\/\/djmazzoni.com\/\"\n ],\n \"jobTitle\": \"Medical Reviewer\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"exercise, drugs, pharmaceutical, health, workout, strength and conditioning, nutrition, dietetics, medicine, medical research, scientific research, scientific method, healthcare, patient care, wellness\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"State University of New York College Oswego\",\n \"D’Youville College\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Is_Topo_Chico_Bad_For_You_Thumbmail.png?v=1689297753\",\n\"width\": \"3247\",\n\"height\": \"3247\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32114652\/\", \n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/waterdrop-review\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3620743\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC7906952\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.consumerreports.org\/water-quality\/whats-really-in-your-bottled-water-a5361150329\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.consumerreports.org\/bottled-water\/topo-chico-cuts-pfas-levels-by-more-than-half-a4286812129\/\",\n\"https:\/\/fdc.nal.usda.gov\/fdc-app.html#\/food-details\/328637\/nutrients\",\n\"https:\/\/www.consumerlab.com\/reviews\/water-filters-review\/water-filters\/\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"PFAS\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"BPA\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Consumer Reports\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Alaska Public Media\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"USDA\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Brand\",\n \"name\": \"Good Mythical Morning\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2023-07-13\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"memberOf\": [\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"U.S. Chamber of Commerce\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.uschamber.com\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Certified B Corp\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.bcorporation.net\/en-us\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Natural Products Association\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.npanational.org\/\"\n }\n ],\n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Favicon_48x48_7595c3cc-e27b-47b8-a4fe-edcc7ed9b29a.png?v=1666502785\", \n \"width\": 48,\n \"height\": 48\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Is_Topo_Chico_Bad_For_You_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1689297295\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eT\u003c\/span\u003eopo Chico is a popular bottled mineral water brand with a distinct yellow label that’s bottled in Mexico. The brand sells an unflavored version and three flavored versions.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eBut what ingredients are used to flavor Topo Chico? Are the drinks bad for you? Is mineral water healthier than regular water? And what do the reports about PFAS in Topo Chico mean?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eIn this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Topo Chico based on medical studies to give our take on whether the drinks are healthy, or if they’re bad for you. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe’ll discuss whether mineral water is healthier than regular tap water, and explain the research report that found Topo Chico to be high in per-and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) and whether it matters.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eIngredient Analysis\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Topo_Chico_Unflavored_Ingredients_Optimized.png?v=1689297548\" alt=\"Topo Chico unflavored ingredients\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe ingredients in the unflavored version of Topo Chico are shown above.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe fact that there are no additive ingredients in this water brand, along with the fact that it’s packaged in glass, make it healthier in our opinion (and better for the environment) than the average water brand packaged in plastic.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in some plastic bottles, and was shown in a 2020 \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32114652\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e to be estrogenic and hormone-disrupting. BPA can leach into water (or food) from packaging.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe flavored versions of Topo Chico are not naturally flavored with the fruits in their name, but with flavoring additives, as shown in the ingredient list from the “Twist of Lime” Topo Chico drink below:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Topo_Chico_Twist_Of_Lime_Ingredients_Optimized.png?v=1689297563\" alt=\"Topo Chico Twist of Lime ingredients\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eCitric acid\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is a preservative and flavor enhancer that’s clinically shown to cause whole-body inflammation in some individuals, as we documented in our \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/waterdrop-review\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWaterdrop review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e article on another brand that uses this ingredient.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eNatural flavor\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e is healthier than artificial flavor in our opinion, but is a broad descriptor that fails to identify the specific flavoring chemicals used.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC3620743\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eEnvironmental Health Perspectives\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e journal suggests that some flavoring additives and their metabolites may have toxic effects.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eOverall, we would recommend Topo Chico unflavored but not the flavored versions of the brand\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e based on their ingredients.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBut what does it mean that researchers found PFAS in Topo Chico? We’ll share our thoughts on that topic in the next section.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eResearchers Find PFAS in Topo Chico\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ePFAS are commonly referred to as “forever chemicals” because they take so long to biodegrade.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cb\u003eExposure to PFAS has been associated with risk of kidney disease, thyroid dysfunction, insulin dysregulation and other negative health effects\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e according to a \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/PMC7906952\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published in the \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e journal.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ePut simply: it makes sense to reduce exposure to PFAS as much as possible.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.consumerreports.org\/water-quality\/whats-really-in-your-bottled-water-a5361150329\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003estudy\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published by Consumer Reports found Topo Chico to have the highest PFAS levels of any bottled water brand tested. \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA more recent \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.consumerreports.org\/bottled-water\/topo-chico-cuts-pfas-levels-by-more-than-half-a4286812129\/\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003estudy\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e published by Consumer Reports found that Topo Chico had reduced its PFAS levels by more than 50%, but that the levels in the bottled water were still “above a cutoff recommended by scientists and advocates.”\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAn animated YouTube video published by Alaska Public Media is under two minutes long and discusses some potential sources of PFAS in a regular American’s day:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe width=\"560\" height=\"315\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/JKg7Mr9M3CQ\" title=\"YouTube video player\" frameborder=\"0\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" allowfullscreen=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eIs Mineral Water Healthier?\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eTopo Chico is a mineral water, which typically refers to water derived from a mineral spring outdoors.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eMineral water can be higher in minerals than tap water, but not enough to make any significant health difference in our opinion.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAs an example, the only mineral listed on Topo Chico’s Nutrition Facts label is calcium at a dose of 40 milligrams (mg). \u003c\/span\u003e\u003cb\u003eThis is one-third of the calcium dose in one single slice of cheddar cheese\u003c\/b\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e, \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/fdc.nal.usda.gov\/fdc-app.html#\/food-details\/328637\/nutrients\"\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eaccording to\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003e the USDA.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eAll things being equal, we would recommend mineral water over regular tap water, but the most important consideration for bottled water sourcing is contamination in our opinion. Minerals can be obtained from food.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eBefore giving our recommendations for clean water brands, we’ll share a fun video in the next section with a taste test of different bottled water brands:\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eGood Mythical Morning on Bottled Water\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eA popular YouTube channel called “Good Mythical MORE” (which is the second channel for “Good Mythical Morning”) reviewed the taste of Topo Chico and compared it to other bottled water brands in a video with over 550,000 views: \u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe width=\"560\" height=\"315\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/6E3-MRnh8TQ\" title=\"YouTube video player\" frameborder=\"0\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" allowfullscreen=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eOur Clean Water Picks\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Water_Bottle_Image.png?v=1670129204\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWe recommend drinking filtered water, because filtering tap water at home is not only more environmentally-friendly, but also has been shown in research studies to reduce levels of harmful contaminants like heavy metals and microplastics.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/amzn.to\/3V0BAqC\" rel=\"sponsored\"\u003eBrita Soho\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e is a countertop water filter that's been shown in\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.consumerlab.com\/reviews\/water-filters-review\/water-filters\/\"\u003estudies\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003econducted by ConsumerLab (an independent research firm) to significantly reduce heavy metal levels and entirely eliminate microplastics from drinking water.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/click.linksynergy.com\/link?id=LHlboFIH4*Q\u0026amp;offerid=1108578.816749011562\u0026amp;type=2\u0026amp;murl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.aquasana.com%2Fwhole-house-water-filters%2Frhino-1-million-gallons%2Fsalt-free-water-conditioner%2Fuv-filter-100238133.html%3Fdiscountcode%3DLS\" rel=\"sponsored\"\u003eAquasana Whole House Water Filter\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e \u003c\/span\u003eis our top whole-home solution.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eWhole-house filters reduce contaminants in all taps and all showers throughout the house, and are the mos\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cstrong\u003et thorough way to ensure the purity of drinking and bathing water.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cb\u003eConclusion\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eTopo Chico is not bad for you. The unflavored version of this brand passes our formulation test, and we would recommend unflavored over the flavored versions which contain two additive ingredients that may be questionable from a health perspective.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eTopo Chico was found in a third-party test to have high levels of a concerning class of chemicals called PFAS, but the brand seems to be reducing levels of this chemical since.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe best way to access clean drinking water in a cost-efficient way may just be to filter tap water at home.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eThe fact that Topo Chico is bottled in glass gives it a health advantage over brands packaged in plastic, because plastic bottling contains estrogenic chemicals that can leach into water.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe don’t consider mineral water to be substantially healthier than other types of water, but all things being equal, it adds a bit of nutrition.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003eWe hope that in the future, Topo Chico uses whole fruit as flavoring additives to the flavored versions of their water.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2023-07-13T21:26:02-04:00","updated_at":"2023-12-23T00:01:29-05:00","summary_html":"\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"Polaris-Box_375yx\"\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"Polaris-VerticalStack_1fqes\"\u003e\n\u003cdiv\u003e\n\u003cp class=\"JZCmJ\"\u003eOur research team analyzes the ingredients in Topo Chico unflavored and the flavored versions to give our take on whether the brand is healthy or if it's bad for you. We discuss a research report that found Topo Chico to be high in \"forever chemicals.\"\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"Polaris-Box_375yx\"\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"Polaris-VerticalStack_1fqes\"\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"Polaris-HorizontalStack_dv6q6\"\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e","template_suffix":"","handle":"is-topo-chico-bad-for-you","tags":"_related:hydration"}

Is Topo Chico Bad For You? An Ingredient Analysis

Is Topo Chico Bad For You? An Ingredient Analysis


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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Topo Chico is a popular bottled mineral water brand with a distinct yellow label that’s bottled in Mexico. The brand sells an unflavored version and three flavored versions.

But what ingredients are used to flavor Topo Chico? Are the drinks bad for you? Is mineral water healthier than regular water? And what do the reports about PFAS in Topo Chico mean?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in Topo Chico based on medical studies to give our take on whether the drinks are healthy, or if they’re bad for you. 
We’ll discuss whether mineral water is healthier than regular tap water, and explain the research report that found Topo Chico to be high in per-and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) and whether it matters.

Ingredient Analysis

Topo Chico unflavored ingredients

The ingredients in the unflavored version of Topo Chico are shown above.

The fact that there are no additive ingredients in this water brand, along with the fact that it’s packaged in glass, make it healthier in our opinion (and better for the environment) than the average water brand packaged in plastic.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in some plastic bottles, and was shown in a 2020 medical review to be estrogenic and hormone-disrupting. BPA can leach into water (or food) from packaging.

The flavored versions of Topo Chico are not naturally flavored with the fruits in their name, but with flavoring additives, as shown in the ingredient list from the “Twist of Lime” Topo Chico drink below:

Topo Chico Twist of Lime ingredients

Citric acid is a preservative and flavor enhancer that’s clinically shown to cause whole-body inflammation in some individuals, as we documented in our Waterdrop review article on another brand that uses this ingredient.

Natural flavor is healthier than artificial flavor in our opinion, but is a broad descriptor that fails to identify the specific flavoring chemicals used.

A medical review published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal suggests that some flavoring additives and their metabolites may have toxic effects.

Overall, we would recommend Topo Chico unflavored but not the flavored versions of the brand based on their ingredients.

But what does it mean that researchers found PFAS in Topo Chico? We’ll share our thoughts on that topic in the next section.

Researchers Find PFAS in Topo Chico

PFAS are commonly referred to as “forever chemicals” because they take so long to biodegrade.

Exposure to PFAS has been associated with risk of kidney disease, thyroid dysfunction, insulin dysregulation and other negative health effects according to a medical review published in the Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry journal.

Put simply: it makes sense to reduce exposure to PFAS as much as possible.

A study published by Consumer Reports found Topo Chico to have the highest PFAS levels of any bottled water brand tested. 

A more recent study published by Consumer Reports found that Topo Chico had reduced its PFAS levels by more than 50%, but that the levels in the bottled water were still “above a cutoff recommended by scientists and advocates.”

An animated YouTube video published by Alaska Public Media is under two minutes long and discusses some potential sources of PFAS in a regular American’s day:

Is Mineral Water Healthier?

Topo Chico is a mineral water, which typically refers to water derived from a mineral spring outdoors.

Mineral water can be higher in minerals than tap water, but not enough to make any significant health difference in our opinion.

As an example, the only mineral listed on Topo Chico’s Nutrition Facts label is calcium at a dose of 40 milligrams (mg). This is one-third of the calcium dose in one single slice of cheddar cheese, according to the USDA.

All things being equal, we would recommend mineral water over regular tap water, but the most important consideration for bottled water sourcing is contamination in our opinion. Minerals can be obtained from food.

Before giving our recommendations for clean water brands, we’ll share a fun video in the next section with a taste test of different bottled water brands:

Good Mythical Morning on Bottled Water

A popular YouTube channel called “Good Mythical MORE” (which is the second channel for “Good Mythical Morning”) reviewed the taste of Topo Chico and compared it to other bottled water brands in a video with over 550,000 views: 

Our Clean Water Picks

We recommend drinking filtered water, because filtering tap water at home is not only more environmentally-friendly, but also has been shown in research studies to reduce levels of harmful contaminants like heavy metals and microplastics.

Brita Soho is a countertop water filter that's been shown in studies conducted by ConsumerLab (an independent research firm) to significantly reduce heavy metal levels and entirely eliminate microplastics from drinking water.

Aquasana Whole House Water Filter is our top whole-home solution.

Whole-house filters reduce contaminants in all taps and all showers throughout the house, and are the most thorough way to ensure the purity of drinking and bathing water.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Topo Chico is not bad for you. The unflavored version of this brand passes our formulation test, and we would recommend unflavored over the flavored versions which contain two additive ingredients that may be questionable from a health perspective.

Topo Chico was found in a third-party test to have high levels of a concerning class of chemicals called PFAS, but the brand seems to be reducing levels of this chemical since.

The best way to access clean drinking water in a cost-efficient way may just be to filter tap water at home.

The fact that Topo Chico is bottled in glass gives it a health advantage over brands packaged in plastic, because plastic bottling contains estrogenic chemicals that can leach into water.

We don’t consider mineral water to be substantially healthier than other types of water, but all things being equal, it adds a bit of nutrition.

We hope that in the future, Topo Chico uses whole fruit as flavoring additives to the flavored versions of their water.