Bottled water is convenient, refreshing, and seemingly infinite. But have you ever wondered if bottled water goes bad or expires?
There are ample reasons why someone might want to understand bottled water's longevity and shelf life better.
For example, someone might keep bottled water as long-term storage in the event of an environmental crisis, such as a hurricane. In addition, some people may buy a lot of bottled water as part of their daily wellness routine and become curious regarding expiration dates and how long they can store it.
So, Does Bottled Water Go Bad or Expire?
Let's dive into some basic concepts to begin. It's important to understand that water itself doesn't go bad. Water is a simple molecule composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, and it doesn't have an expiration date. However, the water's storage container can impact its taste, quality, and safety over time. While the FDA doesn't stipulate a need for manufacturer expiration dates on bottled water, this doesn't mean that elements such as heat won't compromise the water. Beyond heat, overexposure to sunlight can equally contribute to bottled water degradation.
Bottled water, such as Eternal Water, typically has a best-by date printed on the label, but this doesn't necessarily mean that the water will go bad on that date. Instead, it's a suggestion from the manufacturer to consume the water by that date to ensure the best taste and quality.
What Does a Bottled Water Expiration Date Mean?
Bottled water expiration dates are not really expiration dates. For example, because juice or milk will actually go bad after the date, they are required to have expiration dates for those products. Bottled water, however, has what’s called a best-by date, which refers to the length of time that the manufacturer recommends the product be consumed for optimal quality and taste.
Bottled water best-by dates are typically printed on the bottle or packaging and are based on various factors, such as the type of plastic used, the bottling process, and the storage conditions.
Not all bottled water companies display expiration dates. Eternal Water displays a best-by date to ensure Eternal Water products taste best when consumed by the specified date. Eternal Water's best-by date is two calendar years from the production date; you'll find a best-by date on every Eternal Water alkaline spring water product.
Bottled Water Shelf Life — Storage Tips
Storage is a significant factor that can influence bottled water quality over a longer timeline.
If water is stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight, it can maintain its quality for a more extended period. For this very reason, Eternal Water always recommends storing its alkaline spring water in cool, dark places and avoiding extreme temperatures, hot or cold.
So, What Happens If You Drink Expired Water?
Drinking bottled water before the manufacturers' best-by or expiration date is always best. However, if you're storing bottled water for emergencies, create a strategy that involves understanding the product's best-by dates.
Bottled water has a relatively long shelf life compared to other beverages, but can still degrade over time. High temperatures and exposure to oxygen can all contribute to a shorter shelf life.
Any of the factors mentioned above can cause the bottled water's container to break down, resulting in bad taste and potentially a less safe experience.
The FDA doesn't require bottled water manufacturers to display an expiration date. Instead, some manufacturers, including Eternal Water, display a best-by date to help consumers understand when to consume the product for the best experience.
Store bottled water in a cool, dark place to combat bottled water degradation. If you're buying Eternal Water's naturally alkaline spring water, understand the best-by date as two years from the production date. The best-by date is clearly printed on all Eternal Water bottles.
You should always consume bottled water before the best-by or expiration date, depending on which date the manufacturer displays. Having bottled water on hand in the unlikely event of an emergency is a good idea. But it's essential to understand how long your bottled water's shelf life is as part of your emergency water plan.