What’s Up With This Water? Secrets of Dasani

Leilani Wetterau, Staff Writer

Starting as an underground theory, it has become widely suspected that there is something different about Dasani water. Many find this Coca-Cola-owned brand to be strangely distinct from other bottled water brands. Its water is infamous for being slightly metallic in taste and leaving you parched. Due to the rising speculations, people from all over the world, ranging from teenagers to scientists, have put this water through many different tests and have discovered nothing ordinary.

Most bottled water brands are purely water without any additives. Dasani, on the other hand, has three ingredients in total, excluding its tap water base. Each bottle of water contains magnesium sulfate, potassium chloride, and salt. What is the purpose of the added chemicals? 

The first ingredient, magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salt, is typically used as a drying agent or as a laxative. According to Healthline, it contains a few side effects, such as bloating or an upset stomach. When experiencing discomfort, the website recommends to “drink plenty of water.” It’s ironic that an ingredient in a bottle of water may cause one to need to drink more water. Many speculate that this is a marketing strategy. The second ingredient, potassium chloride, is commonly used in fertilizers or in lethal injections. The human body does need potassium to regulate nerves and muscles, but high levels of potassium chloride can lead one’s heart to stop. There may be scientific benefits behind Dasani’s use of this chemical, but no evidence has supported this thus far. The third added ingredient, salt, is useful for boosting the body’s electrolytes. However, salt also contributes to thirst. Many hypothesize that Dasani may be adding this to their water so that customers will continually thirst for more. Dasani’s official website claims that the purpose of all three chemicals is to “create a fresh, clean, and premium tasting water that is pure and delicious.” But, could there be deeper intent behind these additives?

Unsatisfied with Dasani’s statements, suspicious consumers and scientists have put this water to the test. One specific test from tenspringwater discovered Dasani’s pH level of 5.6, comparable to that of black coffee. This is seen as slightly acidic and technically safe for consumption, but many question whether it is healthful or not. Other bottled waters tested with a pH level of 7, which is perfectly neutral and verified as healthy to drink. Scientists have not yet proven that Dasani water can harm one’s body, but many are skeptical. Either way, many consumers disregard health as a factor and show disapproval towards Dasani because of its taste.

Freshman Chloe Ramirez believes, “Dasani water is very different from other water brands. When I drink Dasani, my thirst doesn’t leave. There is also a weird taste to it; I’m not sure how to explain.” While lots of people agree with the unquenchable thirst and metallic taste, others rave about Dasani. Junior Ivan Keath stated, “I grew up drinking Dasani, so we kind of [have] a special connection and I can say that it’s my go-to brand.” It’s a taste preference that some acquire and others don’t. Others, such as the scientists that test water at the Ion Alkaline Water, LLC, disregard taste and question the safety of its additives.

After examining its ingredients, it’s reasonable to understand why Dasani has received backlash in recent years. What’s baffling is that most of the population is in the dark about the water’s realities, especially in America. Many are unaware of how Dasani water was actually banned in the UK in 2004. The UK is infamous for being particular and having higher standards when it comes to bottled water. Before the release of Dasani water, the UK had never seen bottled water with added chemicals on the market. “Dasani in the U.K. was found to contain illegal levels of bromate, a chemical that could increase the risk of cancer…thought to have been introduced accidentally in the process of adding minerals to the water,” according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Once this was discovered, the UK recalled all bottles of Dasani and has never reintroduced them again, tarnishing Dasani’s reputation. However, Coca-Cola, Dasani’s parent company, has been successful in hiding this from the public and continues to profit greatly. According to Statista, Dasani made over $1 billion in sales in 2019 and continues to be found in vending machines and supermarkets across the globe.

The knowledge of Dasani’s ingredients definitely make the water less appetizing for some consumers, and widespread news coverage could change consumption. Nonetheless, most predict that Dasani will continue to make revenue because of its loyal customers. And, if their sales were to decrease, this would be only a minor setback for Coca-Cola, one of the largest global franchises with an estimated net worth of $80 billion in 2020. Dasani water remains a highly disputed preference, but only time will tell the future of this bottled water brand.