by Gergana Manolova
As the Bulgarian summer is well and truly underway, it is time to hear the hundredth reiteration of the most common advice for the season: Drink more water! The minimal quantity is 1,5 L per day, which should guarantee you good hydration, clear thinking and steady blood pressure.
Yes, but which water? Obviously tap water is excluded in Bulgaria, where chemical properties of the water learned in high school – no scent, no colour – change whimsically depending on the nearby pipes. On the opposite side of the spectrum are the abundant mineral springs in the country, which make for a difficult choice in supermarkets. Should you go for water from the Rhodopes, or some bottled near Sofia? What about the Velingrad springs? And what do Bulgarians have against sparkling mineral water?
The last one probably confuses visitors from many European countries. There is only one spring with naturally carbonated water in Bulgaria, and aside from that still water is preferred. You can have your pick of microelements, however. In recent years companies improved the information on their labels, giving the chemical composition. The great fluoride debate is split evenly here, with about half of the brands carrying water with high fluoride content – above 1,5 mg/L as set by the World Health Organisation, but you can also find soft waters that are suitable for baby food and regular consumption with fluoride level of 0,1 mg/L.
In case you want to minimise the possible effect of heavy microelements on your body and diet, go for quality water with low mineral content. Recently the lightest water in Europe has joined the Bulgarian market. Lauretana springs in the Italian mountain Monte Rosa and is bottled naturally, without any preservation or detoxifying treatment. The water with a total microelement content of 14 mg/L is good for all – dieting, feeding a baby, easing a delicate digestion and lowering of blood pressure. Collected at one of Europe's cleanest areas, Lauretana is remarkably light in contaminating particles, gives you a health boost and, best of all, comes in glass packaging which keeps its qualities even far away from the source.