What Does Water Taste Like

Water is the lifeblood of our planet. It is also one of the most important things that we need to survive. But what does water taste like? And where does its unique flavor come from?

In this article, we will answer these questions and more! We’ll talk about the different sources of water, what to do when you can’t drink enough, and the different types of tastes and smells that water can have.

So sit back, relax, and let us teach you all about “what does water taste like”!

Water Taste
Image Credit: medium.com

Water, after all, has a flavor, and not all water is the same. Your own physiology and the water source together determine taste.

Where Does it Get its Taste?

The minerals that are dissolved in the water, known as ions, have the most impact on how a water source tastes. Ever came across the term “parts per million” (ppm) on your bottle of drinking water?

It determines how much of a specific mineral there is in a given amount of water.

TDS is a measure that measures the number of minerals in your water. So, if you buy a 1-liter (33.8 fluid ounce) bottle of sparkling mineral water, for example, it may indicate that it has 500 ppm total dissolved solids (TDS).

Calcium, phosphorus, and salt are examples of naturally occurring minerals that are included in a TDS measurement.

Some minerals are more difficult to detect with your sense of taste. The majority of individuals may not be able to tell the difference between mineral water and, for example, spring water.

But a 2013 study looked into this by conducting a blind taste test on 20 bottled mineral water samples varying in mineral content against 25 bottled and tap water samples. The following four most significantly impacted taste perception were identified:

  • HCO₃⁻ (bicarbonate)
  • SO₄²⁻ (sulfate)
  • Ca²⁺ (calcium)
  • Mg²⁺ (magnesium)

You won’t find these chemical compounds advertised all over your bottle’s packaging.

However, if you examine the TDS breakdown of your water, you may discover not just these and other chemicals, such as sodium (Na⁻), potassium (K⁻), and chloride (Cl­), but also other components like calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg).

Different Sources of Water

The taste of the water depends on many factors, including what type of water you consume. Here are some of the most frequent types:

  • Tap Water: Water from a municipal water supply is often directly fed to your home or into a building. Fluoride is added to these sources to protect tooth enamel and improve the flavor of the water. The type of pipe (for example, copper), as well as their age, may alter the taste.
  • Sparkling Water: Sparkling water is available in a variety of forms and sizes these days, but it’s still just mineral water that has been carbonated with CO2. The flavor of the beverage is affected by a variety of elements, including mineral content, carbonation, and high acidity. Some also include extra ingredients or juice to improve the taste.
  • Distilled Water: Water that has been purified by distillation is known as distilled water. It is made from the steam of boiling water, removing any minerals, chemicals, or bacteria.
  • Spring Water: The source of spring water is typically a natural freshwater spring in the mountains, which has a lot of clean runoff from snow or rain. The taste of the water can be affected by minerals that are trapped as it flows down mountains and across the soil.
  • Alkaline Water: Alkaline water has ions present in the water, which raises its pH level and makes it less acidic. Alkaline waters are found naturally near mineral-rich volcanos or springs, but they may also be artificially alkalized.
  • Well Water: Deep in the earth, underground aquifers provide water that is high in minerals. It’s generally filtered, but a large number of soil minerals may still have an impact on how it tastes.

How to Complete the Daily Hydration Goals?

If you’re the type of individual who despises water, making yourself drink enough water might be difficult.

If that describes you, there are a variety of options for improving the flavor.

Here are some suggestions to help you stay hydrated and have a better time drinking water:

  • Squeezing in some citrus fruit, such as lemon or lime, adds a hint of flavor and extra vitamin C.
  • Add fruit or herbs, such as strawberries, raspberries, ginger, or mint. For a little more taste, smash or muddle them.
  • If carbonation makes the beverage more palatable to you, try sparkling water instead of ordinary water.
  • With fruit juice or other components, you can flavor ice cubes.
  • If you’re in a rush and want to add flavor to your water, use sugarless water flavoring packets.

Different Types of Tastes and Smells

The vast majority of people cannot taste or smell ordinary tap water. Tasteless and odorless, ordinary tap water is the norm.

It may still be contaminated if your tap water tastes or smells foul yet isn’t chemical.

The following tastes and odors suggest that the water has been polluted:

Rotten Eggs

If your water smells or tastes terrible, it’s probably due to hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is generated by certain types of bacteria in the water or your water system.

Bacteria can be discovered in drains, hot water heaters, wells, and inside pipes.

When the water smells like rotten eggs, it’s usually due to a faulty water heater. The heater has an anti-corrosion element that protects it from rusting, but as it deteriorates over time, this component can give off a rancid egg odor.

To determine if this is the case, call a plumber. If you’ve eliminated any possible sources of the rotten egg stench and still detect one after drinking the water for two weeks, contact your local health department.

Moldy Earth or Fish

If your tap water smells like mud or fish, there’s a good chance that something solid organic is in your source and beginning to decay. Before smelling it, pour a little amount of water into a tiny glass and swirl it around.

If the water loses its fragrance when swirling, the decaying debris is most likely in the sink drain. If the odor remains after swirling, check for decaying matter in the water supply itself.


If the water tastes excessively salty, it’s probably no cause for concern. It’s possible that naturally high salt content, magnesium, or potassium in the water in your area, is to blame.

If you live near the coast, salty water in your drinking water supply may suggest that seawater is infiltrating it. To ensure this isn’t the case, contact your local health department.


Water is essential for our survival, but what does water taste like? The answer may depend on the type of water you’re drinking. While most tap water is safe to drink, it can sometimes have a funny taste or smell. If this happens, there are a few things you can do to improve the flavor.

If you’re struggling to drink enough water each day, try adding some fruit or sparkling water for extra flavor. And if all else fails, sugarless packets of flavoring can help make the task more bearable. Stay hydrated!

Different types of tastes and smells in your tap water can suggest that it’s contaminated. If you notice anything unusual about your water, contact your local health department. They’ll be able to test it and determine if it’s safe to drink.


What does water taste like?

The taste of water, generally, is that of nothing. It is what lets other flavors stand out. However, different types of water can have unique tastes.
For example, mineral water often has a distinct taste because of the minerals present in it. Similarly, seltzer or sparkling water gets its taste from carbonation.

Does 100% pure water have a taste?

Yes, water that is 100% pure has a taste. This is because it does not have any other flavors to interfere with its own taste. The taste of pure water has often been described as “bland” or “nondescript.”

What gives smell to water?

The most common source of water odor is dissolved organic matter. This can come from decaying leaves, algae, or even sewage. In some cases, this dissolved organic matter can give water a musty smell.
Other potential causes of smelly water include chlorine, metals like iron and manganese, or sulfates. These contaminants can produce smells like rotten eggs, fish, or metal. If your water smells bad, it’s important to have it tested by a professional.

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