Aqua Carpatica Natural Sparkling Mineral Water is sourced from Paltinis Spring in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. Located in the secluded Bucovina region, the spring is set in a coniferous forest interspersed with jagged peaks and icy streams cutting through wildflower-covered valleys. Home to lynxes, wolves and some 5,000 brown bears, this beautiful area is the last truly wild place in Europe, far from civilisation and untouched by agricultural and industrial pollution. It’s also the source of some very special water, pure, pristine and naturally blessed with just the right blend of bubbles, electrolytes and crisp, clean taste – just as it comes out of the ground, with no treatment, processing or additives of any kind. The carbonation comes from an aquifer of metamorphic rock 200 metres underground, where carbon dioxide from ancient volcanoes mixes with mineral salts and water filtered by a 40-year journey below the surrounding geological formations. The Paltinis aquifer is also rich in bicarbonates which largely neutralise the acidity of the CO2, giving Aqua Carpatica Natural Sparkling Mineral Water an almost neutral pH and the ability to settle the stomach and enhance digestive function. Thanks to the mineral salts (calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate), it’s high in the minerals that matter: the hydrating electrolytes calcium and magnesium. Each litre contains almost a quarter of the recommended daily intake of calcium and over 15% of the daily magnesium requirement, with significant benefits for the bones, muscles and cardiovascular system. These minerals also inhibit the formation of kidney stones and help the body metabolise lactic acid produced during exercise. Contrast this to artificially produced soda water, which has none of the beneficial minerals and no bicarbonates to counteract the generation of carbonic acid in the stomach. Instead of improving digestion, soda water can actually cause problems such as acid reflux and ulcers – and it often doesn’t taste very good either! Meanwhile, Aqua Carpatica Natural Sparkling Mineral Water is entirely free from sodium – implicated in high blood pressure and heart disease – as well as a lesser-known, non-mineral threat: nitrates. Nitrates are heavy oxidants that generally find their way into the water supply via agricultural runoff. They’re undetectable outside of a laboratory, but they are present in many well-known bottled waters, and they can be quite harmful, especially for expectant mothers: In addition to digestive distress and allergic reactions, nitrates may cause severe birth defects. The remote location of Paltinis Spring effectively precludes nitrate contamination, and Aqua Carpatica Natural Sparkling Mineral Water has been independently tested and confirmed to be free of this dangerous pollutant, making it one of the safest sparkling waters available anywhere for pregnant women.