Drinking water every day is essential, but whether it’s concerns over contaminants and bacteria, forgetfulness, or a dislike of the taste or experience of drinking it, surveys like this one from Civic Science suggest the majority of us don’t drink enough water.
Dehydration wreaks havoc on your body. Over time not drinking enough water can create health problems like kidney stones and even have neural effects, especially in older people. This, however, doesn’t help the unavoidable fact that I absolutely despise drinking water.
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I live in London, and while our drinking water is healthy and meets European standards, it’s hard water with a slightly bitter taste – plus, it’s known to have chlorine by-products from water processing, microplastics, and lead from old pipes. These kinds of issues plague water supplies around the world, and that’s before you consider the prevalence of harmful waterborne bacteria and viruses.
Filtration technology has improved, with active carbon proving to be a key player in removing some harmful contaminants but Larq has stepped it up to new heights with its plant-based filters and patented UV-C technology to purify your water. It’s finally got me drinking my recommended daily intake.
Water gives me the ick
I’m sure plenty of people are rolling their eyes at my water aversion and perhaps offering some pithy commentary about how “young'uns have gone soft”, but there’s an evolutionary reason behind not liking how some water tastes.
In my case, I’m very taste-sensitive to any tap water. Both the chemicals and certain contaminants in unfiltered tap water and the taste of overly filtered water without any minerals trigger the “ick, that tastes dangerous” survivalist Klaxon in my head when I drink, so it’s been a lifelong battle to get me to consume my recommended daily water intake.
Low-quality water can even have an impact on other food and beverages. There’s no use having one of the best coffee machines if you can’t enjoy the brew it makes or you have to spend all your time cleaning off limescale.
While we have a lot more information these days about how harmful our water might be, there’s a lot we still don’t know, so I’ve typically taken a "better safe than sorry" approach. Instead, I opt for aggressively filtered water without any minerals or bottled mineral water when I’m out, which is by far the least sustainable way to keep hydrated.
Larq solves pretty much all of my major watery woes in one fell swoop. The team kindly sent me a PureVis bottle and pitcher to try out, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to regular old water again.
It's the UV for me
The biggest selling point for Larq’s products is its patented PureVis technology, which is used across most of its products to both self-clean devices and purify water, removing 99%* of bio-contaminants such as E. coli (based on elimination of 99.8% of E.coli in a 20-second cycle for all Larq bottles).
Tapping the button on the Larq bottle or pitcher lid activates the UV purification while casting a calming blue ring of light around the device. In just 20 seconds, the water is fully purified and ready for bacteria-free enjoyment.
It’s not just the water that’s kept clean, either. Both the bottle and pitcher are self-cleaning and will automatically start a round of UV purification every two and six hours, respectively, eradicating any opportunity for bacteria to get a foothold. This makes it an excellent companion for camping trips, long days out, or lazy cleaners.
One of the greatest impacts this has had is on my running. Now I feel like I can refill my water at a fountain with some peace of mind that I won't keel over the next day. Plus, while it may be psychosomatic, I’m even feeling less nauseous and dehydrated after a run.
The pitcher goes one step further with its plant-based filters, of which there are two different tiers: the essential filter removes chlorine, mercury, cadmium, copper, and VOCs; the advanced filter will additionally remove lead, particulates, benzene, PFAS/PFOA, and pharmaceuticals.
This filtering system is exactly what converted me to Larq because, for the first time in my life, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying drinking my water. It’s fresh and almost completely tasteless, barring a very light sweetness from its natural, healthy minerals, which, unlike some other filters, the Larq Pitcher PureVis doesn’t remove. I could really tell the difference compared to my Brita filter. Larq’s process really improves the taste profile and freshness, even of my hard city water.
While the greatest draw to Larq products for me was improving my water intake, I’ve also been concerned about the plastic wastage that comes from drinking so much bottled fruit juice and mineral water.
First, the filters are plant-based, as aforementioned, and designed to be long-lasting: up to 50% longer than leading brands, filtering 60 gallons of water before the next replacement.
Both the bottle and the filter are incredibly well-made and well-designed to last for a long time, too. There’s even a Larq app that can tell you how much using the pitcher has benefitted the planet!
Yes, Larq's products are a bit of a luxury but a brilliantly intelligent way to address modern utility challenges like water quality. As time goes on, we might see a lot more use of UV in purification, but for now, it’s a smart idea I’m pleased to have experienced.
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Josephine Watson (@JosieWatson) is TechRadar's Managing Editor - Lifestyle. Josephine has previously written on a variety of topics, from pop culture to gaming and even the energy industry, joining TechRadar to support general site management. She is a smart home nerd, as well as an advocate for internet safety and education, and has also made a point of using her position to fight for progression in the treatment of diversity and inclusion, mental health, and neurodiversity in corporate settings. Generally, you'll find her watching Disney movies, playing on her Switch, or showing people pictures of her cats, Mr. Smith and Heady.