Most would agree that drinking plenty of water is good for overall health. But this is usually where the agreement ends. Opinions vary greatly as to which kind of water is ideal. There are many options including tap water, well water, bottled water and distilled water. Each has its own advantages for health and convenience, but which is really the most health promoting?
Surely clean water is ideal and dirty water can be downright dangerous. But to be clean does water need to be H20 and nothing else? That is what distilled water is. It is simply hydrogen and oxygen with no other particles in it. Distilled water is free of parasites, bacteria, and pesticides. No one would argue the value in that.
However, in spite of being purely H20, distilled water is not as innocent as it seems. Looks can be deceiving.
A glass of distilled water, tap water, well water and bottled water may each look about the same. They will likely not taste the same. And the hidden chemistry in water reveals significant differences among different types of waters. Upon further investigation, all sorts of particles are in non distilled waters, some for better and some for worse.
Hundreds of years ago the options were simple and limited. People used wells and springs to obtain water. These waters contained the expected H2O as well as varying amounts of necessary trace minerals like magnesium, calcium, and sodium. Each of these minerals is essential for life and drinking water with these minerals benefits the body.
Water has become more complicated, however. Wells and springs are not practical or available everywhere so municipal water supplies provide water. These waters also contain trace minerals but usually include chlorine to keep the water free of bacteria. Additionally, it is common for water supplies to contain added fluoride. Well water and spring waters are often contaminated with pesticides and other chemicals.
Fear of consuming bacteria and harmful elements and chemicals has led many to choose alternate water sources, via filtration systems or bottled waters.
Water, Water Everywhere, But Which One Should I Drink?
Distilled water seems to be the easiest choice. Knowing that it is only water and nothing else, brings comfort. No bacteria, no parasites, no chemicals.
But what about no magnesium, no sulfur, no sodium, no calcium? The arguments tend to be, “But I eat well and get nutrients in my foods,” or, “I will just take supplements.”
If only it were that simple. Unfortunately, distilled water not only lacks important elements, water is a solvent. Distilled water, or demineralized water, actually pulls minerals from food during cooking and processing. This means in addition to lacking the mineral supplements available in most water sources, distilled water depletes other minerals as well!
Long term use of distilled water is a suspected cause of heart disease and osteoporosis because it can cause a long term deficiency in calcium and magnesium.
An incomplete list of potential health risks from drinking distilled include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Increase risk of bone fractures in children
- Muscle Weakness
- Thyroid Disorders
- Digestive Problems
- Neurodegenerative disease
- Pregnancy complications
Many illnesses are rooted in nutritional deficiencies. Unfortunately, distilled water can cause or exacerbate nutritional deficiencies.
What is the Best Water to Drink?
There is no easy answer. An ideal drinking water should have plenty of healthy minerals. It should have no harmful chemicals, pesticides, parasites or harmful elements. This ideal water, however, is not so easy to come by.
Bottled water can be quite pricey and sources vary greatly in the mineral content. Some even contain fluoride, which consumers sometimes assume they are avoiding by drinking bottled water.
Well water can contain bacteria and pesticides.
Distilled water and reverse osmosis water are stripped bare of minerals. Reverse osmosis water is water that has been processed to remove most of the impurities. Unfortunately, most of the beneficial minerals are removed as well.
City water sources usually contain chlorine and fluoride.
Weigh Your Options
Test Your Water
Getting your own water tested will help you to know what you are getting right from the tap. Most local water companies will test your water for a fee. This is suitable for those with well water or those with municipal water.
Check Your Mineral Levels
Get your body’s levels of minerals tested to see if you are low in certain nutrients.
Compare Bottle Water Sources
If you decide to drink bottled water, do comparisons on mineral content in bottled water to make an informed choice.
Use Vitamin C to Neutralize Chlorine
If tap water seems to be the best option, but chlorine is a concern, consider options to neutralize chlorine. Vitamin C in the sodium ascorbate form, neutralizes chlorine.1
Detox from Fluoride
Again, if tap water seems to be the best choice, make fluoride detox part of your health routine.
Options to consider for removing fluoride from the body include magnesium, bentonite clay, and boron.2 Each of these can be used internally or as a bath additive for detox.
Being aware is the first step in making a good choice about which water to drink. Now take action to ensure that you are getting the most out of every glass of water.
Should I Ever Use Distilled Water?
If distilled water is the only source of safe water, it is better than unsafe water or no water at all.
Distilled water is also ideal for making homemade colloidal silver or activated charcoal eye drops.
Have you experienced health problems from drinking distilled or reverse osmosis water? Have you figured out a solution to maximize the nutrients and minimize the risks in the water you drink? We would love to hear from you!