Hydration

What Is The Best Water To Drink? (Purified, Mineral, Distilled, Or Tap)

woman drinking water

We may not really think of the different types of water when thirsty. However, you may find it hard to believe that there are numerous types to choose from, and each has its own unique characteristics. 

Keeping your body hydrated ensures that all of its functions are carried out normally and helps you feel energetic and full of life throughout the day. Hence, you hear all the time that you should drink more water!

Do you ever wonder which Best Water to Drink for Health?

In this article, we list the different waters to drink for health and explain why each water is good or bad for you.

The different types of water to drink include commonly consumed include:: 

  • Tap water
  • Mineral water
  • Purified water
  • Springwater
  • Distilled water
  • Flavored water

What is the healthiest water to drink?

People prefer different types of water depending on availability and personal preferences. Mineral water is highly preferred for its health benefits. But tap water is also a healthy source of water in countries that take extra care to supply pure drinking water. So, the answer is, it really depends!!

Tap water:

In most countries, tap water is under the control of the governing bodies and is generally safe to drink. In some countries, though, this water isn’t safe for consumption.

filling glass with tap water

Clean tap water can sometimes contain trace amounts of electrolytes such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper according to the US Department of Agriculture. 

In recent years though, instances of water contamination are on the rise, posing questions about the safety of drinking tap water. This source of water is contaminated with industrial pollutants, pesticides, heavy metals, and other harmful substances, due to which the consumption of tap water may not be safe

Additionally, the purification processes remove trace minerals and also bring in other side effects. For this reason, tap water isn’t a desirable source of safe drinking water anymore.

Pros:

  • Contains trace amounts of electrolytes when pure
  • The cheapest source of hydration
  • Easily available

Cons:

  • Risk of contamination
  • Can pose potential health risks

Alternatives:

The closest alternatives to tap water are purified water and mineral water. Both of them go through filtration processes and are safe to consume. Read ahead to know more about purified water and mineral water.

Purified water: 

Purified water is groundwater that undergoes purification to remove bacteria and other contaminants. In most countries, purified water is supplied by the governing bodies for public consumption. The levels of safety and purity differ depending on where you live.

The most common purification methods include:

  • Coagulation
  • Filtration (Carbon filters/ion exchange filters)
  • Sedimentation
  • Disinfection
  • Reverse osmosis

The key is to remove bacteria, parasites, algae, fungi, pesticides, and chemical pollutants from water and make it safe and high-quality water for drinking.

The biggest disadvantage of purified water is that it is totally devoid of essential minerals that play a vital role in your body’s homeostasis. Purified water is also known as demineralized water and is often frowned upon by scientific communities. This is because the water is essentially stripped of all its nutrient content during the purification process.
This water is also available in the market as bottled water. When you go to buy the bottled purified water, make sure it is packed in BPA-free plastic bottles. Drinking water from BPA-free bottles saves you from increased BPA levels in your body.

Pros:

  • Safe for consumption
  • Reduces the risk of water-borne diseases
  • Removes industrial and chemical contaminants

Cons:

  • The purification process removes minerals
  • Low electrolyte or mineral levels lead to health disorders

Alternatives:

When purified water is your only source of drinking water, what do you do? How do you compensate for the lack of nutrients that are extremely essential for your health?

Electrolyte drinks and sports drinks are excellent alternatives to keep you healthy. These drinks are full of vital minerals and nutrients and are specifically formulated to stave off electrolyte imbalance. When purified water is your only source, supplement it with electrolyte drinks.

Read also: Purified vs Distilled Water

Mineral water:

As the name suggests, mineral water is full of beneficial minerals or electrolytes such as calcium, sulfur, and magnesium.

mineral water bottle

It is sourced from naturally occurring springs and is rich in nutrients. Hence, this is considered one of the best water to drink for health. Health benefits of drinking natural mineral water include:

  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Improved cardiac health
  • Better blood circulation
  • Increased bone strength
  • Improved digestive health

Pros:

  • Excellent source of minerals
  • No harmful chemicals
  • Easily available

Cons: 

  • Expensive
  • Some people do not like the taste

Alternatives:

So, mineral water, though extremely healthy, does not work out in terms of financials for everyone. So, what alternatives are available?

The simplest solution is to have a balanced diet. The food you eat is a rich source of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. When you consume electrolyte-rich foods, your body will meet all its nutritional requirements.

Alkaline water:

Alkaline water is counted among the best pH waters. Proponents believe that drinking alkaline water helps reduce acidity and contributes to overall better health. In addition, this water prevents aging and reduces the incidence of cancers.

We must admit though, that these claims are controversial, and require extensive research to prove the health benefits.

The word alkaline refers to the pH level. Normally, the pH level of any substance varies between 1 and 14, with 1 being too acidic, 14 being highly alkaline, and 7 being neutral pH.

Regular drinking water has a pH scale of 7 while in alkaline water, the pH levels are greater than 7, typically 8 or 9. For this reason, users believe this water neutralizes the acidity in your body. In fact, this study proves that alkaline water may be beneficial for acid reflux patients.

According to this theory, alkaline water has many therapeutic properties including:

  • Immune system support
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Better digestion
  • Detoxifying properties
  • Protection from cancer
  • Better skin health

With more research, we can accept alkaline water as the best water for health.

Pros:

  • Has certain health benefits
  • Proven to reduce acidity

Cons:

  • More research needed to prove the benefits
  • Reduces stomach acidity thereby killing beneficial bacteria
  • Excess consumption leads to metabolic acidosis

Alternatives:

If you are concerned about health issues and are looking for the healthiest water to drink, mineral water is an excellent option. Other than that, you can depend on purified water and ensure a properly balanced diet.

Did you know that the best water to drink for athletes is electrolyte water? Runners, athletes, and sportspersons lose large amounts of nutrients through sweat and get dehydrated quickly and prefer to stay hydrated with electrolyte drinks

Distilled water:

This water is manufactured by boiling water and then condensing the steam collected back into liquid form. This is the purest form of water. On the flip side though, this process also removes all the mineral content.

There is no consensus on the benefits of this water on the body. Some believe that it can detoxify your body and provide medical benefits. Others believe that the lack of minerals in this water can force it to leach minerals from your body and cause health disorders.

None of these claims have scientific backing so far.

Pros:

  • Best when no other source of pure drinking water is available
  • Free from contaminants and chemicals
  • Safe to drink

Cons:

  • Lacks flavor
  • Deficient in minerals and nutrients
  • Medical benefits and side effects not established
  • Storing can be a problem

Drinking distilled water doesn’t cause major harm when you are not drinking it on a regular basis. In places lacking a supply of clean drinking water, this is a good option. 

Alternatives:

If distilled water is your only source of drinking water, you can depend on a balanced diet for an additional supply of minerals and nutrients.

When traveling to places where an adequate water supply is not available, you can stock up on electrolyte drinks to compensate for the lack of nutrients in distilled water. You can also depend on hydrating foods to ensure that you don’t suffer electrolyte loss when drinking distilled water.

Takeaways:

Drinking water is essential for existence. While there are many sources of water available for consumption, each type of water has its set of advantages and disadvantages.

Which is the best water to drink? The answer depends on availability and requirements. From a health point of view, though, mineral water is the healthiest water to drink.

So, what are you waiting for? Choose the right water for yourself, and drink up!!

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