Distilled Water: Can You Drink It?
Distilled water is made by the process of distillation. Distilled water is drinkable, though it can have a bland taste compared to tap and bottled water. Companies make it by boiling water and condensing the steam back into liquid form, which removes minerals and impurities. That means it is boiled and the steam or vapours are collected. These are then cooled to liquefy and served as distilled water.
So can you drink distilled water? Let’s explore that too.
This process makes the water free of impurities and minerals as well. In other words, it has nothing but water, simple H2O. The taste of distilled water is also a little flat due to the process of making it. That’s why many brands remineralize the water to make it more palatable and give that flavour which distilled water lacks.
In the process of distillation, the impurities such as sand particles and minerals (calcium, magnesium, fluoride etc) being heavier, settle at the bottom and are not able to convert into vapors. The same process happens with bacteria, protozoa and viruses, thereby making the distilled water purest.
Drinking Distilled Water Literally means Drinking the Steam!
Can you drink distilled water?
Yes, absolutely, you can drink distilled water. It is a good option for people living in regions of contaminated or impure water. However, it does not have any minerals so it is believed that it leaches minerals from any substance it touches, including the water bottle and your teeth.
So if you are keeping distilled water at home for drinking, then keep it away from the sunlight and keep it covered. If you have an unopened bottle of distilled water, it can basically last forever!
Also Read: Purified Vs Distilled Water
Benefits of Distilled Water
- It has no chemicals or bacteria in it. This makes it the best and the purest form of water. It is as clean as water can get.
- The chances of water-borne infections are nil with distilled water which is why It is best for those who live in a water contaminated area.
- Another benefit of distilled water is the non-accumulation of scales, white marks or water-marks in the appliances like water boiling kettle and coffee maker etc. As it doesn’t have any minerals in it, the scales won’t form if used in household appliances.
- Distilled water is believed to prevent kidney stones and the hardening of arteries as it is devoid of calcium.
- May prevent teeth discoloration due to the absence of fluoride in it. Excess fluoride in water can lead to dental fluorosis and many other disorders. If the drinking water has more than 1.5 mg/L of fluoride, then it is not safe to drink as per WHO guidelines (Source). Distilled water can prevent all of that.
What is Distilled Water Used For
- Patients undergoing cancer Treatment – Distilled water prevents any electrolyte imbalance during the treatment, being just two molecules of hydrogen and oxygen.
- Home Appliances – Distilled water is used in cars and steam irons to prevent any deposition and for better functioning of appliances. It is used in cars and other automobiles to keep the engine cooler.
- Lab Experiments – It’s simply H2O without any other salt or mineral such as sodium, calcium, fluoride, magnesium etc. That is why It does not hamper the lab results or readings making it an ideal water type for lab experiments.
- Preparing baby’s milk – Preparing infant milk formula requires water as it is mixed with powder to make baby milk. Choosing distilled water is a good choice, especially if the baby’s immunity is low.
- Medical Devices – Distilled water is used in artificial breathing devices such as CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) to keep the air humid.
- Kidney Health – If you are thinking, is drinking distilled water good for your kidneys? The answer is Yes. It prevents kidney stone formation. The kidney dialysis machine also uses distilled water to remove waste from the blood during the dialysis process.
- Cleaning – As it acts as an absorber and it’s free from any infections, it is used to clean hospital appliances to keep them free of any contamination. You can use distilled water in cleaning your house appliances as well.
- Cosmetics – Those cosmetics which are water-based, they have distilled water only.
- Other Uses – Other uses of distilled water include hair-washing, making crystal clear ice, and watering plants and it is used in aquariums as well. However, some aquarium-friendly nutrients need to be added to the water to make it suitable for fish.
Drinking Distilled Water has Side-Effects
If you choose to drink ‘only’ distilled water then it can pose some side effects that to only if your diet is improper. So if you are thinking, Can Distilled Water Kill you? No, it most certainly can not.
Also, the storage of distilled water is very important. It tends to absorb elements from the container in which it has been kept. So it must not be kept in a metal or toxic material container to avoid any side effects.
Distilled water is poor in taste so it can lead to less water consumption, which can dehydrate the body.
If your body becomes deficient in magnesium and calcium, then you can feel symptoms like fatigue, muscle cramp, weakness, headache etc.
To avoid any side effects of distilled water, make sure you eat a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals as well.
We all take about 12% of our daily requirement of minerals from water, considering an average human being drinks about 6 to 8 glasses of water every day (study). Distilled water can’t give you that 12% of minerals to you. But for those people who live in those areas where the water is contaminated, distilled water is a boon. You can complete your daily requirement of minerals from a well-balanced diet and food. After all, distilled water is always better than contaminated water!