What kind of water do you drink? Do you have a filter at home? Or maybe you’re BRAVE enough to go straight from the tap?
The water we drink is incredibly crucial to both our own personal health and that of our family’s. So, it’s only natural to wonder if there is really any credence to the different types of water we all see on a daily basis, in groceries and stores throughout our country.
What’s best for you and your loved ones? Distilled water? Mineral water? Purified water? It really is important to know. So, if you’d like to learn more about each type of water treatment first, you’re in the right place. Read on below to learn more.
What’s your water?
Did you know that Americans use up 176 gallons of water in a day while someone in Africa only uses up five gallons in the same amount of time. Keep in mind that this water is used for bathing, drinking and washing. You would have never guessed something as simple as water could branch out into different kinds which could be used for different purposes and health benefits. The science of making things cleaner and safer for human consumption has brought about the need to treat water differently. This has resulted into three different types you commonly see in the grocery: distilled, mineral and purified water. Although all three of them sound safe to drink and good for the body, each possess certain characteristics and compositions that make them more ideal for certain needs and purposes.
Water has microorganisms and contaminants
Before diving into their individual differences, it is important to note that water is still water anywhere you go. Its basic chemical composition doesn’t change. What changes is what comes along with its basic chemical composition and if there are any other organisms living in the water. Thanks to pollution and supply, we’ve had to treat our water to make it safe to drink straight from the faucet. Still, some of us have stomach trouble when drinking untreated water. This is why it’s important to purify your water based on some method that works for your health. This is where various processes and treatments it goes through before it reaches your house and your taps.
Naturally, this is water that has gone through the process of distillation. It’s an old process used to separate two substances. There are a myriad of ways to get this done.
One of the most popular methods of distillationis through heat. Here’s how it’s done:
1. Before distillation, the impure water is placed in a container before heating.
2. As the water reaches a certain point, it boils and begins to evaporate. In this gaseous state, the water vapor is then introduced to a cooling agent such as a cold environment.
3. Eventually, this will cause the water vapor to return to its original liquid state, sans the previous impurities it had at the beginning of the process.
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4. Distillation works by taking advantage of the different boiling points of the water components. Because water has a lower boiling point than other liquids, it’s the liquid that evaporates first.
5. As long as the temperature of the impure water is kept constant, only the water evaporates and not the other substance, causing the initial separation.
6. What you are left with are the initial impurities after all the water evaporates.
As you may have noticed, it can be a dangerous and complicated process since you’re operating at different temperatures.
PROS of drinking DISTILLED WATER
Through distillation, you can get rid of most metallic contaminants as well as more solid impurities in the water such as minerals and dirt. These substances have higher boiling and melting points that water, so they get left behind after the water evaporates. On top of making it safe for drinking, it’s also great for cleaning because you don’t get any other contaminants with your cleaning water. No scratch marks on your glass or on your car or on your silverware when you clean with distilled water. Another reason why you need distilled water is the fact that your municipal water already comes with contaminants that can be safely removed through distillation.
Examples of these contaminants are iron, fluoride and calcium. The presence of these contaminants results from treatment and procurement processes from most local dams and water reservoirs.
Also, take note that these dams also collect rainwater which has other contaminants from various sources. Ensuring that your water is distilled gives you peace of mind as you drink.
CONS of drinking DISTILLED WATER
Although distillation is a simple and effective process, it is not complete. The main reason why distillation works so well with water is because water has a lower boiling point than most solid minerals and other contaminants. What about liquid contaminants? What about pesticides and other chemical additives?
Unfortunately, these substances have lower boiling points than water. This means they evaporate first. Instead of just having pure water vapor, you’re left with contaminated water vapor that doesn’t get any purer even after condensation. If you suspect your water to have been contaminated by pesticides and such, distillation may not be the best method of treating your water as it will not get rid of the contaminants.
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On top of that, distillation, however efficient, does not discriminate between good and bad guests in the water. Distilling water also runs the risk of removing healthy minerals in the water. Some examples of these good substances are sodium, chloride and potassium. Your body needs these substances to process the water and make good use of it. You’re also losing out on plenty vitamins and minerals that naturally make water the perfect beverage.
How good is it for you?
On the base level, there’s nothing wrong with it. With that being said, it’s just plain water without a lot of substantial goodness for you. It doesn’t hurt you at all but doesn’t give you much at the same time. It’s a stagnant choice.
What is distillation good for?
As mentioned earlier, it’s good for water that you suspect is contaminated. Water obtained from wells and private sources are best distilled before drinking. Through distillation, you can remove unwanted substances that come from your water sources. It’s still one valid way to clean your water–but keep in mind that it does not eliminate all harmful substances.
As the name implies, mineral water is water that already comes with minerals. Depending on the bottling company, these minerals could vary from brand to brand. Unlike purified and distilled water, mineral water comes from mineral springs. These are earth’s natural water supplies. This is water that has gone through various layers of the earth and have come up in various springs. This kind of water is enriched with various minerals and substances from rocks and earth. It comes unprocessed and full of various substances that have come from the places it has been. Some examples of these minerals are salt and sulphur. Depending on the natural spring from which they came, you can get various minerals in your water to boost the quality of your drink.
According to studies, here are the mineral ions you can expect when drinking this type of water, whether bottled or from its source:
There’s also mineralized water, which is synthetic in nature. This is the kind made by bottling companies. They infuse pure water with a selection of minerals and vitamins of the company’s choice to improve the nutrients in the water. These could be more boosts in calcium and magnesium with other additives such as vitamins.
PROS of drinking MINERAL WATER
Whatever is missing in your tap water, mineral water makes up for it. The reason why bottling companies are abuzz with trying to come up with the best mineral combinations for their consumers is because they want to be able to supplement the lack of minerals found in regular water. With mineral water, you don’t just cleanse your body. You also get a healthy boost in vitamins and minerals to help get you through the day.
Depending on the bottles mineral water you have, you can have as much as four times more nutrients and minerals compared to regular tap water. It’s a great way to supplement diets. In addition to that, different brands of mineral water come with different mineral profiles. This means you have the freedom to choose what kinds of minerals you want to see in your water.
You usually play around with 4 big mineral players when it comes to bottled mineral water:
Note that bottled versions have more significant amounts of potassium than natural sources. They come in different concentrations depending on the brand you have. Choosing the right brand is key to being able to get the most out of your mineral water. Getting a nutritionist or doctor to tell you which minerals you need the most is a great way to determine which brand of mineral water you should be drinking more often. For people with medical conditions and even pregnant women who need more minerals, it’s best you ask your doctor to recommend a brand that can help you the best.
CONS of drinking MINERAL WATER
Although minerals and nutrients are good, that doesn’t mean you can’t get them anywhere else. Although mineral water is a good source of these minerals, they’re not the only place from which you can get them. Those four core minerals in most mineral water brands can also be found in certain food items that you can incorporate within your diet. If you really want to get your daily dose of healthy vitamins and minerals, mineral water can help; but it’s not a closed deal. Mineral water alone can’t really answer to all your daily needs. Proper diet and food choices are still essential tools.
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The biggest risk you run with mineral water is the fact that you may be getting more than what you paid for. It goes without saying that even if bottled water companies are held to certain standards, they aren’t strictly regulated in most places. That means you could be getting more than just those four core substances mentioned earlier. Be careful and double-check the nutritional content on the bottle before consuming.
How good is it for you?
Although it’s slightly better than distilled water, you have to be careful with the brands you pick. Interestingly, some brands taste different from others because of their mineral content. It doesn’t come without its risks.
With that being said, the best thing to do is to sample different brands and see which one gives you the better boost.
What is it good for?
It’s best for those who want to make a conscious effort to meet their daily recommended dose of vitamins and minerals. Because of the mineral boosts in this water, it perfectly complements the minerals you get from the food you eat. On top of that, it can also be used with beauty regimens. It’s used to improve the quality of your skin by providing plenty of the needed nutrients and minerals to keep a healthy glow.
Try to find mineral water that has the following minerals if you want your water to help your beauty regimen:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B-complex
Keep in mind that drinking a lot of water (eight glasses a day) can contribute greatly to your skin moisture. Beauty experts even tell you to drink twice the amount of water you usually drink in a day if you have a special event or will be wearing heavy makeup the next day. In addition to making your skin glow, the various salts found in mineral water greatly contribute to the electrolyte count in your body. Electrolytes are like small sources of energy for the body. They keep you charged and ready to go. A healthy electrolyte count will keep you up and at them whenever you need to. It also helps your body maintain its regular functions. People diagnosed with low electrolyte counts will greatly benefit from regularly drinking mineral water.
This is where our discussion about water gets interesting. As per a dictionary definition, purified water is water that has gone through a purification process. As you may have remembered, distillation is also considered as a purification process because it separates water from most other contaminants. In a way, distilled water can also be called purified water.
The difference between purified water and distilled water is in the levels of purification that the water goes through. Distilled water only goes through distillation which removes most solid substances and minerals. The problem with that is the distillation process takes a lot of energy. It takes a lot of heat to evaporate a large enough amount of water good for the consumption of one person. It’s a great waste of energy. This is why there are manufacturers who find new ways to purify water without having to spend that much energy.
Some popular methods involve filters and reverse osmosis that separate both liquid and solid contaminants from the water. They don’t require a lot of heat and energy and they come up with better results. At the end of all the purification processes, you are left with purified water. Technically, it’s not 100% free of all substances and contaminants. When you say it’s purified, it means that the amount of contaminants has been brought down to a certain level which makes it safe for human consumption. Depending on the purification processes done on the water, you could be looking at very minuscule levels of contaminants.
PROS of drinking PURIFIED WATER
Naturally, you have a much cleaner water sample compared to distilled water. Since you’ve run the water through more purification processes, you get rid of more contaminants. That includes pesticides, chemicals and other compounds that distillation wouldn’t have been able to remove.
On top of that, getting purified water is easier because it doesn’t use distillation. It uses reverse osmosis. This interesting-sounding term refers to the sifting of the substance through filters. When the water passes through these filters to a different container with a certain amount of pressure, the contaminants are left by the filter and only the clean water comes through.
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On top of reverse osmosis, there are many other ways to purify water. Different mediums and filters can be used to separate different contaminants from the water. Take note that distillation only takes out contaminants. Those are actually easy to deal with. But there are other substances that still have lower boiling points than water that can still be in the distilled water.
Through purification methods, you don’t just get rid of rust and iron and chlorine from most water sources. You also kill bacteria that could be living in the water. Although you can’t see them with the naked eye, there could be bacteria and other micro organisms living in the water that you drink. These could breed viruses that could jeopardize your health. Purified water is free of bacteria because most of this method’s processes kill the harmful stuff in the process, providing them with very little living space inside your water.
CONS of drinking PURIFIED WATER
One big drawback for purified water is the potential imbalance in electrolytes. You will remember that electrolytes are needed by the body to maintain proper function. Because of the filtration and purification processes, your purified water could end up messing with your electrolyte levels.
Although purified water is clear of contaminants, the composition of the water changes. Sometimes, there are even filtration methods that use electric fields and magnets to pull away harmful elements from the water. These processes could leave positive ions in the water, upsetting their electrolyte levels. When taken, these ions bond with your body, potentially causing loss of energy.
Although purified water does not involve distillation, that doesn’t mean it has no drawbacks. You would have to either purchase bottled purified water or have your water purified by third parties. You could also invest in a home water filtration/purifying system to take care of your own water supply. These machines are costly and require expertise when it comes to installation. You might end up with large household expenses in exchange for purified water.
How good is it for you?
Compared to distilled and mineral water, purified water has gone through the most changes. This makes it more fit for consumption. It has the least number of contaminants and is even safe for infants and the elderly who need a little more help when it comes to utilizing water in their bodies.
Although it isn’t as nutrient-packed as mineral water, purified water carries a new level of water cleanliness that most bottling companies try to reach. Despite that, it is still important to take a closer look at how your water is purified so that you’re sure to get the highest quality water available to you.
What is it good for?
People who are sick and have electrolyte imbalances will benefit most from purified water. In fact, most hospitals prefer purified water because of how clean it is. It can be used in washing wounds, rehydrating people who are recovering from sickness and can also greatly contribute to your health.
What’s the BEST kind of water of all?
So, what’s the best kind of water among the three? We choose PURIFIED over distilled and mineral, because it is the safest choice and has the least chance of causing issues when you drink it. Of course, as long as your water is CLEAN and SAFE to drink, any of the three types should certainly quench your thirst! Despite their differences, water is still water at the end of the day. The chemical composition doesn’t change. No matter what kind of water you use, you still get the best for yourself. Since water is meant to cleanse the body, it doesn’t matter if you take distilled, mineral or even purified water. They all go through your body, wash out unwanted presences in your organs and bloodstream and exits the same way. Keep in mind, though, that only healthy people can drink most water. If you have a weak stomach, a compromised immune system or are suffering from a sickness, you might want to hold off from drinking mineral and distilled water. If you have special health needs or a condition, you have to consult a doctor on what the best water is for you. But we all need a certain amount of water everyday, so make sure to drink your fill… inquire with a health professional if you must! There is no doubt that water is one of the healthiest drinks available for our bodies. These differences only highlight different characteristics of water. There’s no such thing as a bad choice with water as long as you’re sure that it’s clean. They all do the same thing and they all keep you healthy!