I believe water is one of the most important nutrients in the world. I mean, it has to be because, without it, you’d die in 2-3 days. Unfortunately, most people don’t drink enough and when they do, they drink the WRONG kind.
I’ve done a couple of articles about this recently:
- When Drinking Water Is BAD For Your Health
- Best Times To Drink Water for Health, Fitness & Longevity
And today is basically part 3: everything you want and need to know about drinking water.
I’ll cover all the various forms, benefits, and negatives. And, what I personally drink most of the time.
Okay, so let’s get started…
Most of the world doesn’t have clean water, even tap water. And some places, like Canada, has really good tap water. However, what comes out of your faucet isn’t really that good for drinking.
- Tap water is filled with trace amounts of drugs – birth control hormones, blood pressure, cholesterol, antibiotics, and all sorts of other drugs. In fact, there have been over 300 man-made chemicals found in drinking water.1
- There are other toxic chemicals and minerals such as chlorine, lead, and fluoride – all of which are very bad for your health.
- Lastly, tap water tends to be very acidic. Again, not good for your health.
Even though tap water is cheap and convenient, it doesn’t mean you should drink it. Go ahead and wash your clothes, clean the dishes, water the lawn, and boil water if you need to – but, save the DRINKING water to other types that I’ll mention today.
Mineral water has been said to contain up to four times as much calcium and magnesium as regular tap water. This has a lot of benefits.
Just don’t use this type of water for deposit-building appliances – such as kettles, irons, and coffee machines.
For these type of appliances, you want to use distilled water because it does not contain minerals. This is because this type of water has had many of its impurities removed through distillation. In fact, this is what we used in medical school for a lot of our science experiments.
Distillation involves boiling the water and then condensing the steam into a clean container.
Distilled water tends to be acidic and can only be recommended as a way of drawing poisons out of the body. Once this is accomplished, the continued drinking of distilled water is a bad idea.
Deionized water, is simply water from which the ions have been removed. It’s typically used in laboratory situations where the presence of ions would cause interference or other problems. Important. But, this isn’t water you’d drink.
This is the type of water you see in most generic, bottled waters. Spring water is often mistaken for being equal or interchangeable with purified water (which I’ll talk about in a minute). However, spring water often contains many of the same impurities found in well or tap water. In fact, since springs feed our rivers, there is a lot of spring water in our tap water!
Unfortunately, many spring water companies advertise their water as “100% pure—” However, this is typically misleading. It’s NOT “purified” water. It’s not as clean.
Simply stated, most spring water is almost the same as regular “tap” water and in fact, almost always it IS from tap water.
The only REAL difference is that when the water is at the bottling facility, it goes through a carbon filtration process to remove the chlorine. This process may separate spring from tap water, but nitrates, metals, fluoride, and other “toxins” are likely to remain.
Now, if the spring water is from melted glacial ice or similar natural source, then this type of water is actually very good and helps hydrate the body very well.
Purified water tends to be one of the healthiest because it’s very “pure” and yet, still full of essential minerals like Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium that your body needs.
The source of purified water isn’t what makes it the best choice on the market—it’s the purification methods that separate purified water from the rest of the pack.
Purified water goes through a process similar to what filtered water goes through, but with a few added steps like reverse osmosis, distillation, or deionization. The end result is far purer than filtered, spring, or tap water.
Alkaline Water is water that is at a pH level of 8 and above, which is higher than the pH of regular water. It has become more popular because research shows that an alkaline diet is generally good for health.2,3
I personally like alkaline water because I think most problems and diseases, due to modern life-styles, stress levels, the type of foods we eat, and so forth – cause our bodies to be more acidic and thus, we need to be “alkalized”. Eating a more vegetable-based diet is a great start, more minerals as well – and Alkaline water is another great choice.
Reverse Osmosis Water
This is a common filtration method in many bottled waters because it produces very pure water. It is used in almost all home and commercial “drinking water” machines such as those in water stores, supermarkets, and health food stores. It is also used industrially in bottling plants for soda pop, soups, juices, beer, and many other drinks.
The good part about this type of water is that it has a very low level of toxic metals, toxic chemicals, and pathogens, and its low cost.
However, the bad part is that it’s also mineral free and thus, it doesn’t hydrate the body as well. It also tends to have a more acidic pH, which I’m not a fan of.
This is water that contains hydrogen molecules that act as powerful antioxidants. The claim is these molecules are capable of helping your body neutralize harmful free radicals that contribute to disease development, reduce inflammation, and slow down aging.
In studies, hydrogen water has been shown to have mild anti-inflammatory effects, particularly on the development of diseases like Parkinson’s.4
Many of the big health claims are still inconclusive when similar studies were performed on human beings. Yet, some of the health claims are presented as fact even though there are no guarantees. Also, all the hype makes this type of water very expensive to buy.
What I Drink
I think a combination of water because in all honesty, I don’t think anyone knows exactly what’s the best type of water, nor what we are REALLY getting in the water.
If I buy bottled water, I typically purchase Penta because it has a good pH, very good filtration, all the contaminants have been removed, good plastic is used, and few other benefits.
I will also buy Fiji water, it also has a good pH and has minerals too.
Finally, I will also try to get in a bottle of San Pellegrino daily (in glass bottles only). I like the bubbles and it has a lot of good minerals, most notably, sulfate. Our bodies need the right amounts of minerals, and sulfates are harder to get and unappreciated. The benefits of getting more sulfates are diverse, supporting joint, muscle, heart, and nervous system health and detox.5
Yes, these 3 are more expensive waters. But again, I’m not buying only bottled water.
At home, I use 2 options. I do have a reverse osmosis filtration in my kitchen, which I use about half of the time. And yes, I know it has lower minerals. It’s fine, I add in a lot of specific minerals into my diet, including salts.
And, I use a good, activated charcoal type of filtration pitcher such as Brita Pitcher because it also removes 97% of chlorine and 99% of lead.
I covered a lot of the basics on waters. Just know that there’s never “a best” or “only” anything in life. This is because there’s only so much control we have over what we buy and what the label says or what the company REALLY does with their products.
And the bigger the company, the more they do things towards PROFIT, rather than health.
The bottom line is do your best to at the very least, drink some extra water, for sure first thing in the morning. NO other liquid will do what water does and should NOT be a substitute for water.
Do your best to drink about 96 oz of water daily or about 3 liters.
And drink away from your meals – thus, not immediately before, during, or after. It impedes digestion.
- Journal of Environmental and Public Health: The Alkaline Diet: Is There Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health?
- 3 Benefits of Alkaline Water based on Clinical Research
- Medical Gas Research: Drinking Hydrogen Water… Prevent 6-Hydorxydopamine-Induced Parkinson’s Disease In Rats.