In the modern age of medicine, health concerns are reduced to a minimum with professional treatments available to the public. However, when was the last time you wondered about what you can do yourself for the benefit of your health?
Sure, sticking with a proper diet for your body type and getting enough exercise is crucial, but there’s one factor that’s above everything else – drinking water.
The question we should all be asking is – what’s the healthiest of all drinking waters? The healthiest of all drinking waters is purified water or mineral water, depending on availability. We’ll consider all the benefits of these two types from a medical perspective, as well as discuss the main ups and downs of other drinking water types.
What Makes Certain Drinking Water Types Unsafe for Your Health?
Let’s stop for a minute to discuss why you need to change your perspective on drinking water in the first place. The majority of US residents use tap water, and we can say that the water lines in the US are pretty much well established and respect safety requirements.
However, there can still be plenty of water contaminants of the worst kind in tap water. Based on the research about the contamination of tap water in the US, 118 locations out of 120 tested had certain contaminants that were above the national recommended average.
Among these, the most common contaminants included lead, arsenic, and even chemicals like pesticides and herbicides. These can all lead to serious health issues, starting from reproductive problems to dizziness and even neurological problems. In a worst-case scenario, arsenic poisoning could even lead to more severe health issues including cancer.
What can we do about it? Sadly, it’s not a problem of poor requirements or water supply installations. Things are much more complicated since water systems are often made out of old lead pipes and other metallic components that could slowly begin to dissolve in water over time. Since water delivery systems may be safer in some regions and states when compared to others, let’s consider a few alternatives to tap water.
Different Water Types and Associated Health Concerns
The majority of US consumers either use tap water or bottled water. Perhaps now is the time to change some habits, having in mind that you just learned that tap water may not be the best option for your health based on your location.
Either way, here’s a list of the common types of drinking water that you may use as a consumer:
- Tap water
- Bottled water
- Filtered water
- Distilled water
- Mineral water
We’ve already discussed the few standout faults of contaminated tap water, so let’s get straight into the other options.
What About Bottled Water?
We are here to separate the myths and conspiracy theories about tap and bottled water from a scientific perspective. So, let’s make things clear right off the bat – tap water on its own isn’t bad for your health in any way.
It’s the mix of contaminants that may occur in certain water supply systems that could affect your immune system and cause health issues. That being said, some people that choose bottled water over tap water for no apparent reason may only be doing themselves injustice.
If your tap water is contaminated, bottled water may be a good alternative, but mostly if you use glass bottled water. Plastic bottled water is only safe if it has confirmation of being in line with FDA standards. If that’s not the case, or if the water has been sitting on shop shelves for months, it could have microplastic contaminants that may lead to inflammatory diseases, arthritis, or even chronic diseases.
Filtered Water and Common Misconceptions
If you are considering tap water alternatives, you may have come across the term filtered water, or purified water. These are often related to reverse osmosis (RO) systems that filter your drinking water through the elimination of microscopic contaminants using tiny pores.
You can install an RO system in your household and because of the pre-filtration and post-filtration contaminant removal with activated carbon, only the tiny and pure water molecules remain. The bottom line is – drinking reverse osmosis water isn’t bad for you and you shouldn’t listen to all the conspiracy theories but rather to medical research regarding RO efficiency. An RO system can remove VOCs, metallic substances, chemicals, sediments, and total dissolved solids from drinking water.
The Role of Distilled Water in Health
If you wish to keep your body and immune system healthy by sticking with medical recommendations, distilled water is a no-brainer. However, while it’s the type of water used by medical staff and in hospitals, it’s not necessarily the best drinking option.
Distilled water goes through the process of condensation, or rather reversing the boiled steam into a liquid state. So, water that goes through this process is 100% purified and you won’t have to worry about all those tap water contaminants that we’ve mentioned.
Still, keeping distilled water in a plastic container may result in the same microplastic contaminants as with regular bottled water and that’s the biggest problem with it.
Also, distilled water lacks minerals. They are removed in the purification process and must be substituted somehow.
Mineral Drinking Water
To help you draw the line between harmful drinking water types and the healthiest options, we’ll lastly discuss the healthiest option besides filtered water – mineral water. It’s mostly found in underground mineral springs and contains necessary minerals and electrolytes that affect your health for the better.
Of course, the health effects also depend on how mineral water is stored and plastic packaging isn’t the best option here either. Pure mineral water without any added minerals is the safest and healthiest water type to drink since it doesn’t contain any harmful contaminants