Distilled Water, Purified Water, Spring Water —have you seen these labels on the bottled water in your grocery store and wondered what’s the difference? How do you know which bottled water is safest to drink?
Sometimes it’s just easier to buy whatever is on sale, am I right?
What Exactly is Distilled Water?
Distilled water is the purest form of water because it typically has the lowest levels of contaminants and minerals.
Distilled water is made by boiling the water and collecting the steam as it condenses. Minerals and most contaminants and chemicals are left behind, at least those which have a higher boiling point than water.
However, distilled water tastes flat because of the lack of minerals.
Though it may seem counter-intuitive, distilled water is not necessarily the best for human consumption, since all of the water’s natural, and often beneficial, minerals are absent. Distilled water is typically very acidic as well.
Distilled water is actually a type of purified water. Aquafina and Dasani are examples of purified tap water bottled by Pepsi and Coke, respectively.
Purified water is a general term that usually means the water is filtered in some way.
Water filtration can be accomplished via reverse osmosis (RO), deionization, distillation or activated carbon and ceramic filters.
In terms of taste and mineral content, water purified by reverse osmosis is the most similar to distilled water.
Like distilled water, purified water has its advantages and disadvantages, the advantages being that potentially harmful chemicals may be taken out and the disadvantage being that beneficial minerals may be taken out as well.
Other Types of Water
Everyone has their favorite type of water. Some are passionate about their choice. Here are some other types to consider:
Alkaline water, which may be helpful for detoxifying the body on a temporary basis, is not suggested for long term use. Drinking alkaline water will help to neutralize acidity in the body and can reduce the amount of free radical damage.
In addition, Vitamin waters (VitaminWater, Propel, SoBe, etc.) are just about as unhealthy as drinking soft drinks! Vitamin waters contain artificial colors, additives, preservatives and even caffeine. These manufacturers typically use distilled water to make their products.
Also, Mineral Water (Fiji, Perrier and San Pelligrino) is water from a mineral spring that contains various minerals, such as salts and sulfur compounds. Mineral water may be effervescent (i.e., “sparkling”) due to contained gases. Mineral waters, generally speaking, are similar in benefits/drawbacks to spring water.
Spring water comes from naturally occurring springs, which are underground sources that are usually uncontaminated.
Spring water typically undergoes some processing and filtering to remove debris and kill bacteria and other microbes, but most of the mineral content — such as calcium and magnesium — is left in the water. Spring water may also contain trace amounts of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium.
Mineral-rich water will usually have a neutral or slightly alkaline pH.
Consequently, spring water tastes “fresher” or “crisper” than distilled water to most people. Spring water also leaves a different feel in your mouth compared to distilled water.
Where did your Spring Water come from?
Most folks have their favorite brand of spring water. I know I do.
However, you never really know the quality of water you’re getting—or if it’s even spring water!
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), bottled water is inadequately regulated by the FDA, which allows bottlers to call their product “spring water,” even if it doesn’t actually come from a natural spring.
In addition, the marketing for many bottled waters suggests that the water comes from pristine sources, such as mountain springs or glaciers, when it does NOT.
In fact, up to 40 percent of all bottled water actually comes from tap water, regardless of what it says on the bottle label.
And to make matters worse, the bottled spring water may be treated with chemical disinfectants such as chlorine.
Check it out First
The best of all possible worlds would be to travel to a gravity-fed mountain spring and fill your bottles with water directly from the source. You can check for springs in your area at www.findaspring.com.
Who has time for that, right?
If you are buying bottled spring water and intend to drink it on an ongoing basis, it would be worth your while to thoroughly research the bottlers to find out what their water source is and how often the water is tested for contaminants.
Check the product label and go to their website for information.
If you prefer to drink tap water, check out my next post “What’s In Your Tap Water? How to Pick a Water Filter”.
What is your favorite type of drinking water?
Here’s your simple change for the day: Check out your spring water supplier’s source and filtration process.
As a Wellness Advocate, I receive a small commission if you purchase a product, which does not affect your cost. My goal is to provide support on your journey to wellness.