Water is the essential ingredient of life on earth, a critical resource that we all rely on for survival. It’s one of the few elements we consume directly, with no alterations or additives, and therefore, the quality of water we ingest directly impacts our health. As the foundation of all biological functions within our bodies, it’s imperative to drink water that refreshes us.
But, what kind of water is the healthiest to drink? The answer isn’t as straightforward as it might seem because of the varying types of drinking water available. Each type has its own unique characteristics, potential health benefits, and drawbacks.
Do not forget to check information from the Environmental Protection Agency from time to time to ensure you do not miss any safety alerts for your area.
The Types of Drinking Water
Just as diverse as the landscapes we inhabit, so, too are the types of water we consume. Understanding the differences can help guide us to the healthiest choice for our individual needs. What are the most common types of drinking water?
Natural Mineral Water
Mineral rich water is defined as water that naturally contains minerals. It originates from underground reservoirs and springs, untouched by human pollution. Unlike other types of water, mineral water is bottled directly at the source, ensuring that the minerals it contains, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, are naturally occurring and not artificially added.
The high mineral content in this type of water can supplement your diet, contributing to daily nutrient requirements. It’s considered healthy as it can aid in digestion, bone health, and maintaining optimal hydration levels. However, it’s crucial to check the sodium levels, as excessive amounts can be harmful to those with high blood pressure.
You should be aware of the dissolved minerals that could be present in your water supply, and do not forget that bottled mineral water should have a list of ingredients on the back. Reach out to an expert if you have questions about what is in your water supply.
Tap water is the most common form of water that people consume daily. It originates from local water supplies, typically surface waters like lakes and rivers or groundwater sources, and it’s treated to meet safety standards before being delivered to homes.
Though tap water is generally safe to drink in many countries, its health and safety can vary greatly depending on the quality of local water infrastructure and treatment. It can contain trace amounts of disinfectants, microorganisms, and other contaminants, which is why some people choose to use water filters or purifiers for an extra layer of safety.
Before drinking tap water, you may want to test your supply to ensure you know exactly what is in it. You can find test kits relatively easily, but be sure to read reviews to figure out whether the kits are accurate.
Spring water, as the name suggests, originates from natural springs. When rain falls on the earth’s surface, it gets absorbed into the ground and eventually flows out in the form of springs. This water naturally filters through rocks, collecting minerals along its journey.
The appeal of spring water lies in its purity and mineral content. Like mineral water, spring water can contribute to daily mineral intake. However, the quality of spring water can be affected by environmental contamination, hence, it’s essential to source it from reputable companies that test for purity.
If the water has been boiled, vaporized, and then brought back into a liquid state, it is usually called distilled water.
While distilled water is exceptionally pure, it lacks the beneficial minerals found in other types of water, as they are often removed during the distillation process. This mineral-free water is ideal for use in appliances to prevent mineral buildup, but when it comes to drinking, it may not be the most nutritious choice due to its lack of naturally occurring minerals, and could even be dangerous to consume depending on the amount. Please consult a professional before consuming distilled water.
Purified water is water that has been treated to remove all impurities, including bacteria, fungi, parasites, and pollutants. This can be achieved through several methods like distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis, or carbon filtration.
While purified water is free from harmful contaminants, similar to distilled water, it can lack beneficial minerals. Those seeking additional nutrients from their water might prefer mineral or spring water.
If the pH of the water is greater than 7, it is usually termed alkaline water. Advocates suggest that drinking alkaline water can neutralize acid in your body and boost your metabolism, although the scientific consensus is still forming around these claims. If the pH is too high, it could be dangerous, so talk to your doctor to learn more.
Alkaline water is generally considered safe to drink but should not replace regular water in your diet. While it might offer some health benefits, it could also pose risks if consumed in excess, such as lowering stomach acidity which helps kill bacteria and expel pathogens.
Which Water Is the Healthiest?
Identifying the healthiest water is subjective and largely dependent on individual needs, preferences, and local water quality. Each type of water discussed above has its merits and demerits. In general, water that is free from harmful contaminants and enriched with beneficial minerals is considered the healthiest. For instance, mineral water and spring water, which are naturally rich in minerals and free from harmful pollutants, often rank high.
However, the safety of tap water shouldn’t be underestimated, especially in regions with rigorous water treatment processes. When in doubt, water filters and purifiers can enhance the quality of tap water, removing any trace contaminants. Similarly, alkaline and distilled water serve specific purposes but should not be your primary source due to the lack of essential minerals.
Above all, it’s important to stay adequately hydrated. Regardless of the type, drinking an ample amount of clean, safe water is beneficial to your health.
Types of Water To Avoid
While we’ve talked about various types of water and their health benefits, you should be aware of certain types of water that could pose health risks.
Untreated water, often referred to as raw water, can be dangerous. Although it might appear clean, it may contain harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, and chemicals that can cause illness. Make sure to stay away from raw water, as you never really know what might be in it.
Tap water in regions with inadequate treatment facilities can also pose a threat. The water may carry heavy metals like lead and mercury, and harmful bacteria that could result in health complications. You should test your water regularly to make sure that it does not have any lead or mercury in it.
Bottled water isn’t always a healthier choice. Some brands use municipal tap water, and the quality may not be better than your tap water at home. Furthermore, plastic bottles can leach harmful chemicals into the water, especially when exposed to heat.
There is also a chance that you have heard of storm water and wastewater. Storm water refers to water that comes from storm runoff, while wastewater refers to water that has been used to filter waste at a waste treatment plant. Both types of water can be dangerous. Not only do you need to avoid drinking these types of water, but you also need to avoid stepping or swimming in them, as you can get injured or catch a dangerous illness.
Lastly, while flavored or vitamin-infused waters might seem like a healthy option, they often contain added sugars and calories, which can contribute to weight gain and other health problems over time.
Mineral Content: What Is In Water?
Water naturally contains various minerals and dissolved solids, essential for numerous bodily functions. These include calcium and magnesium, which contribute to bone health; potassium, important for heart function; and bicarbonates, which aid digestion.
While these minerals are necessary for health, their concentration varies in different types of water. For instance, distilled and purified water contain virtually no minerals, while spring and mineral water are naturally mineral-rich.
However, while these minerals are beneficial, you can also have mineral levels that are too high. Excessive amounts of calcium can lead to kidney stones, while high levels of magnesium can result in diarrhea. Therefore, moderation is key when considering mineral content in your water. These minerals can also be present in sparkling water or carbonated water. Remember, you should always consult a doctor when it comes to questions of health and diet.
Count on AQUA OTTER for the Best Water Softeners and Water Filters
Ensuring the water you drink is both safe and health-enhancing is paramount. That’s where AQUA OTTER comes in. We offer state-of-the-art water softeners and water filters, designed to give you peace of mind about the water you consume.
Our water softeners help reduce excessive calcium and magnesium, prolonging the life of your home appliances and improving the effectiveness of soaps and detergents. Meanwhile, our water filters remove potentially harmful contaminants from your water, ensuring you have access to clean and safe drinking water at all times. We even have some innovative, cutting-edge, reverse osmosis units that could help you clean and purify your water. Our team can help you figure out if they are right for you!
Choosing the right water for you can be an overwhelming task, but with AQUA OTTER, you can be assured that your water quality is our priority. Trust AQUA OTTER for the healthiest, safest, and most efficient solution to your water needs. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing the water you drink and use daily is not only safe but also beneficial to your health. So, go ahead and make the AQUA OTTER choice today for a healthier tomorrow.
By Robert Reid