When you walk down the beverage aisle in your local grocery store, you probably see bottles of distilled water sitting next to bottles of purified water. Many people use distilled water to create steam for their iron. Distilled water is also used in batteries. However, can you drink distilled water?
The direct answer is yes, you can drink distilled water as it poses no harm whatsoever to your health. However, you may not like how it tastes though. Distilled water has less flavor than tap water or bottled water due to its chemical purity. Let’s look at what distilled water is and the benefits and possible side effects of drinking it.
- What Is Distilled Water?
- Is Distilled Water Purified Water?
- Can You Drink Distilled Water like You Would Filtered Water?
- What about mineral deficiencies?
- Uses for Distilled Water Outside of Drinking It
- Is Distilled Water Better for You Than Drinking Regular Water?
- Health Risks
- Should I Drink Distilled Water Instead of Regular Water?
What Is Distilled Water?
You create distilled water through the distillation process where all contaminants are boiled out and pure H2O remains.
Many of the contaminants found in water are metals and inorganic minerals. These materials have a melting point (which doesn’t really help because they remain in water, only in another form) and an even higher boiling point. Water, for example, boils at 212°F (100°C). Copper, a common contaminant found in water, boils at 4644°F (2562°C).
During distillation, boiled water turns into steam. This steam travels through tubing where it is cooled, causing it to return to liquid water in a separate container. Therefore, all the contaminants that were heavier than the steam are left behind in the original container.
Is Distilled Water Purified Water?
Yes. All distilled water is purified water. However, not all purified water goes through the distilling process. By definition, purified water is water that has an impurity load of dissolved solvents that is less than 10 ppm. Water that meets this threshold is purer than tap water, spring water, or filtered water.
Distilled water and filtered water are different things. Both go through cleansing. Filtered water only passes through a filter. There are still traces of minerals and contaminants in the water that cannot be removed through the filtration process. Distilled water and purified water have a higher purity than filtered water.
Can You Drink Distilled Water like You Would Filtered Water?
It is common for people to drink distilled water. Many claim that distilled water detoxifies your body and improves your health. Others say that drinking distilled water removes precious minerals from your body and puts your health at risk. Neither of these claims reflected reality.
It’s true that distilled water does not give you minerals, like magnesium and calcium, that you would find in tap water. It’s also true that since distilled water does not have minerals, it will pull minerals from whatever it touches to maintain a balance.
This means that as you drink distilled water, trace amounts of minerals may be removed from your body, including from your teeth.
What about mineral deficiencies?
You need not worry about becoming mineral deficient if you drink distilled water. Most of the minerals in your body come from the foods you eat and not from water. If you drink distilled water, make sure you are eating your recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.
Drinking distilled water can be helpful, especially if you live in a town where the water is contaminated by chemicals or pesticides. Storing distilled water can be problematic.
As we have mentioned, the water will pull minerals from whatever it comes into contact with. This means that the water could absorb trace amounts of plastic or whatever materials make up the container holding the water.
Uses for Distilled Water Outside of Drinking It
Since distilled water is stripped of minerals, it’s often used in vehicles and household appliances. Gardeners use distilled water on their plants. Car cooling systems use distilled water to prevent residue buildup. Sleep devices, like the CPAP device for sleep apnea, uses distilled water.
If you have an aquarium, you may start by filling the aquarium with distilled water and then add minerals and supplements to the water to meet the needs of your pet fish.
Is Distilled Water Better for You Than Drinking Regular Water?
Distilled water has had the contaminants removed. Since it is free of bacteria and pesticides, it can be helpful for people who have weaker immune systems. For example, those with HIV-AIDS and certain types of cancer have a higher risk of becoming sick from the impurities found in their water and food. These individuals may benefit from drinking distilled water.
Furthermore, many municipalities clean their water with chlorine. Chlorine has a distinctive taste and smell. Distilling water gets rid of chlorine from drinking water, which can improve the way it smells and tastes and minimize your exposure to chlorine.
Some argue that although distilled water is pure, it is not necessarily the best for your health. The distillation process removes essential micro-nutrients that are good for your health. Moreover, some studies have linked drinking water that is low in magnesium and calcium to an increased risk of preterm birth, heart disease, and fractures.
Many municipalities include fluoride in their drinking water. Distillation removes fluoride from the water. This may put those who drink distilled water at an increased risk of developing cavities.
Should I Drink Distilled Water Instead of Regular Water?
The answer to this question will vary based on the purity of the water from your tap. In most places, public drinking water is safe because regulatory agencies monitor it, like the EPA.
That being said, there have been many news reports recently showing that even in large metropolitan areas the water is more contaminated than previously realized. It should be noted that in developing countries that lack proper sanitation, drinking purified or distilled water will always be your safest option.
It is a good idea for those with compromised immune systems and those who are more susceptible to becoming ill from water to avoid contaminated water at all costs.
Therefore, installing a purification system in the home might be the wisest decision. Even more, if a household cannot afford an expensive purification system, submitting water to the distilling process can make it safer to drink.
Can you drink distilled water? Absolutely. Is drinking distilled water the best option for you? This is something you will have to decide based on your individual circumstances.
Something that is certain is that having access to clean drinking water is essential for your health. Distilled water is overall safe and can reduce your exposure to contaminants that might be found in tap water.