1. Mineral Water
A brand can call their product ‘mineral water’ only if it was sourced from a mineral spring, which infused the water with essential minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, sulfur and many others. Each mineral spring has its unique mineral cocktail, which results in a variety of tastes, smells, and health benefits.
That being said, most mineral waters have several health benefits:
- Mineral water aids digestion and weight loss because of its natural (or added) fizziness. The bubbles make you feel fuller faster, and they can also flush out your digestive system, especially is you suffer from constipation.
- It promotes heart and bone health. Calcium is necessary for maintaining healthy bones and muscles, we all know that. In addition, this mineral is essential to heart and cardiovascular health, simply because some blood vessels are lined with muscles, and our heart is a muscle, too.
As a consequence, meeting a daily norm of calcium promotes heart health, and mineral water has plenty of it, with some brands containing as much as 44% of the daily need of calcium per liter (a quarter of a gallon).
- Mineral water is beneficial to people with a risk of developing kidney stones, as it contains the perfect combination of hydrating water and calcium and magnesium, which have been proven to prevent the formation of kidney stones.
That being said, we also recognize that mineral water has a major drawback: in many countries, such as the US, there are few mineral springs, which makes mineral water a very pricey alternative to regular water.
2. Tap Water
Tap water needs no introduction, as it is the universal ingredient all of us use on a daily basis: we bathe in it, we use it clean things, to cook foods and, of course, we drink it. It too, however, has its pros and cons, which depend a lot on where you live.
- Is usually safe for drinking and offers all the benefits of water.
- In many places, tap water is fortified with fluoride, which prevents tooth decay.
- Tap water, too, contains some essential minerals.
This varies on where you live, but the general rule is that if you drink 2 liters (0.5 gallons) of water a day, you can get 10-15% of your daily calcium requirement and up to 30% of magnesium.
- Tap water doesn’t require disposable packaging, which makes it the safest environmental choice.
- Is much cheaper than other kinds of water.
- Depending on where you live, tap water may be contaminated with harmful chemicals, plastic particles, etc. European research, for example, found microplastics in tap water.
Apart from that, tap water in many regions of the world was found to contain pesticide residue and aluminum, both of which can be harmful to human health.
3. Distilled Water
Distilled water is boiled for a long time, and the vapor is then collected, cooled and condensed into water in a different container. It is a lengthy process, and simply boiling the water won’t produce distilled water.
Here are some of the benefits of distilled water:
- If available, it may be a good alternative to tap water, but only if you’re afraid that the public water supply in your area isn't safe to drink because it prevents water-borne diseases. Distilled water is the purest water you can get, it minimizes the likelihood of bacteria and parasites that may survive in improperly-purified tap water.
- The distillation process gets rid of chlorine. Chlorine is a detergent commonly used by water suppliers to clarify and disinfect tap water. Some believe that it is linked to cancer and hypersensitivity, and the distillation process can completely get rid of it.
At the same time, distilled water has its drawbacks:
- It requires special expensive equipment.
- There are no added health benefits. In the distillation process, fluoride is separated from the water, which means that distilled water can contribute to tooth decay. Similarly, other minerals, such as calcium and magnesium are not preserved as well, so you’re missing out on the added health benefits when drinking distilled water.
4. Well Water
Well water comes straight from groundwater. It’s the most natural water available to consumers, but in this case, natural isn’t always the best. By drinking raw, untreated water, you are not protected from the harmful microorganisms, parasites and chemicals raw water often contains.
To protect yourself from the potential health dangers of drinking raw water, you can install a filter on your well, or simply test the water yearly for bacteria, nitrates, and pH level.
5. Spring and Glacier Water
These types of bottled water come from a natural source (spring or glacier). The water is supposedly bottled at the source.
These products are common in supermarkets and usually cost less than mineral water.
Similarly, these products claim to be clean and contain minerals like those in mineral water. However, the concerning aspect of some of these products is that they can be raw and unfiltered, and don’t pass the testing for safety and contamination.
6. Purified Water
Purified water can refer to any water that went through a filtration process to remove bacteria, parasites, and other harmful substances. If you have a filtration system installed, or if you’re simply using a handheld charcoal filter for your drinking water, you drink purified water.
Of course, filtration means an added cost to your water, but there are several affordable options today and purifying systems don’t have to be pricey.
It is a good idea to drink purified water if you know that the tap water in your area isn’t safe, but mind that you might be missing out on the mineral benefits of water that way.
7. Flavored Water
This is another type of bottled water that contains artificial flavorings and sugar or any other sweetener. We decided to add it to our list because it is often misconceived as a “healthy” version of soda.
And while it may be true that flavored water doesn’t cause cavities like soda drinks because it isn’t carbonated, it still contains a lot of artificial sweeteners, so it’s not a great idea to drink it instead of water.
8. Sparkling Water
Sparkling water is often confused with mineral water, but don’t be fooled: any water infused with carbon dioxide can be called sparkling water.
So remember, the price tag for sparkling water should be much cheaper than mineral water.
This doesn’t mean, however, that it doesn’t have any health benefits. In fact, here are a few main ones:
- Sparkling water is a good alternative to those who would like want to get off soda drinks, as it has the fizziness, but without the added sugar, colorants and flavorings.
- It has the same digestive benefits as mineral water because of the added fizziness.
9. Alkaline Water
Alkaline water is any water with a higher pH level than normal water, which typically means that something was added to the water to increase the pH (typically baking soda).
This type of water is rumored to have many health benefits starting from slowing the aging process and ending with preventing cancer. There’s no recognized scientific proof confirming any of the supposed health benefits.
It can reduce heartburn, however, because it can lower the stomach acidity. Note that drinking alkaline water constantly can bring down the acidity of your stomach so much that it can prevent your stomach from killing off any harmful in your food bacteria, which can cause infections and make you vomit or feel nauseous.
As you can tell, there is no right or wrong answer as to what water to drink, as long as it’s safe and plenty. We hope you enjoyed learning about different water types. Don’t forget to keep your body hydrated!