Water is the vital nutrient for proper body function. The human body is made up of almost 75% water, which is the basis of blood, digestive juices, urine and perspiration, and is contained in lean muscle, fat and bones. Unlike other nutrients, water cannot be stored, so fresh daily supplies of water are necessary for the body to perform virtually every metabolic process.
When it comes to drinking water, our choices have never been wider – from tap to bottled water including everything in between, distilled, alkaline, mineral, soda, and the newest concoction, vitamin water. So how do you choose right?
Tap water is not your healthiest option!
Although generally regarded as safe to drink, tap water contains arsenic, aluminum, fluoride, chlorine, medicines like antibiotics and antidepressants and a number of chemicals, many of which at unsafe levels. Unlike general belief that fluoride prevents cavities and improves teeth health, it triggers a number of health issues, among which a greater risk of cavities. In fact, it weakens your bones and increases your risk of developing osteoporosis and cancer; it weakens your immune system and speeds up aging due to cellular damage. Still, it’s added to almost every municipal water supply in the country.
Arsenic, another poisonous chemical found in tap water in high amounts, has been linked to several types of cancer. Aluminum, also found in municipal water, can trigger a number of health issues, including increased risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, hyperactivity and learning disabilities in children, as well as gastrointestinal and liver disease.
Last, but not least, tap water contains dangerous amounts of medications. When Health Canada sampled tap water across Canada, researchers found traces of drugs in drinking water that comes from rivers and lakes. The thing is that when excreted from our bodies, the drugs we take pass through most sewage treatment processes and end up in rivers and lakes, and then in our drinking water.
All in all, tap water is not something you’d like to ingest.
Is bottled water safer?
Sadly, the answer is NO. You might expect that bottled water is healthier, but is often nothing more than tap water, which may or may not have been filtrated properly. Plus, drinking from plastic bottles poses additional risk to your health as these contain a chemical called bisphenol A or BPA, which is a synthetic hormone disruptor, linked to serious health issues, including: prostate and breast cancer, obesity, premature puberty in both boys and girls, immune system dysfunction, as well as learning disabilities and behavioral problems.
Alkaline water contains fewer minerals necessary for good health!
Despite the fact that it’s generally considered safe for drinking, there are a lot of health issues linked to alkaline water. Alkaline water has a higher pH level (8 or 9) compared to regular drinking water (7). When it comes to health benefits of alkaline water, detoxification is probably the only advantage of alkaline water, and this goes only for a short-term use, no more than a week or two. On the other hand, long-term use of alkaline or ionized water can interrupt your natural digestive process by decreasing the acid needed to properly break down and absorb food. This will eventually disrupt the good bacteria, which makes way for parasitic infection, ulcers and malabsorption.
Distilled water has no minerals at all!
Any kind of water that has been evaporated and collected, leaving behind any solid deposits, including minerals is distilled water. That’s the main problem with distilled water – it is boiled and vaporized away from its dissolved minerals. Thus it loses its neutral pH level and becomes acidic, which means it draws minerals out of your body or the container it’s stored in to balance itself.
For things to get even worse, all the contaminants in the water that evaporate at a lower temperature than the water, such as volatile organic compounds, will get condensed and even more concentrated in the finished distilled water. So, you should only use distilled water for a short period of time and only when you want to detoxify your body, because this water can help pull toxins from your body. If you drink it long-term, it will lead to a number of health issues.
Spring water – the fountain of youth
If you are still trying to find what the healthiest type of water is, look no further. Spring or mountain water is the closest you can get to nature – it’s got a neutral pH (between 6.5-7.5), which is ideal for your body, unlike distilled water, which is too acidic, or alkaline water, which is too alkaline.
The main reason why this is the healthiest water on the planet is the fact that it’s pure, in its raw, natural state. But, stay away from store-bought mountain spring water as those plastic containers can do more harm than good; instead visit a website called FindaSpring.com, which offers a list of natural springs, and look for one nearby. The best thing is that this water sources are free!