Drinking Water Types and Their Health Benefits

Water is needed by all living things to survive, aside from air and food. An adult human body is composed of up to 60% water. According to a study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry 158 by H.H Mitchell et al., the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64%; even the bones have 31% water, while the muscles and kidneys are 79%. So, we must keep ourselves healthy and hydrated at all times. However, which type of drinking water would be best to consume? 


Tap Water

Tap Water - Drinking Water

Tap water or running water is water supplied to a tap or valve. The water coming from the faucet is tap water. It is used for drinking, washing, cooking, bathing, and flushing toilets. Water supplied through the tap is usually treated water (goes through water treatment in plants) and is provided by public water systems, which are regulated mainly by the government. The water in the treatment plant goes through screening, flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, and disinfection to remove the unwanted, harmful substances for safe drinking.

Tap water can be filtered or purified water. Tap water that runs through filters is called filtered water. Filters remove chlorine and other things such as bacteria and some chemicals. While tap water that goes through reverse osmosis, ozonization, and distillation is referred to as purified water – it is virtually free of microbes and chemicals.

Pros

It is a cheap source of drinking and usable water. Getting tap water is convenient since most people have access to it. And it has less of an environmental impact than bottled water. In some cases, fluoride is also added to tap water to prevent tooth decay.

Cons

It is usually potable, although water quality problems can occur, like the water system gets contaminated or contaminated due to aging pipes. If you doubt your tap water’s potability, you can use these water purification methods such as water filters, boiling, or distillation.

Mineral Water

Where does mineral water come from? Mineral water is from a mineral spring or underground reservoir that contains high quantities of minerals, especially magnesium, calcium, and sodium. The US Food and Drug Administration classified mineral water as water containing at least 250 parts per million of total dissolved solids. It means that manufacturers are prohibited from adding minerals to their products.

Mineral water is bottled at the source; however, it may undergo some processing. It may go through the process of decantation, filtration, or treatment with ozone-enriched air to remove substances like iron, manganese, sulfur, and arsenic. On the other hand, carbon dioxide (CO2) may be added, removed, or re-introduced.

Pros

  • Improves Bone Health: Regular consumption of mineral water helps prevent diseases like reduced post-menstrual bone density (osteoporosis) in women.
  • Lowers Bad Cholesterol: According to a study, drinking mineral water rich in calcium, magnesium bicarbonate, and sulfate can lower bad cholesterol.
  • Helps Lower Blood Pressure: The magnesium content of mineral water helps regulate blood pressure. A study in 2004 involving 70 adults with borderline hypertension who consumed different water types (e.g., water low in minerals and magnesium-enriched water) showed that the group drinking mineral water had a significant decrease in their blood pressure.
  • Helps with Digestion: It helps with digestion by increasing the amylase secretion from the pancreas with its sulfate content.
  • Prevent Muscle Cramps:The magnesium content of mineral water helps prevent muscle cramp, and mineral water, in general, helps fight against loss of fluid and electrolytes during and after exercise. It replaces the minerals you lost by sweating because of its bicarbonate, chloride, potassium, and sodium content.

Cons

  • Plastic Toxicity: Mineral water is consumed through plastic bottles. These plastic bottles contain bisphenol A, or BPA, chemicals that can interfere with normal hormonal function.
  • Environmental Concerns: Since mineral water is bottled in a plastic container, large scale production of these containers poses serious environmental consequences – disposal and recyclability.
  • Affordability: It’s a little expensive to get mineral water compared to tap water.

Springwater

Spring Water

Springwater, bottled at the source and proven to be actual living spring water, is considered the best water to drink. It is exceptionally pure, free from pollution, and contains many essential minerals in the right level of concentration required by the body.

Springwater contains four beneficial minerals: calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium. These minerals are natural in the water and are not added. It is labeled as “pure water” since it passes through biological filtration. Springwater passes through rocks then undergoes extensive filtration (passes through microbes and microorganisms that exist since time immemorial). It also tastes refreshing compared to other drinking water.

Pros

  • Oxygenates the body: Springwater provides the much-needed oxygen of the body. The blood in our body absorbs inhaled oxygen then reacts with food sugar to produce energy and heat (metabolism). Adding spring water to your diet would greatly help with your metabolism and helps your cells heal themselves.
  • Balance the body’s pH levels: People typically are acidic, falls somewhere between 1 and 6 on the pH (power of hydrogen) scale, and the ideal or neutral level is 7. Drinking spring water, which has a neutral pH level, balances the body’s acidic system and brings it back to vitality.
  • Can cure addictions: Springwater can reduce dependence; according to a study where doctors had people with long-term heroin, cocaine, or alcohol addiction, drink high-quality spring water. A significant decrease in the addition was seen in those people. The same cure can be done for those who are addicted to salt, caffeine, and nicotine.

Cons

  • Access to spring water is hard: Springwater, from the source, is not accessible to everyone. Bottled spring water can be expensive, and honestly, you can’t be sure if it is pure spring water. There are inadequate regulations on bottled water, which allows manufacturers to label their product as “spring water,” even if it isn’t.
  • Environmental effect: If we ever get to find authentic bottled spring water, the next issue would be its effect on the environment. These bottles used to contain spring water are made of plastic bottles manufactured with chemicals that could affect the water and our body, and the environment. Disposal would be a problem.

Distilled Water

Is distilled water purified water? Yes, distilled water is a type of purified water. It is technically steam from boiling water that has been cooled and returned to its liquid state. The water is boiled and condensed back to liquid in a separate container; thus, impurities that do not boil below or near the boiling point of water remain in the original bottle. So, what you have in the other container is just purified water. Distilling also removes more than 99.99% of the minerals dissolved in water.

Pros

  • 99.99% of contaminants are removed in distilled water compared to other types of drinking water.
  • Helps protect your teeth from too much fluoride that causes tooth discoloration, which is a downside of using tap water.

Cons

  • Distilled water doesn’t provide you with minerals like calcium and magnesium. And since it doesn’t contain its minerals, it tends to pull these from whatever it touches to maintain a balance. So, when you drink this type of water, it may take small amounts of minerals from your body, including your teeth (calcium).
  • Storing distilled water may bring a problem since it can pull in minerals from any material it touches. Most distilled water is contained in plastic containers; this means that it can absorb trace amounts of plastic or whatever substance is in its bottle.

Sparkling (Carbonated) Water

Sparkling Water

Sparkling water, or commonly called carbonated water, is water infused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure. It’s a bubbly drink known as club soda, water soda, seltzer water, or fizzy water. Carbonated water usually has salt added to improve its taste, except for seltzer water.

Natural sparkling mineral waters are captured from mineral spring and carbonated like Perrier and San Pellegrino. They tend to contain minerals and sulfur compounds. Another form of carbonated water is tonic water, which has a bitter compound called quinine and sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.

Carbonated water is acidic, with a pH level of 3-4. And, this is because when carbon dioxide and water react chemically, they produce carbonic acid. Carbonic acid is a weak acid that has been shown to stimulate the same nerve receptors in the mouth as mustard.

Pros

Believe it or not but drinking sparkling or carbonated water has some benefits. Aside from hydrating the body, it could help relieve stomach ache and constipation. According to a study, drinking sparkling water helps you feel full – it may help the food remain in the stomach longer, which triggers a fullness sensation.

Cons

Drinking carbonated water does not make your body more acidic; however, this causes a problem to your teeth. Carbonated drinks that contain sugar have a solid potential to destroy enamel. Several studies also found that the combination of sugar and carbonation may lead to severe dental decay.

So, if you are fond of drinking sparkling water, choose those that don’t contain sugar since it poses little risk to your dental health.

Takeaway

It doesn’t matter which type of drinking water you consume as long as it is clean and keeps you hydrated. However, it must be accessible and easy on the budget. Minimize the consumption of sweetened sparkling and flavored water as it is not suitable for your teeth.

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