Water Water..What is the Best Type of Water to Drink?

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The best type of water to drink?

Water is an essential part of everyday life.  It prevents constipation, kidney stones, dehydration; aids digestion; carries nutrients and oxygen to your cells; and helps maintain blood pressure and electrolyte balance.  It is calorie void, so it becomes one of the best beverages if you are trying to lose or maintain weight.

The body is made up of around 60% water and the muscles are about 80% water.  For this purpose alone, staying hydrated has many long-term benefits.  If you lose as little as 2% of the body’s water content, your physical performance will have a noticeable effect.  This could also lead to body temperature changes and increased fatigue.  If you suffer a fluid loss between just 1-3%, it can increase headaches, anxiety and affect memory.

There are many different types of water you can purchase, but what type of water is best for you?  Most people have access to potable tap water.  If your water is drinkable and comes from the tap, then this may be what is best for you.  This water is also used in cooking, cleaning, showers, washing clothes and gardening. Tap water is just as safe as different types of bottled waters.  Most people will not be able to distinguish between tap and bottled water.  It is also an environmentally friendly choice.  With a reduction in bottled water plastics, transport, storage and manufacturing, water from the tap has a positive effect on the environment.

Mineral water comes from an underground source and will naturally contain minerals. It is not treated to deplete the minerals and may have a slightly salty taste.  It may contain calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, sodium, sulfate, chloride and fluoride.  These minerals contain many health benefits and may also be present in smaller amounts in your tap water.

Spring water originates from an underground source of water that naturally rises to the surface.  It is then tested to assure it meets EPA guidelines for safety.  It is usually naturally filtered as it passes through filters such as sandstone, limestone and clay.  This is popular in many different bottled waters.

Well water comes from a groundwater supply which is tapped by a deep well.  This can also be tested for safety and may have varying degrees of minerals present.  It is usually preferred by some due to its taste from the minerals present.

Purified water is water that has been collected and purified of contaminants, bacteria or viruses.  When using tap water this has also been purified to ensure it is safe for consumption.  It usually stems from groundwater that has gone through various filtration processes.

Distilled water is demineralized by various processes.  Due to its lack of minerals, it is popular for use in cars and household appliances.  Unfortunately, this could lead to a deficiency in minerals for the public, so it is not usually recommended for drinking purposes.  If you get enough minerals from your diet this may be a good source of water for you.

Finally, there is sparkling water.  This is simply water that has been carbonated.  It could be sourced from tap, spring, purified or mineral water.

What is the best type of water to drink?  For most people, water from your own tap is fine.  It is safe, cheap and easily accessible.  Accessibility to clean water is the most important part.  If it is easily available and cheap, you will be more likely to drink it on a regular basis.

–Aaron Workman, DC

 

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