What is distilled water? How safe is it to drink? What about filtered water?

·3 min read

While everyone drinks water, be it tap or otherwise, it may come as a surprise to learn there are multiple types with different benefits. According to healthline.com, these 9 different types of water vary in purity, cost and healthiness as well as purpose and origin.

Healthline.com’s list of water types, paired with pros and cons, includes widely used waters, such as tap and sparkling water. It also features more specialized forms that, according to healthline.com, may not always be completely recommended for you, like distilled water.

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What is distilled water?

Distilled water is water that has been boiled into steam and then, through cooling, reverted back into a liquid state and collected, according to WebMD. This boiling and collection process, says WebMD, removes all “minerals, bacteria, pesticides, and other contaminants,” resulting in absolutely pure water without any external elements.

While distilled water is safe to drink, it does lack the minerals that water often has as a health benefit. Healthline.com explains if you treat yourself to a well-balanced diet, then missing out on these minerals won’t harm you, but it won’t necessarily help you either. Since distilled water contains no harmful bacteria either, healthline.com recommends distilled water over tap water if “your town’s water is tainted with harmful chemicals or pesticides.”

How is distilled water different from boiled or filtered water?

Distilled water differs from boiled, filtered and purified water because it is the only type that is turned into steam, then back into liquid to completely purify it. Boiled water, according to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), kills bacteria and disease-causing viruses and is created by bringing water to a full boil for one minute. Filtered water, explains WebMD, is tap water that has been run through filters to remove dangerous substances. Purified water, which is a type of distilled water, has impurities removed via a water processing plant, according to healthline.com.

While you can make and store distilled water at home, it is available for purchase from stores such as Raley's or Walmart, by companies like Arrowhead, Sunnyside Farms, Poland Spring and Smart Water.

Credit:                      Getty Images / RyersonClark                                             If you live in an elevation above 6,500 feet, the CDC recommends bringing your water to a rolling boil for three minutes instead of one.
Credit: Getty Images / RyersonClark If you live in an elevation above 6,500 feet, the CDC recommends bringing your water to a rolling boil for three minutes instead of one.

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What are some other types of water?

Mineral water is obtained from a mineral spring and has health benefits, but it can be costly and is often unnecessary when paired with a healthy diet, says healthline.com.

Healthline.com says spring water is very accessible and should have many healthy minerals, but the costs can add up over time and the water can be “untested” which may pose health threats.

Sparkling water, according to healthline.com, can have a fizzy taste attached to it, is also expensive and lacking in meaningful health benefits.

Flavored water can be a tasty alternative, but in general contains artificial sweeteners or sugar. Though the taste is a bonus, there can be negative health effects, says healthline.com.

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How much water should you drink?

Men need 13 cups of water daily while women need a total of 9 cups, according to WebMD. This total can increase, depending on how hot the day is. WedMD says children and teenagers need 6 to 8 cups daily. When playing or exercising, 2 cups of water every 15 to 20 minutes should be your goal.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What is distilled water? Is it safe to drink? What you should know.