What Are the Benefits and Dangers of Drinking Distilled Water?

What Are the Benefits and Dangers of Drinking Distilled Water?

If you are worried about the condition of your drinking water, you have several options. You could purchase a water filter or purifier. However, even the most effective water filters and purifiers may not remove all contaminants from the water, which is why many people choose to drink distilled water.

While the idea of drinking water that has been distilled may seem like a good idea, there are a few potential issues to consider.

What is Distilled Water?

What is Distilled Water?

The process of creating distilled water requires the water to be boiled into a steam. The steam is then condensed back into a liquid. Typically, the liquid is separated into another container. The resulting water is completely distilled and free of almost all impurities. However, this process also eliminates all minerals from the water.

The distillation process may not remove all impurities. While it can remove most contaminants, contaminants that do not have a high boiling point may also boil into a steam and get condensed back into the pure water.

Is Distilled Water the Same as Purified or Filtered Water?

The distillation process is a type of purification process. Other purification methods include reverse osmosis treatments and deionization. Deionization is typically achieved with a chemical process, such as the use of iodine or chlorine.

Water filtration is yet another method of removing contaminants. With a filter system, the water passes through one or more filters that help block contaminants and particles. The resulting water has been filtered to remove debris, but may still contain volatile organic compounds, such as bacteria and viruses.

Explore the Dangers of Drinking Distilled Water

Distillation is one of the most effective ways to remove contaminants. Unfortunately, most home water filtration or purification systems do not include the distillation process. However, before you purchase jugs of distilled water for use in your home, there are several potential disadvantages to pay attention to.

Distillation Removes Beneficial Minerals

Most drinking water contains a moderate amount of minerals that are important for your health. You may get trace amounts of iron and potassium from your tap water that help you stay healthy. When you eliminate these minerals, you increase the risk of developing a mineral deficiency.

The risk of a mineral deficiency is even greater when distilled water is your only source of hydration. Mineral deficiencies can also increase your risk of other health issues, including hypertension, hypothyroidism, osteoporosis, and arthritis.

Besides a mineral deficiency, drinking water that has been distilled may result in an electrolyte imbalance. An electrolyte imbalance can force your body to obtain electrolytes from tissues in your body. This can cause fatigue, muscle cramps, and headaches.

Distillation Removes Fluoride from Your Water

The distillation process removes fluoride from your drinking water. The United States and several other countries add fluoride to public water systems to reduce the occurrence of tooth decay. This has had a positive effect on dental health.

Fluoride is a natural mineral that is known to help fight the development of cavities. The enamel on your teeth is comprised of various minerals. When you eat certain foods, the acidic content can break down the tooth enamel. This process is called demineralization.

Calcium and fluoride can be added to help strengthen your tooth enamel. This is called remineralization. By removing fluoride, you may increase your risk of tooth decay. Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste may help you avoid this risk.

Distillation Does Not Remove All Contaminants

Another drawback of the distillation process is that it does not remove all contaminants. There are certain chemicals and minerals that have a boiling point that is lower than the boiling point of water.

During the distillation process, the boiled water becomes steam. Chemicals and minerals that boil more quickly than or at the same rate as water will remain in the steam. However, there is typically a reduction in the levels of these chemicals or minerals after the distillation process is complete.

Water That is Distilled Has a Bland Taste

The removal of minerals from water through distillation also removes the taste. Some people think that this water has a plastic taste when stored in a plastic container and a metallic taste when stored in a metal container. This may be due to the blandness of the water.

The danger of tasteless water is that some people may find it difficult to drink the recommended amount of water each day. The typical recommendation is for adults to drink about eight ounce glasses of water throughout the day. If the bland water prevents you from consuming enough liquids, you may become dehydrated.

Water That is Distilled May Boost Body Acidity

Another danger is the acidity of the water. The lack of minerals makes it easier for other compounds or molecules to interact with the water. One example of this is the absorption of carbon monoxide when the water is exposed to air. The carbon monoxide quickly interacts with the liquid, increasing the acidity of the water.

Drinking acidic water may increase the acidity of your body. Increased body acidity is linked to a variety of health conditions, including osteoporosis and various types of cancer.

Increasing your body acidity also impacts your pH level. Changes to your pH level may result in fatigue, headaches, cramps, and may affect your ability to easily absorb nutrients from the food that you eat.

Besides these potential dangers to distilled drinking water, the distillation process is not as efficient as other types of purification. The length of time needed to distill water makes distillation systems costly and inefficient for home use. However, it is also more affordable than other purification techniques.

Explore the Benefits of Drinking Distilled Water

Distilled water is typically considered the purest form of water purification. Distillation is a pure process, as the liquid is collected from steam by condensation. Other forms of purification require the use of chemicals or filters to remove contaminants.

Distillation boils the water into steam, leaving the contaminants behind. This provides several benefits to drinking distilled drinking water.

Avoid Water Contaminated with Chlorine or Iodine

The most commonly used water purification methods require the use of iodine or chlorine. These chemicals are effective at killing viruses and bacteria hidden in the water. However, there are also a few health risks to drinking water that contains iodine or chlorine.

Excessive levels of iodine in your body can increase the risk of thyroid disorders, including hypothyroidism. Both chlorine and iodine may also increase the risk of birth defects in pregnant women.

The distillation process does not use iodine or chlorine to purify the water. It also eliminates any existing iodine or chlorine from the untreated water.

Prevent Water-Borne Diseases

Microorganisms, parasites, and bacteria are commonly found in untreated water. Drinking water that contains these microorganisms can increase the risk of water-borne diseases. Water filtration systems may not effectively remove all these risks.

The boiling process that occurs during distillation kills off any microorganisms or parasites that may have been in the water. By switching to distilled drinking water, you can eliminate the risk of water-borne disease.

Prevent High Levels of Calcium

Local water supplies often contain calcium. While you need calcium, high levels of this mineral can have a negative effect. Consuming too much calcium may increase your risk of developing kidney stones. High levels of calcium can also lead to weaker bones and overactive thyroid glands.

The distillation process removes calcium from the water. If you solely drink water that is distilled, you may reduce your chances of developing these issues.

Natural Way to Detox Your Body

Detox diets and drinks are popular solutions for flushing toxins from the body. These toxins come from the food and drinks that you consume, including contaminated tap water.

Switching to water that is created through distillation provides a natural way to begin detoxing your body. When most of the liquid that you consume is free of any minerals, contaminants, or toxins, it is easier for your body to flush the existing toxins.

You Can Get Minerals from the Food That You Eat

One of the dangers of drinking water that has been distilled is a mineral deficiency. However, most of the minerals that you get come from the foods that you eat. By including a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, you should get enough vitamins and minerals to counter the lack of minerals found in distilled drinking water.

Tap water commonly includes trace amounts of iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. While these minerals are essential to your health, you can find them in a variety of foods.

Distilled Water is Useful for Many Applications

Distilled water provides an additional benefit that is not related to drinking the water. The use of water that has been distilled is often recommended for use in a variety of applications, such as adding water to the cells of a battery, cleaning surfaces, and in laboratory settings.

As distilled water is less likely to contain harmful bacteria or viruses, it is safer to use for cleaning and sterile conditions. The lack of bacteria also reduces the risk of mold growth in machinery or appliances. Instead of cleaning equipment with untreated water, you may increase the service life by using distilled bottled water.

Should You Start Drinking Distilled Water?

Before you decide to start drinking water that has been distilled, there are several important details to consider. This includes your taste preferences, the quality of your local water supply, your diet, and the cost of distillation.

As mentioned, some people find that this water tastes bland. If you are worried about the taste, you can always add a few squeezes of fresh juice to your water, such as lemon juice or orange juice.

You should also consider the quality of your local water supply. Whether you have a public or private water system, you may want to get your water tested to determine the levels of specific minerals and harmful compounds. If the tests do not reveal any dangers, you may not need to drink water that has been distilled.

Another consideration is your diet. If you do not eat a lot of fruits or vegetables, you may benefit from drinking water that still contains trace minerals. The distillation process removes all minerals from the water, which increases the danger of a mineral deficiency. Without minerals in your food, the risk is even greater.

The final consideration is the cost of the distillation process. A home distillation machine may cost as much as a home water filtration system. However, distillation is less efficient and may require more energy to distill fresh water.

Distilled Water Offers Advantages and Disadvantages

There are pros and cons to drinking water that has been distilled. The advantages include the fact that distillation helps remove more impurities than most filtration and purification processes. Distilled water is more likely to offer a safe source of water that is free of harmful viruses and bacteria.

The dangers of drinking water that has been distilled are mostly connected to the fact that distilled water lacks any nutrition or minerals. Exclusively drinking this water may result in a mineral deficiency or an electrolyte imbalance. However, there are ways to counter this problem.

If you do choose to drink distilled drinking water, you should pay attention to the other substances that you put in your body.

To reduce the risk of a mineral deficiency, you should ensure that you are eating plenty of fruits and vegetables containing the minerals that your water lacks. To reduce the risk of an electrolyte imbalance, you may want to consume sports drinks loaded with electrolytes.

The main thing you should remember about water that has been distilled is that it lacks any nutrition. It is simply pure, clean water, with no positive or negative effects. It is the lack of minerals that produces most of the potential dangers of drinking this water as your primary source of hydration.

The distillation process is the purest form of water purification. If you want to eliminate harmful substances from your water, distillation is your best option.

Jon Agarwal

Jon Agarwal works as an environmental consultant focused on water resources, and he volunteers his time for non-profit organizations. He lives in the heart of Melbourne with his beautiful wife, two sons, and three Persian cats. He particularly enjoys working part-time as it leaves him the time to work on his own writing and share his knowledge. Visit our About page to learn about the contributors of Healthy Buddys.

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