With all of the varieties of bottled water and water filtration systems that are currently available, it can be confusing to know which water is really the best to use as everyday drinking water. Understanding the differences between distilled vs. purified water can help clear things up a bit.
In some respects, all water is the same – it all contains two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule. The differences are in the minerals and chemicals that are also found along with the water. Sometimes these minerals and chemicals are naturally occurring, while other times they are added for a variety of reasons. Some of these are harmless, some are helpful, and some are dangerous when consumed in large quantities.
Distilled water is water that has gone through a specific process to remove all minerals and contaminants. The water is boiled, and then the water vapor is cooled and collected. Because the minerals and contaminants are heavier than the water vapor, they are left behind as the vapor forms. When the vapor is cooled, the water that remains is pure. Distilled water is great for using any time minerals in water might cause stains or build-up – for example in your iron for ironing your clothes, or in cleaning products. Unfortunately, distilled water doesn’t taste good, and may not be very good for you due to its lack of mineral content. This makes it a less than ideal choice for daily hydration.
The term “purified water” is not as specific as distilled water; in fact, technically speaking, because the distillation process is a form of purification, distilled water would fall into the category of purified water. Most of the time, purified water refers to water that has undergone some form of purification process, though there are no established standards for the actual process that is used. It could mean that the water has been forced through a charcoal filter, treated with ultraviolet light, deionized, or ozonated. Each of these processes removes some of the contaminants found in the water, and can make the water safer for drinking.
Different than distilled or purified water, electrolyzed or ionized water is usually in a category of it’s own, although it can include the benefits of purified water through the use of a one or two stage filtration process. The advantage of ionized water is the ability to control the water’s pH levels to maintain alkalinity while adding antioxidant properties.
In order to determine which water is best to drink, it is important to research the type of process used for purification, consider the benefits of ionization and alkalinity, and decide which water is right for you.