Optimal water intake is essential for your health.
Every cell in your body needs water to function properly, which is why you must continuously hydrate throughout the day.
Most people know how important water intake is, but some are confused over the best type of water to drink.
This article investigates the differences between purified, distilled and regular water to find out which one is the best choice for hydration.
What Is Purified Water?
Purified water is water that has been filtered or processed to remove impurities like chemicals and other contaminants.
It is usually produced using groundwater or tap water.
Through purification, many types of impurities are removed, including (1Trusted Source):
Metals like copper and lead
Several methods are used to purify water commercially and in the home.
In most Western countries, public drinking water is purified to make water safe for human consumption.
However, standards for drinking water around the world vary and are typically based on governmental regulations or international standards.
In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that over 2.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water (2Trusted Source).
In countries that purify public drinking water, various treatment methods are used to make water safe, including (3Trusted Source):
Coagulation and flocculation: Positively charged chemicals are added to water to bind with negatively charged particles so they can be filtered out. This forms larger particles called floc.
Sedimentation: Due to its larger size, floc settles to the bottom of the water supply, separated from the clean water.
Filtration: The clean water on top of the supply then flows through numerous filtration systems made of sand, charcoal and gravel. This removes contaminants like dust, bacteria, chemicals and viruses.
Disinfection: During this step, chemical disinfectants like chlorine are added to the water to kill any remaining bacteria or viruses that may have survived the first few steps.
It’s important to note that water may be treated differently depending on the area and quality of the local water.
Purified water is water that has been processed to remove contaminants like dirt and chemicals. In many countries, tap water is purified to make it safe for human consumption.
Health Benefits of Purified Water
While tap water is safe to drink in many areas, it may still contain trace contaminants.
For example, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets legal limits that are considered safe for consumers for over 90 contaminants in drinking water (4).
However, the Safe Water Drinking Act gives individual states the ability to regulate their own drinking water standards, as long as they meet the EPA’s minimum requirements for contaminants (5).
This means that some states have more stringent drinking water regulations than others.
Although measures are taken to ensure that public drinking water is safe for consumption, it can contain trace amounts of contaminants that could negatively impact health.
For instance, the heavy metals lead and copper are extremely toxic to health. They can cause stomach distress and lead to brain damage when ingested over time (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).
These heavy metals have been known to leach into drinking water, even in countries where public water sources are closely regulated (8Trusted Source).
By using in-home water filters or drinking purified bottled water, drinking water undergoes another level of purification that can remove metals, chemicals and other contaminants, depending on the type of purification system used.
Water purification systems like charcoal filters remove chlorine, a common chemical added to the public water supply as a disinfectant.
Several studies have linked chlorinated water to an increased risk of certain cancers, including colorectal cancer (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
Another benefit of water purification is that it removes unpleasant tastes associated with chemical treatments, organic matter or metal plumbing, leaving you with fresh, pure-tasting drinking water.
Water purification removes contaminants that may remain in drinking water and improves water quality and taste.