Water is an essential part of our lives, but did you know that there are different types of water? While hydration is key to our body’s functioning, all waters have unique properties that can bring various health benefits. Let’s take a look at the different kinds of drinking water available and explore their pros and cons.
All water contains hydrogen and oxygen molecules. Most water contains two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule. However, different kinds of water may contain different amounts of hydrogen molecules, minerals, and electrolytes (minerals that have an electric charge).
Tap water is what most people consume. Tap water is what you get from your faucet, and is municipal water that comes from large wells, lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. It typically is processed through a water treatment plant, and so is generally considered safe. That said, it sometimes does not always have as a refreshing taste as natural waters, and most often contains added chemicals such as fluoride or chlorine.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) water is the result of the purification of water, using a semi-permeable membrane to separate out water molecules from other substances using pressure to separate the water from the solid sediment or other chemicals. It is more effective than chemical or carbon filtration systems. RO processing removes harmful chemicals that would otherwise need to be processed in your body through your kidneys. Furthermore, it does not release these chemicals back into the environment, and rather, traps them in its filters. While it does remove minerals, proponents say that most minerals can be obtained from food.
Bottled water is water that has been packaged in sealed containers and also may come from a variety of water sources such as springs, aquifers, icebergs, or municipal water supplies. Most bottled water has been processed through an RO system. The downside of bottled water is that it is often supplied in plastic containers which may contain harmful substances that can leak into the water such as BPA. It also has a higher cost to produce and a higher impact on the environment despite the ability to recycle containers. Another risk may be of bottled water is the potential risk of contamination if not properly processed, sealed, and stored. There are many considerations as to whether it should be banned.
Spring water is natural, unprocessed water. It is naturally alkaline and contains essential minerals such as calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. However, it can potentially be high in potentially dangerous substances such as arsenic. So, testing may be important.
Artesian Water comes from deep, underground aquifers and is considered to be some of the purest water available. It has a high mineral content which can provide additional health benefits such as boosting energy levels and providing essential electrolytes. Artesian Water also contains trace minerals often stripped from other forms of water during processing. The downside is that artesian water is harder to find in many parts of the world compared to more commonly found sources of water, such as tap or filtered water.
Well Water comes from underground springs and aquifers and usually requires filtration due to possible contamination from pollutants or chemicals. Many people believe that well water has higher mineral content than tap or filtered water but this isn’t always true – it depends on the source so it’s important to check with your local authority if you’re considering using well water.
Distilled Water is created by boiling and condensing water vapor, resulting in a highly-purified form of water. This type of water can be healthier for people who have problems processing minerals due to certain medical conditions. It’s free from contaminants and is ideal for people on restricted diets or those avoiding chemicals or additives in their drinking water. The downside is that it can lack minerals, making it less beneficial than other forms of water like artesian or mineral waters.
Mineral Waters contain naturally occurring minerals such as calcium, iron, sulfate, bicarbonate, and magnesium which can help provide additional health benefits like aiding digestion and maintaining electrolyte balance. These waters are usually sourced from underground springs and are therefore naturally filtered and purified. However, mineral waters can sometimes contain too much of a certain mineral which can actually cause health risks if consumed in large quantities.
Electrolyte Water is water that has been enhanced with electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. This type of water can help replace lost electrolytes and fluids during strenuous physical activities such as exercise, or when suffering from dehydration or heat exhaustion. The downside is that it often contains added sugar, flavorings, or preservatives which may increase the calorie count and be unhealthy if consumed regularly. There are, however, a number of electrolyte products on the market, which do not contain added sugars or artificial sugars.
Alkaline Water is water with a higher pH than regular drinking water. Ideally, alkaline water is a pH of 9.5. This makes it less viscous, helping to circulate blood and oxygen in the body. This means that it may be beneficial for people with high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or high cholesterol levels. It is also high in antioxidants, which are beneficial in removing harmful free radicals from the body.
Hydrogen Water is created by adding hydrogen molecules to regular filtered water which helps to reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals in the body. It’s said to have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties as well as increasing cellular repair and improving health in general. The downside of hydrogen water is that it can be expensive to purchase and the effects are still being researched so there may not be enough evidence to confirm its benefits.
Structured Water, also known as hexagonal water or liquid crystalline water, has been said to provide alkalinity and hydration due to its unique molecular structure. The water molecules in structured water form in a hexagon when near surfaces that have an affinity for water. The molecular composition of this water is H3O2, or water in the 4th phase, beyond liquid, solid, or vapor. This makes it denser than normal water and allows it to store and release energy.
Structured water is thought to be similar to pure water sourced from glacier melts and natural springs. The molecules of structured water are thought to have higher vibrational energy. Like water in nature, the water spins around corners and curves, creating a vortex, which structures the water.
Our cells and extracellular fluids are comprised of structured water. That is why this water can be beneficial for people struggling with dehydration or fatigue because the tissues more easily absorb it. It may help enhance nutrient absorption, remove metabolic waste, and increase cell-to-cell communication. It’s also believed to contain antioxidants that help support general health and well-being. However, structured water can be expensive to purchase and is not easily accessible in many regions.
Some companies provide products that are supposed to turn regular water into structured water, using processes such as magnetization and vortexing, exposing water to ultraviolet (UV) or infrared (IR) light, exposing to sunlight, or storing it in gemstone water bottles.
There you have it – a quick summary of the different types of water available and their potential benefits or drawbacks. It’s essential to check with your local authority before drinking any type of water, to ensure it meets safety standards and contains no contaminants. With the right kind of water, you can improve your overall well-being and enjoy all the amazing health benefits that come with it!
I am a Master’s prepared RN, National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Board-Certified Functional Wellness Coach, and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner. I help people fix their chronic inflammation & pain with in-home lab testing, client assessments, personalized natural healing protocols, and online coaching to help them move from pain to peace so that they feel better, move better, and live better.