What is the Best Water to Drink? (According to a RDN)

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Water is essential for all life. The human body requires water for many different functions and is important in order to maintain overall health. Even though water is essential, not all water is created equal.

Some water may contain bacteria and viruses or even high levels of toxic metals. This can have a significant impact on our health and the environment. There are many different types of water that are marketed to us as consumers.

From tap water to bottled water, to different types of filtered waters, different types of filters it can be difficult to determine what is best for our health and the environment.

In this blog post, we will explore the different types of water, benefits and drawbacks, and different factors to consider when choosing the best type of drinking water for you.

📌 Key Takeaways

  • Tap water is generally the cheapest and most convenient option, but it’s important to check its safety and quality.
  • It is most important to avoid water that may be contaminated such as wastewater, stormwater or bodies of water that are untreated such as lakes and rivers.
  • The best type of water to drink is based on personal preference. Things to keep in mind include cost, flavor and environmental impacts.
  • Ultimately, no matter what water you choose to drink it is necessary to consume the 8-12 cups of water per day to maintain hydration and overall health.

🚰 Types of Drinking Water

Some of the most common types of drinking water include mineral water, tap water, spring water, distilled water, purified water, alkaline water and sparkling water. In this section we will review

Mineral Water

Mineral water is typically obtained from underground sources such as springs. In order to be classified as natural mineral water, it needs to have at least 250 ppm of dissolved minerals.

Bottled mineral water

Tap Water

Tap water is sourced from your local municipal water supply or private wells and goes to your home. This is the water that comes directly from your faucet.

Typically, your local municipal municipality will regulate the quality of your tap water and prevent harmful materials such as lead or arsenic from contaminating the water supply. For the most part, drinking tap water in the U.S. is completely safe to drink.

Spring Water

Spring water is naturally sourced from underground springs and is bottled at the source. It is naturally occurring and typically rich in mineral content due to passing through rocks underground. The bottled water brand “Crystal Geyser” is an example of a spring water brand.

Distilled Water

Distilled water has gone through a process of vaporization and condensation, which removes minerals. Through the vaporization and condensation process, minerals are left behind when the water turns to steam since these minerals have a higher boiling point. Although this water is considered to be very pure, it’s missing all of the added health benefits from essential minerals.

Pouring distilled water from glass container

Purified Water

Purified water is treated water through various methods, such as reverse osmosis, one-micron filtration, ozonation, or distillation. This process removes all contaminants including bacteria, viruses, parasites and minerals.

Alkaline Water

Alkaline water is water with a pH level greater than 7. Alkaline water typically lands at a high pH between 8 and 9. There are many bottled water companies like Smart Water and Essentia that are marketed to consumers and considered to be alkaline water.

Sparkling Water

If you’re looking for a little variety with your water, sparkling water can be a nice option. This is water that has carbon dioxide bubbles in it. You may have heard it referred to as “carbonated water” or “seltzer water”.

It is worth noting that some bottled waters may simply be unprocessed tap water, and not all bottled water is necessarily mineral or spring water.

Additionally, in some countries, rural areas may rely on rainwater as a primary source of water, which can be safe for consumption as long as it is regularly tested for safety.

Sparkling water

🤔 What is the Healthiest Water To Drink?

Most drinking water in the United States is deemed safe. Tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Even though different companies may market different types of water as “healthier” for the most part they are all equally healthy.

There may be slight differences in taste and mineral content, but when it comes down to it the most important part is you drink enough water daily. Typically it is recommended to drink 8 to 12 cups of water per day.

🔎 Mineral Content in Water

There are many different kinds of minerals found in drinking water. Some of these minerals are essential nutrients including calcium and magnesium.

Some of the other beneficial minerals found in minimal amounts in water include iron, copper, fluoride, potassium, sodium, iron, and manganese.

Spring water and mineral water are both often marketed for their health benefits because of the elevated mineral content.

Water that has a high mineral content is considered to be hard water. Hard water can be hard on your pipes but is fine for overall health. It can also be hard on your household appliances and your hair.

There are many different companies that have different water filters that remove these minerals and create what we call “soft water”. Soft water is considered to be safe to drink but generally does not taste as good as hard water.

Healthy minerals found in water

📋 What Types of Water Should You Avoid?

It is important to note that several types of water may not be safe for human consumption.

Bodies of Water

Certain bodies of water like lakes, ponds, rivers, and oceans can be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria and viruses or other potentially harmful contaminants. This makes the water unsafe to drink.

Some of the contaminants can be harmless but others can be harmful pathogens including E. Coli or Giardia which both can cause severe gastrointestinal illness. These water borne illnesses can lead to diarrhea, stomach cramps, and worse.

Wastewater and Stormwater

In addition, wastewater and stormwater should also be avoided. These water sources can be contaminated by pollution and other contaminants as mentioned above.

Contamination of rainwater tank

Certain Regions and Countries

Some regions and countries may also lack access to safe drinking water, such as Flint, Michigan, where the municipal water supply became contaminated with lead in 2014. Many developing countries also lack access to safe drinking water.

As a homeowner or even a renter, if you are interested in more information on the quality of your local water supply you can receive an annual report from your district which will discuss the results of the local municipality monitoring the local water supply.

Water With Added Sugar

Additionally, certain types of water, such as tonic water or Vitamin water, may contain added sugar and calories, which can lead to health problems if consumed excessively.

The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar intake to 24 g for Women and 36 g for Men per day. Excess added sugar has been shown to increase risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes and many other chronic diseases.

🧐 What Type of Water Should You Choose?

When it comes down to it, most tap drinking water in the U.S is considered to be safe and is equally as healthy as bottled water brands or filtered water. The best water to drink really depends on your personal preferences and specific needs.

If you are looking for an affordable and convenient option, tap water may be your best option. This is typically the best option for most people since it’s safe to drink and affordable.

Bottled water can be expensive and adds up quick. If you stick to tap water you won’t have any additional costs outside of your monthly water bill.

However, bottled spring and mineral water can be nice if you enjoy the added flavor the minerals provide. Particularly if you live in an area where the water tastes “bad”, you may enjoy purchasing bottled mineral water or spring water.

On the other hand, if you do not like the flavor of your tap water then you can also purchase filters or other filtration systems such as reverse osmosis. If you are concerned at all with the quality of your tap water then a filter system may also be a good option.

Removable top of the Clearly Filtered pitcher

📑 Conclusion

In conclusion, drinking water is essential for overall health, and choosing the best type of water depends on various factors.

Overall it is mostly a personal preference. Tap water is generally the cheapest and most convenient option, but it’s important to check its safety and quality.

On the other hand, maybe you are searching for other types of water like spring water, distilled water or mineral water because of their unique benefits. It’s mostly important that the water is safe and tested.

Additionally, drinking water from refillable water cans or 5-gallon jugs can help reduce plastic waste. Ultimately, whatever type of water you choose to drink, be sure to stay hydrated and prioritize your health.

❔ Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Healthiest Water to Drink?

Overall, in the U.S. most water is deemed safe. No water is healthier than the other (spring water vs. mineral water vs. tap water).

What is the Most Pure Water to Drink?

There are several different types of water that are considered to be “pure” . The most common type of pure water is distilled water. However, there are many different filtration processes out there that remove all minerals such as reverse osmosis.

Which is the Healthiest Bottled Water?

All bottled water is safe in the U.S since it is tightly regulated by the FDA. All bottled water is considered to be healthy. The biggest thing is making sure you drink enough water daily.

What is the Best Water For Kidneys?

The best water for your kidneys is really any water. Your kidneys help to filter your blood and remove excess fluid and waste. Overall, water is the best fluid to drink for the health of your kidneys.

  • Roxanne Trotter
    MS, RDN

    Registered Dietitian Roxy, fueled by her love for food and wellness, tackles misinformation head-on. Her Master's in Human Nutrition and diverse experience (weight management, hospitals) equip her to translate complex health topics, especially those related to water quality. Through her own practice (Nutremedies LLC) and writing for Water Filter Guru, Roxy empowers readers with accurate, evidence-based information, helping them make informed choices for a healthier life, one sip at a time.

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