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Distillation is one of the oldest water purification solutions – and there’s a reason why it’s still popular today.
The distillation process (i.e. boiling water until it evaporates, then condenses into a clean jug) is highly effective and can remove hundreds of trace contaminants from any source of water, including spring water and tap water.
But the slightly ironic thing about distillation is that it’s almost too good. As well as removing the bad stuff from water, distillers also remove the healthy stuff – namely trace elements such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous.
While the human body can get plenty of these minerals from the food we include in our diet, such as fruits and vegetables and other foods developed from plants, you may still prefer to drink them in your water, too. Luckily, it’s really easy to add trace elements back into your distilled water. On this page, I’ve written about the best means of doing so in this guide.
🧪 What Minerals Does Distillation Remove?
Let’s start with a quick recap of why the existing distillation treatment is actually so great at what it does: it removes more than 99.9% of all TDS (total dissolved solids) that occur in drinking water.
That means all the potentially harmful contaminants that water contains, from chemicals such as chlorine to heavy metals, pathogens like bacteria, and particulates that affect water’s taste, color or smell like iron, can all be completely removed by distillation, leaving you with completely pure, impurity-free liquid.
But as well as properly removing a high content of these unwanted impurities, distillation also removes the stuff we actually want. That’s because there’s no smart way for a distiller to recognize the difference between healthy minerals and unhealthy metals, chemicals, bacteria and so on.
When water is boiled, anything that can’t evaporate into a gas ends up leftover in the boiling chamber – including those essential trace elements.
Calcium and magnesium, the two minerals found predominantly in drinking water, are removed by distillation. Sodium (salt), phosphorus, zinc and potassium are also removed during the distillation process.
The human body needs trace amounts of all of these minerals for good health. A lack of minerals can lead to deficiency, which can result in brittle bones, heart problems, behavioral changes, impaired muscle function and problems with the body’s cells.
🤔 Should I Remineralize Water That’s Been Distilled?
First thing’s first, you should know that no matter what, the existing minerals removed by distillation don’t need to be consumed in liquids. In fact, food such as fruits and veggies, which you hopefully include in abundance in your diet, contain much higher quantities of these trace minerals.
When you look at the levels of minerals present in drinking water, you can see that in comparison, you’re consuming so few minerals from this source that it wouldn’t make much of a difference whether you drink normal tap water or purified water from a distillation machine.
You may have seen the medical report by the World Health Organization (WHO). There are several worrying research-based mentions in the report that make references to the idea that drinking demineralized water – whether that’s distilled or RO water – may be damaging to the health of humans.
The article notes that our medical health is at particular risk of deficiency resulting from the lack of minerals in pure water. Additionally, poor hydration, a possible increased intake of certain toxic metals, and metabolic effects have also been linked in studies to drinking distilled mineral water.
What’s obvious is that this article isn’t intentional scaremongering – it comes from a legitimate source and contains information that’s backed by valid data. However, a number of the health concerns mentioned in the report, such as poor hydration and mineral deficiency in the body, could be avoided entirely if we made sure to eat healthy, mineral-rich food in our daily diets.
Potential health effects of demineralized water aside, you might simply choose to add minerals back into your water to improve its taste.
👍 Benefits of Adding Minerals to Distilled Water
Improves Water Taste
If you’re a fan of mineral-rich bottled water, you’ll know that alkalized water with a high pH has an appealing taste. On the opposite end of the scale, demineralized water with a very low mineral content, or a complete lack of minerals, will taste flat, flavorless and unappealing. Drinking distilled water with added minerals will raise its pH level and thus improve its overall flavor, bringing some life back into your beverage.
If you enjoy something, you’re probably going to consume more of it. You’re more likely to reach for a glass of water if you like the way it tastes, which is definitely useful from a hydration perspective. One of the most important factors for human health is hydration of the body, so it goes without saying that we should be drinking plenty of liquids on a daily basis.
General Health Benefits
While water from your faucet doesn’t contain the level of minerals the body needs to survive, there’s no harm in getting a few extra nutrients from your drinking alone. Nutrients such as calcium and magnesium become increasingly important as we age, and every little helps. Just ensure you’re eating plenty of mineral-rich plant foods in your diet rather than solely relying on drinking distilled water with added minerals.
✔️ How to Remineralize Distilled Drinking Water
Trace Mineral Drops
Looking for an affordable, low-fuss way to remineralize your distilled water? Mineral or electrolyte drops are an effective solution to consider. These products add a measured amount of trace minerals to your water. A little goes a long way, so make sure to follow instructions carefully to ensure you’re only adding what you need.
The Quinton Wellness product is a fantastic solution if you’re looking for a product that’s been manufactured by a leading wellness company based on decades of medical research (visit the website here).
There are a number of options available on the market today, but not brands are legitimate, so do your research and don’t be so quick to believe a marketing claim. It’s fine to message a company before making a purchase with whatever questions you may have if you’re unsure or looking for more data.
Using mineral or electrolyte drops is usually as easy as putting them in a glass or pitcher of distilled water and drinking as you usually would. Depending on what type of product you go for and the website you buy it from, minerals in the form of drops or electrolyte powder can last for weeks to months, and cost around $20-$40 on average.
I Recommend: Quinton Liquid Mineral Drops
- On the go remineralization
- Improves electrolyte balance
- Helps restore natural rehydration and homeostasis
- Increases cellular response time
- Boosts immune response time
- Enhances brain function & nervous system
Alkalizing Water Pitchers
If you don’t want to bother with physically introducing something to your distilled water, an alkalizing pitcher filter may be the best solution for you. This solution looks like your average water jug or pitcher, but it features a lid with a built-in filter.
When you add distilled water to the top chamber of this jug, it will have to pass through the remineralizing filter to enter the bottom chamber, ready for drinking. This enables the filter to add a balanced amount of minerals to your water.
Alkalizing filter pitchers are really simple to use, and many people favor them because they require minimal effort to work. They’re also portable, which is a bonus for anyone looking for a remineralization option that they can take to work or on vacation. Keep in mind that you’ll have to change the remineralization filter once its minerals have depleted. Depending on the product you’ve gone for, this may require a new filter purchase once after 6 weeks to 3-6 months.
The only issue with alkalizing water pitchers is that you will have to wait a few minutes (usually around 10-20 mins, max) for your water to filter through. If you’ve already waited between 4 and 6 hours to produce a 1-gallon batch of distilled water, you might not want to have to wait extra time for your distilled water to be remineralized.
I Recommend: Invigorated Water pH Restore Alkaline Water Pitcher
- Last 96 gallons
- High negative Oxidization Reduction Potential (ORP)
- Helps increased immunity and energy levels
- Adds selenium & calcium
- May assist with improved metabolism
Alkaline Water Bottles
An even more portable and convenient on-the-go remineralizing solution is an alkalizing water bottle. These bottles increase water’s pH level by adding measured amounts of calcium and magnesium as you drink through the straw.
The obvious benefit of an alkalizing bottled water solution is that it requires no setup. You simply add your distilled water source and drink from the straw as you usually would. Being smaller and more secure than filter pitchers, alkalizing bottles are also the better choice for carrying in a rucksack on hiking trips or in your purse while at work.
As with alkalizing pitchers, you’ll have to change the filtering cartridge after 6 weeks or so to get consistent results from this filtration process.
Pink Himalayan Salt
Pink Himalayan salt, a type of sea salt or rock salt, might seem a little strange to add to your water, but it’s high in natural minerals while relatively lower in sodium than table salt, making it a useful solution for introducing to your distilled water every day.
Using pink Himalayan salt is one of the most natural means of remineralization, but there’s a bit more to it than just adding a pinch of the stuff to a cup of water. The recommended method is to create a beverage called sole water, by introducing enough salt to fill a jar 1/4 full before filling it the rest of the way with water. You should then store the water for up to 24 hours to allow the salt to fully dissolve.
Sole water isn’t just good for you because of the calcium carbonate and magnesium it contains; the elements found in this type of sea salt are also said to balance the negatively and positively charged ions in the body’s cells.
Of course, pink Himalayan sea salt isn’t your average table salt, which is far higher in sodium and doesn’t contain many minerals at all. You’ll need to buy pink Himalayan salt online, where it’s widely available. It’s important that you’re precise with your measurements, here, as though pink Himalayan salt is lower in sodium than other salts, the sodium content could still be dangerously high if you added too much to your distilled water.
❔ Frequently Asked Questions
If I’m adding minerals to my distilled water, should I bother with this purification process in the first place?
The answer to this totally depends on what you’re looking for. A distillation system can free water of a whole host of impurities, including harmful contaminants such as bacteria and lead, resulting in clean, purified drinking water. Distillation methods would offer the peace of mind to know that your water isn’t dangerous to drink from a contamination perspective.
But you might not require the level of purification offered by a distilled water system. It’s worth arranging for a test to see exactly what impurities are in your home’s water supply. After testing, you can decide on the most suitable answer to your problems. If you’re just dealing with one or two contaminants, systems that use less thorough filtered methods, such as activated carbon filters, could be a better solution. These systems can produce chlorine and lead-free water, but would not diminish the concentration of healthy minerals in the liquid.
What’s the difference between remineralization and alkalizing?
Remineralized distilled water and alkalized distilled water are two slightly different things. An alkalizer changes the pH balance of water, giving it a more preferable alkaline flavor, but doesn’t necessarily have to add minerals to do this. Remineralization, on the other hand, is the process of introducing minerals back into the water, which automatically changes its pH level and makes it less acidic.
Which is the most suitable solution for introducing minerals back into distilled water?
Now you know what’s available, take a look at specific products online and see how they’ve been reviewed by customers and third-party experts in terms of quality. How a product is reviewed can answer a lot of the questions or concerns you may have had about a product’s function, effectiveness and value for money. You may believe a product is perfect for you until you check out personal reviews from previous customers, so it’s worth spending the extra bit of time to make sure you’re buying a high-quality product that lives up to every claim made by the manufacturing company.