We all know how important it is to stay hydrated and drink enough water each day. While water is water, you probably have your preferred type to drink. From flavor infused to sparkling and tap, there are so many different types of drinking water you can choose from. It makes you wonder, does it really matter what type of water you’re drinking?
As Tina Gupta, certified fitness nutrition expert and co-founder of The Lifestyle Cure, tells FabFitFun — not really. “As long as it’s safe, clean, and free of chemicals, it doesn’t matter which water you drink,” Gupta says. “Being properly hydrated is the goal in order to protect your organs so they work optimally.”
With that said, here’s what you should know about the different types of drinking water, according to experts.
This is the water you get from your sink. According to Gupta, the advantages of drinking tap water are it’s generally safe, accessible, and cheap. However, depending on where you are, some tap may have a distinct taste, color, or odor. Unless it undergoes a filtration process, there’s a chance you’d be consuming chlorine, sediments, chemicals, and other impurities.
Spring water usually comes bottled, and is typically clean, free of toxins, and contains minerals found in water. Plus, it’s pretty much available everywhere. If drinking spring water is your choice, it’s worthwhile to do some research on the brand of bottled water you’re using. According to Gupta, some spring water may be unfiltered and untested, which will pose the same risks as drinking tap.
Mineral water is basically spring water with added minerals. As Trista Best, a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements, tells FabFitFun, “It is bottled directly at its source and contains a significant amount of minerals including calcium, magnesium, sulfate, sodium, chloride, and bicarbonate. The mineral content of this form of water makes it ideal for those needing to enhance bone growth or lower blood pressure.”
If plain drinking water is less than satisfying, sparkling water is a decent option as long as it doesn’t contain any sugar. According to Gupta, some of the disadvantages are the price as it can be more costly than other options, and the possibility of bloating, gas, and tooth decay from the carbonation.
This form of water has had all the minerals and byproducts removed by being boiled down and then adding the liquid-vapor back into the product. According to Best, this creates a flat taste that some don’t like, but others prefer. “It’s commonly used around the house for steamers, aquariums, and medical devices because it is trusted not to create build up in the machines,” she says. “There aren’t particular benefits or risks from drinking distilled water and those who do not have a need for extra minerals can opt for this water without concern.”
Purified water is typically produced using ground or tap water and undergoes a process of removing chemicals, contaminants, and other impurities. According to Lisa Richards, nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet, drinking purified water allows you to consume safe water without the loss of beneficial minerals or the presence of harmful contaminants. “Heavy metals are commonly found in regular tap water and are linked to some cancers, but drinking purified water allows you to reduce this risk by eliminating one significant risk factor — heavy metals,” she says.
According to Best, this form of water has a pH higher than normal drinking water (typically eight or nine) and has oxidation-reduction potential (ORP). “The ORP characteristic means it acts as an antioxidant in the body to free the body of free radical damage from toxins at the cellular level,” she says. Those with chronic disease, high risk of cancer, or wanting to reduce the aging process may benefit from drinking alkaline water.
As always, consult your doctor or physician with any additional questions.
xx, The FabFitFun Team