Depending on what you read distilled water is a miracle that will help cure many ailments or a deadly thing that will kill you. Determining if distilled water is safe to drink was a bit of a challenge due to the lack of good research. There’s some controversy about distilled water but most of the information is exaggerated on both sides of the controversy.
How Distilled Water is Made
Water is heated and turned into steam. The steam condenses and is collected in a container. A pretty simple process that removes many impurities. Distillers are very good at removing all minerals and total dissolved solids (TDS) from water.
What Impurities Does Distilling Water Remove
Distillers remove TDS but what are they? Wikipedia says TDS are made up of,
“calcium, phosphates, nitrates, sodium, potassium, and chloride, which are found in nutrient runoff, general stormwater runoff and runoff from snowy climates where road de-icing salts are applied. The chemicals may be cations, anions, molecules or agglomerations on the order of one thousand or fewer molecules, so long as a soluble micro-granule is formed. More exotic and harmful elements of TDS are pesticides arising from surface runoff.”
Along with removing some possibly beneficial minerals distillers remove known harmful ones.
There are some Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that have a lower boiling point than water. When these VOCs turn to steam and can collect in your water. Some distillers have valves to let some VOCs out and a carbon filter to remove any leftover VOCs after the distilling process.
Many distillers, expensive or cheap, remove the vast majority of contaminates. Carbon filters are available for most home countertop distillers.
Common Beliefs about Distilled Water
- It has few to no minerals in it (that part is true) and it will suck all the electrolytes out of your body.
- I have found absolutely no good research to back this up. There is always a possibility it could be true but there is no solid evidence to be able to say it is. Some people drink only distilled water and have so for years and are still alive.
- Also if this is the case reverse osmosis water and rainwater should do something similar due to their low mineral count.
- If there is the possibility of pulling some minerals from your body is there also a chance it could be pulling out harmful things you have been exposed too.
- Drinking large amounts of regular water at one time can also be harmful to your health. It will dilute the sodium in your body causing problems and possible death. It doesn’t matter if it is distilled water or not.
- You are not getting minerals from your water you will become deficient.
- Truthfully if you’re getting most of your minerals from the water you probably aren’t getting enough in general. The minerals you need should come from the food you eat not your water. Eat some fruits and veggies or nuts and seeds! Plus you would have to drink a large amount of water daily to make much impact.
- Distilled water tastes flat or bad.
- Yep, it defiantly tastes different. It may take some getting used to if you’re just starting to drink it. To me, almost anything is better than the taste of city water, so I don’t mind the taste.
- Distilled water is acidic.
- Technically when first distilled it is neutral with a pH of 7. After it sits exposed to air it absorbs some carbon dioxide and becomes acidic with a pH of around 6. Just for a reference, your stomach acid is around 2 and coffee and tea are around 4. A pH of 6 shouldn’t be an issue.
- If you are worried about it changing blood pH trust me it won’t, the things we eat and drink may change our saliva or urine pH but not blood. Well, there is always someone out there who will eat a box of baking soda. End up in the ICU because they put themselves into metabolic alkalosis (I am an RN, seen it happen). Trust me something this small is not going to change your blood pH. Your body fights drastically to keep that balanced and besides extreme actions, which you should NOT do, you’re not going to be able to change it.
Remineralizing Distilled Water
A small amount of sea salt can be used to remineralize distilled water. Not regular table salt! Get a good salt, pink Himalayan salt, sea salt, something with color that is real, not artificial. Do not put any bleached white salt with additives in the water. A few drops of liquid trace minerals are also a good option.
I like to remineralize my water. For me, it’s all about the taste. When I feel lazy I just drink the water without remineralizing and have never had any issues, no distilled water won’t instantly kill you even if you drink a gallon of it in a day. I go for weeks drinking plan distilled water and have never had any issues with it.
I have a 2.5L glass jug and I add about 1/8 teaspoon of natural sea salt to it. There still isn’t much taste to the water but I find it’s just enough for me to want to drink it more. If I have been sick I make sure to add a little extra to the water along with some lemon. When your sick I think it’s a little better for your body to have a few extra vitamins and minerals to work with.
I’ll experiment with liquid trace minerals soon to see how that changes the taste. You can also do this with reverse osmosis water since the process also removes almost all minerals.
Is Distilled Water Safe To Drink?
The short answer is yes. Is it safe to drink long term? Also, probably yes.
Those who may need to be cautious when drinking it:
- Anyone who is already deficient in minerals. You may be someone who would benefit from the little extra minerals water can give you. Although if you are already deficient in minerals, and have health issues, make sure to get your water from a good source to avoid all the chemical additives from most tap waters.
- There also isn’t much information on how well we absorb inorganic minerals from water. There is also the possibility that the minerals present in the water are not doing us much good. But since it could be helpful it probably doesn’t hurt to have the minerals there.
- Someone who has health issues or malabsorption problems.
- Anyone who has an extremely poor diet and doesn’t get many minerals from their food should remineralize distilled water if they are drinking it.
If you want to drink distilled water because it removes almost all impurities, but you are worried about the lack of minerals just remineralize it and enjoy it.
A few reports I found that made it sound like distilled water was a bad idea were “expert opinion”, someone calls themselves an expert guessing what it does with no real study to back it up. Reading deeper into their recommendations it stated using chlorine to make water drinkable is cheaper and easier. That is about the extent of most of the research.
What I Drink and Why
After living in the country for years and drinking well water moving to a house with municipal city water I couldn’t stand the taste. Buying and drinking tons of water in plastic bottles and jugs from the store drove me nuts. Spending the money on bottled water isn’t fun and I hate the amount of plastic waste it creates. Water sitting around in plastic for who knows how long probably isn’t the healthiest option anyway. I figured there must be a better tasting and healthier option.
I bought a simple cheap home distiller to test it out as opposed to reverse osmosis simply because the distiller removed more and doesn’t wastewater. Another perk of city life I also now pay for my water. Electricity is required to heat and distill the water but I can’t even tell a difference in my electric bill so it’s a pretty low cost, cheaper per gallon than buying from the store.
Distilled water or reverse osmosis water I get from a friend’s house are the main things I drink.
A Distillers with a good carbon filter is recommended. The filter gives the water a little better taste along with removing any leftover contaminants. I will be testing a new distiller soon. The cheap one I have works fine but if the carbon filter is put in slightly wrong it floods but without the filter, the water tastes just a little off. I’ll include the name of the new distiller after I test it to see if it works better.
Bottom Line Drink Water!
Don’t be scared of drinking distilled water or reverse osmosis water because of a lack of minerals. If you have any signs of mineral deficiencies simply add a little back to the water. I looked for reliable research to validate all the negative beliefs about distilled water and there is nothing to back it up.
What’s most likely to happen is you will feel better just drinking more water. In my opinion, you will have a greater risk of health problems from not drinking enough water.
I wouldn’t believe the hype that it removes all toxins from your body and cure diseases. But staying hydrated and drinking good water may help many different health problems. Not to mention prevent health problems.
If you drink distilled water or have in the past leave a comment and I would love to hear about your experience! If you have any questions or comments leave them below I’ll do my best to answer any I can.