If the drought in California has taught us anything, it is how precious water can be. Going on its third year of record drought with no clear end in sight, California is struggling to find the water it needs for its population as well as the incredible agriculture industry that thrives there. With more and more innovation coming about because of the need for water, people are trying all different ways to get the water they need.
This has led to an interesting question that an increasing number of people are asking. Can people drink distilled water and be ok? With speculation all over the place, lets take a moment to get to the bottom of what benefits water provides for people, why we need to drink water, and how distilled verses normal water may or may not make a difference.
Why Drinking Water Is Important
Roughly 60% of our bodies are made up of water with our heart and brain both being comprised of 73% water. We cannot live without it, and when people become dehydrated, the entire body begins to shut down. Along with keeping us up and active, water provides a range of secondary benefits that we only begin to notice when we drink less then recommended amount. Some of these benefits include healthier skin, better smelling breath, regulated body temperature, less fatigue, quicker recovery from headaches, less intense migraines, and easier to handle hangovers. When you add how water helps our bodies flush out toxins as well, it is easy to see the benefits provided by water. So then, does distilled water provide the same degree of benefits?
A Closer Look At What Distilled Water Is
Distilled water is a kind of water where the majority if not all of the impurities are removed. This leaves nothing but pure H2O. Called distilled water, the process for creating this water often involves boiling the water and then taking the steam that comes from the boiling process and condensing it in a container. What is in the container will be nearly if not perfectly pure. Distilling water has been around for a very long time. It was used throughout sea navigation as a way of turning salt water into something drinkable on the boat. During World War II, versions of the distillation process were used on navy boats to provide a constant source of fresh water for the crew. The biggest thing to remember about distilled water is that it removes many of the minerals that exist in water.
Distilled water is essential for many different kinds of research that requires water to be as pure as possible. The process for distilling water is still the best way to purify it completely, resulting in its continued use today. In addition to its role in research and science, distilled water is often used in the preparation of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as in some recipes. These are uses where the mineral content that we normally take for granted will work against the overall dish. In all of these condition, distilled water is consumed as a part of something greater, instead of it being completely on its own.
So, Can We Drink Distilled Water?
The short answer is yes, but you shouldn’t make a habit out of it. As mentioned before, distilled water is demineralized. What these minerals in water do is to help decrease the overall acidity of the water to something we are accustomed to drinking. Humans evolved drinking this mineral rich water, and changing to ‘pure’ water exposes our bodies to a higher level of acidity. Why might this be bad? Well, in a healthy body, the pH value of your blood should be somewhere between 7.3 and 7.4. Ranging from 0 to 14, anything from 7 down is acidic while anything 7.1 and up is basic. By drinking distilled water, we take our 7.3 to 7.4 range and lower it towards the acidic side. Drinking distilled water repeatedly will cause your blood to become increasingly acidic.
Is this bad? Well, from what research has been done on the subject, there has been a tentative correlation drawn between acidic blood and some of the worst degenerative diseases out there as well as premature aging. Acid waste that results from having too much acid in the body will cause severe damage over time. As the general acidity of blood can result from diet and lifestyle choices as well as overall stress levels drinking only distilled water will increase the amount of risk you put yourself in.
Where Does This Leave Us?
While drinking distilled water will not cure you, clinical and scientific studies do not suggest doing it. Fantastic in a pinch, continued consumption of distilled water can result in higher acidity levels, acid waste, and potential health concerns.