Can You Drink Distilled Water? Here's What You Should Know

can you drink distilled water
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The topic of whether or not distilled water is safe to consume has recently attracted both positive and negative press. Many laud the practice of drinking distilled water for its exceptional purity, while others point out the possible health risks. While distilled water is essential for many purposes (including use in hospitals, aquariums, and chemistry labs), there are a number of conflicting opinions on drinking it. So what’s the verdict?

Read on to learn more about the possible risks and benefits of consuming distilled water.

What Is Distilled Water?

First things first, it’s important to understand what exactly distilled water consists of. Distilled water is water that has been boiled to remove impurities—then condensed from a steam back into liquid form. In a nutshell, this process removes nearly all toxins, chemicals, and minerals from the water. Because this method doesn’t necessarily require any complex devices or added substances, its considered an extremely natural purification method.

Possible Risks

When it comes to whether or not you can drink distilled water, the most notable issue is its mineral content. While the distillation process removes a range of harmful chemicals and substances, it also strips water of its minerals. Distilled water is also far more likely to pick up and absorb contaminants from the environment—so how it’s stored is important. If you’re storing distilled water, make sure it’s packaged in a BPA-free plastic container.

Possible Benefits

Depending on the source, distilled water may actually be purer than spring and mineral water. In many cases, it’s far purer than standard tap water. As long as you’re getting your minerals from another source, distilled water should be perfectly safe to drink. After all, most healthy diets already include sufficient amounts of minerals, like calcium and magnesium. Ultimately, the possible benefits of drinking distilled water are a matter of comparison. If the bottled or tap water you’re considering has trace amounts of chemicals or sediment, distilled water may be a healthier alternative.

Research Before Consuming

1. Check out your local tap water situation.

Information about water safety and content is typically available through your local department of water and power. Make sure that the purification method you’re using is equipped to handle the specific challenges of your water supply.

2. Take a look at your diet.

The lack of mineral content in distilled water shouldn’t be a concern to anyone who maintains a healthy, well-rounded diet. However, because distilled water is slightly more acidic than regular water, it may be worth offsetting it with pH-balanced water rather than drinking distilled water exclusively.

3. Confirm the source.

As is the case for tap and bottled water, not all sources are considered equal. Confirm that the original source of the water is potable, since some water is distilled solely for industrial use. As a general rule, distilled water from grocery stores is suitable for both cooking and drinking.

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