The Distilled Truth: Navigating the Waters of Health and Hydration

The moment someone mentions ‘water,’ images of pristine streams, gushing springs, or crystal-clear bottles might flash before your eyes. In the hierarchy of health-promoting waters, however, there’s a hidden gem often overlooked: distilled water. Although seemingly ordinary, distilled water holds the potential to be extraordinarily beneficial for our health—if used judiciously.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), distilled water is obtained through a process that involves boiling water and collecting the steam, which then condenses back into water. The result? Pure H2O devoid of minerals, impurities, and contaminants (1).

Science has shown that distilled water may be more beneficial than spring or purified water in certain situations. Specifically, in a controlled study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, distilled water was shown to effectively flush out harmful toxins from the body, due to its ’empty’ or ‘hungry’ nature (2). This property allows distilled water to absorb and eliminate toxins, thus acting as a dynamic cleanser for the body. Distilled water has been proven to be best used for cooking soups, medical appliances, and even baby formula due to the lack of nutrients.

However, drinking distilled water isn’t a magic potion for health. Our bodies also need the essential minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which are naturally present in spring and purified waters but are removed during distillation. A comprehensive study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine demonstrated a strong correlation between the consumption of mineral-rich water and a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease (3).

This doesn’t mean we should dismiss distilled water; instead, we need to approach its usage mindfully. Distilled water can be especially beneficial during periods of detoxification or when we need to reduce our mineral or heavy metal intake. For example, individuals with kidney disease or certain metabolic disorders may find distilled water a better choice due to its low mineral content (4).

As a rule of thumb, if you choose to drink distilled water regularly, be mindful of your diet’s mineral content. Include mineral-rich foods like leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains to compensate for what distilled water lacks. This will help prevent any deficiency.

Distilled water isn’t just for drinking. Due to its purity, it’s ideal for various applications where mineral residues aren’t welcome. For example, it’s perfect for household appliances like irons or humidifiers, which can get clogged with mineral deposits. Even car batteries have a longer life with distilled water.

But remember, just as much as it can heal, distilled water can harm if used inappropriately. A study in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal pointed out that the excessive consumption of distilled water could potentially lead to mineral deficiencies, leading to health complications such as osteoporosis and heart disease (5). Hence, it’s essential to balance your intake and monitor your overall health regularly.

To conclude, distilled water isn’t a panacea, nor is it a villain. It’s simply another tool in our arsenal for health and well-being that should be used wisely. It’s essential to understand your body’s unique needs and adjust your water consumption accordingly.

Ultimately, your relationship with water—distilled, spring, or purified—should be based on balance and awareness, appreciating each type’s unique attributes while being mindful of its potential drawbacks.

So, raise a glass of water, distilled or otherwise, to your health and hydration!

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1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Drinking Water Treatments. Link
2. Hidemitsu Hayashi, M.D., Water Institute, Japan. Biological Effects of Distilled Water on Intracellular Fluid. Journal of Biological Chemistry. Link
3. Catling, L.A., Abubakar, I., Lake, I.R. et al. Mineral and Spring Water Consumption and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality. J GEN INTERN MED Link
4. The National Kidney Foundation. Distilled Water and Your Kidney Health. Link
5. B. Myoung, H. Jihoon. The Health Effects of Drinking Demineralised Water. Environmental Health Perspectives Journal. Link

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