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The Healthiest Water: Tap, Bottled, Distilled or Filtered?

Jun 17, 2008
Anyone who grew up in the 1970s or earlier (or a little later) remembers a time when everyone was not walking around with a bottle of water in their backpack or purse. Now a water bottle is almost as common an accessory as a cell phone. On the one hand, this reflects a health trend -more people realize that staying hydrated is essential for health and well being, not only when engaging in strenuous exercise, but at all times. And despite the endless array of energy drinks, juices, and other "designer" beverages out there now, it is generally conceded that water is the healthiest drink of all.

Yet most people who are walking around with water bottles are not drinking water from a faucet or public fountain, but water they've purchased from a store or vending machine. This reflects a popular idea that bottled water is more pure, healthy and safe than plain tap water. Unfortunately, some recent studies have challenged this understandable assumption. Some bottled water is merely tap water that has undergone some basic filtering. Even actual spring water often contains contaminants. Regulations vary concerning water purity, and as long as the manufacturers conform to the local standards, they are allowed to call their product "spring" or "purified" water.

When you drink either tap or bottled water you are playing a kind of Russian Roulette, though a low risk version of that deadly game. At least it's low risk in the short run. In the long run, the effects of various contaminants are largely unknown. The fact that we seldom even know exactly what may be in a given glass, bottle or gallon of water makes the whole equation virtually impossible to work out.

One solution is to drink distilled water. This is, in one sense, the purest form of water by definition, as it is pure H2O and nothing else. But is distilled water really healthy? It is a controversial question. Dr. Mercola, who publishes a popular natural health web site, is one person who seriously disagrees with the health benefits of distilled water. He quotes a researcher named Dr. Zoltan Rona, who claims that his studies have shown that people who consume distilled water over a long period of time develop "multiple mineral deficiencies." Proponents of the acid/alkaline theory of nutrition claim that distilled water is acidic, while natural water is alkaline (the latter being healthier, according to that model).

Another, more esoteric researcher on water, Masaru Emoto (whose work was mentioned in the documentary, What the Bleep Do We Know), studies and photographs the crystallization process of water in various states. He is famous (at least in certain circles) for showing that water responds to words and intentions. One of his photographs shows that distilled water has a decidedly less healthy appearance than natural water.

On a purely intuitive level, I can appreciate that there is something unnatural about distilled water. After all, this can only be created by a technological process. Distilled water is not something you will ever find in the natural world. Yet, if tap and bottled water are polluted and distilled water is acidic and deficient in minerals, where does that leave us?

Today, the best solution would be to find a good water filter and consume mostly water that passes through that. This, of course, opens up another set of questions, as there are thousands of water purifiers and filters on the market, many claiming to be the best. This is something that requires a little research, but in general a low cost filter that you get at the dollar store is probably not going to be any better than run of the mill bottled water. I'm not saying go out and buy the most expensive water filter you can find, but do some checking and find out how various products are rated by other consumers, what kind of process they use, what kind of reputation the company has, and so forth.

Having said all that, I'll conclude by suggesting to not get obsessive or paranoid about water. If you follow belief systems such as the Law of Attraction (as I do), you can transform anything with your intentions. This is consistent with what Dr. Emoto has found as well. So, although this may sound silly to some, it may be worth your while to say a blessing, prayer, affirmation or whatever is appropriate to your beliefs before consuming water (or anything else for that matter). This may very well offset any contaminants. I would still recommend drinking the purest water you can find, just as its best to eat the healthiest foods and breathe the cleanest air. But when it comes down to it, our beliefs and intentions may be the most powerful purifiers of all.
About the Author
Larry Christopher is a writer and researcher on many topics, including metaphysics, the arts, cultural trends and heath and wellness. Find out more about Healthy Water .
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