Quantcast

Thirsty? Here Are 9 Types of Water You Can Drink

Plus, learn if there's one that's best for your health.

Popular
Catherine Falls Commercial / Moment / Getty Images

By Jennifer Still

You hear it all the time: You should be drinking more water. How much depends on the person, but generally speaking, staying well hydrated offers a host of health benefits. That includes higher energy levels and better brain function, just to name a few.


But not all water is created equal, with some being cheaper or providing more nutrients than others.

Here are the different types of water and what you should know about them

Tap Water

A piped water supply, tap water is found everywhere from the water that flushes a public toilet to the water that comes out of your kitchen sink or cleans your glassware in your dishwasher.

Pros

Though many people turn their noses up at the idea of drinking tap water over taste or safety concerns, the truth is that tap water is safe to drink across much of the U.S.

What's more, tap water isn't only good for you, it's cheaper than buying various types of bottled water.

Cons

While there are industry regulations in place that are meant to keep lead and other harmful substances from contaminating the water supply, sometimes this doesn't work. A prime example of this is the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Moreover, the Guardian reported on research showing plastic particles in tap water supplies around the world.

Public water supplies can also contain pesticide residue, aluminum, and other undesirable substances. If, however, you're worried that the treatments performed on your water supply aren't up to par, you can always purchase a home filtration system for further cleansing.

Mineral Water

Pulled from a mineral spring, mineral water is, as the name states, full of minerals including sulfur, magnesium and calcium—all things that are good for you.

Pros

Mineral water does indeed have some health benefits, since it provides minerals your body can't create on its own. It can also help aid in digestion, and many people even like the taste of it over tap water, though that's down to personal preference.

Cons

One of the main downsides to mineral water is cost, especially when compared to tap water. Many of the minerals from this type of water can also be obtained from a healthy, varied diet.

Spring or Glacier Water

Spring or glacier waters are types of bottled waters that are claimed to be bottled at the source from where the water flows—either from the spring or glacier.

Pros

In theory, spring or glacier waters should be relatively clean and free of toxins. They also contain many of the same helpful minerals found in mineral water.

It also tends to be pretty readily available in stores, think well-known brands like Evian and Arrowhead, in both large and small bottles, which makes it easily accessible.

Cons

Depending on how much you drink, spring water could get pricey, especially in comparison to tap water. Also, some spring water is raw, unfiltered, and untested water, which could pose potential health risks depending on what it contains.

Sparkling Water

Sometimes referred to as carbonated water or soda water, sparkling water is infused with carbon dioxide gas while under pressure.

Pros

Sparkling water offers a different mouth feel to flat water, which could be a welcome change if you want something fizzy without sugar or artificial sweeteners.

That said, there are flavored sparkling waters available that do contain one or both types of sweeteners. Plus, because sparkling water tends to be mineralized—think Perrier and San Pellegrino—you're getting the added bonus of health-promoting minerals with your carbonation.

Cons

While there are some minerals present in sparkling water, there aren't enough to be truly beneficial to your health in a meaningful way. In addition, it can be expensive compared to both tap and certain types of bottled water.

Distilled Water

This type of water is boiled and the steam is collected and condensed back into a liquid.

Pros

Distilled water is a great option if you live somewhere—or are visiting somewhere—where the tap water supply is contaminated or possibly could be.

Cons

As there are no vitamins and minerals in distilled water, there are no health benefits. In fact, it has the potential to be detrimental as non-mineralized water tends to pull minerals from where it can—in this case, your body, or specifically your teeth.

Purified Water

Purified water is usually tap or groundwater which has been treated to remove harmful substances like bacteria, fungi, and parasites.

This means that drinking it is pretty much guaranteed to be safe.

Pros

Like distilled water, purified water is a great option if your immediate water source is contaminated. That said, many countries purify tap water, so you're basically drinking purified water every time you fill a cup from your kitchen sink.

Cons

Because all potentially harmful substances are removed from purified water, you also miss out on some of the potentially beneficial ones that are added to tap water supplies like fluoride, which helps to reduce tooth decay.

In addition, purchasing purified water or even installing a filtration system at home can be pretty costly.

Flavored or Infused Water

Flavored water is water that's sweetened with either sugar or artificial sweeteners, and contains natural or artificial flavorings.

Pros

Flavored water, like Hint and Propel, can offer a tasty alternative to plain water, which makes it easier to drink in larger amounts.

It can also add variation to your water intake since there are so many flavors available. Flavor can be added naturally by infusing fruit and vegetables into tap or bottled water, or you could purchase artificially flavored waters in most stores.

Cons

Often, flavored waters contain added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Varieties with sugar can lead to weight gain and have a negative effect on those with diabetes. What's more, some people may react negatively to artificial sweeteners.

Alkaline Water

Alkaline water has a higher pH level than normal tap water and contains alkaline minerals and negative oxidation reduction potential (ORP).

Pros

The fact that this type of water has a higher pH level has led some people to believe that it may help neutralize acid in the body, help slow the aging process, or even prevent cancer.

There's very little scientific proof, however, of this being true.

Cons

It's generally safe to drink alkaline water, but it could reduce stomach acidity, thereby lowering its ability to kill off harmful bacteria.

In excess, it could also lead to metabolic alkalosis, which could produce symptoms like nausea and vomiting.

Well Water

Well water comes straight from the ground, though it's untreated and carries with it a number of risks.

Pros

If you happen to live in an area where wells are plentiful, or you even have one in your own backyard, the convenient access to what seems like fresh water could be attractive.

While there are many proponents of raw, untreated water, the benefits may not outweigh the potential risks.

That said, there are steps you can take to ensure your well water is suitable for drinking. For example, testing your well water annually for bacteria, nitrates, and pH levels. It's also possible to install a filtration system.

Cons

Because the water hasn't been treated, there's a big chance of contamination—particularly from bacterial and parasitic infections like giardia.

While well water used to be the norm, there's a reason that city water supplies and the regulations surrounding them were put into place—you simply don't know what you're getting unless you test or treat the well water yourself.

The Bottom Line

While you may have a preference for which type of water is best, generally, there's no one type that promises greater health benefits than the others.

So long as the water you're drinking is clean and safe, the main focus is to make sure that you stay hydrated and to ensure you're drinking enough water on a regular basis.

Jennifer Still is an editor and writer with bylines in Vanity Fair, Glamour, Bon Appetit, Business Insider, and more. She writes about food and culture. Follow her on Twitter.

Medically reviewed by Carissa Stephens, RN, CCRN, CPN.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter


georgeclerk / E+ / Getty Images

By Jennifer Molidor

One million species are at risk of extinction from human activity, warns a recent study by scientists with the United Nations. We need to cut greenhouse gas pollution across all sectors to avoid catastrophic climate change — and we need to do it fast, said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

This research should serve as a rallying cry for polluting industries to make major changes now. Yet the agriculture industry continues to lag behind.

Read More Show Less
Edwin Remsburg / VW Pics / Getty Images

Botswana, home to one third of Africa's elephants, announced Wednesday that it was lifting its ban on the hunting of the large mammals.

"The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism wishes to inform the public that following extensive consultations with all stakeholders, the Government of Botswana has taken a decision to lift the hunting suspension," the government announced in a press release shared on social media.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pxhere

By Richard Denison

Readers of this blog know how concerned EDF is over the Trump EPA's approval of many dozens of new chemicals based on its mere "expectation" that workers across supply chains will always employ personal protective equipment (PPE) just because it is recommended in the manufacturer's non-binding safety data sheet (SDS).

Read More Show Less
De Molen windmill and nuclear power plant cooling tower in Doel, Belgium. Trougnouf / CC BY-SA 4.0

By Grant Smith

From 2009 to 2012, Gregory Jaczko was chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which approves nuclear power plant designs and sets safety standards for plants. But he now says that nuclear power is too dangerous and expensive — and not part of the answer to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
A lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. Brett Walton / Circle of Blue

By Brett Walton

When Greg Wetherbee sat in front of the microscope recently, he was looking for fragments of metals or coal, particles that might indicate the source of airborne nitrogen pollution in Rocky Mountain National Park. What caught his eye, though, were the plastics.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Gabriele Holtermann Gorden / Pacific Press / LightRocket / Getty Images

In a big victory for animals, Prada has announced that it's ending its use of fur! It joins Coach, Jean Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood, Michael Kors, Donna Karan and many others PETA has pushed toward a ban.

This is a victory more than a decade in the making. PETA and our international affiliates have crashed Prada's catwalks with anti-fur signs, held eye-catching demonstrations all around the world, and sent the company loads of information about the fur industry. In 2018, actor and animal rights advocate Pamela Anderson sent a letter on PETA's behalf urging Miuccia Prada to commit to leaving fur out of all future collections, and the iconic designer has finally listened.

Read More Show Less
Amer Ghazzal / Barcroft Media / Getty Images

If people in three European countries want to fight the climate crisis, they need to chill out more.

That's the conclusion of a new study from think tank Autonomy, which found that Germany, the UK and Sweden all needed to drastically reduce their workweeks to fight climate change.

"The rapid pace of labour-saving technology brings into focus the possibility of a shorter working week for all, if deployed properly," Autonomy Director Will Stronge said, The Guardian reported. "However, while automation shows that less work is technically possible, the urgent pressures on the environment and on our available carbon budget show that reducing the working week is in fact necessary."

The report found that if the economies of Germany, Sweden and the UK maintain their current levels of carbon intensity and productivity, they would need to switch to a six, 12 and nine hour work week respectively if they wanted keep the rise in global temperatures to the below two degrees Celsius promised by the Paris agreement, The Independent reported.

The study based its conclusions on data from the UN and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) on greenhouse gas emissions per industry in all three countries.

The report comes as the group Momentum called on the UK's Labour Party to endorse a four-day work week.

"We welcome this attempt by Autonomy to grapple with the very real changes society will need to make in order to live within the limits of the planet," Emma Williams of the Four Day Week campaign said in a statement reported by The Independent. "In addition to improved well-being, enhanced gender equality and increased productivity, addressing climate change is another compelling reason we should all be working less."

Supporters of the idea linked it to calls in the U.S. and Europe for a Green New Deal that would decarbonize the economy while promoting equality and well-being.

"This new paper from Autonomy is a thought experiment that should give policymakers, activists and campaigners more ballast to make the case that a Green New Deal is absolutely necessary," Common Wealth think tank Director Mat Lawrence told The Independent. "The link between working time and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions has been proved by a number of studies. Using OECD data and relating it to our carbon budget, Autonomy have taken the step to show what that link means in terms of our working weeks."

Stronge also linked his report to calls for a Green New Deal.

"Becoming a green, sustainable society will require a number of strategies – a shorter working week being just one of them," he said, according to The Guardian. "This paper and the other nascent research in the field should give us plenty of food for thought when we consider how urgent a Green New Deal is and what it should look like."

Amazon Employees for Climate Justice held a press conference after the annual shareholder meeting on May 22. Amazon Employees for Climate Justice

Amazon shareholders voted down an employee-backed resolution calling for more aggressive action on climate change at their annual meeting Wednesday, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Read More Show Less