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

Tim P. Whitby / 21st Century Fox / Getty Images

The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.

Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.

The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.

Read More Show Less
A protest march against the Line 3 pipeline in St. Paul, Minnesota on May 18, 2018. Fibonacci Blue / CC BY 2.0

By Collin Rees

We know that people power can stop dangerous fossil fuel projects like the proposed Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline in Minnesota, because we've proved it over and over again — and recently we've had two more big wins.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Scientists released a study showing that a million species are at risk for extinction, but it was largely ignored by the corporate news media. Danny Perez Photography / Flickr / CC

By Julia Conley

Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.

Read More Show Less
DoneGood

By Cullen Schwarz

Ethical shopping is a somewhat new phenomenon. We're far more familiar with the "tried and tested" methods of doing good, like donating our money or time.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

Summer is fast approaching, which means it's time to stock up on sunscreen to ward off the harmful effects of sun exposure. Not all sunscreens are created equally, however.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Mark Wallheiser / Getty Images

The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.

Read More Show Less
Flooding in Winfield, Missouri this month. Jonathan Rehg / Getty Images

President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.

"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.

Read More Show Less
Reed Hoffmann / Getty Images

Violent tornadoes tore through Missouri Wednesday night, killing three and causing "extensive damage" to the state's capital of Jefferson City, The New York Times reported.

"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."

Read More Show Less