Are you interested in the differences between alkaline water vs. distilled water and the health benefits of each?
If so, this post is for you!
More people than ever are interested in drinking purified water. You can see how popular it is just by checking the bottled water section at your grocery store.
Both alkaline and distilled water are common types of purified drinking water. There are important differences that you should know, though.
In this post we’ll discuss what alkaline and distilled water is, the difference in pH levels of each, and more.
Alkaline Water vs. Distilled Water
Both alkaline water and distilled water have benefits, but they accomplish those benefits in different ways.
What is Alkaline Water?
The pH scale is the measure of alkalinity or acidity of a liquid. The range runs from very acidic pH level 0, to a very alkaline pH level 14, with 7 being a neutral pH. Simple put, alkaline water is water with pH levels above 7. There are many home water testing kits available to check the pH level of your tap water.
Water can naturally fall in the alkaline range. Spring water is a good example. When water flows over or through mineral-rich ground or through streams, it typically picks up a lot of calcium and magnesium. While this can lead to hard water, the water naturally becomes alkaline.
When it comes to purified drinking water, water treatment systems achieve alkaline levels in a couple of different ways. Some water systems do it by adding minerals like calcium and magnesium. By adding alkaline minerals, they increase the pH to slightly alkaline levels, usually around a pH of 8. Others do it by ionizing the water, which separates the more acidic parts of the water so it can be removed.
Either way, these methods leave you with alkaline water for drinking. Many drink alkaline water for the reported health benefits. Others prefer it because of what they consider better taste and smell.
For more information on alkaline water see our guide here.
What is Distilled Water?
Distilled water is some of the most purified water available. This is not a filtration process. Instead, it raises the water past the boiling point, then collects the water vapor produced and condenses it into pure water. The process can remove impurities and reduce total dissolved solids, and often produces a pH level near the neutral 7.
In reality, you’re much more likely to end up with slightly acidic water at the end of the purification process. That’s because carbon dioxide from the air immediately starts to dissolve into neutral water, lowering its pH level. This happens even in perfectly pure bottled water, because before you drink it you have to open the water and expose it to the air. When you do, the carbon dioxide immediately starts altering the pH.
Most distillation processes don’t completely remove all impurities and unwanted contaminants. Vapor distillation is a more thorough method of distillation. It pressurizes the water vapor produced during a typical distillation process and heats it further. This creates even purer water and better distillation. That is what you should look for if you want the purest of pure distilled water.
Check out the best water distillers here.
Keep in mind, distillation is much more than just boiling tap water. You also have to collect that steam from that boiled tap water and recondense it into drinking water to complete the process.
What is The Difference Between Alkaline Water and Distilled Water?
Distilled and alkaline water are different in many ways. Distillation removes many essential minerals from the water right along with the harmful contaminants. Alkaline water is often produced by intentionally adding these minerals to the water. These minerals affect human health, which we’ll discuss more below.
A big difference you’ll see between distilled and alkaline water is the pH levels of the two. The very act of removing all impurities during the distillation process naturally produces water with a pH level at or very near a neutral 7.
Which is Best for What?
Distilled water and alkaline water each have their positive sides and negative sides, and each have some common uses.
Alkaline water has advantages, and many people use it for things like:
- Cleaning produce – People often use alkaline water for cleaning produce because it does a better job of removing many pesticides.
- Stain removal – Alkaline water does a better job of removing oil stains in clothing and carpets. This is because the alkalized water is better at breaking up oil than acidic water is.
- Cooking & food preparation- Alkaline water neutralizes some of the acid in coffee and certain foods. Many people find this results in better flavor.
Check out the best alkaline water machines here.
Reported Alkaline Water Benefits
When it comes to medical affects of alkaline water, there are many alkaline water benefits.
A water molecule in alkaline water is smaller. Some suggest this makes it easier for the human body to absorb, which leads to better hydration. Because of the perception that it is great tasting water, many people are more likely to drink the proper amount of water to stay properly hydrated.
Alkaline water has a higher amount of anti-oxidants. Some evidence suggests this can help limit cell damage and provide some anti-aging benefits.
There is evidence that alkaline water can help your immune system. It does this by neutralzing some of the acids in your body. This is especially helpful in people who do not have a properly balanced diet.
Alkaline water neutralizes a portion of excess stomach acid. If you suffer from acid reflux, this may help you by offsetting excess acid. This could reducing the overall occurance of acid reflux.
Some evidence suggests that drinking alkaline water lowers your risk of higher blood pressure and diabetes. It does this by decreasing your blood viscosity.
Possible Health Issues to Drinking Alkaline Water
Metabolic alkalosis is one problem you could run into when drinking excess alkaline water, and it can require prompt medical attention. It occurs when your body’s pH level is out of balance, resulting in too high of an alkaline level.
If you have a history of kidney or digestive problems, you should check with a doctor before consuming too much alkaline water. Make sure it is safe with your condition. It could aggravate these medical conditions.
Drinking too much alkaline water can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastro-intestinal issues.
Some people prefer to use distilled water for a variety of purposes, some of which are:
- Watering plants – Distilled water doesn’t have the impurities and minerals typical tap water has. The chlorine and minerals in the water coming from your faucets can damage some plants that can’t tolerate them.
- Irons, steamers, and humidifiers – Distilling water removes hard water minerals. These minerals can cause clogs and lime deposits. This makes distilled water ideal for use in steamers, irons, and humidifiers.
- Cleaning – Because distilled water is typically slightly acidic, it can work well for cleaning. That’s because acidic water naturally is better at disinfecting. It can also help detergents work better and does a better job at rinsing soaps away.
Distilled water is some of the purest water you can get and is free from most or all contaminants.
If you live in a mining area, ground water may pick up traces of arsenic or heavy metals. Distilling the water will remove these toxic metals and chemicals. This is a possible reason to drink distilled water. Those who live near an agricultural area may consider distilled water. Nitrates from pesticides and fertilizers can sometimes end up in the drinking water supply in these areas. Distillation removes most of those nitrates.
There’s also a low chance of distilled water harboring viruses and bacteria. This leads to many medical uses, including in sinus rinses and many saline solutions.
Distillating removes most of the bacteria and viruses in your tap water. This makes it safer to drink and reduces your chances of contracting water borne diseases.
If you drink distilled water you may reduce your chances of developing kidney stones. This is because distilled water has low mineral content, since they are removed by the distillation process.
Possible Negative Consequences of Distilled Water Consumption
Distilling water removes chemicals and hazardous impurities from the water. It also removes many essential minerals, though. This can lead to a deficiency if you lower the mineral content and don’t have enough of these minerals elsewhere in your diet. Removing them from your water can put you past the tipping point and lead to mineral deficiencies.
Drinking distilled water can also lead to an electrolyte imbalance. This is because it can increase urine output, which can cause an imbalance of electrolytes in your body.
While the flat taste many people associate with distilled water in itself is not a medical problem, it can lead to one. If you dislike the taste of your water, then that could lead to a lower intake and improper hydration.
Overall, more people prefer the taste of alkaline water over distilled water. Both have their benefits and downsides, and both are generally safe to drink for a healthy individual. It really comes down to your personal preferences.
If you are looking for the health advantages, alkaline water and distilled water both have advantages. Distillation removes impurities in water, but alkaline water contains many essential minerals your body needs.
We’ve discussed many of the advantages and disadvantages of each, and we encourage you to carefully consider all the factors above before investing in a home water distiller or alkalizing system. You should also consider these factors before drinking distilled or alkalized bottled water.