Is it good to drink distilled water? You might assume that drinking distilled water is much better for your health as it has been treated to remove all of the impurities, but there is some evidence to suggest that normal tap water is actually better for you as it contains essential minerals.
Distilled water is normally boiled to remove any impurities and the steam is then condensed into a clean container. This a common method of producing drinking water in countries where fresh water is scarce. Salt water is desalinated and then distilled. In some cases, drinking distilled water is essential for health reasons as the available water is not necessarily clean and free from parasites and disease.
Even if you are not certain about whether it is good to drink distilled water, you probably drink it already without even realizing it. Many drinks manufacturers use distilled water to make their products as it offers a purer taste that is not tainted by any other flavours. But if you prefer the pure taste of distilled water, most supermarkets stock bottled distilled water for everyday consumption and of you are in a country where the tap water quality is suspect, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
But even though distilled water is free from any impurities, the process of distillation removes all of the naturally occurring minerals at the same time. Tap water in many areas contains high levels of calcium, magnesium, and sodium, all of which are essential for our everyday physiological processes. By removing these from drinking water, there is the danger that people will become deficient in vital minerals.
Traditional tap water, or water containing natural levels of minerals, has been shown to have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. Patients who regularly drink water full of natural minerals are less likely to suffer from atherosclerotic heart disease. So by comparison, patients who drink distilled water are unlikely to experience the same benefits.
The other important ingredient lacking in distilled water is fluoride. For decades, governments have routinely added fluoride to tap water in an attempt to improve the dental health of the general population. Distilled water is lacking in fluoride, which means that prolonged drinking of distilled water could lead to a rise in tooth decay and associated dental problems.
So for those who ask, is it good to drink distilled water, the unequivocal answer would appear to be that it depends on where you are at the time!
If you are trekking through the African bush and you have a choice between drinking from a local waterhole potentially contaminated with all kinds of nasty things, or a nice bottle of clean distilled water, you would be insane to risk your health by not drinking the bottled water. On the other hand, if you live in the western world and you know your tap water is clean and fresh, why run the risk of depleting your body of essential minerals as well as fluoride, just for the sake of a purer flavor?