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Alkaline Water vs. Distilled Water: Which is Best?

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What is Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water is water which has been run through an ionizer using a process called electrolysis which separates the alkaline and acidic constituents of water.

What is Distilled Water?
Distilled water is water which has been heated to the boiling point in a distiller. The solid particles in the water are left behind as the water itself is converted into steam, which is then collected and condensed into pure water.

But Which is Best?
There are a lot of myths surrounding both distilled water and alkaline water. Here are some common distilled water myths:

Myth: Distilled water is very acidic
Fact: Pure distilled water is actually at a neutral pH of 7.0, and has no solids dissolved in it to act as a buffer. Therefore, adding even a slight amount of an acid (carbon dioxide from the air) or base (alkalizing substances such as baking soda) will easily change the pH of distilled water. In comparison, the pH of non-distilled water, which contains dissolved solids, is much harder to budge.

Myth : Distilled water isn't healthy because all the minerals have been removed
Fact: Minerals come from the foods we eat, not the water we drink. Plants convert the inorganic minerals found in rocks, soil, and natural water sources into an organic form which can be absorbed and used by the body.

Myth : Distilled water leaches minerals out of your body leading to mineral deficiency
Fact: This is only true if you have an excess accumulation of minerals in your body that are not being used or stored in your bones. If your body has more minerals than it can use and store, it will rid itself of these excess materials through the kidneys. Pure water, because it does not contain any minerals, actually helps the kidneys to function efficiently in their job as the body's filter by flushing out any excess minerals, keeping them from building up in the body.

But what about alkaline water? Here are some common alkaline water myths:

Myth: Drinking alkaline water can change your body's pH
Fact: Ultimately it really doesn't matter if the water you drink is slightly alkaline or slightly acidic because upon entering your stomach, everything you eat and drink mixes with the extremely acidic gastric juices in your stomach. After this mix exits your stomach, then your pancreas releases alkalizing bicarbonate to neutralize the stomach acid. Your body is designed to constantly adjust for optimal pH no matter what you ingest. The hydrochloric acid in your stomach is actually 1 million times more acidic than pure distilled water with a neutral pH. You cannot ingest something alkaline enough to shift this balance without causing yourself harm!

Myth: Alkaline water is good for your health
Fact: The reason your body uses such a strong acid to aid in digestion: it destroys bacteria, fungi and other pathogens found in the foods you eat. If you alter the acidity of the stomach, you encourage infection further along in your system. Those who use antacids such as proton pump inhibitors have a higher risk of bacterial infection in the small intestines. Also, your stomach secretes protein-digesting enzymes that work best in an acidic environment. Poorly-digested proteins can lead to inflammatory responses and allergic reactions. Many digestive problems can actually be relieved by increasing the acid levels in the stomach with supplements such as apple cider vinegar.

But Which is Best?
More important that the alkaline or acidic value of your drinking water is the pollution level and decreasing water quality. Chlorine in public drinking water can control many waterborne diseases, but creates its own set up problems with cancer-causing compounds created as by-products. Fluoride, also commonly added to public drinking water, also has potential serious health risks. In addition, there are thousands industrial, agricultural and pharmaceutical contaminants that can enter the water supply, but many of them are not fully regulated by the EPA. Even after water leaves a treatment plant, it must travel through the distribution pipes that connect to your home tap. Depending on their quality and condition, these pipes can re-contaminate the treated water before it even reaches your home. Even well water can contain contaminants depending on the source of the water and the condition of the well.

Bottom line: water ionizers and alkalinizers do not remove contaminants from your drinking water. But steam distilling water does! The distillation process uses evaporation and condensation to separate pure, fresh water from its contaminants. The prolonged boiling process kills virtually all types of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses and parasites. Microorganisms are not evaporated into the product water but remain in the boiling chamber as part of the residue. Additionally, a system with activated carbon filtration and venting is effective in removing volatile organic compounds.

Steam Distilling Water Provides These Benefits

  • Kills live microbiological organisms
  • Kills cysts and spores
  • Removes toxic metals
  • Removes petrochemicals
  • Removes radioactive metals
  • Purifies seawater
  • Produces safe drinking water

Sources:
Drinking Water Scams Exposed! by Jack A. Barber of Waterwise Purification Systems
Comparing Different Water Treatment Methods Chart supplied by Waterwise Purification Systems
Don't Buy These Seven Alkaline Water Myths by Jack Barber of Waterwise Purification Systems
Don't Be Duped by Alkaline Water
Water Image Source: Light Angels by Patrick Hoesly Creative Common licensed (some rights reserved)

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water distillersWater Distillers
Waterwise water distillers are engineered around the proven steam distillation process. Combined with carbon filtration, distillation is the water treatment technology that most completely reduces the widest range of contaminants, including biological, organic and inorganic elements. In fact, a quality distillation system provides water that is up to 99% free of impurities, including heavy metals, chemicals and microorganisms. Available here
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