When thinking of drinkable water, tap water and bottled water is probably what comes to your mind first. In fact, there are way more options, each having its own benefits and drawbacks.
Different types of drinkable water include tap water, mineral water, spring water, glacier water, well water, distilled water, alkaline water, sparkling water, and structured water.
From taste and affordability to nutritional value and health benefits, below is everything you need to know about the 10 types of water you can drink.
#1. Tap Water
Many countries have safe public water supplies, meaning that tap water is totally drinkable there.
While consuming tap water is the easiest yet most affordable way to hydrate, it comes with its pros and cons.
- Drinking tap water is convenient
- Tap water is affordable
- Free drinking fountains are available in public spaces
- Tap water can contain added mineral content, usually fluoride and chlorine
- Tap water may not be safe to drink in certain areas
- Tap water may contain harmful pollutants
- Tap water may contain pesticide residues
- Microplastic contamination has been found in tap water worldwide, according to a study
- Tap water can taste different based on its mineral content, sometimes having an unpleasant smell and taste
- The quality of tap water isn’t always consistent
#2. Mineral Water
Mineral water originates from a mineral spring and usually has a high content of minerals, making it exceptionally beneficial for health.
Here are the pros and cons to be aware of.
- Rich in essential minerals, such as potassium, sodium sulfate, calcium carbonate, magnesium sulfate, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide
- Some people really enjoy the taste of mineral water as it differs from plain tap water that has fewer minerals
- Can offer various health-related benefits when consumed in adequate amounts
- Calcium in mineral water promotes bone development
- Magnesium in mineral water helps lower blood pressure
- Regulations allow minimal processing when companies produce bottled mineral water, meaning that the water you get has natural mineral content
- Mineral water is more expensive
- Bottled mineral water with high sodium content isn’t suitable for people who need a low-sodium diet
- Acidic mineral water can damage your tooth enamel
- The production of mineral water contributes to plastic pollution and negatively affects our environment
#3. Spring Water
Spring water is often confused with mineral water. While they are quite similar to each other, there are two main differences to keep in mind.
First of all, companies must obtain mineral water directly at the source, whereas the rules aren’t that strict in the case of bottled spring water.
Besides, the composition of minerals in spring water can be altered, while mineral water has to be natural or slightly influenced.
Take a look at the pros and cons of spring water to learn more.
- Comes from natural springs or underground sources
- Spring water is natural and not treated unless bottled
- Has a distinct taste that some people love
- Sufficient levels of minerals are present to promote overall health
- The composition of bottled spring water may be altered
- Some people don’t like its distinct taste
- Bottled spring water is expensive
- The purity, composition, and taste aren’t consistent
- Spring water is not treated, so may include impurities (not when it comes to bottled water)
- Bottled spring water has a negative environmental impact due to plastic pollution
#4. Glacier Water
Just like mineral and spring water, glacier water has high mineral content. As it’s collected at the source, glacier water is also renowned for its purity.
Here’s what else you need to know about drinkable glacier water.
- Many people claim that glacier water is the purest tasting water on earth
- Glacier water is usually free of toxins and pollutants due to being collected right at the source
- Glacier water is infused with essential minerals
- Glacier water is quite expensive
- Some brands offer raw glacier water without testing its content, meaning that you may be exposed to various contaminants, even when drinking bottled water
- External factors can cause bacterial contamination, so assessing the source is absolutely crucial
- Not quite as accessible as other types of water
- Production of glacier water can pose risks to the safety of natural resources
#5. Well Water
Well water is obtained by drilling down the earth and accessing the water under the ground. The earliest wells used buckets and ropes to pull the water up and now we have pumps that automatically suck the water up.
While well water has been known for its benefits, there are a few drawbacks to keep in mind. Here are some of them.
- Well water is high in nutrients and minerals
- Well water is not only clean but also tastes fresh
- Well water is natural, with no treatments and human alterations
- Well water can be obtained for free once drilling the whole and accessing the source
- Well water cannot be obtained from every location
- Well water can become contaminated by bacteria, lead, and arsenic
- Obtaining water using buckets can be exhausting
- Well pumps require regular maintenance
- You may need to further purify well water
#6. Purified Water
Purified water is a broad term that can include a few different types of drinkable water that have been filtered or chemically treated to remove contaminants.
In some cases, tap water is purified by getting rid of impurities. These include harmful chemicals, bacteria, solid particles, and more.
On the other hand, purified water may also have certain minerals removed.
That being said, you should always pay attention to the type of purified water you’re drinking and what methods were used during the purification process.
The pros and cons of purified water are listed below.
- A great solution when the water source is contaminated
- Purifying water means that you can drink clean tap water by simply using a faucet-mount water filtration system or other purification technique
- Easily accessible and affordable as you can purify water at home
- Some contaminants may still be present in purified water if you fail to follow proper purification techniques
- Purified water may lack essential minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and fluoride
- Purchasing purified water can be expensive
- Setting up a whole-house water filter system is costly
#7. Distilled Water
Distilled water is a type of purified water that is a result of distillation, which involves boiling, evaporation, and condensation.
While distilled water is completely safe to drink, consuming it for prolonged periods of time isn’t recommended.
The pros and cons shared below explain why.
- Distilled water has a high level of purity as its free of contaminants
- Distilled water lacks minerals, making it suitable for people with certain health conditions
- Distilled water is easy to make at home by following this video tutorial
- Drinking distilled water can be helpful when being in areas with contaminated water
- Distilled water doesn’t have any health benefits as it has no minerals
- As distilled water is non-mineralized, it can pull minerals from your body when consumed in large quantities
- You’ll need to create a well-balanced diet to get the necessary minerals when drinking distilled water
#8. Alkaline Water
Alkaline water is a type of water that contains alkalizing minerals (Ca, Mg, K, HCO3 ions), which increase its pH and make it less acidic than plain tap water.
While distilled water has a pH of 5-7 and regular bottled water has a pH of 6.5-7.5, the pH of alkaline water ranges from 8 to 9.
The advantages and disadvantages of alkaline water are:
- Some believe that alkaline water can neutralize acid in the body, but the area requires further research
- As alkaline water is rich in minerals, it can help your body detoxify
- A study showed that pH 8.8 alkaline water can potentially help treat acid reflux
- Alkaline water isn’t always treated properly, so it may contain pollutants
- Alkaline water can decrease your stomach acidity, making it more challenging to fight off microbes
- Drinking too much alkaline water can cause metabolic alkalosis, leading to nausea and vomiting
#9. Sparkling Water
Sparkling water is produced by infusing regular water with carbon dioxide gas under pressure, leading to the formation of bubbles. This is why it’s often referred to as carbonated water.
Besides, sparkling water can also be formed naturally, when volcanic gases are dissolved in underground waters or springs.
Here’s what you need to know before drinking carbonated water.
- Sparkling water has a distinct taste and feel, making it fun to drink
- Drinking carbonated water can be an exciting way to hydrate
- Sparkling water can improve digestion and help constipation
- You can get flavored or fruit-infused sparkling waters that don’t contain sweeteners
- Sparkling water provides you with essential minerals
- Sparkling water can cause the accumulation of gases and bloating
- Taking excessive amounts of carbonated water can promote tooth decay
- Sparkling water is more expensive than regular water
#10. Structured Water
Structured water is a relatively new term which is also known as hexagonal water, gel water, or cluster water. It has been made by altering regular water to form hexagonal clusters of water molecules.
If you’ve just heard of structured water for the first time, below are the pros and cons to keep in mind.
Note that there’s little to no scientific evidence to back up some of the benefits of hexagonal water.
- Structured water is healthier than tap or purified water
- Structured water is similar to water found in untouched sources, such as mountain springs and glaciers
- Supporters claim that structured water provides improved hydration for the body
- Many believe that drinking structured water can boost energy and improve concentration
- Lack of evidence that structured water has health-related benefits
- Structured water isn’t readily accessible and can be costly, but you can still order a pack of 12 structured water bottles by Rewire Quantum Hydration
In a nutshell, there are many different types of drinking water, 10 of which were discussed in this article.
Each kind of drinkable water offers distinctive benefits, some of them even being related to health. However, they also come with their drawbacks that you should consider before deciding which one to consume.
When it comes to the best drinkable water, you can’t really say which one is the number one. As we are all unique, we may benefit from completely different types of drinkable water.
Take your time to explore the pros and cons of each to find the right one for you and your needs.