Today we are going to tackle the somewhat controversial question: is distilled water safe to drink?
It is a complex question without a clear answer, so first I will cover exactly what distilled water is, and then cover the reasons why it may be good for your health, and then the reasons why it might be bad for it.
What is Distilled Water?
Distilled water is water that has been put through the process of distillation. Any solid impurities in the water are heavier than the water molecules themselves. If the water is heated to boiling point, the liquid water will convert to vapor, leaving the impurities still in the container in solid form.
The water vapor can then be directed into a new container and condensed, leaving you with just the water molecules, and none of the original impurities.
What is the pH of Distilled Water?
Distilled water is water that has been put through the process of distillation. Distillation is where water is boiled, and the steam is then collected and condensed back into water in an uncontaminated container.
Distillation results in pure water being collected, with all of its impurities and contaminants removed. This can include various forms of pollution or bacteria, but also includes helpful minerals that were dissolved in the water, such as calcium and iron.
Distilled water has a bland taste, as all of the minerals have been removed and this is what tends to give water its taste.
Pure distilled water should consist of nothing but hydrogen and oxygen molecules. It should have a pH level of exactly 7, with no contaminants, minerals or additional gases.
How Distillation Works
Any solid material found in the water- salts, minerals, bacteria, etc- are heavier than the water molecules themselves. When the water is heated to boiling point, it converts into a gas and is transported elsewhere, while these solids remain in their original container.
A History of Distillation
Distilled water has been in use since at least the days of the Ancient Greeks, with Aristotle mentioning the process in his works. It was used in ancient times to make sea water drinkable, and in the modern day has many commercial applications.
Many chemical and biological processes require distilled water. It is also used in industrial processes to avoid the buildup of mineral deposits in expensive machinery. Using distilled water in a car cooling systems will prevent corrosion of certain engine parts. Using distilled water in a steam iron will prevent mineral buildup and help the item last longer.
And finally, learning to distill water can be a valuable survival skill, as it can supply you will clean source of water.
Why Distilled Water is Good for You: The Benefits
There are a few reasons why drinking distilled water could be beneficial to your health.
First, it’s a good way to purify the water. Distillation will leave bacteria an d other pollutants and contaminants behind. You get pure water, with no harmful bugs or dangerous chemicals, which can be a life saver in certain situations (contaminated water would be one of the leading causes of death if society were to collapse).
Second, there is evidence that drinking distilled water can help cleanse the body of toxins. With all of the minerals removed, distilled water will naturally pull chemicals out of the blood stream. If someone happens to be suffering from a toxic overload of some hazardous chemical, this could help remove some of it from the body.
Why Distilled Water is Bad for You: The Downside
Now, onto the potential negative effects of drinking distilled water.
First, while the harmful things have been taken out of the water, so have the HELPFUL things. Minerals like calcium and magnesium are needed by the body, and distilled water doesn’t supply them.
Furthermore, there is some evidence that distilled water might actually PULL these minerals from the body through osmosis, leaving the body more deficient in them then you were before you drank it.
And last, distilled water has been shown to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. This can make the water more acidic over time, which has negative health effects of its own.
So in conclusion, the process of distilling water definitely has its place. It can be very helpful in survival situations, where you need to purify a water source that may be contaminated. It also may be helpful in cleansing the body.
However, one must be cautious of relying on distilled water for extended periods of time. There may be health issues at risk, and not enough is known about it to guarantee its safety.