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Best Water to Drink (The Ultimate Guide to Drink for Better Health)

Best Water to Drink (The Ultimate Guide to Drink for Better Health)

Many people struggle to know which type of water is the best because the market is full of so many different types. Each one claims to have some wildly impressive additional health benefits. However, which of these claims are true and which ones are simply no more than clever advertisers stretching the truth to sell more products?

This article will help you identify the main types of water available today and tell you what the real health benefits are based on scientific evidence and research data.

By the end of this article you will be better informed and have a good idea of which water you think is best for your specific needs.

Tap water

Tap water is the type of water that comes out of your water faucet. In most countries, it is usually supplied and controlled by a local government authority.

Who is it best for?

Everyone. It is generally safe for things like cooking, cleaning and laundry.

Biggest benefits

Cheap, easy to access for most people and usually a safe source of water.

Risks and issues

Tap water is generally safe to drink but some recent studies raise cause for concern. For instance, the EWG (Environmental Working Group) did a 5-year study looking at the quality of US tap water. The results showed that tap water supplied to all 50 states contained over 500 different contaminants.[1]

There are also some instances where a mineral like fluoride is added to the public water supply. For instance, around 10% of the UK population is supplied with fluoridated tap water to cut tooth decay.[2]

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Bottled water

Bottled water is portable purified water that you can easily and conveniently buy whenever you’re thirsty.

Who is it best for?

Everyone. It is a good source of water for drinking.

Biggest benefit

Very convenient way to access clean safe drinking water.

Risks and issues

Some of the large water brands have admitted that their bottled water is nothing more than filtered tap water.

The biggest issue is the environmental cost. The creation of bottled water is insanely wasteful when it takes about 3 litres of water just to produce 1 litre.[3]

Also, plastics are extremely difficult to recycle. This means that your plastic bottle is likely to end up taking space in landfill sites. Or worse, it might end up in the ocean and poison not just the water but wildlife too.

    Distilled water

    Distilled water is sometimes called demineralized or deionized water. It is water that has everything removed including ions and minerals. It’s the purest form of water that you can get. It literally has nothing in it (good and bad). This means it has no contaminants, bacteria, minerals or nutrients.

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    Who is it best for?

    Its high level of purity makes it the water of choice in places like laboratories and factories. It is also good if you want to drink water that is completely pure.

    Biggest benefits

    Distilled water has the highest level of purity and is almost sterile.

    Risks and issues

    There are no harmful risks associated with distilled water because it is so clean. However, some health reports suggest that it might not be best to always drink water that is completely empty of healthy minerals and nutrients.[4]

    Hydrogen water

    This is water that contains hydrogen molecules that act as powerful antioxidants. The claim is these molecules are capable of helping your body neutralize harmful free radicals that contribute to disease development, reduce inflammation and slow down aging.

    Who is it best for?

    Those who are very health conscious and happy to pay extra money on something that may have health benefits – but not guaranteed.

    Biggest benefits

    The hype around hydrogen water is based on a serious of studies conducted on mice. The studies appear to show that this type of water has mild anti-inflammatory effects, particularly on the development of diseases like Parkinson’s.[5]

    Risks and issues

    Many of the big health claims are still inconclusive when similar studies were performed on human beings. Yet, some of the health claims are presented as fact even though there are no guarantees. Also, all the hype makes this type of water very expensive to buy.

    Alkaline water

    Alkaline Water is water that is at a pH level of 8 and above, which is higher than the pH of regular water. It has become more popular because research shows that an alkaline diet is generally good for health.[6]

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    Who is it best for?

    Everyone because drinking alkaline water is generally considered to be safe.

    Biggest benefits

    The human body thrives when it is able to maintain a slightly alkaline pH. Consuming alkaline water may be able to help in this regard. Here’re more benefits of it:[7]

      Risks and issues

      A report from the World Health Organization cautions against regularly drinking water that has low mineral content.[8] Alkaline water tends to be low on minerals and nutrients.

      Boiled water

      Boiling your water is generally one of the cheapest and most effective ways to purify your water. This is because putting water in temperatures above 185° F (85° C) will kill most pathogens within a few minutes.

      Who is it best for?

      Everyone. Boiled water is usually clean, safe and healthy to drink.

      Biggest benefits

      It is a great way to purify water that is not heavily contaminated.

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      Risks and issues

      Boiling water will not purify water that is contaminated with things like lead, pesticides, nitrates and other chemicals. Also, some people don’t like the “flat taste” that sometimes comes with boiled water.

      Which is the best water to drink?

      The healthiest type of water is technically hydrogen water because of the potential health benefits of the antioxidants it contains.

      However, the truth is that even the healthiest type of water can only ever have minor health benefits. Hydrogen water and any other type of water on this list will not be able to repair an unhealthy diet or lifestyle.

      The biggest health benefits from hydration come from drinking water itself regardless of what type of water it is. The truth is that any type of water is good for you so long as it is clean and free of impurities.

      The bottom line is that you should consider all the different “healthy” types of water on the market as ‘life enhancers’. Something that can mildly improve a lifestyle and diet that is already very healthy but not fix one that is not.

      Featured photo credit: Mr Water Geek via mrwatergeek.com

      Reference

      More by this author

      Luke George

      Health Author

      Benefits of Water: Science Proved 5 Great Reasons to Stay Hydrated Best Water to Drink Best Water to Drink (The Ultimate Guide to Drink for Better Health) How Much Water Should You Drink In A Day How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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      Last Updated on March 25, 2020

      How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

      How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

      When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

      So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

      1. Exercise

      It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

      2. Drink in Moderation

      I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

      3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

      Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

      4. Watch Less Television

      A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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      Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

      5. Eat Less Red Meat

      Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

      If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

      6. Don’t Smoke

      This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

      7. Socialize

      Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

      8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

      Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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      9. Be Optimistic

      Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

      10. Own a Pet

      Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

      11. Drink Coffee

      Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

      12. Eat Less

      Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

      13. Meditate

      Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

      Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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      How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

      14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

      Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

      15. Laugh Often

      Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

      16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

      Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

      17. Cook Your Own Food

      When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

      Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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      18. Eat Mushrooms

      Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

      19. Floss

      Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

      20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

      Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

      Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

      21. Have Sex

      Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

      More Health Tips

      Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

      Reference

      [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
      [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
      [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
      [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
      [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
      [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
      [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
      [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
      [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
      [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
      [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
      [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
      [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
      [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
      [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
      [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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