Archives for: November 2002, 19
What type of water should one be drinking? Spring water, tap water (usually not good) or distilled water (some say yes, and some say no because it depletes the minerals in your body), so what do you suggest? Julie
The topic is so fraught with learned treatises and combatants of every stripe that I have thrown them all out in favor of the simplest historical approach. What kind of water did we drink when the world was young and Evian didn't come in bottles?
We got fresh water from rivers, streams, springs, simple wells, and glaciers. Juicy plant life was another source of pure water -- doubly important for desert dwellers.
High-mineral-content water, or "Heilwasser," comes from many parts of the world. Depending on its individual profile, it can provide significant assimilable amounts of calcium, potassium, phosphorus and salt as well as trace elements. In the U.S., it is illegal to advertise mineral water as having health benefits... probably the work of pharmaceutical company lobbyists. :-) In Europe, mineral water has a venerable reputation for possessing healing properties.
Yes, you'll hear proponents of every approach, from "drink distilled water only" to "drink mineral water only." The "drink distilled" fans include those who take inert mineral supplements (not a good idea) and even put mineral drops into their distilled water. Hmmm... I conjecture that in a paleolithic life, mineral waters would be treasured for their salty taste and invigorating effect, in all their variety... to the extent of carrying them away in skins, and even inspiring settlements near their sources. Most of the water consumed in a lifetime by anyone travelling outside these areas, however, would be from the aforementioned streams, juicy foods, and springs or glacier-runoff.
For these reasons (back to the present with its cost considerations), I use filtered tap water for steaming food, and spring or mineral water for drinking, soups and the like. Distilled water is not a naturally-occuring substance, so I use it only for specific purposes, and not for drinking water. Primarily, I drink Poland Spring (I like the taste), occasionally San Pellegrino or Apollinaris. Sometimes I have a liter of Gerolsteiner a day... sometimes I go for weeks without it. If I think of it with a gleam in my eye, I drink some. If I'm tired of it, I go back to Poland Spring.
Many centuries before science told people what is good for them, they already knew. I think your most fruitful approach to deciding upon what kind of water to drink is to get as natural a source as possible; use highly-rated mineral waters when you can; and stay away from distilled water and other comestibles not found in nature. :-)