In this blog post I want to make a little handy and brief guide that describe the different types of water available to us today. This will help you to get a better picture overall about this topic and to make informed decisions for yourself and your loved ones.
Are you ready to swim in an ocean of info?
Purified water: It is water that has none or extremely low levels of impurities: This water is mechanically filtered, cleansed and purified with additional purification processes. The final product derived from the various purification methods is of significant higher purity than either spring, tap or filtered water. The quality of the original source of the water has little importance on the quality of the final product ( it can be from a spring, tap or a groundwater source etc.) since the purification process is designed to virtually remove all types of impurities.
Filtered water: The water is cleansed to different extents depending on which filtration system and method it is used. A water filter removes impurities by means of a fine physical barrier, a chemical process or a biological process.
Distilled water: The water is boiled and evaporated from its dissolved minerals and the vapor is condensed. The final product is the purest water that contains nothing but hydrogen and oxygen.
Please note, distilled water is not easy to assimilate as it is “unstructured” and de-mineralized water increases diuresis and elimination of electrolytes, which decreases blood serum potassium concentration. Distilled water also leaches out minerals, including toxic ones, from any source it comes into contact with: This property can be used to advantage in some short-term heavy metal cleansing programs, however it is counter-productive in the long-run because it is not hydrating the cells and is actually contributing to nutrient deficiency. Structuring the water is very simple: simply dropping six grains of organic brown rice, or wheat, or Himalayan salt into the bottom of a gallon of distilled water allowing to sit overnight, will both structure and revitalize the water. I personally put ¼ tsp of Pink Himalayan salt in a gallon (4 liters) of distilled water and I stir it with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds counter and counter-clockwise until the salt is dissolved.
Ionized water: All water contains ions which are electrically charged atoms and molecules and a water ionizer is simply a home appliance that through a process called electrolysis separates the incoming water streams into acidic and alkaline components. This ionizing water machines are able to produce high alkaline water, negatively-ionic charged (antioxidant) while breaking up globules of water molecules to create a smaller cluster of water molecules which allow them to better penetrate the cell wall, therefore increasing hydration.
Alkaline water: This is water with a higher pH level than regular drinking water: Normal drinking water is generally a neutral pH of 7, whereas alkaline water generally has a pH of 8 or 9 and because of this, some people advocate alkaline water a beneficial substance as it can neutralize acid in the body. I would take this statements with a pinch of salt as research onto the benefits and effects of alkaline water is limited as of taoday; and it is important to understand that our our blood stream must be maintained within a narrow range of pH, typically 7.35 to 7.45, to ensure the proper functioning of metabolic processes and the delivery of the right amount of oxygen to tissues. A healthy body has an alkaline-acid ratio of about 60:40. Drinking too much alkaline water and for long time can disrupt this delicate balance.
Acidic water: Acidic water is water with a pH (potential hydrogen) of less than seven. pH refers to the amount of hydrogen ions mixed in with the water and is measured on a scale from 0 to 14. 7 represents neutral where the water is neither alkaline nor acidic. Zero through seven indicates acidity, the lower the number the higher the acidity. Seven through fourteen indicates alkalinity, the higher the number the higher the alkalinity. Like the Richer scale for measuring earthquake intensity, the pH scale is logarithmic: for instance, a solution with a pH of 9.0 is 100 times more alkaline than a solution with a pH of 7.0.
Ozonated Water: Ozone is made up of three molecules of oxygen; the third molecule being very unstable it wants to pair up with other molecules look to pair up. Toxins and pathogens are also unstable molecules and once they pair up with oxygen they are neutralized. Ozonated water is considered to be beneficial in terms of detoxification, because it may kill viruses, bacteria, fungi and algae on contact: It breaks down harmful synthetic chemicals into less dangerous molecules. It can purify the blood of microorganisms by rupturing their cell walls and can boost the immune system while providing more oxygen to the brain. Again, also with ozonated water human research is limited in terms of its effects and benefits, pros and cons, especially long-term effects… so take in this information with a pinch of salt.
Mineral water: Water derived from mineral spring that contain minerals, such as salts and sulfur compounds. Traditionally, mineral waters were used or consumed as their spring sources, often referred to as “Taking the waters” or “Taking the cure”, at places such as spas, bath or wells. In modern times, it is far more common for mineral water to be bottled at the source for distributed consumption. Travelling to the mineral water site for direct access to the water is now uncommon and, in many cases, not possible because of exclusive commercial rights. The FDA classifies mineral water as water containing at least 250ppm TDS (parts per million total dissolved solids) originating from a geologically underground water source. In the European Union, bottled water can be called mineral water when it is bottled at the source and has undergone no or minimal treatment: Permitted is the removal of iron, manganese, sulfur, arsenic, through decantation, filtration or treatment with ozone-enriched air as this treatment doesn’t alter the composition of the water. No additions are permitted except for carbon dioxide, which may be added, removed or re-introduced by exclusively physical methods; No disinfection treatment is permitted, nor is the addition of any bacteriostatic agents.
Demineralized water: The definition of demineralized water can vary slightly depending on the source, but generally is water that results from the process of removing almost all of its impurities, making it safe to drink and virtually free from dissolved minerals and related substances. Very tiny amounts of dissolved minerals/solids in a few parts per million always remain, but generally with today’s advanced technologies methods of purification the quality of the demineralized water is very high. Many processes can be used to accomplish this like distillation, de-ionization, membrane filtration (reverse osmosis or nanofiltration), electrodialysis or other technologies.
Deionized water: This water is deeply demineralized, ultrapure water; it is used in microelectronics, printed circuit boards, instrument manufacture, pharmacy, washing liquids, etc.
For obtaining the high quality pure demineralized water, a multi-stage water purification process can be used: After pre-cleaning, the water is supplied to the reverse osmosis membrane and then the water is filtered through a special deionization medium, which removes the rest of the ions in the water. The purity of deionized water can exceed the purity of distilled water
Reverse Osmosis water: Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a process where the water is demineralized or deionized by pushing it under pressure through a semi-permeable RO membrane.
Osmosis is a naturally occurring phenomenon and one of the most important processes in nature: it consists of the migration of a weaker saline solution towards a stronger saline solution; Examples of osmosis are when plant roots absorb water from the soil, as well as when our kidneys absorb water from our blood.
RO is that exact process, but in reverse: whereas osmosis occurs naturally without energy required, to reverse the process of osmosis energy ais pplied to the more saline solution.
A RO membrane is a semi-permeable membrane that allows the passage of water molecules but not the majority of dissolved salts, organics, bacteria and pyrogens. However, you need to “push” the water through the RO membrane by applying pressure in order to desalinate (demineralize od deionize) water in the process, allowing pure water through while holding back the majority of contaminants.
RO works by using a high pressure pump to increase the pressure on the salt side of the RO and force the water across the semi-permeable RO membrane, leaving almost all (about 95% to 99%) of dissolved solids behind in the reject stream. The amount of pressure required depends on the salt concentration of the feed water: The more concentrated the feed water, the more pressure is required to overcome the osmotic pressure.
The desalinated water that is demineralized or deionized is called permeate (or product) water. The water stream that carries the concentrated contaminants that did not pass through the RO membrane is called the reject (or concentrate or brine stream), which goes to drain or can be fed back into the feed water supply in some circumstances to be recycles through the RO system to save water.
The RO system employs cross-filtration rather than standard filtration; With cross filtration, the solution passes through the filter, or crosses the filter, with two outlets. The filtered water goes one way and the contaminated water goes another way.
Please note, I recommend to re-mineralized and structure the water as described above under the distilled water section for better hydration and health benefits.
Soft Water: This water contains low concentrations of ions and in particular lower amounts of ions of calcium and magnesium. Soft water naturally occurs where rainfall and the drainage basin of rivers are formed of hard, impervious and calcium poor rocks.
The term may also be used to describe water that has been produced by a water softening process although such water is more correctly defined as “softened” water. In these cases the water may also contain elevated levels of sodium and/or bicarbonate ions.
In the UK, water is regarded as soft if the hardness is less than 100mg/l of calcium carbonate; In the USA soft water is classified as having less than 60 mg/l of calcium carbonate.
Hard water: Water high in mineral content; hard water is formed when water percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk which are largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates. In the UK, it is defined as water that contains more than 100mg/l of calcium carbonate.
Heavy water: Heavy water is water that contains heavy hydrogen or deuterium which differs from hydroge. Heavy water may be deuterium oxide, D2O or it may be deuterium protium oxide, DHO. Heavy water occurs naturally, although one water molecule per twenty million molecules are heavy water.
Oxidative water: Is water produced by the oxidation of molecules of food substances, such as the conversion of glucose to water and carbon dioxide.
Whether you choose RO or filtered water, remember that proper hydration is essential for optimal health and plays a major role in supporting your lifestyle.
Stay calm, and keep hydrated.