February 01, 2023 3 min read
In recent years, grocery store shelves are stocked with more and more types of water. On a single shelf you might find bottles of distilled, purified, alkaline… the list goes on. The question then becomes, which is the best?
While there is no clear-cut answer to this question, one can dive deeper into the health benefits of different water types to make an informed decision of what type of water to drink in their home. Purified water, for example, undergoes a vigorous purification process that removes chemical compounds that can be harmful to the consumer (1). In a partnership with a registered dietician, Nicky Cade of The Greatist states that “purifying water gets rid of all the stuff you probably don’t want to be drinking: heavy metal traces, chlorine, and chemicals” (2). However, purification processes can also remove healthy minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Alkaline water goes through a very different process, however. It has a higher pH (averaging an eight on the pH scale) and generally contains electrolyte minerals like calcium and magnesium. The higher pH allows alkaline water to contain more healthy minerals than purified water. Both filtered alkaline and purified water are safe to drink, but they tend to be used for different purposes. A proper alkaline water filter will retain and add these minerals to raise pH of filtered water.
Because purified water has a neutral pH, purified water has many uses outside of consumption. It has many uses in chemistry, for example, because of its absolute chemical purity. It is also the safest to use in fish tanks or other situations where a neutral pH is needed.
While alkaline water may not be ideal for non-drinking purposes since it has a higher pH, it has many benefits for human and pet consumption. Alkaline water can keep bodily systems running, like increasing oxygen circulation and cleansing the colon (4). Nutritionist Caroline Scott also notes that it can help with acid reflux and heartburn (5). Additionally, alkaline water restores balance in the body, reduces acidity in the stomach, and detoxifies the system. From a physiological point of view, alkaline water has more health benefits than purified water.
Purified water will usually have a significantly lower (or zero) total dissolved solids (TDS) than alkaline water. A water quality specialist from Montana State University defines TDS as “the sum of all minerals, metals, and salts dissolved in the water” (6). This can be good for some applications, but not for drinking water. Many believe that TDS should be used to indicate the quality of water: if water has a lot of solids in it, then the water is bad. They assume that purified water is better to drink because its TDS is lower. However, this is not the case. The TDS of alkaline water than purified water is higher because healthy minerals like potassium and magnesium are dissolved in the water. These minerals all count towards the TDS, but they are actually beneficial to the body. Therefore, TDS on its own is not a dependable tool for determining the quality of drinking water.
There is not one correct type of water to drink, as personal preference plays a role in the decision. That being said, filtered alkaline water is proven to be filled with healthy minerals to keep the body healthy and hydrated for longer periods of time. Accessing these benefits does not require buying grocery store bottled water, however. Alkaline water can be easily accessible on the day-to-day with a Seychelle alkaline water pitcher. Any water–purified water included–can be converted into mineral-rich alkaline water from the comfort of your home.
What is the difference between alkaline and purified water?
Alkaline water is filtered to have a higher pH, which leaves healthy minerals in the water to be consumed. Purified water has a neutral pH and filters out harmful chemicals. Both are safe to drink.
What are the benefits of alkaline or purified water?
Alkaline water may have more health benefits than purified water, including an increase in oxygen delivery, colon cleansing, detoxifying, and helping with acid reflux. Because of purified water’s neutral pH, it can be good for fish tanks, chemistry, and other situations where absolute chemical purity is needed.
Can purified water be alkalized?
Yes! With a Seychelle water filter, most any water can be alkalized.
Does lower TDS mean healthier water?
No. TDS includes all dissolved solids, even healthy minerals. High quality, filtered alkaline water often has a high TDS.