Is Distilled Water For Drinking? Dispelling The Myths

by Sarah on December 18, 2011

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Is distilled water for drinking?

Yes. In fact, it’s one of your best options when it comes to safe drinking water.

If you’re trying to drink more water, I recommend going with distilled water.

I explain why distilled water beats other forms of water purification in my post, “Where Can I Get Distilled Water”. If you read that post, you’ll find out why you can’t trust most water filters to give you safe water and why a distiller can.

But even though distilled water is the purest form available, some people still have doubts about drinking distilled water.

Because there’s a lot of bunk out there.

If you do some scouting around on the internet, you may think that distilled water can cause health problems because it doesn’t have minerals. Or that it’s too acidic because of the absence of alkaline minerals.

Some myth-makers even go so far as to suggest distilled water will leach minerals out of your bones.

This is all nonsense.

Certainly I agree that you need to get adequate minerals. I’ve researched and written extensively about how a full 1/3 of Americans are low on magnesium. And yes, water can be a terrific source of minerals in your diet.

But you can get your minerals through a number of other sources – like your food. It’s easy to put things back into your diet or even dissolve it into your water.

It’s a lot harder to take bad things out. Like contaminants you have no idea are lurking in your water supply.

If you’re worried distilled water brings too much acidity into your body, then you shouldn’t use vinegar, lemon juice or drink orange juice either. We eat plenty of acidic foods. And many of these acids are necessary for health – like ascorbic acid or vitamin C.

Distilled water is only slightly more acidic than water with distilled minerals. It comes nowhere near the acidity of a nice salad dressing or glass of lemonade.

If you’re still concerned about acid in your diet, all you need to do is make sure you enjoy a well-rounded diet. By eating enough alkaline foods, you can balance out the acids in your diet.

If you’re  anxious that distilled water will leach minerals out of your bones, relax.

When you drink water, it doesn’t go straight to your bones and start pulling minerals out. It flows through your digestive system where it mixes with minerals and other nutrients to form blood, lymph fluid and other aqueous mediums in your body.

Rather than worrying about an unquestionably pure glass of water robbing your body of minerals, think about making sure you’re getting adequate minerals in your diet. Eat calcium, magnesium and potassium-rich foods. Even take a supplement.

But don’t blame water for health problems associated with an overall mineral-poor diet.

Bottom line, distilled water is not only safe for drinking, but it is also the safest choice for drinking.

Yes, you may need to pay a little more attention to getting minerals from your foods.  But wouldn’t you rather do this than worry about the hundreds of contaminants in drinking water? Especially since many of these contaminants aren’t ever tested for.

So is distilled water for drinking? The answer is an absolute, no-holds-barred “Yes!”

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Professional health writer, Sarah Clachar, created Your Healthy Home Biz to help fellow home business owners build their businesses without sacrificing their health.  For tips, strategies and inspiration, and to download a free report, “The Simplest, Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Business, Your Waistline And Your Life,” please visit

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  • Refrigerator Water Filter

    We have been considering the switch to distilled water.  As a New Year’s resolution, we have committed to being a healthier family this year.  This involves working out and drinking water instead of soft drinks this year.  As we start to drink water, we are just wondering what option is healthiest. 

  • DNB08

    My husband is a water purification engineer and very much so disagrees. It depends on the amount of water you are drinking. Drinking high quantities of distilled water along with eating a very strict healthy diet is actually deadly. The problem is you can throw your electrolytes out of order. Hydration doesn’t just mean replenishing your water stores, you need to replenish electrolytes as well. Distillation (depending on how it’s done and to what degree) can strip water of it’s salt contents (electrolytes). This is absolutely necessary for your body to function correctly. Look up water poisoning. Not only does he know all the science behind water, we have actually had friends hell-bent on living “ultra-healthy” that wouldn’t listen and were only drink distilled water end up in the ER from what else, water poisoning. I even had a cousin die of water poisoning because she was exercising very frequently, eating very light green foods and drinking only distilled water. If the water contains minerals even at very low levels it is safe. The problem comes with ultra pure water and what kind of purification the company that is distilling the water is using. I can honestly tell you that there is water made with some RO systems that is so pure it will literally kill you. While most Americans can drink distilled water because they are eating lots of salt rich foods, there are quite a few health conscious people who are not getting enough salt or minerals unless they drink water that is not ultra pure. It’s not a hard and fast rule that distilled water is better, in other words.

    • Sarah Clachar

      Sorry to hear about your cousin’s death and your friends health issues. It’s always hard to hear about how poor nutrition choices lead to health problems or death.

      But it’s clear your husband is a water engineer and not a nutritionist.

      Yes, you can die from too much pure water w/o electrolytes – it’s called hyponatremia. And it’s usually experienced by athletes who have become dehydrated and do not replace electrolytes along with their water causing dangerously low levels of electrolytes in the blood. As you’ll find elsewhere, I highly recommend using an electrolyte replacement addition to your water like Nuun or simply baking soda and salt ONLY AFTER exercising hard. And yes, it’s true that 1/3 of Americans are deficient in magnesium and other essential minerals. Sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium are essential for good health.

      But your basic concern about distilled water is absolute mythology. Inorganic minerals dissolved in water are very hard for your body to get. The best source of the minerals your body needs is through your food where they can be found in chelated forms. Too much inorganic minerals in your body is not only hard for your body to use, but also can end up contributing to problems associated with precipitated minerals like kidney stones, cataracts and arteriosclerosis.

      Water – pure water – like distilled water is the best thing for your body when it comes to hydration – getting water into your body. Yes, your body needs minerals, but it also needs water – plain water. And distilled water is simply that – plain, pure water.

      Plus, It’s the only way to ensure that you’ve removed the hundreds of contaminants (often thousands) dissolved in your water that cannot be detected by average tests or removed by filters. We have arsenic in our well water which is very hard to remove by filtration since it is found as a salt and dissolves into ions. Distillation is one of the best ways to remove it.

      If you eat a good mineral-rich diet (vegetables and nuts are great sources as well as a little salt), you’ll get all the minerals you need. You can also take a supplement like the magnesium supplement from Jigsaw Health I recommend.

      Keep in mind, the water you drink just mixes up with whatever foods and supplements you take in your stomach anyways – so the question of not getting minerals with your water is moot. It’s a larger dietary question.

    • still_dreaming_1

      There is also the option of starting with distilled water so you know it is completely pure and then add electrolytes or minerals from a source you trust.

  • still_dreaming_1

    I challenge the though that water can be a great source of minerals. I am under the impression that the only form of minerals your body can use are those that have been transformed by plants into a form that is bioavailable to your body. All other forms of minerals are foreign to your body. They build up and need to be removed. The kind your body needs will be quickly used and changed to become an integral part of your cells. If you were lost in the wilderness and starving, would you’re hunger move you to dig up the ground and start licking rocks and metal from the ground so can replenish your minerals? No, because our body recognizes these are not sources of food. What are your thoughts on this?

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