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An H20 breakdown: 5 types of water and how they impact your health

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MILWAUKEE -- Tap water, distilled water, spring water, purified water -- who knew there could be so many types of water? Are any of them really better for you? Registered dietitian Lisa Grudzielanek with Metcalfe's Market joins Real Milwaukee to break it all down.

1. Tap

  • The quality of the water that flows out of your faucet can vary based on whether it comes from a large public water system that is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or a small community system or small private well in your backyard—which are not regulated.
  • Using water filters for your tap water can be a great way to get rid of contaminants and gain access to clean water.
  • Tap water contaminants can include: arsenic, viruses, bacteria, and parasites, pesticides and medication residues.

2. Electrolyte Water

  • Some bottled water, such as SmartWater®, Nestle® Pure Life®, and Dasani purify the water first and then add electrolytes.
  • The amount of electrolytes added back to the water are not considered significant.
  • Coconut water can provide a natural alternative to man-made electrolyte drinks. With natural carbohydrates and electrolytes, it can be just as effective as carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drinks for hydration during physical activity, and can cause less nausea, fullness, and stomach upset.

3. Purified Water

  • Include sterilization, reverse osmosis and sediment filtration. This means that bacteria, impurities and any contaminants have been removed from the water.
  • Purified water lacks minerals and ions such as calcium that play key roles in biological functions, such as in nervous system homeostasis, and are normally found in potable drinking water.
  • Mineral may or may not be removed and added back.

4. Distilled/Deionized

  • Distilled water goes through a boiling process that strips away all of its contaminants—and all of its healthy minerals. While it`s obviously good to eliminate the contaminants in your diet, there are potential health concerns that come from removing the minerals from water.
  • Distilled water is water that has been boiled into vapor and condensed back into liquid in a separate container. Impurities in the original water that do not boil below or near the boiling point of water remain in the original container. Thus, distilled water is one type of purified water.
  • Distilled water can negatively influence mineral and water metabolism in the body by increasing urination, the amount of water in the body, and the elimination of sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium ions, according to a World Health Organization report in 1982.

5. Spring Water

  • Spring water comes from an underground water source that flows to the earth`s surface.
  • It can have fewer contaminants and more minerals, with more health benefits, than unfiltered tap water.
  • Bottle spring water should identify the source.

6. Alkaline

  • Alkaline water is processed with a filter that raises the pH of the water.
  • Alkaline water is water that`s less acidic than regular tap water. This means it is rich in alkalizing compounds, including calcium, silica, potassium, magnesium, and bicarbonate.
  • Research on its effects is scant. we don`t have solid data supporting alkaline water's use.
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