Are there any side effects to drinking distilled water?

Written by William Fryer - MA Oxon

This is an area of hot debate on the Internet. The short answer is that there are no side effects to drinking distilled water. However, there are a lot of myths.

The thing most people are concerned about is the lack of minerals present in distilled water. Some say that the lack of minerals in water means you will end up with a lack of minerals in your bloodstream. This is complete nonsense. In a previous article here.

I calculated the amounts of mineral water you would need to consume in order to meet your daily requirements of common minerals. The quantities are vast. No one could physically drink three tonnes of water in one day to meet their potassium requirements.

The amount of mineral water needed to meet anyone’s biological needs for minerals is impossible to consume. The long and short of it is that we get minerals from food. If you eat a healthy, balanced diet you will get everything you need.

I work in a major teaching hospital. All day long I am looking at blood test results. With a few notable exceptions, the only people I ever see with deranged blood electrolytes are chronic alcoholics who have been drinking large amounts of alcohol and very little actual food. Essentially, they have been starving themselves. All these people, when they stop drinking and start eating, their electrolytes improve very rapidly.

There is this idea that drinking distilled water is somehow different or special and that it is going to have some crazy effect. Distilled water is just pure water. Rainwater is distilled water, the only concern people have about drinking rainwater is the pollution (and rightly so).

If you want to drink distilled water, do it. There are no adverse side effects. The only genuine side effect is you will not be ingesting all the contaminants in tap water and you will be taking back control over how you hydrate.


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