During a bike ride in the August summer heat, a friend of mine mentioned that distilled water doesn’t have the electrolytes needed in the water. It was a quick remark made at one of the water stops we did on a long bike ride.
At the time I didn’t think much about it, but I wanted to revisit it. Hydration that is. Or most specifically just water.
What I didn’t realize is that there is so much to know about water. It seemed like a simple topic until I started to research it. I got a bit overwhelmed and probably have too much information in here for what started out as a simple topic with an “easy” question.
Water is a thing! Just a glance down the water aisle at most any grocery store.
First off, there are so many KINDS of water:
- tap water
- well water
- softened water
- city water
- purified water
- distilled water
- bottled water (and all the associated issues with plastic containers!) Or water in cans.
- spring water
- sparkling water
- water with added electrolytes
- artificially sweetened water with flavors
- filtered water (Bria)
- and sooooo many brands of water Hydrating with WaterLa Croix, Dasani, Aquafina, Poland Spring, Evian, Fiji, Nestle Waters, Perrier, Ozarka, Glaceau Smartwater, Voss, PureLife, Mountain Valley, and Deer Park- just to name a few.
I guess what I’m really interested in is drinking water and specifically, what vitamins and minerals are in it and how much of these your body gets from water and how much it needs for the day.
Is well water better than bottled water? Is “city” water with its chemical taste, have the missing vitamins? Do communities still have fluoride added to water to help children’s teeth develop? (I remember hearing that as a kid to drink the water at school because its city water, not country water and has fluoride so we’d get fewer cavities.)
Hydrating with Water
During the research process, I found a good homemade recipe for water with electrolytes that I’m planning to make to carry with me during the longer exercise and on hot days. Here’s a variation of this water recipe:
You can buy powdered magnesium and calcium (affiliate link) for stirring in on Amazon if you think your water doesn’t have the minerals in it you need.
Regular water to me means tap water from our house. I have well water at my home from our 90-foot deep well. I know it has lots of minerals in it – (lime, but not the fruit kind!) – because I can see it on my shower door if I don’t clean it right away after a shower. We don’t have a water softener. Does it have the magnesium and calcium I need for electrolytes… I don’t know honestly. Maybe.
On the bottle of PurAqua from Aldi the water is purified water with calcium chloride and sodium biocarbonate added back in. It doesn’t say anything about magnesium or potassium.
Purified water takes out the “impurities”, but that can also mean that they took out some other things, even important things – like salt, calcium, magnesium and potassium – those electrolytes that help your brain work.
Distilled water is recommended for household use because it comes from water being boiled to remove any contaminates. The steam is captured, cooled, and turned back into water. Household uses for distilled water: steam irons, because it keeps the minerals out of the iron. That doesn’t necessarily mean drinking water.
Here’s a few other links to some of the websites I looked at for this post:
- The EPA.gov water section is extensive, no surprise.
- Nutrients in drinking water – world health organization
- Niagarawater.com for the PurAqua from Aldi
- List of brands of water on wikipedia