Drinking distilled water
Yes, you can drink distilled water. However, you might not like the taste because it’s flatter and less flavorful than tap and bottled waters.
Companies produce distilled water by boiling water and then condensing the collected steam back into a liquid. This process removes impurities and minerals from the water.
Some sources claim that drinking distilled water will help detoxify your body and improve your health. Others claim distilled water leaches minerals from your body and could put your health at risk. In reality, neither of these claims is entirely true.
Since distilled water doesn’t contain its own minerals, it has a tendency to pull them from whatever it touches to maintain a balance. So when you drink distilled water, it may pull small amounts of minerals from your body, including from your teeth.
Because you already get most of the minerals you need from your diet, drinking distilled water shouldn’t make you deficient. Still, if you’re going to drink distilled water, it’s a good idea to make sure you get your recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
Depending on where you live, distilled water could be better for you than tap water. If your town’s water is tainted with harmful chemicals or pesticides, you’re safer drinking distilled.
Storing distilled water could be more of a problem. Distilled water can pull in minerals from any material it touches. This means it can absorb trace amounts of plastic or whatever substance is in the container that’s holding it.
Distilled water is a type of purified water that has had both contaminants and minerals removed. Purified water has had chemicals and contaminants removed, but it may still contain minerals.
Purified water is filtered through one of these processes:
- Reverse osmosis filters the water through a special material called a semipermeable membrane. This material allows fluid to go through, but it removes salt and impurities.
- Distillation boils the water, and then condenses the steam back into a liquid to remove impurities and minerals.
- Deionization removes salt and other mineral ions (molecules) from water.
Because distilled water has been stripped of its minerals, it’s often used in cars and household appliances. Here are a few common uses:
- steam irons
- aquariums (mineral supplements should be added to the fish food)
- watering plants
- car cooling systems
- laboratory experiments
- certain medical devices, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices for sleep apnea
Distilled water isn’t likely to dramatically improve your health, but it probably won’t hurt it either. If you don’t mind the taste and you get enough minerals from a well-balanced diet, it’s fine to drink distilled.
You can also use distilled water around the house. Pour it in your iron or your car’s cooling system to prevent mineral buildup. Or, use it to water your plants or fill your aquarium.
Last medically reviewed on June 28, 2019