The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines the reverse osmosis process as one where pressure pushes water through a membrane that allows water molecules through, thereby leaving contaminants behind. This lowers the amount of parts per million (PPM) of particles other than H2O in your water. The removal of such particles as lead and sodium leave you with a more clean, crisp taste.
The distillation process mimics the natural water purification process that takes place in nature. In a distiller, water is heated until it evaporates, which causes it to leave behind heavy metals, minerals, salts, bacteria, organic materials and other contaminants. The steam is then cooled in another compartment, causing it to form a purified liquid. This type of water is virtually completely free of anything other than H2O.
Mineral water is ground water that contains 250 or more PPM of total dissolved solids. These mineral substances may occur naturally, or they may be added. Because we are constantly being encouraged to consume enough vitamins and minerals, this type of water can sound like the ideal option at first. But scientists and nutritionists are still debating whether the body truly benefits from consuming minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron or whether particles in this form may actually be harmful. Your best option? Rather than relying on mineral water to get your nutrition supply, consult your doctor for more information on what minerals your body needs more of and the best ways for you to incorporate them into your diet.
The verdict is still out on whether alkaline water is a healthy option. It is currently a popular trend in some parts of Asia but has yet to be fully studied in North America. According to Life Ionizers, the Association of Alkaline Ionized Water Apparatus (AAIWA) of Japan defines the product as "slightly alkali electrolyzed water with a pH of 9 or 10." Proponents of alkaline water believe the raised pH can neutralize acid in the bloodstream, boost metabolism and help the body absorb nutrients more effectively, which could slow bone loss. Unfortunately, however, these claims don't yet have a great deal of evidence to support them, so if you do choose to consume alkaline water, proceed with caution.
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