Why do we need drinking water?

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I was taught that we need 8 cups of water every day to keep healthy, but why can't we have other drinks instead of distilled water? Many drinks today contain a lot of water, what is the logic when there is something else it is not considered
to be as good as simple water?
 

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  • #2
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I was taught that we need 8 cups of water every day to keep healthy, but why can't we have other drinks instead of distilled water? Many drinks today contain a lot of water, what is the logic when there is something else it is not considered
to be as good as simple water?
Do not drink distilled water! Never!

You could substitute water with soft drinks or beer, but you won't be happy with the nasty side effects! Isotonic drinks are best, which mineral water is to a certain degree or alcohol-free beer.
 
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  • #3
BillTre
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Do not drink distilled water! Never!

I've drunk distilled water.
I'm still alive.
 
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I've drunk distilled water.
I'm still alive.
I have learnt that it washes out the minerals in our cells per osmosis.
 
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BillTre
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I suppose it could, but it doesn't mean its bad in reasonable amounts, as with most things.
Drinking too much salt water, for example, will kill you.
 
  • #6
jack action
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Many drinks today contain a lot of water, what is the logic when there is something else it is not considered
to be as good as simple water?
Usually, it is because of the sugar content that gives you too much calorie intake when considering your entire diet. Also, apparently, people that drink more plain water also eat less overall:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/big-benefits-plain-water-201605269675 said:
The researchers found that the participants who drank the most plain water in their daily diet consumed fewer total calories, drank fewer sweetened beverages, and took in less total fat, saturated fat, sugar, salt, and cholesterol. In fact, they discovered that increasing plain water consumption by one to three cups a day could decrease calorie intake by 68 to 205 calories a day.

About distilled water:

https://www.healthline.com/health/can-you-drink-distilled-water#side-effects said:
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.

Side effects of distilled water: Pros and cons​

Aside from its flat taste, distilled water doesn’t provide you with minerals like calcium and magnesium that you get from tap water.
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.

Pros​

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.

Cons​

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.
 
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  • #7
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This means it can absorb trace amounts of plastic or whatever substance is in the container that’s holding it.

Of course that would be true with any water, or liquid, stored in any container.
There would be some leaching of chemicals regardless, although distilled water would be somewhat more aggressive.

Famous example,
Wine stored in lead glass decanters is a no - no., as the lead would leach into the wine.
Lead pipes for drinking water, contrary to it ( the water ) having minerals, does leach lead into the water.
 
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BillTre
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Lead pipes require a particular pH (low I think), for the lead to leach into the water.

The problem with Flint, MI's plumbing was that they changed the source of their water to one with a different pH, and did not do the proper treatment of the water to correct the pH, to prevent the lead (and internal pipe coatings) from coming off.
 
  • #9
DaveE
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I have learnt that it washes out the minerals in our cells per osmosis.
Yes, if you choose to drink way too much too quickly. Otherwise, you'll just have to pee a lot. OTOH, your cells may appreciate the dilution of overly concentrated minerals that result from normal water loss.

Honestly, I can't tell if you're joking. Mammals Cellular based life figured this problem out long ago.

Drink when you're thirsty; things which are mostly water.
 
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  • #10
atyy
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Yes, if you choose to drink way too much too quickly. Otherwise, you'll just have to pee a lot. OTOH, your cells may appreciate the dilution of overly concentrated minerals that result from normal water loss.

Honestly, I can't tell if you're joking. Mammals Cellular based life figured this problem out long ago.

Drink when you're thirsty; things which are mostly water.
But what if @fresh_42 is an amoeba, that would explain a lot?

Edit: should have said marine amoeba, freshwater amoebas would probably be ok?
 
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But what if @fresh_42 is an amoeba, that would explain a lot?
No, but it seems y'all are car batteries.
 
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  • #12
PeroK
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I was taught that we need 8 cups of water every day to keep healthy, but why can't we have other drinks instead of distilled water? Many drinks today contain a lot of water, what is the logic when there is something else it is not considered
to be as good as simple water?
I didn't think it mattered too much whether you drink straight water or water-based drinks. But, of course, other drinks have sugars, caffeine or other things that you need to account for in your daily diet.
 
  • #13
Astronuc
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I was taught that we need 8 cups of water every day to keep healthy, but why can't we have other drinks instead of distilled water? Many drinks today contain a lot of water, what is the logic when there is something else it is not considered
to be as good as simple water?
The title mentions drinking water, but then one queries about 'distilled' water. 'Drinking water' implies 'clean' or 'potable' water, i.e., water that is 'safe' to drink, as opposed to water that is 'contaminate' with bacteria, harmful organic compounds, minerals or metals (especially heavy metals).

Distilled water is considered safe, but one must not overdo it, since drinking pure water will flush out important elements from the body. However, foods normally make up the minerals and salts we need.

I have learnt that it washes out the minerals in our cells per osmosis.
Yes, drinking pure water does flush out minerals from the body. But it would take gallons of water to be harmful. See - water intoxication
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318619#water-intoxication
Also known as water poisoning, water intoxication is a disruptionTrusted Source of brain function caused by drinking too much water.

Doing so increases the amount of water in the blood. This can dilute the electrolytes, especially sodium, in the blood.

If sodium levels fall below 135 millimoles per liter (mmol/l), doctors refer to the issue as hyponatremia.

Sodium helps maintain the balance of fluids inside and outside of cells. When sodium levels drop due to excessive water consumption, fluids travel from the outside to the inside of cells, causing them to swell.

When this happens to brain cells, it can be dangerous and even life threatening.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317698#risks
https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/nutrientschap12.pdf


At home, we drink distilled well water, since my wife doesn't trust the well water. I occasionally drink water from the tap. In the past, I've used filtered tap water. Before we started using a distiller, we used bottled tap water that had some mineral content.

My son actually experienced hyponatremia (he feinted one evening while standing next to me, and I barely had time to catch him enough to lessen the impact on the floor and kitchen cabinets), and we were advised by his pediatrician to ensure he had sufficient salt intake.
 
  • #14
russ_watters
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I was taught that we need 8 cups of water every day to keep healthy, but why can't we have other drinks instead of distilled water? Many drinks today contain a lot of water, what is the logic when there is something else it is not considered
to be as good as simple water?
Nobody gave the direct answer: This is a myth, though its origin is unclear, perhaps misread FDA guidance from 70 years ago. The FDA didn't say that only water would do, it said that's how much H2O you need (which varies, by the way). Period.

Obviously most people don't drink 8 cups a day and nobody dies because of it. Most of the water we take in comes from the food and other beverages we drink. As @jack action mentions there may be positive health implications from prioritizing water over other drinks. So there isn't much harm in this myth.

https://www.uab.edu/news/youcanuse/item/11421-busting-the-8-cups-of-water-myth
https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/womens-health/myth-busting-no-more-8-glasses-a-day
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/water-works-2/
 
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  • #15
russ_watters
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Do not drink distilled water! Never!

I have learnt that it washes out the minerals in our cells per osmosis.

That's a myth too, and if you think about it it should be obvious. Almost nothing that we eat or drink has exactly what we need, but it doesn't "wash out" minerals other than by mere dilution/excretion. If you drink any sort of fresh water and then sweat, you lose salt (via osmosis). That needs to be replenished, and the usual method is by eating salty food. There's nothing unique or particularly worse about distilled water. It's fair to say it isn't as healthy as fresh or mineral enriched water, but that's about it.

And note, while the "8 glasses of water a day" myth is largely harmless, this one has some potential harm in denying people clean water they need to survive. That's because when you manufacture water it often comes out distilled. The researchgate article, for example, points out that that's what you get from a solar still. So if people decide to drink their dirty pond water (or NGOs don't support these installations because of the myth), that harms the people who need clean water.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317698#is-it-safe
https://wcponline.com/2003/10/14/distill-ing-truth-online-propaganda/
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319406161_Dispelling_myths_about_drinking_distilled_water
 
  • #16
BillTre
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There are also several different ways to make varying qualities of "clean" water.
I have used many different ones in labs I have worked in.
In labs, now-a-days, distilled water is not considered high quality water. Measurable amounts of non-water molecules can pass through a good distilling apparatus (non-water molecules in the gas phase).
The measurements in labs are usually in electrical resistance of the water. That would not (directly) detect neutral molecules.
Modern lab clean water making machines run the starting water (tap, DI, RO, or distilled water through a series of filtration/reverse osmosis steps to remove charged molecules and organics among other things. This lets them improve upon distillation.
Other than distilled water, you can get DI (De-Ionized) water (either from a lab machine or from special taps in some labs), RO (reverse osmosis) water. Distilled water can also be provided from a central source, however, supplying in the water through long runs of plumbing (or storing it there over long periods when not in use) will probably lead to accumulating contamination from the plumbing (unless super-inert), which is a degradation of the water quality.

For a while I was running an RO machine in my garage to supply really good water for a special fish project. I started with soft tap water with about 34 microSiemans of conductance. After running it through the RO machine (which also had a particle filter (to protect the RO membranes), a carbon filter (charcoal), and a ion binding resin) the water coming out was 3-4 microSiemans.
Its not lab quality, but its real good quality fish water which can be salted up whatever you want.
This is basically how the water in well run research fish labs is done. Large amounts of water is needed, but not like super-high quality lab water.
You could safely drink all of these, if they are not contaminated.

I have learnt that it washes out the minerals in our cells per osmosis.
If the cells were exposed directly to distilled water (or other equally weak solutions), than they would have problems in many ways.

However, bodies of metazoan organisms (multicellular animals, like humans) are like space ships for the cells they are made of. As a space ship has to maintain a proper environment to maintain its human cargo, so must the body provide conditions to keep its cells alive.
Cells in a body are bathed in a body controlled chemical environment which suits them. One of the body's main functions is to maintain those parameters, because not doing that would endanger their cells, and therefore their ability to reproduce.
In most cases, the effect of any distilled water coming in through the digestive system will be modulated by bodily control processes.
 
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  • #17
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The title mentions drinking water, but then one queries about 'distilled' water. 'Drinking water' implies 'clean' or 'potable' water, i.e., water that is 'safe' to drink, as opposed to water that is 'contaminate' with bacteria, harmful organic compounds, minerals or metals (especially heavy metals).

Distilled water is considered safe, but one must not overdo it, since drinking pure water will flush out important elements from the body. However, foods normally make up the minerals and salts we need.


Yes, drinking pure water does flush out minerals from the body. But it would take gallons of water to be harmful. See - water intoxication
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318619#water-intoxication


https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317698#risks
https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/nutrientschap12.pdf


At home, we drink distilled well water, since my wife doesn't trust the well water. I occasionally drink water from the tap. In the past, I've used filtered tap water. Before we started using a distiller, we used bottled tap water that had some mineral content.

My son actually experienced hyponatremia (he feinted one evening while standing next to me, and I barely had time to catch him enough to lessen the impact on the floor and kitchen cabinets), and we were advised by his pediatrician to ensure he had sufficient salt intake.
I strongly advise you to boil the water first rather than drinking directly from the tap (even filtered). If you want cool water, boil a lot of it beforehand and let it cool
 
  • #18
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I strongly advise you to boil the water first rather than drinking directly from the tap (even filtered)
Depends on where you live. Here it is the best-watched nutrition of all and usually even better than mineral water. No problem to drink it directly. And in Switzerland, it even tastes good.
 
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  • #19
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There are also several different ways to make varying qualities of "clean" water.
I have used many different ones in labs I have worked in.
In labs, now-a-days, distilled water is not considered high quality water. Measurable amounts of non-water molecules can pass through a good distilling apparatus (non-water molecules in the gas phase).
The measurements in labs are usually in electrical resistance of the water. That would not (directly) detect neutral molecules.
Modern lab clean water making machines run the starting water (tap, DI, RO, or distilled water through a series of filtration/reverse osmosis steps to remove charged molecules and organics among other things. This lets them improve upon distillation.
Other than distilled water, you can get DI (De-Ionized) water (either from a lab machine or from special taps in some labs), RO (reverse osmosis) water. Distilled water can also be provided from a central source, however, supplying in the water through long runs of plumbing (or storing it there over long periods when not in use) will probably lead to accumulating contamination from the plumbing (unless super-inert), which is a degradation of the water quality.

For a while I was running an RO machine in my garage to supply really good water for a special fish project. I started with soft tap water with about 34 microSiemans of conductance. After running it through the RO machine (which also had a particle filter (to protect the RO membranes), a carbon filter (charcoal), and a ion binding resin) the water coming out was 3-4 microSiemans.
Its not lab quality, but its real good quality fish water which can be salted up whatever you want.
This is basically how the water in well run research fish labs is done. Large amounts of water is needed, but not like super-high quality lab water.
You could safely drink all of these, if they are not contaminated.


If the cells were exposed directly to distilled water (or other equally weak solutions), than they would have problems in many ways.

However, bodies of metazoan organisms (multicellular animals, like humans) are like space ships for the cells they are made of. As a space ship has to maintain a proper environment to maintain its human cargo, so must the body provide conditions to keep its cells alive.
Cells in a body are bathed in a body controlled chemical environment which suits them. One of the body's main functions is to maintain those parameters, because not doing that would endanger their cells, and therefore their ability to reproduce.
In most cases, the effect of any distilled water coming in through the digestive system will be modulated by bodily control processes.
Hi, before reading your comment carefully soon, can I drink a lot of water-based drink instead of pure, distilled, or tap water
 
  • #20
BillTre
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I strongly advise you to boil the water first rather than drinking directly from the tap (even filtered). If you want cool water, boil a lot of it beforehand and let it cool

Boiling water will often change water chemically.
If nothing else it will change the amounts of different atmospheric gasses dissolved in the water.
Boiling off CO2 will change the pH. It can redissolve fairly quickly, especially if aerated.
This can change flavor.
 
  • #21
Astronuc
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I strongly advise you to boil the water first rather than drinking directly from the tap (even filtered). If you want cool water, boil a lot of it beforehand and let it cool
That is what the distiller does. I've not had a problem with drinking filtered or unfiltered tapwater.

However, our house sits a top a iron and manganese deposit. We've had the water tested, and it passed, but one of early tests indicated Ni and Cd in the water. I don't know the source, but since Ni, Cd were present, my wife insisted on bottled or distilled water. I'm not concerned about bacteria, which are not detected.

We recently replaced the water heater after we determined that the iron in our water was coming from the water heater, which was close to failure.
 
  • #22
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I'm not concerned about bacteria
Because the cadmium will get them?
 
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  • #23
Astronuc
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Because the cadmium will get them?
I believe the Cd and Ni readings were spurious (or perhaps transient); I know we have a certain amount of Fe and Mn, which are removed by a green sand filter. Others tests gave less than detectable. No bacteria were found, although we can get certain bacteria, so we have 'shocked' the well with chlorine bleach. My wife preferred to use bottled water until we got a distiller.

I've been meaning to have another test/analysis done.
 
  • #24
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I've drunk distilled water.
I'm still alive.

Lol. . . but, it might make your toe nails long and brittle and break easily, too.

Just like Tom's . . . . :eek:

.
 
  • #25
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I have learnt that it washes out the minerals in our cells per osmosis.

Kidneys were developed to handle this, as they retain what's useful and keeps the right concentration too.
Isotonic drinks are the only ones which are supposed to not wash out anything (still not absolutely true, but close enough): yet together with usual food intake, isotonic drinks may mean unnecessary stress for the kidneys.
As always, extremities can be nasty.

I was taught that we need 8 cups of water every day to keep healthy
It's just like the good old 'an apple a day will keep the doctor away'. Has some merit, but tells nothing about the reasons, thus forever remains incomplete.
A different (maybe more useful) rule of thumb: drink enough clean water just to keep your pee light yellow, and that'll do.
You need water both to maintain balance and to be used as a flush (for the kidneys). If the latter is working fine without unnecessary stress, then the former requirement is already satisfied.
 

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