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What is the best water to drink?

by Clint Grove

last updated 1 January 2021

Get ready to learn how to make the best cup of tea or coffee! Also how to make better tasting beer, and make winning cocktails at your next dinner party. Also how the water you might be drinking is bad for your health and which water is best to drink post-workout. We will also look at how you can improve your health by drinking the right water. 

You might be thinking, what’s the big deal, it’s just h2o, right? You know, one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms but it is more than that. 

Minerals in water are what adds to its health benefits. Magnesium, sodium, calcium and potassium and a host of other minerals give your body what it needs to live. Do you know that without potassium you would die? Potassium is one of the seven essential macrominerals. The human body requires at least 100 milligrams of potassium daily to support key processes.

Potassium is an electrolyte and a mineral. It works alongside sodium and magnesium to maintain proper water and electrolyte balance in the body. 

When you don’t get enough potassium, or you get dehydrated and lose some of the potassium from your cells, it disrupts this balance and can lead to muscle cramps. 

Potassium also helps control blood flow to your muscles. So if you don’t have enough, it can decrease blood flow, which also decreases your muscles’ access to oxygen. The lack of oxygen can lead to muscle aches and stiffness.

Listen to the audio podcast about this article below:

Hydrogen and Alkaline hype:

You might have seen these new hydrogen water bottles you can buy online or in the shops.

Some of these companies that sell hydrogen water claim that adding more hydrogen to water increases energy, improves recovery after a workout and reduces inflammation.

The science behind this theory is not strong, so don’t get sidetracked by this. Let’s rather focus on what we do know for sure.

Alkaline water has become a popular drinking water choice over the past few years. Some people say that drinking slightly alkaline water — with a pH between 8 and 9 — can improve your health. They say it may make you age more slowly, maintain a healthy pH in your body, and block chronic disease like cancer.

Despite the many health claims made by alkaline water drinkers and sellers, there’s little to any scientific evidence that alkaline water is healthier than other kinds of drinking water.

But there are a few studies suggesting alkaline water may benefit the health of people with certain medical conditions, such as:

  • acid reflux (2012 study)
  • high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol (2001 study)
  • High alkaline, electrolyzed water may also be helpful after dehydration caused by exercise.

More research is needed to fully support the findings of these small studies.

Before we get there let’s recap what types of water there are…

Distilled Water:

 I think of car batteries when I hear distilled water. This water has had many of its impurities removed through distillation. Distillation involves boiling the water and then condensing the steam into a clean container. Drinking distilled water for an extended period of time is absolutely not good for your health. More than likely you are not drinking distilled water, I don’t know anyone who is, do you?

Purified or Filtered Water:

This is usually tap water from your local water supplier that you put through a Brita filter or something similar.

Spring Water:

Usually bottled at source and a lifeshot tip for you now, without a doubt, spring water is the best water to drink! It provides vital nutrients as it moves through the body.

Mineral Water:

Comes from natural springs but has extra minerals added to it and has to have a mineral content, also known as TDS (total dissolved solids), of at least 250ppm.

Now, for the exciting stuff!

How to make great coffee or tea:

When my wife has friends over to the house and she offers them a cup of tea. If they are brave enough, they ask if I am around because I am well known for making the best tea in the house. And it’s not because my wife’s tea is terrible it’s because I know the secret to making good tea. I am going to share it with you today. The secret is water. You’ve heard it said a worker is only as good as his tools and your tea is only as good as the ingredients that go into it.

Of course, the process has something to do with it but the ingredients are key. For normal tea which most people drink, use a good quality black tea and then use fresh mountain water from a stream! Ok jokes aside, bottled spring water is best or filtered tap water using

Quality spring water is the optimal bottled water for tea, but some types are better than others. The best spring water for tea should be neutral in pH (about 7) and in flavour. It should have a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) content of 30 parts per million (PPM) or less. And for goodness sakes please let your tea bag brew for at least 3 minutes, pro tip for you…(this releases more tannins… good for you).

How to make great ice and cocktails:

How many of you just refill the ice tray with water from the tap? Many of you might roll your eyes at this but what you want to do is fill those trays with good quality water, even go as far as filling it with natural spring or mineral water (side note: sometimes I get confused myself, is it mineral or spring? Remember some companies call their water natural mineral water, which probably means its just spring water)

In 2005, Richie Boccato was working with Sasha Petraske at Milk & Honey, probably one of the first bars in modern cocktail culture to take the ice they used seriously. At Milk & Honey, attention was given to different styles of ice, dilution rates and wash lines, as well as using the correct ice for specific drinks. (It’s being named the Best Bar in the World on numerous occasions and it’s no wonder)

If there is one thing we can learn about ice from Richie it’s that the clearer the ice, the better — as it indicates purity. Cloudy ice forms because of impurities in the water and because oxygen bubbles get trapped. Oxygen in your ice will make it melt quicker and impurities can impart flavour into your drink

Summary: If you want to be known for great cocktails or even serving the best whisky on ice please take more interest in the water you use for the ice.

How to make great tasting beer:

At the heart of every cold beer is the world’s greatest resource, water. It not only affects the flavour but also impacts the number of chemicals necessary in order to achieve the 5.2 pH in the mash, and throughout the entire brewing process. Understanding the quality of a brews’ starting water is critical to determining the brewing process which will be followed

Using the right water in beer is an essential step in making it taste better.

Many beer brewers use reverse osmosis to purify their water, essentially removing ions, molecules, and larger particles from water. Once purified, they may add desired elements to the water before moving onto their recipe.

So for all you home craft beer makers, take note and do some extra research on ways you can get the best water for your next brew.

Let’s get down to it, what water should you drink:

Is Tap Water Bad?

No, in fact, most water companies do a great job at providing us with safe drinking water and most of the toxins that are present in the water can easily be filtered out using a home filter jug or under sink filter unit. You won’t get rid of every bad thing in the water, but when you think about it every interaction you have with the world can introduce toxins into your body, just breathing in a city will introduce toxins

Tap water is usually close to alkaline (PH of 7.5) because if it was not it would erode the copper pipes that it travels in.

What you should drink

The bottom line is that the best water is natural spring water with nothing added, it should be bottled at source.

But actually my recommendation is to rather use tap water and purify it with a filter cartridge or unit that has coconut-based activated carbon with ion exchange resin.

The reason I recommend using tap water is mostly because it is better for the environment and secondly it’s cheaper. Bottled water at the shops will set you back, whereas buying filters for a jug is much cheaper and the health benefits of natural spring water over filtered tap water are not worlds apart.

For daily hydration I drink filtered tap water or sometimes I buy Highland Spring, Buxton or Evian, but after a workout and if I have any left, I choose a mineral water like Vichy Catalan, which has almost the same electrolyte level as any sports drink but with NO calories.

For proper scottish water check out Deeside

Some more useful links about water:

Medical News Today

Anglian Water


BBC – We Can’t Make Water

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