This article originally appeared on Live in the Now.
Drinking plenty of water is one of the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle, but there is a slew of dangerous chemicals found in our drinking water supply. (See The Dirty Truth About Tap Water.) So it’s important to seek out healthier alternatives to unfiltered tap water.
What is the best water to drink? Let’s examine some of the options:
Better than tap water, but not environmentally sustainable
In light of concerns about tap water safety, many people turn to bottled water. And in some cases, bottled water may be a better choice than tap water. But relying on bottled water is far from ideal for several reasons:
1. Many brands of bottled water, such as Aquafina and Dasani, are simply filtered tap water. These bottles are often cleverly labeled with words and images designed to evoke a false sense of quality and purity.
2. Plastic bottles can leech BPA and other plastic chemicals into the water. There are a few brands of spring water available in glass, such as Mountain Valley Spring Water, but you won’t often find these brands at your gym or local gas station. In addition, like tap water, bottled water is often tainted with fluoride, chlorine and other chemicals.
3. The bottled water industry is not environmentally sustainable. The production and shipping of bottled water (and even the recycling of bottles) uses up unnecessary resources and contributes to pollution. If you’re interested in learning more about the environmental impact of the bottled water industry, I recommend watching the movie, “Tapped.”
Better than bottled water, but not practical
Fresh spring water obtained directly from an uncontaminated source and stored in glass may in fact be the best water to drink. Spring water is naturally filtered, rich in natural minerals and is known to have incredible healing properties.
If you’re interested in exploring the possibility of collecting your own spring water, there is a website called FindASpring.com that can help you locate a spring near you.
Unfortunately though, for most people, collecting spring water on a regular basis (or using bottled water exclusively) is not a practical solution. Most of us live in areas where we are pretty much forced to rely on the municipal water distribution system for our drinking, cooking, cleaning and bathing needs.
The best all-around option for most homes
Investing in a high-quality home water filter is probably the most practical and affordable long-term solution to the problem of tap water contamination. It’s important to do your research before purchasing a water filter, because the vast majority of the water filters on the market will not effectively remove most chemicals.
Through my research, I believe that reverse osmosis water filters specifically designed to effectively remove fluoride and other contaminants are the absolute best option. A good reverse osmosis filter will remove chemicals like fluoride, chlorine and even radioactive water contaminants. And you can install these filters in your home by yourself without too much effort.
There are many companies that sell these types of filters. My favorite are from a company called Pure Water Freedom. These filters, which are available in a variety of forms and price levels, combine an activated alumina fluoride cartridge with a reverse osmosis system. Combining these two technologies creates what I have found to be the most effective and affordable water filtration system available.
Note: A water distillation unit will also remove chemicals from your water; however, many experts caution against drinking distilled water long term, as it tends to be overly acidic and can deplete minerals in the body.