Can you drink deionized water? Few things are simultaneously as simple yet complex as drinking water. On the one hand, we all need clean drinking water. On the other hand, achieving that degree of cleanliness is easier said than done, and there are different degrees to which it can be done at that.
It is within that context that we can best understand deionized water. Like so many other water-related innovations, this method of treating water was developed with the intention of removing impurities and making water safe to drink.
But what does water deionization really mean, can you drink the water, and what will it mean if you do?
What Is Deionized Water?
For those not in the know, deionized water is just what it sounds like, which is water that has had its ions removed. If you are wondering why anyone would want to do such a thing, it’s typically because removing the ions in a water supply typically involves removing things such as minerals as well, which in turn is supposed to produce a cleaner, purer water source. While we’ll delve into how true that is in a bit, for now, suffice it to say that it’s enough of an impetus for people out there to want to invest in such systems.
Can You Drink Deionized Water?
So, just what might it mean to start drinking deionized water?
For as relatively recent a phenomenon as this is, there have already been studies conducted on the subject, notably by the World Health Organization, who found some evidence to suggest that deionized water may indeed have an impact. However, it isn’t one that’s all that dramatic, or likely to be what you might imagine.
They found that drinking ionized water might make you need to urinate more frequently. Besides that? We’re back to the idea of mineral-free water. Does that really help? While it’s true that filtering out minerals can help get rid of unwanted minerals, it can also get rid of ones which are harmless, and it’s only minerals which are ultimately removed.
Heavy metals, bacteria, and other potential water impurities? They won’t be treated by deionizing your water supply.
Let’s turn back to the question of minerals for a second. We actually need some minerals such as sodium and magnesium for our bodies to function properly. Having them in our water supply on small quantities is by no means a problem. When it comes to most water supplies, an excess of minerals isn’t a huge concern, let alone a primary one necessitating its own specialized filtration system dedicated to removing them.
Even so, this can often be accomplished by using other methods, particularly water softeners. The top water softeners on the market today can help filter out everything from magnesium to iron. This is typically more than sufficient to keep the levels of these minerals and any others which might be mixed into your water supply at safe levels.
It is also worth noting that even if you remove minerals from your water supply, doing this alone will hardly leave you free of their influence on your body and diet. Everything from milk to meat contains minerals, so unless you plan on cutting out these and other common foodstuffs from your diet, you’ll still be consuming plenty of minerals. Again, a certain amount of minerals is good for us, so this is hardly a problem.
Nevertheless, if you are a real health and fitness junkie, you may want to invest in a system for deionizing your water so as to have a greater degree of control over how much of these minerals you consume and when you do so.
A Matter of Safety
So, with those factors sketched out, let’s circle back to the original question here – is deionized water safe to drink?
Since the main thing deionized water is doing is removing minerals, and since this, as stated, has debatable practical applications but is, at the very least, reasonably harmless, the short answer is yes.
Deionized water isn’t doing anything too drastic to your water besides remove the minerals, and that alone does not make it unsafe to drink. While you always want to be careful tinkering with the natural form of the things you consume, there isn’t any reason to assume that water which has only been deionized to a mild degree should pose any problem. Besides which, the water we consume today is already treated so as to make it cleaner and bacteria-free, so we already tinker around with the water supply’s “natural” state as it is.
A Matter of Taste
Of course, there are other elements which play a factor in informing what we choose to eat and drink in addition to the mere nutritional value of the items in question. Taste accounts for quite a bit as well. Preferring things which taste good is a classic evolutionary instinct, one which helps us naturally steer clear of things which are rotten, foul-tasting, or otherwise bad for us. Add to that the fact that choosing things based on taste is a huge part of our personalities and the freedom exemplified by personal choice, and it’s no small wonder why a simple bottle of Aquafina should be so in demand.
So, how does that carry over to deionized water?
It might actually be more of a disincentive to try it than any health concern. Some who try deionized water report that it tastes “off.” The precise nature of that “off” taste can be hard to pinpoint, of course, given how subjective taste can be. Nevertheless, the “off” taste of deionized water is sometimes enough to put people off it. After all, given how minor the health impact of deionized water can be, taste can be a larger motivating factor, and with that taste being “off,” many are left wondering why they should bother at all.
Still, if you do want to try deionized water for yourself, the evidence at hand suggests that taste aside, there isn’t too much of a reason not to do so.