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I am 72 years old.  I do not drink any water and have not most of my life.  I thought I would throw this into the mix concerning if we should drink distilled water or not.

I drink coffee, diet soda, beer and an occasional V-8.  Oops, I forgot the 1/2 glass of water I take every morning with my 325 mg aspirin tablet I have taken for the last 40 years.

My question: why am I not dead?  All of the above is true as strange as it might sound.


An excellent and important question, Rick. Since you have made a habit of drinking heavily contaminated water for the better part of 72 years, switching to distilled water would probably be a severe shock to your system - I would discourage the experiment.

Seriously though, if you were actually living on 1/2 glass of water a day you would indeed be dead.  The reason you are not dead goes to the heart of the distilled water debate.

The fact is, you have been drinking lots of water in the beverages you mentioned - coffee, soda, beer, V-8, etc. - these are all just heavily contaminated water---some with healthier contaminants than others.  Even a bowl of stew
(Rick, this one's for you) you might eat for dinner would contain a significant amount of water.

We are exposed to a lot of "pure-water" marketing hype.  We are told that to stay healthy we must spend a lot of money to drink absolutely pure water that contains no contaminants of any kind. Not surprisingly these warnings typically come from bottled water distributors that sell distilled or "ultra-pure" water and companies that sell water distillers. 

What is important is not that your water is pure (free of all contaminants) but that your water is safe, in other words, free of HARMFUL biological &/or chemical contaminants. 

Probably more than half of the water most people take into their body during the day is not "pure"; it is very heavily contaminated with a huge variety of minerals, salts, and organic substances.  These "contaminants" provide flavors and essential nutrients to our bodies.  Even a food that would be considered fairly "solid" like meat will contain over 50% water.
Product Name Percentage Water
Raw Cooked
Chicken fryer, whole 66% 60%
White meat chicken, with skin 69% 61%
Dark meat chicken, with skin 66% 59%
Ground beef, 85% lean 64% 60%
Ground beef, 73% lean 56% 55%
Beef, eye of round 73% 65%
Beef, whole brisket 71% 56%
From USDA Meat Preparation Fact Sheet

So, since much of what we drink and all of what we eat contains water that is not pure, the debate over whether to drink distilled (or reverse osmosis) water or drink water that contains a few milligrams of calcium and magnesium and perhaps a few micrograms of other minerals, seems a bit inconsequential. 

To reduce harmful contaminants that might be found in municipal water (from developed countries), a good solid block activated carbon filter, reverse osmosis, and distillation will all provide water that is virtually free from harmful contaminants. Bottled water, whether ultra-pure or regular, in most circumstances is not warranted for health or safety reasons and it is several hundred times more expensive than treating your own tap water and filling reusable bottles.

Additional information:
Bottled Water
Distilled Water: Process, Debate
Solid Block Activated Carbon Filters