Drinking Distilled Water

If someone drinks only distilled water, what other supplements should be taken for minerals, electrolyte balance, etc?

Regular water.

The Master Speaks:
Can water be too pure? Is too much water bad for you?

So do a bunch of Dopers:
water = poison

Chances are that the minerals in your tap water are not a significant source of nutrition for your body. Unless your tap water is seriously minerally, it wouldn’t be supplying a sufficient amount of anything anyway; you need to get things like iron and calcium in quantities only available in food (or pills). Unless your tap water is so hard that it’s funny colors, it’s not playing any real role in providing those things.

Rumors that distilled water somehow “leaches” things out of your body don’t make much sense, because any tap water is still going to be less concentrated than the contents of your body. Its true that this would, in a test tube, tend to cause diffusion to pull things into the purer water, but it doesn’t operate this way in your body since you are designed to drink plenty of water. Tap water just isn’t all that different from distilled water in mineral content - they don’t behave differently in your body, unless the tap water is contaminated with something toxic or has minerals that give it an unpleasant taste - in which case, distilled water would probably be a better choice.

So no worries, except maybe price. Drink all the distilled water you like.

My son only drinks bottled water. His dentist pointed out that there are bottled waters with fluoride added. Here is the ADA’s take on the issue:


When I was in the service, attending a medical tech school, we were shown how to give hypodermic injections. We practiced on each other, injecting small amounts of a sterile saline solution, after being repeatedly told NOT to use sterile distilled water. Why? The difference in osmotic pressure would cause cell extravasation around the injection site. I don’t know if this would be comparable to drinking distilled water, or enough of it, to cause cell rupture when osmosis occurred. If so, sounds like a small amount of DW wouldn’t do you any harm, but a large amount might. OR, would it mix with enough salts, thereby equalizing the osmotic pressure, before it got absorbed into the bloodstream. ORRRRRRRRRRRR,
this is all a load of crap, and another of my senior moments has descended upon me.

Quiltguy drinking distilled water can’t have that effect. Injecting distilled water is damaging because the cells are directly exposed to the water, they will suffer osmotic stress. When you drink water it goes into the gut. The stomacj cells aren’t directly exposed, they are protected by mucous and the water very rapidly ceases to be water and becomes a solution of hydrochloric acid, enzymes, a varity of oither enzymes, mucous and so forth. When it leaves the stomach evenmore chemicals and ions are added, and of course the epidermal cells have shunts that prevent them being osmotically damaged anyay by pumpoing the water striaght into the bloodstream where it is ‘diluted’.

You’re comparing apples and oranges. Water never has the oportunity to damage any exposed cells. In the same way you would cause massive osmotic damage by injecting a concentrated sugar solution into a person, but you can drink syrup all you like and the only consequences will be tooth decay and weight gain. The gut is designed to deal with wildly varying osmotic conditions. It has to be, it’s subjected to them constantly.

I bet if you used sterile tap water, the same would happen. It’s not the distilled part that’s the worry, it’s the saline part.