You know you need to hydrate to the tune of eight glasses a day, but is tap water okay? Should you buy purified water? And what the heck is alkaline water? It’s all just water, right?

Well, yes, it’s all water. And no, it’s not all just water.

Tap water contains chlorine and fluoride, and potentially dioxins (toxic byproducts from chemical processing), hormones, and parasites. So it’s definitely better to go with something other than unfiltered tap water.

Purified water is basically boiled, evaporated, and then condensed back into liquid, through a process called reverse osmosis. This process clears water of harmful chemicals, making purified water an excellent tool for a short detox. Purified water is able to bond to toxins in our bodies and dissolve and flush them away. But purified water should only be used for a few weeks at most, since reverse osmosis also clears water of minerals. Our modern diets are already depleted of trace minerals, and we need our water to help replenish them. Drinking purified water long term has been linked to low mineral levels—and not getting enough minerals contributes to all sorts of health issues, including osteoporosis, arthritis, artery disease and high blood pressure.

So Which Water Should You Drink?

Let’s talk about alkaline water (pH of 8-9). Natural practitioners consider alkaline water an important tool to keep your body in a disease-resistant state, and certain alternative cancer clinics incorporate alkaline water into treatment plans. This logic is based on a 1989 study that showed malignant tumors have a more acidic pH than the body’s normal pH of 7.4.

In 2001, another study showed that participants who drank alkaline water for 3-6 months were able to lower their cholesterol, glucose levels and blood pressure. A more recent study, in 2012, demonstrated that alkaline water (with a pH of 8.8) is an effective treatment of acid reflux.

What Is Alkaline Water?

Spring water is naturally alkaline, because it’s passed through layers of rock and soil that contain alkalinizing minerals, such as silica, potassium, calcium and bicarbonate. But you can also attach an ionizer to your faucet or beneath your sink, to lower the pH of your tap water.

Lemon is a natural alkanizer, so stirring a few drops of lemon juice into your glass should effectively do the trick, Just be sure to drink your alkaline water immediately, since the ionization is only effective for an hour. If you’re letting the water sit all day, you’re basically still drinking plain old filtered (we hope!) tap water.

What Are the Best Water Filters?

Charcoal filters, such as the common countertop Brita, are fairly effective at removing many harmful contaminants, and they’re affordable, but they will always leave some contaminants behind (including arsenic). And they only work if you change the filter frequently.

Gravity water filters (Berkey & AquaRain) are slow to filter but highly effective at removing metals, bacteria, and chemicals.

Reverse osmosis filters, which are installed under your sink, effectively clean your water but as we already mentioned, also deplete your minerals. If you go with this option, you’ll need to add minerals back into your water with a supplement such as Trace Mineral Drops.

What Are Some Other Hydration Options?

IV Therapy is a perfect way to replenish vitamins and minerals while hydrating your body. Dr. Adams can help you discover your body’s deficiencies through nutrition testing, and then customize a nutrition/hydration formula that perfectly meets your needs.

IV cocktails can help relieve migraines, fight inflammation, boost your immune system, and improve the health of your skin, hair, and eyes. There’s even an IV cocktail that fights muscular degeneration (the leading cause of age-related blindness).

Final Word

An ionizer is your best bet for getting the right kind of clean water into you’re system. But filtered tap water, alkalized with organic lemon juice, is also a great bet. Just be sure you’re occasionally popping by for a “deep hydration” IV therapy treatment, and you’re good to go!