Defining Mineral, Alkaline and Purified Water

She is pregnant and seems sensitive to spring water. Her stomach pain never occurred again since we started buying water from a refilling station.

It was our third refill. We chose the nearest refilling station on our way home. I was too tired that I never wanted to drive back. I wanted to immediately go home and take a nap.

I handed the water container to the staff. She asked me which water I wanted, mineral water or alkaline. I was speechless for few seconds. I was a bit confused. The other refilling station have never asked such thing. I just said mineral water, that is the popular thing I know.

They are selling three water types, 1) mineral water for 30 pesos/container, 2) alkaline water for 45 pesos/container, and  3) purified water for 35 pesos/container.

water container label

To clear confusion…

Mineral. Either natural or artificial, containing 250 ppm minerals. Water has the natural ability to dissolve minerals from rocks. Most water from Earth’s crust are mineral water. Artificial when loss minerals are added back with human intervention. Minerals are loss when passed through purification process.

Mineral water free of biological, physical and chemical contaminants is generally recommended for human consumption. Minerals are essential for healthy body.

Purified. Water is purified my means of one or several of the following treatments: distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis, carbon filtration, microfiltration, ultrafiltration, ultraviolet oxydation and electrodialysis.

The total dissolved solids should be less than 10ppm. Dirt, debris, viruses, bacteria, fungi, chemical contaminants as well as the minerals are loss. It is the water recommended for laboratory purposes where impurities might affect the outcome. Not suitable as drinking water cause it tend to wash away body electrolytes.

Alkaline or ionized. Water is subjected to electrolysis to change the neutral pH 7 to slightly alkaline, pH 8. Purified water cannot be subjected to ionization cause the process relies to magnesium and calcium ions.

Some debatable benefits of alkaline water:

1) Combat body pH imbalance. People tend to be more acidic due to too much consumption of acidic foods.
2) Makes the blood a better oxygen transporter.
3) Able to hydrate six times more than other water types thus preventing skin dryness and related skin disorders.
4) Aids in absorption of some vitamins
5) Improve food taste.

update as of june 30, 2012. Please read, “Ionized Water Might be a Hoax“.

Update as of May 2017

Alkaline water is produced through ionization. It is safe to say alkaline water is ionized water. The common process of production is through electrolysis. There are also weird filtration devices which claims to make alkalized water. Weird and I can’t understand yet how they work. If they really work, that is.

To briefly explain. Water consist of numerous water molecules. Counting is next to impossible. Each molecule has three atoms. One oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms. Under normal circumstances, water has neutral pH.

When water is electrolized, a molecule looses one hydrogen atom resulting to negatively charged hydroxide (OH-). The separated hydrogen then bonds with another water molecule to form hydronium, one oxygen holding three hydrogen atoms. It is the abundance of hydroxide that makes the water alkaline. The more hydroxide ions, the higher the pH.

The spread of news about its believed health benefits lead to birth of water stations selling alkaline water and businessman offering portable water ionizers.

Science tells negative ions are antioxidants while positives are free radicals. The first is beneficial while the last is harmful. So it is also natural for alkaline water to be marketed as antioxidant. There are many contradicting articles about it. I can’t determine who is telling the truth. Anyway, there is no harm in taking alkaline water, so drink to your heart’s content.

Ionization process only yields temporary results. The hydronium and hydroxide ions will eventually return to their original form within 18 to 24 hours. Alkaline water bought from water refilling station should be consumed within that period. It is still safe after that but the alkalinity you wanted is gone. Portable water ionizers, on the other hand, gives you freedom drink freshly prepared every time.

Did I forgot to mention water self-ionized? Maybe purified, mineral or alkaline doesn’t matter. Getting plenty of any everyday is more than enough.



  • I am confused between purified and alkaline water. Which is which for better health? Pls help.

    • definitely alkaline water! It helps maintain body pH balance or reduce too much acidity due to unhealthy lifestyle. Freshly prepared alkaline water is recommended every time so it is recommended to provide equipment for it.

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