Tap Water or Filtered Water – which is better? It’s a pretty common question these days as more and more people want to know about the quality of the water they’re drinking.
Depending on where you live in the world, tap water is largely considered safe for human consumption, but this is not the case everywhere.
Whether it’s safe to drink tap water or not in your country, many people opt to use water filters at home to clean their water.
But the truth is that there are both advantages and disadvantages to drinking both tap water and filtered water.
In this article, we’re going to bring you all of the basic things you need to know about hydration and the difference between tap water and filtered water.
We’re going to split this article up into the following sections:
• Tap Water – The Basics
• Filtered Water – The Basics
• The Problems With Both Tap Water and Filtered Water
• Expert Comment
• Anything Else to Consider?
• Wrapping Things Up – Our Final Thoughts
So, with the introductions out of the way, let’s start to take a deep dive into both tap water and filtered water.
Tap Water – The Basics
You probably already know that tap water may contain a range of contaminants.
Tap water is considered safe to drink in many areas worldwide, but that does not mean that it is completely free of chemicals and other contaminants.
For example, in the UK, small amounts of Chlorine are added to water as it leaves the treatment works to kill harmful bacteria and other microorganisms. Some UK water authorities also add things such as flouride to the water supply.
Other things that are sometimes found in tap water in the UK include pesticides, trihalomethanes, hormones, nitrates and more.
Tap water usually does contain some minerals such as magnesium and other electrolytes.
Of course, the question of whether it’s safe to drink tap water depends entirely on where you are in the world.
It’s always worth checking with your local authority to get their advice on whether the tap water is safe to drink or not.
Some people choose not to drink tap water even though it’s deemed to be safe, but more on that later.
Filtered Water – The Basics
Filtered water is usually tap water that has been filtered to remove impurities, chemicals and other nasty stuff.
There are many commercially-available filters out there, such as Brita Filters and Berkey Water Filters.
These products are designed to ‘clean’ the water and remove harmful chemicals and metals from its content.
Filtered water is considered to be one of the cleanest types of water that you can drink, but it’s not necessarily the healthiest (more on that below).
Nevertheless, many people opt for filtered water because they feel more comfortable knowing that the potentially harmful chemicals have been removed, and also because filtered water tends to taste better than tap water.
The Pros and Cons of Tap Water and Filtered Water
Let’s now look at some of the pros and cons of both tap water and filtered water.
Tap Water Pros: Easy to access, considered safe to drink in some places, may contain some beneficial electrolytes and minerals.
Tap Water Cons: Not always safe to drink, may contain harmful chemicals and hormones, can sometimes be contaminated.
Filtered Water Pros: Clean water with most impurities removed, easy to prepare at home, usually has a better taste than tap water.
Filtered Water Cons: Filtering process can remove beneficial things such as electrolytes and minerals, filters need to be replaced and maintained correctly.
As you can see from the above, there are certain pros and cons to using both tap water and filtered water.
Filtered water may taste better and be ‘cleaner’ than tap water, but it is also likely to have a lower mineral content.
It’s important to note, however, that tap water is not a huge source of minerals for most people, so the benefits of using filtered water may outweigh the drawbacks.
One thing you could do to ‘remineralize’ filtered water is to add a small pinch of pink Himalayan salt to add some minerals back into it. You should, however, only do this after having first consulted with a certified medical professional.
We spoke to UK-based biohacker Tim Gray about water and hydration in general.
Tim recommends staying away from tap water and remineralizing filtered water with a pinch of salt or an isotonic hydration sachet.
“Based on evolution, if we saw a stream that was coming through rocks, we would drink the water, because it’s high in minerals,” Tim explains.
“You can have water that’s filtered, processed and full of chemicals, that is ‘dead’ water, as opposed to ‘live’ water with the right minerals in it.
“Filtered water takes out all of the impurities that’s in our tap water, which is great, but it also takes some of the minerals and some of the goodness out.
“I won’t drink tap water. Firstly, because there are hormones in it from the system and contraceptives. Secondly, there are various other things in it, and they use chlorine to help keep it clean for safety reasons. That’s a type of bleach that can kill gut bacteria. If you’re killing your gut bacteria, you’re not going to digest your food properly, which means you’ll be deficient in certain things.
“I think it’s crazy drinking tap water, regardless of whether it gives you a bad stomach or not. Personally, I’d say to cut out tap water completely. And if you do use it, filter it, and use a very good filter.
“I use Berkey Water Filters. If you do filter it, then make sure you recharge it with the right minerals. I use Quinton Hydration. It comes from sea plankton, so it’s enzyme rich, and it has 78 minerals in it. It basically rehydrates you from the inside out.
“If you don’t have mineral-rich water, we become thirsty for more water to give us more minerals.
“So we drink more and more water hoping to get minerals from this water on an unconscious level. And yet all we’re doing is flushing out more and more, and we become more and more thirsty, because we’re drinking more and more low mineral water.
“If you want to consume more water, drink low mineral water. If you want to drink less water and have enough to flush out the toxins and keep you energized, have high mineral content water, which is why Quinton Hydration is so good.
“I found that I cut my hydration down by about 50 per cent by adding in the right minerals. I don’t need to pee 30-50 times a day like I did when I was adrenally fatigued.
“Now, I probably pee 3-6 times a day and I don’t have a bottle of water with me everywhere, which everyone seems to have now.”
Anything Else to Consider?
Hydration is really important for good health.
There are many things you can do to improve your hydration, such as using techniques to ‘remineralize’ filtered water or opting for a special isotonic hydration sachet such as Totum Sport.
However, we strongly recommend that you speak to a certified medical professional before making a decision about your hydration and mineral intake.
Wrapping Things Up – Our Final Thoughts
So, that brings us to the end of our look at Tap Water vs Filtered Water.
We’ve walked you through the basic things you need to know about both tap water and filtered water, and brought you some expert comment from UK-based biohacker Tim Gray.
To summarize, tap water is sometimes safe to drink, but it can often contain impurities, chemicals and hormones. It may also contain beneficial minerals and electrolytes.
Filtered water is considered to be ‘cleaner’ because it has had its impurities removed, but that also includes the mineral content, which is one slight drawback.