Which Type of Water is Best for Drinking

The three most common types of water are tap, spring, and mineral; these are classified into three main categories: hard, soft and mineralized. Depending on your needs, each type of water has its advantages. For instance, drinking a glass of soft water will make your skin feel much smoother than usual if you have dry skin, while drinking a glass of hard water before bed might help you get some restful sleep if you have trouble sleeping at night.

Although many types of water are available for you to drink, some are better than others. The best type of water is spring or mineral water because it contains essential minerals that your body needs, like calcium and magnesium, which help keep your bones strong and healthy.

All forms of water benefit your health because they include vital minerals that support the strength and health of your body. This article will explore the benefits and disadvantages of spring or mineral water.

What are the different types of water?

Water is an essential natural resource for human survival and an effective economic development instrument. Drinking water quality is a problem that affects the entire planet since contaminated and unimproved water sources can spread diseases.1

Potable water is the name of any water that is safe for drinking. The most important thing about water is that it hydrates you and keeps your body working properly. All types of water do that job well, but each has some unique properties that make them even more beneficial than the others.

  • Tap Water: This is what you're thinking of when you think about water. Tap water comes from a local water supply out of your faucet at home; it varies depending on where you live but generally has fewer minerals than other kinds of water because it's been treated or processed in some way to remove contaminants like bacteria or dirt. It contains essential minerals like calcium and magnesium that helps with body functions. Tap water is mainly sourced from wells, a type of groundwater, and surface water sources, including lakes, rivers, and streams. Surface water treatment must follow the environmental protection agency requirements, including coagulation, filtration, and disinfection processes. In contrast, groundwater undergoes natural treatment while passing through the earth. Other than disinfection, it often does not require additional processing
  • Spring Water: This is similar to tap water but comes from an underground source instead of being pulled from a lake or river like tap water. Spring water also has more minerals than tap water because it comes directly from an underground source and does not contain any chlorine or other chemicals like fluoride, which can be found in some tap water. Instead of going through a local water system, spring water undergoes a reverse osmosis treatment to eliminate contaminants while keeping their natural qualities. Spring water is also naturally sparkling water infused with carbon dioxide (carbonated water), making it taste like soda but without added sugars, flavours and colouring. Sometimes the water is carbonated artificially, sold as soda or tonic water, or contains added natural flavours and is sold as flavoured water
  • Mineral Water: This type of water has even more minerals than spring water because it comes from deep within the ground, typically as runoff from mountains and rock formations, where lots of minerals are naturally present in the groundwater. Compared to spring water, mineral water runs over rocks, allowing it to collect trace minerals—about 250 minerals per million solids. It also tends to have less sodium than other kinds of water

What essential minerals can we get from drinking water?

For optimal health, we need access to clean water that contains certain minerals in adequate quantities.2 Without these minerals, our bodies would be unable to function because they are involved in everything from blood circulation and digestion to muscle movement and breathing rate.3 Minerals found in large quantities (macrominerals) in water are:

  • Sodium: it keeps the body's fluid balance and blood pressure in check. It also helps transmit nerve impulses across junctions called synapses
  • Potassium: for maintaining proper electrical activity within cells and transmission of signals along nerve fibres
  • Calcium: is needed for bone formation and blood clotting
  • Magnesium: ensures enzyme function and muscle contraction
  • Chloride: maintains proper fluid balance by regulating how much water enters or leaves your cells
  • Sulphate: aids in protein digestion by helping form enzymes that break down amino acids

Nitrate, cobalt, chromium, iron, fluoride, iodide, manganese, molybdenum, copper, and selenium are micro-minerals that all supplement the work of the major nutrients by performing a range of biological functions such as hormone balance, antioxidant, growth metabolism of sugars and proteins.

Why is spring and mineral water so good for you?

Some people perceive hard tap water to be more healthy due to its higher mineral content; calcium, magnesium, and potassium are among the other minerals in tap water. However, deposits created by minerals in hard water can damage pipes or reduce flow. Additionally, despite the best efforts of the drinking water inspectorate to supply potable water, toxins from rusted or leaking pipes may still contaminate drinking water.

Since spring and mineral water is natural and not chemically altered, it is guaranteed to be free from water treatment disinfectants and pollution-free. Spring water is sold as bottled water in stores. Some water producers claim that their water is bottled at the source. Both spring and mineral waters contain fewer chemicals than tap water, so they are ideal for people with allergies or sensitivities to certain chemicals found in other types of water.

Standards governing bottled water in North America and Europe differ significantly. For instance, the United States Bottled Water Regulations allow the sale of distilled water - that is water devoid of all dissolved elements. In contrast, the European Economic Community Mineral Water Regulations, on the other hand, do not allow the processing and treatment of any bottled water from a source. 

The Food and Drug Administration stipulates that mineral waters must have a combination of dissolved minerals in amounts ranging from 500 to 1,500 mg/L of total dissolved solids, but in Europe, water that has undergone any degree of mineralisation is referred to as mineral water.4

Does water have a taste?

You may have thought that safe drinking water is transparent, odourless and tasteless. Still, your water source determines what taste your water has. While spring water contains natural elements obtained from the spring it was sourced from, mineral water contains dissolved minerals. The source determines how these minerals impact the taste and quality of water. 

Too many unusual minerals in water can give it a sour, salty, or bitter taste. For instance, trace amounts of copper that leak from subterranean pipes where tap water is distributed can be tasted. Furthermore, when the water has gone through a filtration process or has added minerals, it will have a taste, such as tap water with added chlorine or mineralised water, with a prevalent mineral added.3

What types of water are unsafe to drink?

  • Wastewater
  • Rainwater
  • Water from Melted snow
  • Contaminated water
  • Water stored for a very long time

How can I make sure water is safe to drink?

The prevalence of pathogens in drinking water reveals the potential origins of human and animal waste. Microorganisms can contaminate water at the source, during transportation, as well as during distribution and poor hygiene practices. Additionally, lower drinking water quality can result from elevated iron, manganese, and arsenic levels.5,6 Typhoid, polio, cholera, dysentery, diarrhoea, and typhoid fever are a few of the illnesses associated with bad drinking water quality.1 Children may suffer developmental abnormalities and harm to their neurological systems from hazardous water contaminants such as manganese, lead, and mercury, even at low concentrations.6

Minerals in drinking water benefit human health during growth and development; however, beyond the accepted limit, it causes diseases. To ensure that your water is safe to drink, you may follow these best practices:

  • Be sure of the source of your water and that it conforms to WHO guidelines for the quality of drinking water; you may study the label of your bottled water to confirm this. Also, check to know if the water undergoes quality assessment, how often they are tested and if the tests are available to the public
  • When storing your water, keep it in a clean and airtight container to protect it from contamination. You should use high-quality, heat- and chemical-resistant water containers instead of inferior glass or plastic bottles. The chemicals in plastic bottles may leech into your water when exposed to high temperatures
  • When you open a bottle of water and drink directly from it, consume it within 2-3 hours because it may not be safe afterward. Your saliva may have introduced microorganisms that will start incubating and multiplying. If you open and pour it into a cup, close the bottle tightly, keep it in your refrigerator and ensure it is consumed within 3-5 days
  • You can treat your water at home using a water filter to eliminate any leftover contaminants.

What is the best water to drink?

Which water you drink is determined by your financial circumstances, preference and your dietary needs. The WHO drinking water quality recommendations state that exposure to both high and low pH values irritates the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes, so when choosing which fits your needs, do ensure that the water is slightly alkaline with a pH of about 7.4.6

Hard water contains large amounts of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. In contrast, soft water contains very little or no minerals at all. Mineral water falls somewhere in between these two extremes and contains small amounts of minerals like sodium and potassium.

To be healthy, you need to drink enough water every day. The amount will vary depending on your age and activity level, but generally speaking, about 1.8 litres is required daily.7

The best water for drinking is free of pollutants, procured from the right source, stored in the right container and temperature, and handled with utmost safety.

What is the healthiest water to drink?

Before we discuss which water is the healthiest, we will examine the pros and cons of each type of water.

  • Tap water is great because it is readily available, inexpensive and eco-friendly.8 Still, because it doesn't contain a lot of essential minerals as it goes through so many filters before it gets to you, your body won't get any benefits from it unless you add them yourself by putting some sugar or salt in it, which defeats the purpose of drinking water
  • Spring water is better than tap water because it contains all essential minerals. However, there is the risk of contamination if not bottled at the source, and plastic landfill from the plastic waste of packaging bottles8
  • Mineral water contains lots of different minerals, which makes it very good for your overall health it can even help reduce stress.But, it is tasty and expensive, so most people can't afford to drink as much as they would need to to see results. It is also a potential landfill hazard if not recycled

Sparkling spring water and mineral water are both wholesome substitutes for sugary sodas. The former can give us minerals that our bodies can't produce on their own, while the latter makes hydrating healthily into a tasty fiesta that will encourage you to give up sugary sodas and adopt a lower-calorie, healthier lifestyle.


We established that spring and mineral water is the best type of water for drinking; however, they can be expensive. In the presence of financial hindrances, water that is free from impurities and higher levels of chemicals, through treatment or filtration, can be consumed with no issues. The goal is to get hydrated to maintain bodily functions while also trying to stay healthy by drinking safe water. 


  1. Addisie, Meseret B. “Evaluating Drinking Water Quality Using Water Quality Parameters and Esthetic Attributes.” Air, Soil and Water Research, vol. 15, Jan. 2022, p. 117862212210750. DOI.org (Crossref), Available from: https://doi.org/10.1177/11786221221075005.
  2. Kerich, Emmy C. “Households Drinking Water Sources and Treatment Methods Options in a Regional Irrigation Scheme.” Journal of Human, Earth, and Future, vol. 1, no. 1, Mar. 2020, pp. 10–19. www.hefjournal.org, Available from: https://doi.org/10.28991/HEF-2020-01-01-02.
  3. Quattrini, S. “Natural Mineral Waters: Chemical Characteristics and Health Effects.” Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism, 2016. DOI.org (Crossref), Available from: https://doi.org/10.11138/ccmbm/2016.13.3.173.
  4. Azoulay, Arik, et al. “Comparison of the Mineral Content of Tap Water and Bottled Waters.” Journal of General Internal Medicine, vol. 16, no. 3, Mar. 2001, pp. 168–75. DOI.org (Crossref), Available from: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1525-1497.2001.04189.x.
  5. Edokpayi, Joshua, et al. “Challenges to Sustainable Safe Drinking Water: A Case Study of Water Quality and Use across Seasons in Rural Communities in Limpopo Province, South Africa.” Water, vol. 10, no. 2, Feb. 2018, p. 159. DOI.org (Crossref), Available fromL: https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020159.
  6. Akter, Tahera, et al. “Water Quality Index for Measuring Drinking Water Quality in Rural Bangladesh: A Cross-Sectional Study.” Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, vol. 35, no. 1, Dec. 2016, p. 4. DOI.org (Crossref), Available from: https://doi.org/10.1186/s41043-016-0041-5.
  7. Armstrong, Lawrence, and Evan Johnson. “Water Intake, Water Balance, and the Elusive Daily Water Requirement.” Nutrients, vol. 10, no. 12, Dec. 2018, p. 1928. DOI.org (Crossref), Available from: https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10121928.
  8. Qian, Neng. “Bottled Water or Tap Water? A Comparative Study of Drinking Water Choices on University Campuses.” Water, vol. 10, no. 1, Jan. 2018, p. 59. DOI.org (Crossref),Available from:  https://doi.org/10.3390/w10010059.
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Chimezirim Ozonyiri

Bachelor of Science - BS, Microbiology, General, Tansian University, Nigeria

Chimezirim has several years of experience in the healthcare, non-profit, and education sectors. She is passionate about health promotion and began her journey into health and lifestyle writing over two years ago.

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