I talk a great deal about how people with thyroid and autoimmune thyroid conditions who follow a natural treatment protocol need to eat a diet consisting of whole foods, and how they should minimize the amount of refined foods and sugars they consume. But it’s equally important for anyone with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, as well as an autoimmune thyroid disorder (Graves’ Disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis), to drink purified water, and to avoid drinking tap water, sodas, fruit juices, pasteurized cow’s milk, etc. I’ve actually written an article which focuses on some of the different beverages that can affect your thyroid health, but this article is going to focus solely on water.
What I’d like to do is discuss some of the different types of water, and talk about whether each one is okay to drink, and which types should be avoided. So let’s take a look at the different types of water:
1. Tap Water. Most people know that they should avoid drinking tap water. With chemicals such as chloride, fluoride, lead, and many other toxins, this can not only have an impact on your thyroid health (see the article where I spoke about how fluoride can lead to hypothyroidism), but can affect your overall health as well. At the very least you should make an effort to avoid drinking tap water in your home. If you go out to eat and have some tap water every now and then it probably won’t cause much harm, but drinking it every single day isn’t a wise thing to do.
2. Filtered Water. By this I mean using a “basic” filter, such as a Britta filter. This is definitely better than drinking plain tap water, as it will remove a lot of the chlorine, lead, and some other toxins. But it doesn’t filter out everything, such as fluoride, or any harmful bacteria which may be in the water. So while using a Britta filter or one that fits over your sink is better than nothing, there are definitely better options out there.
3. Spring Water. Spring water actually might be the best source of water, if you get it from a good quality source. For example, Mountain Valley Spring water has one of the highest quality waters in the world. The problem is that you might not find it in a local retail store, and if you order it online it is very expensive, as the last time I checked it cost $35.88 for a single case of 12, one liter bottles (however, they are glass bottles, and so you don’t have to worry about xenohormones). But again, if it costs you a few hundred dollars each month to guarantee that you will be drinking quality water, then it might very well be worth it. This isn’t to suggest that this is the only high quality brand out there, but one of the problems is that most spring water comes in plastic bottles, so you’re once again dealing with the issue of xenoestrogens, which I’ve discussed in other articles.
4. Distilled Water. There is a lot of controversy with distilled water. When I was in chiropractic school, in one of the nutrition classes we had, the instructor insisted that distilled water was the best source of water. So I naturally went out and purchased a water distiller, and used that as my source of drinking water for many years. Upon hearing the risks of drinking distilled water I made the switch to drinking water that was purified by reverse osmosis. I still believe that drinking distilled water is better than drinking tap water, but the more research I do on distilled water, the more I’m convinced that it’s something to be avoided. And it’s not just the controversy presented online, as I rarely believe something just because a few people wrote some articles on the topic. But when some credible experts recommend avoiding distilled water, I’m much more apt to believe what they say about distilled water leaching minerals from the body, etc. So if you continue to drink distilled water, you definitely want to make sure you’re taking some type of trace minerals. I will say that distilled water is fine to drink when detoxifying, or for short periods of time (six months or less).
5. Reverse Osmosis Water. Reverse osmosis does seem to be a better option than distilled water. However, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any flaws, as it still is harsh on the minerals, and also isn’t environmentally friendly. But in my opinion it’s still a good option for drinking water, and you can get a system to install in your home for a few hundred dollars (although you do need to purchase new filters on a regular basis). This of course will save you money from buying water, and will also allow you to avoid the plastic bottles that water is packaged in.
6. Whole House Filter. This is perhaps the most expensive option, although it not only filters the water you drink, but also the water you bathe in. I think this is a good option, although I have yet to find a whole house filter that removes all or most of the fluoride, as the ones I’ve come across remove anywhere from 40 to 60%.
7. Ionized (Alkaline) Water. The only reason I decided to include ionized water here is because I’ve had a number of patients ask me about it. I think ionized water is fine to drink, but I also think it’s overhyped. There are a lot of websites which have spent a great deal of time and money marketing the benefits of ionized water, and while I think it’s definitely better than drinking tap water, I’m not so sure if it has a true advantage over the other types of water I mentioned in this article.
In summary, for anyone who is looking to restore their thyroid health through a natural treatment protocol, you need to be careful about the water you drink on a daily basis. I would definitely try to avoid drinking tap water, and there are definitely better options than your basic water filters, although this is still better than drinking from the tap. As for spring water, this actually might be the best option if you were to buy it from a good quality company. There is a lot of controversy over distilled water, and there is also some controversy over reverse osmosis, although I still think it’s a fine choice. Ionized water is okay to drink, and a quality whole house filter can be expensive, but perhaps is well worth the investment.