Drinking Water Benefits You, So What Kinds of Water Should Be Avoided?

A woman holding a glass filled with water.

Drinking water regularly is vital for the body and mind's function. But what is the most critical time to hydrate, and what type of water should be avoided? (Image: via Pxfuel)

Water is the main component of the human body, accounting for 60-70 percent of our body weight. Therefore, drinking it regularly is vital for the body and mind’s function. But what is the most critical time to hydrate, and what types should be avoided? Unfortunately, many people might not know the answers.

This article will discuss what types of water can be unhealthy and are best avoided.

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8 kinds of water that should be avoided

1. Unfiltered, directly from the tap

Drinking unfiltered tap water can be harmful because the chlorine may interact with the residual organic matter in the water, which can, in turn, produce a carcinogen. In addition, people who regularly drink unfiltered tap water are more likely to develop bladder cancer.

2. Icy cold

Everyone likes to cool off with a glass of icy cold water in hot weather, which may increase the burden on the body. Experts point out that the human body temperature is constant at around 37 degrees Celsius, and the temperature of the gastrointestinal tract is even higher.

When icy cold water below 6 degrees Celsius enters the body quickly, the blood vessels contract, and this slows down the peristalsis function in the stomach. The body takes more time and effort to raise the temperature back to its normal state.

Furthermore, the immune and metabolic systems are likely weakened once the body temperature drops. Icy cold water can also suppress the digestive system, adversely affecting people with oesophageal achalasia or poor digestion.

A study from Sweden found that headaches caused by drinking icy cold water were common among women, and women with a history of migraine are more prone to headaches if they drink icy cold water.

In addition, drinking icy cold water may lead to sweat pores not functioning optimally. This can make it difficult for the body to dissipate heat, which may induce heat stroke.

3. Stagnant

Don’t drink water that has been left sitting for too long. Although stagnant water may be sterile, it has lost some minerals required by the body. Moreover, it may also contain harmful substances such as nitrite, which in higher doses becomes poisonous.

4. Over-boiled

Water boiled for too long or repeatedly is unsuitable for drinking, as it may cause gastrointestinal dysfunction, hypoxic coma, and some systemic diseases.

Heavy metals such as calcium, magnesium, and nitrite in the water cannot be volatilized. Therefore, repeated boiling will increase their concentration, and drinking it may cause gastrointestinal dysfunction, leading to diarrhea and abdominal distension.

Excessive nitrite in water can cause hypoxia. In addition, if it is repeatedly boiled, the scum produced may enter the digestive, nervous, urinary, hematopoietic, and other systems, causing various diseases.

5. A water dispenser that has not been cleaned regularly

A dispenser seems convenient, but there may be potential health risks. For example, a water dispenser that’s not cleaned for a long time can breed many bacteria, such as Escherichia coli and staphylococcus. Also, dust and microorganisms in the air may be mixed in when the dispenser is activated.

Therefore, whether for household use or the public, it’s best to clean a water dispenser monthly and fortnightly in the summer. As for bottled water, it is best consumed within 15 days after production. This is because bacteria may multiply after some time and make it unsuitable for drinking.

A water dispenser seems convenient, but there may be potential health risks. (Image: Jiradelta via Dreamstime)

6. Bottled water that’s exposed to the sun

Bottled water is easy to carry, so many people often have it as their first choice. However, experts remind us of the following two points:

Firstly, bottled water should not be exposed to the sun for too long because plastic bottles may contain harmful substances that can be toxic. These harmful substances can be released into the water in a high-temperature environment.

Secondly, when people do not finish drinking a water bottle, bacteria from the mouth can get mixed into the bottled water. If you leave it for some time, especially in warm temperatures, the bacteria will multiply, which can be harmful. So bottled water should be finished as soon as possible after opening.

7. Water-based manufactured beverages

Many people prefer to drink manufactured beverages because plain water has no taste, but beverages cannot replace purified water. Caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee, cola, and fruit juices high in potassium or citric acid have diuretic effects.

This is particularly important when you feel thirsty — feeling thirsty means you are dehydrated. If you drink beverages that have a diuretic effect on the body, your body may lose more water through urination, so it would be better to drink purified water.

Chronic dehydration is not easy to detect, but it may make people gain weight and cause problems such as constipation, dizziness, joint pain, dry skin, muscle weakness, poor memory, emotional anxiety, etc. Also, sugary drinks can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

A woman at the beach drinks from a plastic water bottle.
Bottled water should not be exposed to the sun for too long because plastic bottles may contain harmful substances that can be toxic. (Image via Pxhere)

8. Plain water after exercising

Drinking a lot of plain water after vigorous exercise is not recommended. This is because the body loses various electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, after profuse sweating.

Drinking plain water will dilute the electrolytes in the blood and cause electrolyte imbalances between the human cells and their outside environment resulting in hyponatremia, also known as water intoxication.

If you feel thirsty during exercise, it’s recommended to have just small amounts of water. Then, upon completion of your workout or when taking a break, you can drink water with added electrolytes once your heart rate has returned to a normal pace.

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