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What are the health benefits of mineral water?

What are the health benefits of mineral water?

There is considerable debate among scientists and so called health experts as to the different benefits of mineral water. The answer is clear, but maybe not what you would expect. First, let’s define the basics of minerals and mineral water.

Minerals

Minerals are inorganic substances (such as rocks and similar matter) found in the earth strata, as opposed to organic substances such as plant and animal matter.  

Just like vitamins, minerals help your body grow, develop, and stay healthy. The body uses minerals to perform many different functions — from building strong bones to transmitting nerve impulses. Some minerals are even used to make hormones or maintain a normal heartbeat.

There are “good minerals” such as calcium, magnesium or potassium and “not so good minerals” like lead, arsenic and barium.

 

Mineral Water

Inorganic minerals described above can be found in tap water coming from mountains, rivers, groundwater, aquifers and some bottled water but less so in rain water or desalinated water. Yes, you read that right, tap water can often contain as much minerals as bottled “mineral” or “spring” water. This means you’re getting mineral water almost for free from your tap.

The amount of minerals in tap and bottled water differs a lot depending on its original source, so therefore you need to check your local water report or the label of the bottle to find out the content.

What are the health benefits of mineral water?

Health benefits of mineral water

So back to the question: Are there any health benefits from mineral water?

If you drink two liters of water a day, you could be getting 10 to 15% of your daily calcium requirement and up to a third of your required magnesium just from the water you drink.

WHO researchers also warn about the health risks of demineralised water: “Sufficient evidence is now available to confirm the health consequences from drinking water deficient in calcium or magnesium. Many studies show that higher water magnesium is related to decreased risks for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and especially for sudden death from CVD.

This is contrary to many “health experts” and “water filter specialists” that recommend purified water with low TDS (organic and inorganic substances such as calcium and magnesium). It also means that reverse osmosis (ro water) and distilled water or bottled one could have negative health effects. Learn more about why TDS is a poor measure of water quality here and how to find out if you have calcium deficiency here.

There is similar evidence from research in Israel on desalinated water, indicating that the lack of magnesium in tap water could lead to deficiencies depending on diet.

But inorganic minerals through drinking water is not the only way of getting enough minerals. You can get e.g. calcium from rocks mined from the earth or you can get it from dairy products or fruits and vegetables.

 

What about bottled mineral water?

There is no evidence that bottled mineral water is healthier than tap water with similar mineral content. Check your local water report to find out the mineral content. If you live in for example Spain you can find out how here.

For bottled mineral water, remember to check the label. If the water doesn’t contain the recommended minimum 20 mg/l of calcium and 10 mg/l of magnesium, then make sure you’re getting this from another source. You can learn more about the benefits of magnesium through this infographic and find out about 35 vegan calcium sources on this great blog post by Happy Happy Vegan.

 

And if I don’t like the taste of tap water?

If you want to drink tap water as a source of minerals but don’t like it’s taste, get a high quality water filter such as TAPP 2 that filters out more than 80 contaminants such as chlorine, lead and other heavy metals, PFAS, Nitrates, microplastics and pesticides, but leaves the minerals and a good taste.

 

Additional sources and research:

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4 thoughts on “What are the health benefits of mineral water?”

  1. Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  2. My thoughts are.. drinking deionized or distilled water is not dangerous as long as you EAT food. The majority of the mineral requirement is taken from food, not water, and that Deionized or Distilled water does not contain any of the harmful other elements like lead or chemicals not filterable by any other means. Therefore.. eat a balanced meal and drink distilled or deionized to avoid the chemicals and substances . Since calcium and magnesium are the 2 minerals much needed anyway, there are mineral supplements you can also take if you are paranoid about that.

  3. I absolutely disagree with the comment on supplements!
    “there are mineral supplements you can also take if you are paranoid about that”
    You don’t need to be paranoid about being magnesium deficient. Most people are. And most people have compromised digestion which means supplements are not gonna work. Minerals in drinking water are already in a liquid form, much more likely to be absorbed. As for magnesium and calcium, if your mineral water contains magnesium in the form of magnesium bicarbonate, you’re getting the mineral and it’s transport mechanism at the same time. Bicarbonate is needed for absorption of both, calcium and magnesium. If your body doesn’t produce enough it doesn’t really matter how many magnesium or calcium pills you want to pop.

    1. Thank you for your comment Duman!
      We promote that people drink tap water, which is normally already mineral-rich so that is definitely a better way to go from our point of view than taking any kind of supplements.
      Best,
      The TAPP team

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