Is RO Water Good For You? Advantages & Disadvantages 
Updated November 16, 2023.
Reverse osmosis is a method of filtering water that removes many contaminants, including heavy metals and sediments like chlorine, salt, viruses, bacteria, and microorganisms. This process works by pushing water through a semi-permeable or synthetic membrane.
Although reverse osmosis water is considered one of the cleanest forms of water, along with removing potentially harmful compounds, it also removes important minerals from water. In this article, we've outlined the benefits and health risks that come from drinking reverse osmosis water.
What Is Removed From Water by Reverse Osmosis?
Reverse osmosis filters remove organic matter, sediment, sodium, copper, lead, calcium, iron, magnesium, metal ions, aqueous salts, bacteria, viruses, and essential minerals. Reverse osmosis also reduces fluoride, arsenic, chlorine, nitrate, and trihalomethane levels in your drinking water.
Is Reverse Osmosis Water Beneficial to Your Health?
There are two answers to this question. While some believe drinking reverse osmosis water is unsuitable for long-term human consumption and could negatively impact human health, others believe that reverse osmosis water is beneficial. This is because RO water is purified and free from potentially harmful compounds that could cause illness and disease.
Advantages of Reverse Osmosis Water
The advantages of reverse osmosis water include the following.
- Fewer contaminants Reverse osmosis filters are very effective and used to treat water on a large scale in wastewater plants and on a small scale in homes. Reverse osmosis removes 98 percent of all contaminants from drinking water.
- Clean water on demand Reverse osmosis filters can be fitted directly onto your tap, providing clean drinking water on demand.
- Softer water Water with a high mineral content is known as hard water, and it can cause scale buildup in pipes, as well as other issues. Because reverse osmosis removes these minerals, it effectively softens the water and prevents these problems.
- Reduced Risk of Illness and Disease Reverse osmosis water removes the potentially harmful microorganisms from water that could cause illness and disease.
Disadvantages of Reverse Osmosis Water
The disadvantages of reverse osmosis water include the following:
- Unusual Taste One of the biggest disadvantages of reverse osmosis water is that it may have an unusual taste. Due to the fact that it removes water minerals, water treated this way can taste flat. Sometimes, the reverse osmosis process can also give water a fishy smell.
- Health implications As RO water is demineralized, it could be leeching minerals from the body if it hasn't been remineralized in other ways. This could lead to some negative side effects and health issues, as some critics suggest RO water deprives the body of electrolytes.
- Dehydration Risks Since RO water has no electrolytes and a lower pH level, it's believed to not be as effective in hydrating the body as alkaline water. This is why it's important to remineralize RO water to get its full effect without cutting back on all the essential minerals our body needs.
Should You Drink Reverse Osmosis Water?
While reverse osmosis does remove bacteria and viruses from water and is a well-established method of purifying water, drinking structured water has several potential advantages over reverse osmosis.
One of the key benefits of structured water is that it's more easily absorbed by the body, providing more effective hydration. Structured water also has a more balanced pH level, which can be good for maintaining your health in general.
Another advantage of structured water is that it retains more of the natural minerals and nutrients present in water, whereas RO can remove minerals that kill viruses and perform other beneficial processes in the body.
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