Mineral Water: What Am I Drinking?
Published August 9, 2022.
Different waters may all appear the same, but mineral water possesses its own distinctions.
Mineral water is found in certain springs that contain salts and sulfur compounds and can be still or effervescent. By definition andFDA regulations, mineral water must contain at least 250 parts per million of total dissolved solids (TDS) from a protected underground water source. Mineral water contains lots ofminerals that are good for you, and these minerals all occur naturally.
Minerals Contained in Mineral Water
The minerals contained in mineral water are different from theminerals found in tap water. Mineral water is rich in dissolved minerals and gases that benefit the human body, including the following:
- Calcium Essential for the regulation of muscle contraction, bone development, and transmission of nerve impulses.
- Magnesium Essential for protection from cardiovascular diseases and bone formation.
- Bicarbonate Promotes digestion by neutralizing gastric activity.
- Silica Possesses bone-strengthening properties.
- Potassium Regulates muscles and acid-base balance.
- Sodium Essential for the fundamental regulation of body fluids.
- Chloride Essential in the formation of hydrochloric acid (stomach juices).
- Sulfate Regulates intestinal peristalsis and possesses laxative properties.
Are These Minerals Safe to Consume?
Although mineral water is deemed safe for most individuals, there are a few drawbacks to be aware of.
This is the opposite of dehydration and refers to a medical condition where too much water is consumed over a short period. It can dilute the body’s salt and electrolyte levels, leading to a homeostatic imbalance and abnormal kidney functioning. Mineral water can accelerate water intoxication in cases of athletes and people performing high-intensity workouts.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD)
GERD is the repeated backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus. Consuming excessive amounts of carbonated mineral water can exacerbate this condition in people who already suffer from regular acid reflux. Drinking non-carbonated mineral water is advised for those with GERD conditions.
There's always the concern that microplastics from plastic water bottles are an issue for human health. While the long-term health implications of microplastics are still unknown, someresearch suggests it could link to disruption of stomach functions, inflammation, obesity, cardiovascular disorders, induced oxidative stress, and cancer.
High Sodium Levels
Some mineral water brands may be too high in sodium for those who need a low-sodium diet. Excess sodium retains fluid in the body and causes an increase in blood pressure, increasing the risk of stroke, heart failure, stomach cancer, kidney disease, and osteoporosis. People at risk of metabolic syndromes and cardiovascular conditions should avoid sodium-rich mineral waters.
Benefits of Drinking Mineral Water
Because of the unique composition of minerals and organic compounds, mineral water offers some great health benefits.
Improved Bone Health
Mineral water is a great source of calcium which is important for bone health at all stages of life. In addition to magnesium and bicarbonate, calcium supports the body in the development and maintenance of bones. Calcium is also absorbed more efficiently from mineral water than from dairy products.
Reduced Blood Pressure
Magnesium and calcium levels in mineral water also contribute to lowered blood pressure.One study showed that 70 adults with high blood pressure found that drinking at least 1 liter of natural mineral water a day significantly reduced their blood pressure levels.
Improved Heart Health
Carbonated mineral water has been shown to protect against heart disease because it contains magnesium.Two studies found that postmenopausal women who drank 1 liter of carbonated mineral water per day significantly reduced their levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and increased their levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Mineral water works to prevent and treat constipation. The sulfate and magnesium draw water into the intestines and relax the intestinal muscles. This makes the stool softer and easier to pass. Adequate fluid intake is important for regular bowel movements in general, but mineral water helps with this process even more.
Pure mineralwater bottled at the source containsrich levels of minerals that are beneficial to our overall well-being. However, keep it simple and reach for whichever type of water you’re most likely to drink enough of, includingreverse osmosis water andremineralized water.