Understanding the Minerals in Tap Water—Are They Healthy?
Cameron-Leigh Henningon May 28, 2022.
Many years ago, people began questioning the quality of public tap water. Since then, there has been a growing interest in the health and safety of our water. Rightly so, seeing as though it is an essential fluid. Over the years, people have begun giving up tap water for bottled water due to these concerns. However, water regulation and treatment technologies have drastically improved during this period, and the quality of tap water is better today than it used to be.
Does Tap Water Contain Minerals?
The water that flows out your tap comes from either surface or underground water sources. In most countries, tap water needs to meet strict standards which regulate and limit the number of contaminants present in the water supplied to residential homes. Some countries have stricter regulations and procedures to verify that these requirements are being met, while others have unsafe drinking water.
Tap water generally contains naturally occurring and added minerals to support our health, and some tap water is considered “hard water” because it has higher mineral contents.
Are Minerals in Your Tap Water Healthy?
Tap water contains several minerals that are naturally dissolved into the water at its source. These minerals are healthy and aid in overall well-being. Minerals are essential for the basic functioning of the human body and help regulate fluids, control bone growth, keep up metabolism, normalize muscle and nerve functions, and grow connective tissue.
While water contains essential minerals, our main source of minerals comes from our diet. So, while theminerals in water play a role in our health, they are not absolutely necessary. Our main reason for drinking water is to stay hydrated and help our bodies process the minerals and vitamins we get from our food.
The Mineral Content of Tap Water
Provided the water is safe and clean for drinking, it will contain trace amounts of minerals and other compounds like chlorine, chloramine, and contaminants that are not deemed dangerous for human health.
One of the minerals added to tap water is fluoride, which helps strengthen your teeth and prevent tooth decay by up to 25%,according to the CDC.
The other minerals in tap water include copper, magnesium, calcium, and sodium.The Nutrient Data Laboratory carried out astudy on the mineral content of tap water and found that only four minerals (besides fluoride) contribute to our daily dietary intake. They concluded that drinking a quart of tap water provides about 1% of the daily required copper, calcium, magnesium, and sodium intake.
- Calcium Essential for healthy teeth and strong bones and plays a vital role in cell growth, the production of hormones, and blood clotting.
- Magnesium This mineral is also needed for strong bones, as well as energy metabolism, and the structure and functioning of muscles.
- Sodium Sodium is essential for balancing the fluids in the body and regulating blood pressure.
- Copper This mineral is crucial for forming bone and connective tissue, the functioning of the immune system, and blood clotting.
There are a few other minerals found in trace amounts, including potassium, phosphorus, iron, selenium, zinc, and chromium. However, you would need to drink copious amounts of water for these to contribute to your daily mineral intake.
Removing Minerals From Your Tap Water
Sometimes, people may want to remove minerals from their water because they may form deposits that can restrict water flow or corrode pipes, leading to rust-polluted drinking water. Another common reason for wanting to filter tap water is to eliminate any contaminants and bacteria present, which will automatically filter out the minerals in the water.
Minerals can be removed with the following methods:
- Water softeners Water softeners remove the minerals that make the water “hard” in the first place with an ion exchange process that replaces magnesium and calcium ions with potassium or sodium ions.
- Reverse osmosis Reverse osmosis removes minerals that have larger molecules than water by pushing water under pressure through a specialized, semi-permeable membrane. This membrane filters out contaminants, toxins, and minerals. However, removing contaminants this waymay sometimes leave a fishy smell.
Can You Remove Minerals in Your Water by Boiling It?
The general answer is no. Boiling water can help to kill any harmful bacteria in tap water, but even if the water is boiled to over 212 degrees Fahrenheit, it won’t destroy or remove any of the minerals.
The Minerals in Tap Water
Tap water is generally considered safe to drink, but many people prefer to filter their water to remove contaminants and bacteria. Tap water contains small amounts of minerals that can aid your overall health, but they are also not completely necessary because most of our mineral intake comes from the food we eat.
That being said, if you'd like to gain the benefits of mineral water, readour guide to making mineral water at home.