Is Removing The Minerals From My Water Bad?
Establishing The Facts
"I have heard that removing all the minerals from your water is bad, what is your opinion?" I am not sure how many people have asked me this very question. Lets reason on the subject by establishing some facts about minerals, where we obtain them, and which minerals benefit us the most.
First, are Minerals good for you?
Yes, but choosing what minerals you take into your body and how many is important. For example doctors may recommend mineral intake based on factors such as gender, age, and medical history. While a multi-mineral may be good for some, it may not be for others who need to raise or lower a specific mineral content in their body. Of course minerals are important to our health, but which minerals and how many we take is also very important.
Are all Minerals absorbed equally?
No. The source and even the size of the minerals will impact how your body utilizes them or disposes of them. Minerals from certain sources are more readily absorbed by the body while others simply pass through or in some cases build up. Sources for minerals is discussed further below.
What Minerals And How Many Minerals Am I Getting From Water?
Calcium, Sodium, and Magnesium are some of the most common minerals found in tap and bottled water, but often at much lower amounts than the recommended daily intake. Even if you had your water tested for individual minerals the amounts could change. Even large bottled water companies who promote mineral water as a good thing admit to a huge variance in the actual mineral content. Checkout the following link that shows how inconsistent some of the biggest water companies actually are. Bottled water mineral content comparison. Most bottled waters tested contained 30-200mg of combined minerals and metals. Imagine buying a supplement that said "each serving contains 30-200mg" of the desired ingredients. Not only is that inconsistent but it means you could easily get too much or too little of what you do or don't want.
What Is The Recommended Daily Intake Of Minerals?
It's a funny thing, most people that are concerned about removing minerals from their water don't actually know how many minerals they should be getting or why they should be getting them. Click here to view a chart for the daily intake of minerals. The amount of minerals you receive in water compared to the recommended daily intake is actually quite small. Even Calcium which is quite commonly found in your water may or may not be in sufficient amounts, and this does not take into consideration that the Calcium in tap water is not easily absorbed by our bodies. Other minerals such as Potassium are almost nonexistent in tap and bottled water.
Where Then Do I get The Minerals That The Body Needs?
Fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy. That's right, the food you eat not the water you drink. Click here for an article from the Harvard School of Public Health "What Is Calcium, and Where Do We Get It". To prove the point, pick a mineral that you are interested in and research the best source for that mineral. It doesn't matter which one you choose because a natural food source like vegetables, meat, or dairy will be at the top of the list. You may also find supplements recommended, but you will not find tap water.
Why Do Some Say Removing The Minerals From Water Is Bad?
In many cases it may just be that is what they were told, or what they believe based on theories, but not on facts. However, much of the printed information available that promotes mineral water as a good thing comes from two sources. Bottled water companies, and water filter companies. I appreciate the value of both, I drink bottled water on convenient occasions, and I believe filters have their place and value. But the fact is that some of the strongest arguments against distilling your water and removing the minerals come from a few doctors who actually sell and promote water filter systems. Their arguments while well thought out and seemingly reasonable are all based on theory and not actual facts. They seem to forget that fact that we actually get most of, or all of our minerals through the food we eat.
Will Drinking Distilled Water Leach Minerals From My Body?
This is a reasoning point that some of the proponents for filters and bottled water use. They reason that water in it's purest form will leach minerals from your body. Again, there has never been 1 study to suggest this, only theories. It is true that water is the universal solvent but nothing suggests that distilled water will absorb more minerals than mineral water. There are no case studies or people that I have ever heard of claiming that distilled water caused a mineral depletion or other ill effects, even after years of use. Another theory is that removing the minerals may increase the acidity of the body. Click here for a discussion on this subject.
So, is Removing Minerals From My Water Bad?
It would seem when we stick to the facts and leave the theories aside, the answer is a resounding, no. The facts are, food is mineral rich and the best way to get minerals. Actual amount of minerals present in a glass of water is inconsistent, and many of the minerals naturally occuring in water are not absorbed by the body. Remember the whole reason we are talking about removing the minerals from our water is because either we have experienced ill-health from an overload of particular minerals, have heard of the health benefits associated with pure distilled water, or are concerned over other contaminates found in our tap water. So while I may on occasion still drink from the tap,or purchase a convenient bottle of water on a trip, I feel the most confident drinking pure distilled water.