Mineral water is a rich source of important nutrients like calcium, sodium, magnesium, sulfate, chloride, fluoride, and other trace elements. It is usually directly bottled at the water source and contains more nutrients than tap water. According to FDA, adding minerals during bottling is not allowed: however, the addition or removal of carbon dioxide during bottling is permitted. Moreover, the mineral water must have no less than 250 ppm (parts per million) of minerals and other elements. But is mineral water good for you?
Depending upon the source of mineral water, its health benefits, quality, taste, and type vary.
Difference between mineral and regular water
Tap water contains fewer nutrients than mineral water. Mineral water is usually preferred by people: because of its perceived pureness and health benefits. There are only a few differences between both types of water.
Both types undergo processing: however, mineral water must have a certain recommended amount of minerals or nutrients. Tap water comes from underground or surface sources like dams, rivers, or lakes. It goes through a complex system of pipelines for the treatment and disinfection process. Then it is delivered to the households by pipelines. This water must meet the EPA clean water safety standards before being delivered to the houses. However, despite all these efforts, the mineral content of the regular water can sometimes cause the corrosion of the pipelines that contaminate the water. It makes the water unhealthy for drinking.
On the other hand, mineral water has a high mineral or nutrient content. This water comes from natural water sources like springs and underground mineral water tanks. This water is usually bottled at the source, but to make it safe and healthy: it sometimes undergoes chemical processing. This chemical processing involves carbon dioxide treatment and the elimination of harmful and toxic elements.
Possible health benefits of mineral water
Here are few potential health benefits of mineral water.
Fulfills magnesium deficiency
Mineral water is a great source of magnesium that helps in maintaining blood pressure and blood sugar level of the body. Most people do not take the recommended amount of magnesium, which causes a lot of health problems. By regularly consuming mineral water, a person can fulfill its daily magnesium requirement.
Lowers blood pressure
Mineral water has an adequate amount of magnesium and calcium. The inadequate or lower amount of these minerals may contribute to high blood pressure and lead to other cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, taking mineral water may reduce the risk of getting cardiovascular diseases and lowers blood pressure.
Bone strengthening and blood circulation
Mineral water helps in bone strengthening and regulates the blood circulation of the body. It has a sufficient amount of calcium, magnesium, and potassium that helps in regulating blood circulation, heartbeat and strengthens the bone. Calcium is required for the proper function of the bones at all stages of life. Mineral water provides a sufficient amount of calcium to the body and helps in strengthening the bones.
Relieve the constipation
Magnesium helps in relieving constipation and improves overall digestive health. There is enough amount of magnesium in mineral water. Magnesium supports the intestinal muscles and draws the water to the intestine to soften the stool. In this way, it regulates bowel movements and avoids the incidences of constipation.
The risks associated with mineral water
Mineral water is usually safe to drink: however it sometimes contains a fewer amount of contaminants. The amount of sodium in mineral water is sometimes high that is quite dangerous for people on a low sodium diet. Below are few risks associated with mineral water usage.
Interfere with hormonal functioning
Minerals water is bottled at the source within the plastic bottles. These bottles have contaminants or microplastics that interfere with the normal hormonal functioning of the body. These microplastics accumulate in the body and cause inflammation.
However, only a few studies support this idea, and more research is needed to confirm this statement.
Damage to tooth enamel
Sparkling or carbonated water is slightly acidic. As a result, it destroys the enamel of the teeth. However, this impact is not as significant as consuming soda or sugary drinks.
One of the significant risks associated with mineral water consumption is environmental pollution. The plastic bottles are produced and used on a large scale. It is not properly dumped, recycled, or reused: as a result, it contributes to environmental pollution.
Many studies suggest the health benefits of drinking mineral water: however, few risks are associated with it. Consuming mineral water is safe, but it is expensive than tap water and can cause microplastics toxicity. Tap water is also safe to consume as EPA strictly monitors and regulates the water quality. It makes tap water a cheap alternative with all the essential nutrients.
Choosing between tap water and mineral water depends upon people’s preferences, location, and health. It is ideal to check the annual report of EPA on water quality to choose a perfect and healthy drinking water alternative.