Pure water is the best water, right? Not necessarily.
While reverse osmosis water has become a sought-after trend amongst health enthusiasts, it isn’t always the healthiest option. Here we’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of reverse osmosis water and how to choose the best hydration method for you!
What is Reverse Osmosis Water?
Reverse osmosis is a filtration system used to help purify water. Through reverse osmosis, untreated water flows through a very fine carbon filter. After the filtration process, you’re left with “pure” water that’s free from salt, chemicals, and impurities – but also devoid of minerals.
The Pros and Cons of Reverse Osmosis Water
There are both pros and cons to consider when deciding if you should invest in a reverse osmosis water system or not:
👍🏼 Pro: Reverse osmosis makes access to clean drinking water easier.
There’s no denying that reverse osmosis water is pure. If you live in an area that doesn’t have access to clean water, or you’re concerned about water additives, pesticides, or herbicides, reverse osmosis water filtration can help you get clean water – and peace of mind.
👍🏼 Pro: Reverse osmosis is a great option for campers or travelers.
When you’re out camping or traveling, you’re never really sure of how clean the water is. Portable reverse osmosis systems ensure you can access clean water no matter the local water quality.
👎🏼 Con: Reverse osmosis water removes the “good” ingredients, too.
The healthiest water isn’t actually “pure” water.
We get many helpful minerals through our water sources, like iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. According to the WHO, the ideal water for drinking contains 0 mg/L of Magnesium, 100 mg/L dissolved salts, 30 mg/L of Calcium and 30 mg/L of bicarbonate ion. Because reverse osmosis removes all particles from the water, demineralized water contains zero.
In a perfect world, this wouldn’t be such a problem. We’d get plenty of necessary minerals from our diets and wouldn’t need minerals in water to support our health. Unfortunately, the modern diet lacks the range of vitamins and minerals we need to thrive. Without getting access to added minerals in drinking water, we’re at a higher risk of deficiencies and health issues.
👎🏼 Con: Cooking with reverse osmosis water depletes the vitamins and minerals in food.
Cooking with demineralized water (such as reverse osmosis water) can have consequences on your diet, too.
Studies show that using demineralized water causes “substantial losses of all essential elements from food (vegetables, meat, cereals). Such losses may reach up to 60% for magnesium and calcium or even more for some other microelements (e.g., copper 66%, manganese 70%, cobalt 86%). In contrast, when hard water is used for cooking, the loss of these elements is much lower, and in some cases, even higher calcium content was reported in food as a result of cooking.”
👎🏼 Con: Reverse osmosis water systems waste energy and water.
That fancy new reverse osmosis home system could end up wasting lots of water – and increasing your home utility bills. Because reverse osmosis relies on vast amounts of pressure, small home systems require much more energy to create the same amount of water. At the same time, some claim that home water filtration systems waste up to 60% of water in the process.
Bottom Line: Hydrate in a Healthy Way for YOU
Reverse osmosis water can be a great way to keep your water free of contaminants. This is true especially If you live in an area with questionable water sources, or want to avoid any possible chemicals or pesticides. Just be sure to eat a varied and nutritious diet and supplement with any necessary minerals.
But, if you have access to non-contaminated, healthy hard water, you’re better off avoiding reverse osmosis and reaping the benefits of mineralized water.
Have more questions about hydration, nutrition, or other health concerns?
Call us at 623-266-0059, or request an appointment to find out how an individualized naturopathic treatment plan (complete with home health tips and recommendations like these!) can help you live your healthiest life.
Dr. Lena Fernandez