Hydration and healthy living go hand in hand. Water keeps your body running smoothly, helps stave off the pounds, and keeps skin looking dewy and refreshed. Mineral water benefits our bodies the same way but offers enticing extras. Mineral water packs some extra punch that should make you rethink your choice of water if you don’t drink it regularly.
What is Mineral Water?
Mineral water is any water that has naturally occurring salts and minerals in it. It normally comes from a spring that is in an area rich in minerals. Mineral water is different from water that has been “mineralized.” The latter is drinking water that has had certain minerals added in artificially.
Mineral water outside the United States may fit into different guidelines than mineral water in the US. The FDA defines mineral water as bottled water that must meets the following standards:
- The water must have at least 250 parts per million (ppm) total dissolved solids.
- It must come from a physically protected underground source.
- It must contain no added minerals other than the minerals it contains naturally.
- The water must maintain constant relative proportions of minerals and trace elements at its source.
The minerals in the water will depend on the minerals in the ground and rocks near the source of the water. Common minerals found in mineral water include:
- sulfur compounds
All mineral waters have slightly different mineral levels. Check to see the exact composition of your mineral water by comparing labels or entering the brand of water in here. Then you can compare water brands to see which brand has the most of the minerals you need to maximize your best health.
Sparkling versus Flat Mineral Water
Mineral water may be either flat or sparkling (fizzy). Sparkling mineral water can happen naturally due to trapped gases that the minerals release into the water. Carbonation can also be added to the water later when it is being bottled.
Choosing flat or sparkling mineral water mainly comes down to what you like better. Sparkling mineral water may have extra germ busting properties that flat mineral water does not have though. The acid carbon dioxide releases kills microbes that would survive in flat water.
Soda drinkers often choose sparkling mineral water as a healthier option than soda. A 12 ounce can of Sprite has 140 calories and more than 30 grams of sugar. Meanwhile, sparkling mineral water is a naturally calorie free choice. Sparkling mineral water offers soda drinkers the appeal of a similar mouth feel to soda without added junk. For extra taste and a boost of vitamin C, adding a twist of lemon and lime to sparkling mineral water will give that lemon lime soda taste to dieters craving a soda fix.
The 10 Benefits of Mineral Water
Mineral water has a number of benefits for your health and well being. Some of the benefits of drinking mineral water include the following:
- Weight Management. Drinking water has been proven to help dieters lose weight. Studies prove that obese individuals that drink water prior to eating lost more weight than those who did not. Water helps you feel fuller longer and keeps the gi tract running smoothly so you don’t hang on to unwanted pounds
- Extra calcium. More calcium intake builds stronger bones. Bottled mineral water can contain as much as 4 times the amount of calcium as tap water. Studies have shown drinking mineral water with a higher calcium content may support healthier bones. This is especially crucial for postmenopausal women, who are at higher risk for osteoporosis.
- Magnesium boosts heart health. According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Suppliments, magnesium can both lower blood pressure and help reduce artery clogging cholesterol. Mineral water has a nice extra punch of magnesium to help your ticker keep ticking.
- Perks of extra sulfates. Certain brands of mineral water like San Pellegrino have lots of extra sulfates. According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, sulfur deficiencies can lead to heart disease and obesity. We get 10 percent of our sulfates through drinking water. Drinking mineral water ups that percentage and helps combat the risk of heart disease and obesity.
- Better Digestion. Mineral water helps digestion happen efficiently. Not only does water itself keep your digestive system in good working order, but the extra sulfates give it an added bonus. The sulfates in mineral water help the liver and pancreas release enzymes that break down food more effectively.
- Prevent Dehydration. While water keeps you hydrated, mineral water packs an extra hydration punch by keeping your electrolytes balanced. The U.S. National Library of Medicine defines electrolytes as minerals in your bodily fluids that carry an electrical charge. Mineral water, being full of minerals, gives your body an influx of these substances like calcium, potassium, and sodium. These minerals help your body absorb water.
- Soothe Sore Muscles. The extra boost of key elements in mineral water helps beat sore muscles. The Mayo Clinic says not getting enough magnesium, potassium, and calcium can cause painful muscle cramping. Drinking mineral water is an easy way to get more of those key nutrients in your diet and avoid painful cramps.
- Silica for Skin and Healing. While regular water helps keep complexions glowing and dewy, mineral water gives your skin an extra boost. Some mineral waters contain lots of silica. This mineral promotes collagen growth and skin elasticity, giving your skin a smoother appearance with less wrinkles. Since silica also helps skin form connective tissues, having a diet rich in silica also promotes faster wound healing.
- Detoxes the Body. Mineral water has detoxifying properties. Since mineral water contains sulfates and other minerals that help the liver release amino acids for digestion more effectively, drinking it helps the liver release stored toxins. To reap maximum detox benefits drink a cup or two in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Reduce Risk of Kidney Stones. Health care providers recommend drinking more water to help prevent kidney stones. Mineral water is particularly effective in kidney stone prevention. The magnesium and calcium in mineral water helps prevent calcium oxiate stones.
Popular Brands of Mineral Water
There are several different brands of mineral water. The water all comes from different sources and diverse mineral make ups. Popular brands of mineral water include:
Choosing Your Mineral Water
When picking the mineral water that’s best for you, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, consider what minerals you want to consume more of. Then check the mineral water brands you are considering and choose the one that best fits your needs.
Cost is another consideration. Mineral water has a reputation for being more expensive than other bottled waters. Find a brand that fits your price point while still suiting your nutritional needs may take some comparison shopping.
What should I watch out for if I drink mineral water?
Pay attention to the sodium content in the water you choose. Some brands of mineral water have an excess amount of salt in the water. This can increase your salt intake to an unhealthy level if you aren’t careful. According to the American Heart Association, too much sodium can cause high blood pressure and lead to extra strain on your heart and blood vessels.
Is there anyone that should not drink mineral water?
Urban Baby says pregnant women should limit mineral water consumption. Pregnant women have increased risk of high blood pressure problems including pregnancy induced hypertension and preeclampsia. To avoid increasing the risk of high blood pressure in pregnancy, mineral water should not be the only drink a pregnant woman drinks due to its high sodium content.
The jury is still out on whether or not non pregnant people with high blood pressure should drink more or less mineral water. While some mineral water is high in sodium, studies have shown that drinking water high in minerals like magnesium may actually reduce blood pressure.
If you are pregnant, nursing, or have high blood pressure, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor prior to adding mineral water to your diet.
Mineral Water: Other Considerations
Thought should be given before drinking any bottled beverage including mineral water. Beverages packaged in plastics including mineral water may contain bisphenol A. also known as BPAs. BPA is a common chemical used to harden plastics. This potentially harmful chemical may leach into foods and drinks packaged in plastics, particularly if left in the heat.
While the FDA still recognizes BPAs as safe to use at its current levels in plastics and food storage, studies done in rodents showed BPAs can be passed from a pregnant mother to a fetus. These studies and suspicions that BPAs could have undesirable effects on hormone levels, brain and heart health started a mass awareness of BPA consumption.
Since the FDA still recognizes this chemical as safe in limited consumption, it is still found in most plastic bottled mineral water. If you are concerned about BPAs, choosing a mineral water in a glass bottle would be the right choice for you.
Going green is a huge concern for many of us. If you are trying to maintain an environmentally friendly lifestyle, you might hesitate to drink any bottled water, choosing instead to drink water from a tap in a reusable water. To reap health benefits and stay eco conscious, look for mineral water sold in recycled bottles or simply recycle your used water bottles.
Companies like Nestle (the manufacturer of Perrier) have made serious environmental strides in packaging. All of Perrier’s PET bottles are 100 percent recyclable.
Is adding mineral water a good nutritional choice?
For most people, yes. Drinking a moderate amount of mineral water ensures you get all the benefits of mineral water. Mineral water benefits extend way beyond basic hydration and can have a huge impact on your health and wellness.