You may be wondering what all of the fuss is about over what kind of water you should be drinking, and what the healthiest option is for you and your family. Surely there can’t be too many differences between tap water and bottled water. After all, water is just water, right?
Drinking water contains various minerals and particles. So when you drink water, you are not only providing your body with the hydration that it needs, you’re also giving it crucial nutrients that serve a variety of important functions. This can be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the type and amount of each mineral found within the mineralized water. The most important minerals to focus on are calcium, magnesium, and sodium.
Why are these minerals important?
Too much or too little of certain minerals can increase likelihood of disease and other complications, so it’s important that you get the right amounts.
Everyone needs lots of calcium, but this need is especially higher during childhood, fetal growth, pregnancy, and lactation. Calcium is crucial for good bone health and preventing diseases like osteoporosis, yet nutritional surveys suggest that 50% of Americans aren’t getting nearly enough of this vital nutrient in their diet.
Similar results are evident for magnesium intake. While heavy amounts of magnesium may prove to be harmful, potentially causing heart disease and death, a lower amount of this mineral is very important for maintaining healthy bodily functions. That being said, most of the US population takes in less than 80% of the recommended level of magnesium.
Who is at risk for deficiency?
Children are constantly growing, and while they may be smaller than us, they actually need more of these nutrients — especially calcium — to grow up strong and healthy. Micronutrient deficiencies during pregnancy are also an issue. These deficiencies during pregnancy could lead to anaemia, hypertension, obstetric complications and even maternal death. Micronutrient deficiencies could also lead to slow or completely halted fetal growth and development.
What can you do?
Luckily, drinking water has been shown to contribute to mineral intake. When you take in calcium and magnesium by drinking water, your body actually absorbs it faster than it would if you had taken it by food or supplementation.
It’s no wonder that drinking more water is always so highly encouraged!
Whether the water that you choose to drink is from the tap or from a bottle doesn’t matter. What does matter is the mineral content. The mineral content can help to determine if the water is healthy for you and your family.
So what should you look for in determining if you have healthy water?
Ideally, you want your drinking water to be high in magnesium and calcium, and low in sodium. This is due to the fact that there are high percentages of decreased intake and deficiencies of magnesium and calcium. Naturally, higher consumption and absorption of these minerals is more highly encouraged.
Sodium on the other hand, has been found to be commonly consumed in excess through high sodium foods. This can cause issues such as hypertension. Many Americans already consume too much sodium, so there is no need to increase the intake by having more in the drinking water.
So when you are trying to decide what water is healthiest, keep in mind that higher levels of calcium and magnesium with lower levels of sodium is the best option for keeping your family healthy.
It is worth noting the results of a scientific study, which found that “mineral levels of tap water vary among North American cities and even among different water sources within the same city. Variations in mineral levels also exist among commercially available bottled waters. North American tap water and North American bottled waters generally contain low mineral levels.”
pH of water also important
The pH level is another key component to determining just how healthy your drinking water actually is for your family. Since American diets tend to lean on the acidic side of the scale, choosing to drink water made alkaline through the addition of essential minerals can help you maintain a healthier pH.
Our bodies are always working to keep all of our daily functions in perfect balance. We can help this process by providing ourselves the nutrients that are essential. Since water provides many of these vital nutrients, one of the best gifts you can give yourself, your family and friends is healthy water. So keep your family and kids safe and healthy by checking the mineral content of your water, installing a mineralized alkaline water filter, and reminding everyone to drink up!