Mineral Water

July 27, 2009

What is mineral water and is it any good for us?

Mineral water, as the name suggests is any water which contains dissolved minerals, either naturally occurring at source or added during the processing stage of production. This includes sparkling, carbonated or effervescent water which again occurs naturally as well as being processed.

Historically, mineral waters were considered a therapeutic ‘cure’ which you could not only drink but bathe in to receive the health benefits. The historic City of Bath in England is a prime example and other towns harboring spas, baths and wells, have basically built themselves around these natural mineral water sources. Pilgrimages to these spas were commonplace.

Nowadays our mineral water tends to be bottled at source and shipped around the world, which is far more convenient than traveling to the source – many of which are now not open to the public but have been turned into big bottling businesses. The number of commercially available brands of mineral water total some 3,000 products across the globe and so there is no real shortage of choice.

The amount of dissolved minerals contained within the water determines whether it is classified as hard or soft. The more minerals, the harder the water. The United States ‘Food & Drug Administration’ (FDA) defines mineral water as having over 250 parts per million of dissolved solids and having to be naturally sourced from bore holes, springs or other underground sources. Mineral water as far as the US FDA are concerned can not be processed to add more minerals although this is not stipulated elsewhere in the world where processed waters are also considered or classified as mineral water.

So, where a great deal of our water today is processed to remove dissolved solids such as minerals, chemicals, gas and other ‘impurities’, often our natural mineral water tends to be bottled at source, retaining all of it’s mineral content which the majority see as being beneficial to our health and well-being. Magnesium and calcium are the most common naturally occurring minerals with various others including iron, potassium and fluoride to name but a few. The tap (faucet) water in some cities and countries for example Zurich in Switzerland also contains large amounts of dissolved minerals and can also be classified as mineral water.

Although our municipal systems have mandatory checks and tests in place to ensure that water safety regulations are adhered to for our safety, there are no such questions asked or testing procedures carried out for spring and mineral waters. We have to place our faith in the bottlers and producers. However, it is generally accepted that the dissolved minerals in this water do not harm us but do actually contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Other chemicals and bacteria present are hopefully treated during the bottling process before we consume the water!

It is also generally accepted that drinking water high in minerals is the best way for us to achieve the correct mineral levels within our bodies so that the mineral content of our bodies isn’t leached away, leaving our cells deficient, which in turn can quickly lead to illness.

Tap water also contains minerals and a simple answer would be to install a carbon filter system or similar, which can ensure that you have mineral water on tap, but with other contaminents and impurities removed. This is quite obviously a much more cost effective solution to buying bottled mineral water from the supermarkets.

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Mineral Water as a Calcium Source?

According to recent research carried out on 600 men and women with a particular well-known brand of French Mineral Water, our bodies can get an extra 300 milligrams a day of calcium. To check the mineral content of your favorite water visit bottledwaterweb.com and click on “Bottlers”. Source: BNET UK