How can something as basic as water have so many variations? The most important factor in classifying H2O is the process it undergoes. However, in cases like mineral water, it depends on the source and the elements in the final product.
What Is Mineral Water?
Mineral water is defined as water from springs rich in minerals such as salts and sulfur compounds. Mineral water can be still or sparkling (including carbonated or fizzy). Under FDA regulations, mineral water must contain at least 250 parts per million of "dissolved solids" from a protected underground water source. Mineral water is extracted from the depths of the earth.
Doesn't that sound refreshing? It turns out to be much more than that. Mineral water can be high in sodium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and other valuable minerals, all of which must be naturally occurring. In this way, you can really taste the land you're drinking from. This is also the reason why some mineral waters are more highly valued than others, so much so that they're shipped all over the world for consumption.
The Benefits of Mineral Water
The following are some of the advantages of mineral water.
Consuming mineral water improves bone health and helps women avoid diseases such as osteoporosis (low bone density after menopause). Its magnesium content also helps maintain muscle performance.
Lowering Dad Cholesterol
Mineral water containing magnesium and potassium has been shown in studies to lower bad cholesterol.
Mineral water aids digestion by increasing pancreatic amylase secretion due to its sulfate content, which is especially beneficial after heavy meals or overeating.
Mineral water also helps maintain healthy skin due to its high mineral content. It prevents wrinkles by moisturizing the skin.
Good for Rheumatism
Mineral water can help with rheumatism and arthritis by inhibiting inflammation.
Its electrolytes bicarbonate, chloride, potassium and sodium prevent dehydration and ensure good water absorption. According to studies, it also lowers calcium oxalate and reduces the risk of kidney stones.
Replenishes Fluids, Electrolytes
Electrolytes in body fluids help regulate heart, nerve and muscle functions. On hot summer days, mineral water is a healthy choice to replace fluids and electrolytes lost through sweating. It contains bicarbonate, chloride, potassium and sodium, which help replace minerals lost through sweating.
Can Mineral Water Be Bad for You?
Some of you have written to me in the past asking whether mineral water is harmful to health. For example, one reader asked if carbonated water is harmful to tooth enamel. Mineral water is slightly more acidic than regular tap water because of the natural or artificial carbonation, but nowhere near as acidic as flavored sodas.
As you may know, soda pop can be extremely corrosive to tooth enamel, but this is due to the sugar content and high acidity, not the carbonation. Mineral water has been shown in studies to be completely safe. The minerals can even help strengthen teeth!
How Much Water Should you Drink a Day?
For people who are generally healthy, the rule is four to six cups of water. You may drink excessive amounts of water if you have heart, liver, or kidney problems or thyroid disease, or if you take medications that affect your water balance, such as antidepressants, opiate pain relievers, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
If you fall into this category, how much water should you drink per day? There is no one solution that applies to everyone. According to Dr. Seifter, water consumption should be tailored to the individual, and if you are not sure how much water you should drink, ask your doctor.
Even in a healthy person, water needs fluctuate, especially if you sweat a lot while exercising or are outdoors on hot days. Ask your doctor if you are not sure how much water you should drink during these times. However, a healthy person should drink 2-3 cups of water every hour, and even more if sweating heavily.