Over the past year I”ve plunged into a hopeless love affair with mineral water. I’ve run the gamut, trying a lot of the major brands and some of the minor, and I’ve found them all much more enjoyable and health benefits much better than plain ol’ water.
In fact, more and more people are waking up to the benefits of drinking mineral water as a way to enhance their well-being and overall health. So, I thought we could take a look what makes it so healthy and what the science on mineral water has uncovered.
Why is it healthy?
The short answer is, of course, the minerals –which comprise essential nutrients to the body such as iron, calcium, magnesium and others that exist naturally in the water.
Worldwide there are some 3,000 brands of mineral water. Names such as San Pellegrino, Perrier or the iconic Borjomi, from the country of Georgia, which is also sold in pharmacies across Russia for its health-related benefits.
When it comes to taking good care of yourself, even the modest amount of minerals found in tap water can play a beneficial role –of course there are far less to be found than in bottled mineral water. For example, one study showed that people in areas where tap water was low in magnesium were able to lower their high blood pressure by instead drinking one liter of mineral water every day.
Even more interesting is another study showing that people who live in areas where the tap water was lacking in minerals could be at higher risk for heart disease.
The fact is, while ordinary water contains some minerals, bottled mineral water can contain up to four times as much calcium, magnesium and other healthy minerals –making it a very healthy alternative.
And all the more attractive to the health conscious is that, unlike tap water, mineral water is free of chemicals and preservatives.
But don’t take our word for it, let’s see what the science has to say.
Hydrates More Effectively
Based on a study presented to the American Academy of Dermatology, consuming mineral water rather than tap water produced a better skin-hydrating effect. Another study, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, found that people who drank mineral water after a workout, “showed a significantly more rapid return to pre-exercise (baseline) hydration state.”
Mineral water helps detoxify the body from potentially harmful substances. One study showed that drinking a liter of mineral water every day can prevent cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s sufferers by removing aluminium from their bodies.
Mineral water contains zero calories so you don’t have to worry about weight issues.
When we sweat, we not only reduce body heat but we also lose water and electrolytes.
Drinking mineral water, which contains chloride, sodium, calcium, iron, potassium, and others, helps replenish what is lost and can balance the body’s electrolytes.
Source of Calcium
Drinking mineral water will provide part of your calcium intake says a study by the WHO and is especially helpful to people who are lactose intolerant and want another source for calcium.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that drinking mineral water can not only lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) but also increase the good cholesterol (HDL).
Sulfates have been shown to help promote digestion because they stimulate the pancreas to release enzymes such as amylases, proteases and lipases which help food digest properly. Low sulfate levels have been shown to cause poor digestive health as well as bloating, constipation or diarrhea.
Magnesium-rich mineral water allows muscles to relax and contract properly. In fact, muscle aches and cramps are one of the signs of magnesium deficiency.
Boosts Athletic Performance
In a University of Montana study, people who drank mineralized water lost body fluids at a slower rate compared to those who didn’t drink it. The study found that drinking mineral water translated to better cardiovascular performance by giving people more energy during a workout, as well as a quicker recovery time.
As you can see, mineral water offers a lot of great benefits over and above ordinary water. If you’re not sure about adding a healthy dose of mineral water to your daily diet, then talk to your healthcare provider or a nutritionist.