Does Reverse Osmosis Water Leach Minerals from Body?

Does Reverse Osmosis Water Leach Minerals from Body

If you have been researching methods for water filtration, you will be quite familiar with the reverse osmosis (RO) process. This is one of the best methods to remove almost all contaminants in water. This process also removes beneficial minerals from water. In this article, we will explore whether the reverse osmosis process removes minerals from your body too.

Reverse osmosis water does not leach minerals from the body. The reverse osmosis method removes most minerals from water as part of the filtration process. People who eat a balanced diet get all the minerals they need from their food. Water only provides a small amount of these minerals. Therefore, drinking RO treated water will not leach minerals from your body. 

There are obvious benefits of treating your drinking water with a reverse osmosis filter, and we will discuss these later on in the article. However, one obvious drawback is that RO water does not contain any minerals. It is important to mention here that water is not a vital source of minerals. Let’s take a look at the significance of minerals in water and whether RO water is good for you or not.

Learn more in my comprehensive article about reverse osmosis.

What Minerals Does Reverse Osmosis Remove from Water?

Reverse osmosis is a very effective and widely used filtration method for purifying water. The process is a rigorous one, and it removes up to 99% of contaminants from the water source. However, along with these harmful substances, the RO system also removes beneficial minerals from water.

Fortunately, water is not the primary source of minerals – our food provides all of the essential minerals we need for good health. However, minerals are present in much of the water we consume, and people are concerned about using a filtration method that removes them. This is one reason why people are skeptical about drinking reverse osmosis water and installing these systems in their homes.

Here are some minerals present in water that the human body benefits from and are removed by RO filtration:

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Fluoride
  • Phosphorous

Although reverse osmosis systems remove these minerals, eating a healthy diet will ensure that you get your daily mineral requirements. If your diet is limited, you can also take supplements to provide these nutrients. So, the removal of minerals is not a major reason for not installing or using RO filtration in your home.

Health Benefits of Drinking Reverse Osmosis Water

Reverse osmosis water may come with minerals removed, but there are some obvious benefits of consuming water that has been purified through this process. Let’s look at these in a bit more detail:

1.   Multiple filtration stages

A good RO system purifies water through 3 to as many as 8 processes. There are different stages at which different contaminants are removed. For example, dust, odor, bacteria, minerals, and pesticides are all removed in different stages, and there is a UV layer that further purifies water. This is a very rigorous multi-stage process that ensures you get 99% contaminant-free water for drinking.

2.   Clean and quick food

When reverse osmosis water is used in recipes, the prepared food is clean and free of any health hazards. This means that you get to eat food that is healthy and nutritious and will add to your overall nourishment.

The other benefit related to food is that RO water boils quickly, compared to water that contains minerals and other dissolved solids and salts. This means that you get your meals ready faster, and you save time and energy.

3.   Great oral, skin and hair health

When it comes to our skin, collagen is a very important part of our makeup. Harmful chemicals and metals, like chlorine and aluminum, can break down collagen and rob our skin of its glow. RO water is pure from these harmful substances and adds a youthful glow to our skin.

Our hair also needs a balance of natural oils that are stripped away by hard and contaminated water. Our teeth and oral health also get affected when we use unfiltered water.

Reverse osmosis water helps maintain our overall health by being completely contaminant and chemical free.

Ways to Remineralize Reverse Osmosis Water

Since reverse osmosis water filtration systems have become quite popular and are commonly used for purifying water, the fact that they remove minerals from water is widely known. Many people prefer the taste of water with minerals in it to the ultra-pure water produced by reverse osmosis.

Read my article about remineralizing your RO treated water.

If you absolutely need your water to have minerals, there are several ways in which reverse osmosis water can be remineralized. Listed below are the most cost-effective methods of adding minerals back to your treated water.

1.   Mineral drops

You can get a bottle of mineral drops that can be added to your glass of water, jug, or bottle. These mineral drops are a recent addition to the market, and they add more than just calcium and magnesium to your water.

2.   Himalayan salt

Himalayan salt is a great source of trace minerals and can be added to reverse osmosis water to remineralize it. You can add a little bit of it to your pitcher or glass of water to balance the mineral content in your water.

3.   Alkaline pitcher

Alkaline pitchers are mainly used for balancing the pH of water. They can filter water for pollutants and also remineralize it. You will have to look for one that is on the higher end, in terms of price, but it is an easy way to add some lost minerals back to your water.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.   Is RO water harmful for kidneys?

Drinking purified water, in appropriate amounts, is vital for kidney health. RO filters remove contaminants and harmful chemicals from water which ensures that you drink healthy and clean water all the time.

2.   Is it safe to boil reverse osmosis water?

Boiling RO water is completely safe. However, it is not necessary because the RO process already gets rid of contaminants in water and boiling this already pure water is a waste of energy and time.

3.   What are the side effects of drinking RO water?

Drinking RO water does not have any major side effects. However, RO water is free from all minerals, and you will be deprived of these minerals from a water source.

Final Thoughts

Water does contain some important trace minerals that are good for our body which are removed due to RO filtration. However, water isn’t a vital source of minerals, and this loss can be compensated for through proper diet and remineralization of water. We hope this article helps you see that RO water isn’t detrimental to your health and you can fulfill your mineral needs from other sources too.

Chief Guru

Richard Boch is a chemical engineer responsible for designing water filtration systems for industrial and residential customers. He has more than 20 years of experience with ion exchange, activated carbon, and reverse osmosis. Richard's expertise has made him a go-to source for municipalities and businesses looking to improve their water quality. When he's not working, Richard enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children. You can also follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

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