Health Benefits of Mineral Water

If you are confused by conflicting arguments on the health benefits of mineral water, keep in mind that they are not all the same.

Natural Mineral Water

Water that comes out of the ground will pass through several layers of rocks and will contain the mineral elements of these rocks. Depending on the source, some of these dissolved minerals may either be good or bad for health. Hence, mineral water from these sources will vary in its content and quality.

Bottled Mineral Water

Once these mineral waters are bottled, the quality will again be affected by the bottling method and on how it was stored.


Read on for further clarification. You will also learn how to identify a good product by its label.

What Is Mineral Water?

Definition according to the FDA

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

"Mineral water is any natural water that contains at least 250 parts per million of total dissolved solids (TDS). It must be verified through a lab test whereby a litre of water, evaporated at 180 degrees C, should leave a residue of minerals and salts.
Up to 249 mg/liter is classified as 'Spring Water'.
From 250 to 500 mg/liter is considered 'Low Mineral Content' or Light Mineral Water
Above 500 mg/liter is considered normal or High Mineral Content.
This mineral water must be from a geologically and physically protected underground water source. It can either be flat or sparkling. No minerals may be added to this water."

However, in other countries, these standards may vary and the term "mineral water" can be water with a lower TDS. So when you travel abroad, be extra careful with the quality of bottled water. Read the label to learn more.

Bottled mineral water in different countries may have different TDS
Bottled mineral water in different countries may have different TDS | Source

What Are the Health Benefits?

Are there any health benefits in drinking mineral water?

There are many and the most important reason is that the minerals in the water benefit you because of their healing properties.

Our body can more easily absorb minerals from water as opposed to food. Hence, you gain more by drinking.

Here are some of the benefits.

1. Detoxifying Properties

It helps detoxify the body from any potentially harmful substances.

The best time to benefit from this process is to drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Start with one glass and gradually progress to two glasses.

2. Calorie-Free

There are no calories in mineral water, so you don't have to worry about weight issues.

3. Replaces Electrolytes

Our sweat is water that has varying amount of dissolved minerals in it such as chloride, sodium, calcium, iron, potassium, and others. Hence, when we sweat, we get rid of body heat as well as water and these electrolytes.

Drinking mineral water helps replenish what is lost and can balance the electrolytes in the body.

4. Source of Calcium

For people who suffer from lactose intolerance, drinking mineral water will provide part of their calcium intake.

Refer to the World Health Organization report for more detail (below).

5. Lowers Cholesterol

This may surprise you, but based on a study published in 2004 by the Journal of Nutrition, drinking mineral water can lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the good cholesterol (HDL).

The study concluded that this may be due to sodium content present in mineral water.

6. Hydrates More Effectively

Based on studies, (by S. Williams, N. Krueger, M. Davids, D. Kraus and M. Kerscher in 2007), drinking mineral water (as compared to tap water), shows a better skin-hydrating effect.

Drinking it, especially the sparkling kind, will motivate you to drink more since it tastes better than tap water!

So keep the body hydrated and drink at least eight glasses of water. Drink even more if you work out, or are out on a hot sunny day.

7. Prevents Cognitive Decline With Alzheimer's

Based on a report from the UK's The Daily Mail newspaper, drinking a liter of silicon-rich mineral water every day can reduce the cognitive decline in Alzheimer's. This is done by removing the neurotoxin aluminium from the body.

The newspaper quoted research done at Keele University in Staffordshire, England.

The brand of water that was used in the study was 'Spritzer', from Malaysia, which contains high levels of silicon.

Other brands with similar levels of silicon that are available in the UK are Volvic and Fiji water, as reported by The Daily Mail.

Spritzer with its high silicon content helps to reduce Alzheimer's memory loss, as reported by The Daily Mail
Spritzer with its high silicon content helps to reduce Alzheimer's memory loss, as reported by The Daily Mail | Source

8. Thermal Baths or Spas

Natural thermal waters are hot mineral waters with a high concentration of sulfate, calcium, and chloride. It has been used for centuries to improve skin and mobility problems such as arthritis.

It works by reducing inflammation and swelling of the muscles and joints, hence reducing the pain.

This water is however, not suitable for drinking due to a very high level of sulfate.

The word 'SPA' which is associated with thermal bath, is a Latin phrase ‘Salus Per Aquam’ which means ‘health through water’.

9. Good Minerals

Mineral water contains the following minerals that are beneficial to your health. There are also minerals that may be harmful. This is clarified in the next section.

  • Magnesium: Helps strengthen the immune system, relaxes the body and muscles, and lowers blood pressure
  • Chloride and Bicarbonates: Helps balance the digestive system
  • Iron: Helps deliver oxygen to the blood system
  • Sulfate: Cleanses and detoxifies the body
  • Calcium: Strengthens the bones and teeth

Although there are other minerals present in mineral water, the above are the most commonly present in all brands. They are also responsible for giving each brand its distinctive taste.

10. Helps Improve Blood Regeneration

The water that you drink will help the body renew your blood.

This happens every 15 days. Hence, if you drink better quality water, you will have blood with better properties.

Generally most mineral waters are of high quality, which will be beneficial to this process.

11. Boosts Athletic Performance

In the study done at the University of Montana, people who drink mineralized water lose body fluids at a slower rate as compared to those who don't.

This translate to better cardiovascular performance. Hence, you will not only have more energy during your workout or exercise, but you will also recover faster.

Other uses for mineral water: Use mineral water to blow dry your hair
Other uses for mineral water: Use mineral water to blow dry your hair | Source

12. Good for the Hair

The next time you wash your hair, try using mineral water. Shampoo as normal with tap water, then rinse with bottled mineral water. Try this for two weeks and you will see noticeable results.

You will get healthier and shinier hair, as reported in a Daily Mail newspaper article.

Alternatively, you can spray your hair with mineral water or mix it in your favorite hair spray before you blow it dry. Try Evian water, which now sells mineral water spray for the hair and face.

Why Others Dispute the Health Benefits

Some of the reasons given as to why it is not healthy to drink mineral water are:

  1. It will give you essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. However, some brands may also have minerals which are not so beneficial, like sodium, sulfur and nitrate.
  2. Although you need minerals to maintain a healthy body, these can be taken by eating a healthy and balanced diet or by taking supplements. The body needs minerals only in small quantities. Hence, there is no need to drink mineral waters to get them, especially since each production will provide a different composition.
  3. Bottled drinks, including bottled mineral water are not healthy. Chemicals in the plastic bottle may be released into the water, especially if it is left in a car on a hot sunny day.
  4. Bottled water costs more compared with tap water.

In response to the above comments, it is proposed that you do the following:

  • Read the label before buying to see its content. Generally most brands have reasonable amounts of minerals that will not give any undue disadvantages
  • Buy only new production bottled mineral water and not old stock to reduce any chances of leached chemicals.
  • Do not leave bottled mineral water in an area exposed to direct sunlight or heat, such as in parked cars on a hot sunny day.

Read the label, as from this photo, you can see these mineral waters all have different contents
Read the label, as from this photo, you can see these mineral waters all have different contents | Source

How to Read the Label and Know What You're Buying

Before you buy bottled mineral water, please read the label. You will be making a healthier choice by understanding its contents.

Check for the following:

  • Sodium: If your diet is already high in hidden sodium and you combine that with mineral water that is also high in sodium, you may well exceed the recommended limit. This will be harmful, especially if you suffer from high blood pressure.
  • Nitrates: Mineral water with high nitrate content may be harmful for pregnant women and babies under six months old. It is, therefore, best to avoid brands that have nitrate content. The maximum contaminant level (MCL) for nitrate is 45mg/l. For nitrogen MCL is 10mg/l. For nitrite, the MCL is 1mg/l.
  • Aluminium: Although the effects of aluminium are still uncertain, especially with regard to Alzheimer's disease, it is best to avoid brands that have traces of it in their water.
  • Sulfates: As sulfates are present in most ground-waters, you will find almost all brands with traces of this mineral. Sulfates are known to detoxify the liver, assist in digestion, and improve skin health by increasing circulation. It will also reduce any muscle cramps. However, if it is in excess of 250-500mg/l, it will not only make the water taste bitter, but will also act as a laxative. Not a very good idea especially if you are on the move.

Codex Code

Note: Refer to 'Codex Code for Mineral Water' (CODEX STAN 108-1981) for more information on the maximum allowable amounts of the mineral substances in the bottled Natural Mineral Water. Look up for 'CODEX Standard for Natural Mineral Waters' which is in PDF format.

Additional Info to Check on the Label

Some bottled mineral water may either be distilled or tap water that has been processed and added with minerals during the bottling stage.

Hence, read the label to know if you are buying a natural mineral water or otherwise.

Also read the label for the following:

  • Acidity (pH): Mineral water should be neutral and have a pH level of 7 or slightly higher. Below 7 means the water is acidic and above 7, it is alkaline.
  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS): According to the FDA, it must be at least 250 mg/liter (or 250 parts per million)
  • Other mineral elements that may be present in the water are listed below. Some of these are beneficial to your health, whilst some are not. For commercial reasons, no sane manufacturers will bottle mineral water that has minerals that are harmful for human consumption!
  • Any pertinent nutritional claims
  • Any contact information for the bottler
  • Type of water, its source, and how it was processed.

If in doubt, contact the bottler and ask for their latest test results.

Minerals That May Be Present

  • Aluminum (Al)
  • Arsenic (As)
  • Borondioxyde (BO2-)
  • Bromine (Br-)
  • Calcium (Ca++)
  • Chloride (Cl-)
  • Cobalt (Co)
  • Carbondioxyde (CO2)
  • Chromium (Cr-)
  • Copper (Cu++)
  • Fluoride (F-)
  • Germanium (Ge)
  • Hydrogencarbonate (HCO3-)
  • Iodine (I)
  • Iron (Fe++)
  • Lithium (Li+)
  • Magnesium (Mg++)
  • Manganese (Mn+)
  • Nitrate (NO3-)
  • Potassium(K+)
  • Rubidium (Rb)
  • Silica (SiO2)
  • Sodium (Na+)
  • Strontium (Sr++)
  • Sulfate (SO4--)
  • Zinc (Zn++)

Why Is Water Important?

About 70% of our bodies are filled with water, but this figure varies differently with different people.

The various organs in our body also contain water.

  • Our brain is 70% water
  • Our lungs are 90% water
  • Blood is 83% water
  • Our lean muscle tissues are 75% water.

Every day we lose body water through sweat and other body wastes. On average, we must daily replace about 5 pints of water, daily.

Hence, it is important that we replenish it because it will:

  • Transport oxygen and nutrition to the cells in the body
  • Help cushion our joints
  • Assist in bowel movements
  • Help regulate our body temperature
  • Reduce the chance of getting urinary tract infections
  • Help maintain good kidney function
  • Regulate our blood pressure and stop it from dropping to life-threatening levels
  • Keep blood from clotting and defend against blood clots
  • Help moisturize and keep our skin from being dry
  • Reduce the chance of getting frequent headaches

Drinking appropriate quantities of good quality water will, therefore, keep our body in good working condition.

Stay Hydrated

Now you know why you should stay hydrated and why drinking lots of water will keep you healthy.

With its many health benefits, it is a good idea to drink natural mineral water to replenish lost water.

However, remember that not all brands are the same. Mineral water comes from many sources and will not taste the same or have the same mineral content.

So before buying any, please read the label for its sources and ingredients.

Choosing the right brand will give you the right health benefits.

Stay hydrated and enjoy.

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"This article is written for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being."

© 2012 Mazlan

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Comments 20 comments

Lee 3 days ago

Great information about mineral.

iguidenetwork profile image

iguidenetwork 3 years ago from Austin, TX

Very useful information, and I discover a lot more about mineral water (including the fact that it has calcium). Great stuff indeed! :)

greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

@Movie Master, Thanks. I am glad you found the article useful and have learnt something from it. Thanks again for the visit and commenting.

Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

An excellent article, thank you for the useful information, I've learnt a lot thank you and voted up

greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

@TotalHealth, I am glad this article has been useful, thanks for dropping by and commenting

TotalHealth profile image

TotalHealth 4 years ago from Hermosa Beach, CA

Great information. Next time I buy mineral water I will make certain to pay closer attention to the label. Thanks!

greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

@teaches12345, thanks for dropping by and sharing. Good to hear from you again.

greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

@Simone. Spa mineral water usually have higher level of sodium, not too good for drinking though!! Thanks for the visit.

greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

@lindacee. Thanks and I am glad the article prompts you to choose before buying your next bottled mineral water.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I may have to look into a spa that offers a mineral bath. It sounds like it would be beneficial to the joints. Thanks for pointing out the benefits. The bottling process does make a difference. My husband used to work for a general bottler and the process produced a much better tasting water (at least to me) than others. Voted up.

Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

Wow, I didn't know that mineral water had so many potential benefits. I only really drink it when I go to spas, and then it's just the water that bubbles up from that particular spring. Thanks for giving the overview- and dispelling some common misunderstandings surrounding the subject.

lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona

It's so funny we assume that just because something is labeled as mineral water, it must be good for us. Now I know that's not the case. As K said, I'll be doing some research before I make another purchase. I really liked your informational capsules and the quotes about water! Excellent Hub. :)

greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

@johnsmitht, Yes you are right, too much water including mineral water can be bad as it forces the kidney to work harder. It will also increase the total blood volume and this will also force the heart and blood vessels to work extra hard. With anything, do it in moderation and listen to your body for any telltale signs of 'danger'. Although the quantum of minerals in mineral water may not be that much to hit the daily limits, but when combined with other foods and supplement that we may take, it might increase the level. In the US and Europe , drinking tap water is safe and tap water in these countries also have traces of these minerals, but at lower levels. That is why it is important to read the label and buy brands with lower level or not exceeding the limit. Thanks for bringing this very important point and for sharing it with us.

greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

@jdzwrdz I am glad you find the article useful and thanks for sharing. Hot springs can be addictive!

greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

@krsharp05. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Appreciate that.

greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

@leahlefler. I was traveling with one of the airlines where they had this mist spray (that they keep in the toilet) to help you with an aircraft cabin dehydration problem. I will use them on my face and it really helps. I think it was mineral water.

johnsmitht profile image

johnsmitht 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing with us your knowledge of the benefits of mineral water. Just a little precaution though. Too much of anything can be bad for your health - mineral water included.

Drinking no other fluids other than mineral water may spike up your Magnesium (Mg) and Potassium (K) levels. Though it all depends on the amount electrolytes and minerals your water contains.

jdzwrdz 4 years ago

Great Hub. Lots of info. I've had the opportunity to wade in mineral laden hots springs during my time in Steamboat Springs Colorado. It was great

krsharp05 profile image

krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

This is very useful information. I clearly need to pay more attention to the type of water I purchase. Thank you for the boost! -K

leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

Wow - I had no idea you could use mineral water on your hair! You have so many ideas and facts about mineral water here. It is interesting that this type of water has a better hydrating effect than plain water.

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    Mazlan (greatstuff)452 Followers
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    Mazlan wasn’t into health & fitness, but as age crept up on him, he realizes the importance & benefits of living a fit & healthy lifestyle

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