I am a big fan of reverse osmosis (RO) filtration. That’s because if you have purchased a good multi-stage RO filtration system, you will have the potential to remove hundreds of harmful contaminants from your tap water.
Despite that fact, there is no such thing as a perfect water filtration device and those water filters with reverse osmosis technology are no exception.
This is because the semipermeable membranes found in RO systems are not selective and will filter out any contaminant that is bigger than their normal 1-micron pore size. Among these are some minerals that are essential for your body to function properly.
That’s something that I would like to discuss with you further. I am going to talk about some of the minerals that reverse osmosis filtration removes, why this might be harmful to your body, and how to remineralize reverse osmosis water.
Once I have gone over these points, you will then be better able to decide if you want to find a way to add essential minerals back into your drinking water.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Minerals Does Reverse Osmosis Remove?
- 2 Should I Remineralize My Reverse Osmosis Water
- 3 Benefits of Adding Minerals Back into Reverse Osmosis Water
- 4 Why Are Minerals Important?
- 5 How to Remineralize Reverse Osmosis Water
- 6 Products and Solutions That Have Remineralization
- 7 The Good Reverse Osmosis Filtration Does Outweighs the Bad if You Remineralize It
What Minerals Does Reverse Osmosis Remove?
Minerals belong to a group of water impurities that are known as total dissolved solids (TDS). Something that reverse osmosis filtration systems can remove up to 99.9% of in many cases.
That means any healthy minerals that are present in your incoming household water have very little chance of making it into any glass of water that you drink.
Although this may be a nuisance and cause you to have to take supplements or need to take steps to remineralize your water, you can trust me when I say this is a good thing.
Few water filtration devices reduce or remove contaminants as well as RO systems do.
So, what essential minerals does the reverse osmosis filtration process remove? The list is a long one.
Should I Remineralize My Reverse Osmosis Water
Whether to drink reverse osmosis water or not is a topic that often comes with much debate.
Some respected organizations have concerns with people drinking reverse osmosis water regularly. This includes the World Health Organization (WHO) which issued a warning about drinking too much water that has passed through RO treatment systems.
The points that they made about this opinion include:
- Reverse Osmosis leaves no more than trace amounts of essential minerals
- Once consumed – water produced by a reverse osmosis system may even leach essential nutrients back out of your body
- The long-term benefits of eliminating contaminants from tap water by reverse osmosis may be outweighed by this short-term nutrient loss
Keep in mind that despite reports such as this, there are many more proponents of drinking water that has passed through RO systems than there are those that are opposed to it. I am one of them as I own one of these water filtration systems myself.
One aspect of drinking RO treated water that just about every person and organization can agree on is that if you use this type of water purification, then you should take steps to remineralize the drinking water it produces.
Benefits of Adding Minerals Back into Reverse Osmosis Water
Here are some of the benefits that you get when you remineralize ro water:
- It May Improve Your Health
If you remineralize your tap water after it has been filtered, then you are replacing the trace minerals that your reverse osmosis filter removed. Then using an RO filter to purify your water no longer poses as significant a health risk.
- You Will Experience Better Tasting Water
Most people do not realize that the trace minerals that are commonly found in drinking water also give water the taste that people associate with it being pure and crisp. Mineral-free water is dull and bland tasting. So, adding minerals back to RO treated water also improves its taste.
- You Will Drink More Water
Have you ever tried a beverage and it didn’t taste good to you? Then it’s a safe bet you didn’t drink that type of beverage again. When you add minerals that improve the taste of your tap water, you will also tend to drink more of it and your body will be better hydrated for it.
Why Are Minerals Important?
If you want to know the benefits that you get by taking minerals into your body when you eat and drink, then it’s best to point out what the essential nutrients that RO water filtration systems eliminate are thought to do for your body.
Most of the calcium that you take into your body goes towards making your bones and teeth stronger. It also has a key role to play in cellular signaling, blood clotting, helping your muscles contract, and it supports nerve functioning.
You probably won’t miss the magnesium intake that you eliminate by drinking reverse osmosis-treated water. It’s found in abundance in many foods. This mineral plays an important role in energy production and it facilitates the breakdown of glucose by enzymes.
Here is another mineral that is found in abundance in the body because it’s readily available in food sources. It helps with red blood cell production, heart rate regulation & blood pressure, iron absorption, bone connective tissue maintenance, and the activation of the immune system.
Here is a mineral that is a major component of many enzymes that are found in the body. That’s how it supports the immune system. It’s involved with the synthesis of lipids, nucleic acids, proteins, and carbohydrates.
This substance also helps to shield your body from toxic chemicals.
The role sodium plays in the body can swing like a pendulum if you are not careful. When taken into the body in normal amounts it helps your body maintain proper blood pressure.
When you ingest too much of it, just the opposite is true because it causes your body to hold water and increase blood volume.
Few minerals are as important to your body as potassium. That’s because it does such things as making sure that your body’s cells, tissues, and organs function properly. It’s also an essential electrolyte that controls the pH level and the amount of water in your body.
This is one of the more complimentary minerals that are found in your body because its most important functions come when it combines with other vitamins and minerals. The most important of which is working in tandem with vitamin D and calcium to help build strong bones.
Here is an important mineral whose importance to the body is often overlooked. It is responsible for controlling metabolism and thyroid function. Other roles that it takes on include protecting your body from oxidative stress and neutralizing free radicals.
This important mineral is vital to you having healthy blood. It promotes healthy blood by making hemoglobin (oxygen-carrying red blood cells) and myoglobin (proteins that carry oxygen to the muscles). Your body also uses it to produce some hormones.
Anyone that has ever picked up a tube of toothpaste knows the health benefits that fluoride offers for teeth. This is also the reason why it’s added to many municipal water systems.
There is much debate as to whether it should be added to municipal water systems or not because of potential health issues related to it.
More to Consider
Keep in mind that although these are considered essential nutrients for your body, many of them can lead to health problems if taken into the body in large quantities over time.
So, if you are getting enough of them from other food sources, then your body will not notice the absence of the trace minerals that are no longer found in your demineralized water.
How to Remineralize Reverse Osmosis Water
Most manufacturers of reverse osmosis systems are very aware that some people are not fond of the idea of having essential nutrients removed from their drinking water.
Because of this, many manufacturers have been proactive when it comes to coming up with ways to remineralize ro water that has just passed through their unit’s RO membrane.
This is mainly done by having an included remineralizing filter or alkaline water filter (also called alkalizers) as the last stage on a reverse osmosis filtration system or by selling these as an add-on device to be placed on your water line after the RO filter.
One reverse osmosis filter that I can think of that has an included mineral filter is the iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis System. This is part of the reason why it made our list of the best reverse osmosis systems.
As a general rule, a mineral filter will add many more healthy minerals back into your RO water than alkaline water filters do.
Part of the reason that alkalizers only typically add calcium, magnesium, and a few other minerals into your RO water is that their main function is to raise water’s pH because of the supposed health benefits that come with that.
Products and Solutions That Have Remineralization
Here are some other proven steps that you can take to remineralize your body:
- Take Supplements
You won’t have any problems finding mineral supplements to take to replace the lost nutrients from your RO water after it has been treated through reverse osmosis filtration. More studies are being done now than ever before on the right balance for mineral supplements in the body.
- Purchase an Alkaline Water Pitcher
This is a very inexpensive and hassle-free way to gain some minerals back into your RO water. They work much the same way as alkaline water filters do in that they raise the pH of your demineralized water to enable you to reap the benefits that go along with that.
They include a mineral filter that works very well despite its small size.
One model alkaline water pitcher that we at Water Tech Advice really like is the pH Refresh Alkaline Water Pitcher. This attribute helped it rank among our best-reviewed water filter pitchers.
- Add Trace Mineral Drops to a Glass of Water
Trace mineral drops act much the same way as taking supplements does and they work much better than one might think on demineralized water. Some will even allow you to add enough minerals to treat larger size containers of RO water.
Using mineral drops is often the least expensive way to remineralize RO water too as a bottle of drops will typically last several months.
- Use Himalayan Salt on Your Foods
Most people think himalayan salt is just a fancy name for rock salt to enhance its sales but himalayan salt contains many essential minerals. A surprising 84 of them in this mineral rich salt to be exact.
So the health benefits of adding himalayan salt to demineralized water are even better than its good-looking pinkish color.
The Good Reverse Osmosis Filtration Does Outweighs the Bad if You Remineralize It
I for one don’t feel that there is much debate when it comes to the benefits of using reverse osmosis to purify your drinking water. That’s because RO systems truly do remove a significant number of the harmful impurities that are commonly found in tap water.
There is also a need for me to put an asterisk on that statement. This is because you need to be prudent at the same time as far as getting all of the essential nutrients that you need from what you eat and drink.
Some of that most definitely goes away when you choose to filter your water by passing it through an RO membrane.
Since this is no secret, this is something that can easily be made up for by taking supplements or remineralizing your drinking water after it has gone through the reverse osmosis filtration process.
As long as you are aware of this fact when you go to purchase a new RO filtration system and take corrective action for it, this excellent type of water filtration system will greatly benefit you.
You also have to like the fact that once you learn how to remineralize water there are several methods that you can use to do this.