Is Bottled Water Missing Important Minerals and Causing Deficiencies?

Bottled water is bad for you
Bottled and filtered water is often devoid of key minerals.

Mineral Deficiencies and bottled water

When I was a kid there wasn’t bottled water. We drank out of the tap, or even the hose on a hot day. Today bottled or filtered water is the preferred water source for most people. Unfortunately, both bottled and filtered water are deficient in basic minerals lack magnesium. Drinking filtered water instead of the mineral-rich water our ancestors enjoyed can result in dangerous mineral deficiencies.

Our human ancestors evolved in a world in which healthy drinking water came directly from streams, rivers, and lakes, rich in mineral content. The human body became reliant on obtaining a considerable proportion of its daily mineral needs from natural water sources.

Why do we filter out Minerals?

Over time water supplies became compromised with pesticides, chemicals, and contaminants like lead and nitrates. Local water treatment now includes sophisticated filtration that removes most of the natural mineral content. To makes things worse, once filtered tap water reaches out homes, many of us filter the water AGAIN before drinking it. Any minerals that remain in tap water are almost entirely depleted after the second filtration. An example would be the water filter in my refrigerator.

Water filters leach out minerals
Many of us are drinking water that’s been filtered multiple times.

Mineral Deficiencies – Magnesium

One of the most concerning minerals lacking in filtered and bottled water is magnesium. This important element is the fourth most abundant element in the human body. It’s involved in over 300 metabolic reactions and 600 enzymatic functions in the body.magnesium from their diet (6) Due to poor dietary habits and other risk factors, less than half the population gets an adequate amount of magnesium.

The intensification of municipal water treatment has resulted in a growing epidemic of magnesium deficiency, with most Americans failing even to achieve the modest levels set by the government-recommended RDA. Most of us have daily deficiencies in magnesium intake of only 70-200 mg a day.

Consequences of Mineral Deficiencies – Mg

Since magnesium is involved in so many functions in the body, a deficiency can have serious consequences. Magnesium deficiency has been correlated with a host of conditions. Some are just disruptive like migraines, fatigue, and acne. Other consequences are much more severe.

The consequences of magnesium deficiency can be dramatic, including poor insulin response, migraine headaches, high blood pressure, and abnormal and even dangerous heart rhythms.

One of the most concerning with the current COVID-19 epidemic is the inhibition of vitamin D absorption. Recent studies confirm the relationship between vitamin D levels and COVID-19 severity. It’s scary to think some people think supplementing vitamin D is protecting them when a magnesium deficiency is preventing absorption.

Glass is better than plastic

Aside from the environmental burden of plastic bottles, there are also health impacts of drinking out of plastic bottles. Some are related to the BPA content. Other risks related to the plastic getting exposed to heat. Even if you don’t allow your bottled water to sit in the car or become exposed to heat, you can’t control how they were shipped and stored before you purchased them.

Bottled water companies increasingly use BPA-free plastic, but other potentially harmful chemicals are still present in plastic bottles, and they can leach into the water if exposed to heat or left to sit for long periods of time. Some of these chemicals are possible endocrine disrupters that could mess with hormone levels in the body.
bottled water
bottled still water on the palette

Glass containers are safer for many reasons but are increasingly difficult to find. European mineral waters are easier to find in glass containers. You can usually find small, single-serving bottles in packs. If you purchase larger bottles to keep in the fridge, use a wine stopper to maintain the carbonation once it’s open.

Mineral waters that may prevent mineral deficiencies
Bottles of global mineral water brands including Perrier, Pellegrino, Borjomi and Acqua Panna

What brand of mineral water should I drink?

Not all mineral waters are created equal, so be mindful of which brands you choose. You can check their labels for magnesium content. My preference is San Pelligrino but there are several other brands with good levels of magnesium. Some of the brands listed are more common in Europe and not easy to find here in the US. Retailers like Whole Foods and Fresh Market usually have a larger selection.

Mineral water brands
Mineral Content

Add Electrolytes – Ultima Stick Packs

Another way to increase magnesium and prevent mineral deficiencies is by adding electrolytes. I like the Ultima electrolytes which come in a variety of flavors. These individual stick packs are super convenient. I always have a few at the bottom of my purse.

I prefer them in regular water but they could be combined with mineral water or unsweet tea also. Each stick pack contains 100 mg of magnesium.

ultima electrolytes to prevent mineral deficiencies
Ultima Stick Packs

Final thoughts

As the Lazy Biohacker I have to qualify this article with the advice that sometimes you don’t have access to the ‘perfect’ water. Don’t allow this new information about mineral deficiencies in filtered water to create stress or anxiety. When you can make better choices, choose the best mineral water you can find in a glass bottle. When you don’t have options, do the best you can. Life is about gradual improvements and not perfection.

Kelly is a shameless critic of the 'weight loss' industry that profits from women being overweight, unhappy, and confused. Kelly has spent the last 20 years as an industry under and seen the damage misinformation can do in women's lives first hand. After her own personal journey back to health, Kelly created this space in love to help other women to access the science of biohacking to achieve an ideal weight, look younger and bring their spirit back to life. Kelly is a mother of two, fitness executive, and road warrior.

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1 Response

  1. June 9, 2020

    […] Is Bottled Water Causing Important Mineral Deficiencies? […]

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