One of the most common questions I receive is, “Don’t I need minerals in my water?” This a persistent water myth, but if you look at it rationally, it’s easy to discover the truth of the matter.
First, it’s important to look at this question from two scenarios; 1) an emergency situation, and 2) everyday life.
In an emergency situation it’s very important that you ONLY consider one aspect; the safety of your water. All other factors are irrelevant. So, when you are in an emergency situation, follow the Red Cross recommendations, or go beyond these recommendations by using a water distiller to purify your water. In an emergency situation, don’t worry about whether your water has minerals, if it has the right pH, whether it’s clustered, super-oxygenated, harmonic, or whatever else someone is selling. It’s all about safety, and if anyone says anything else, don’t listen to them ever again.
Now that I made that point crystal clear, let’s move on to drinking water for everyday life. Do you need minerals in your drinking water?
No. Water is the most important substance you put into your body. It allows you to regulate your temperature, it transports nutrients and oxygen to every cell, it removes toxins, aids in digestion, is a key for every chemical reaction and electrical signal in your body and countless other functions. Being a source for minerals is not one of the functions of water.
So let’s break it down…
1) The Minerals In Water Are Not Bioavailable. In other words, the minerals found in water are not in a form that’s useable by the body. To understand this, let’s look at how minerals get into water in the first place. Pure rain water falls to the ground and dissolves the rock and metals it comes in contact with, thus the minerals found in water are simply dissolved dirt and soil. Humans and animals can’t get nutritional minerals directly from the soil, but rather we get our minerals from plants, or from eating animals that have eaten the plants. For example, you and I are not able to go in the back yard and suck on a rock of calcium and get the calcium that our body needs in this way. Plants do, however, get the minerals that they need directly from the soil, and then they transform these minerals into a “bioavailable” form, which means that they can be used by your body. This is why Dr. Andrew Weil says, “We get our minerals from food, not water.” So, eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts and meats to get the right minerals for your body. If you want to supplement your diet, buy a high-quality mineral supplement that says that the minerals are in the chelated form.
2) There Can Be Harmful Minerals In Water. All minerals are not good for you. There are many parts of the country that have high levels of arsenic or nitrates, which have both been linked to many different forms of cancer. In addition, cities often add fluoride and other contaminants to the water.
3) There Can Be Other Harmful Chemicals In Water. The minerals in water are often mixed with other chemicals. There are over 85,000 chemicals recognized by the EPA, and an alarming amount have been found in water supplies across the US. Remember that when the government says that your water is “safe” to drink, they are using the LEGAL definition of the word “safe”, not the English language definition (it’s funny that they don’t tell you about this important distinction). So even if you could get good minerals from water, it would be like dropping a vitamin on the ground and getting it all dirty before you take it. You simply don’t know what other bad stuff is in the water.
4) The Quantities Are Too Small. Anyone who still thinks that they want minerals in their water has to consider that they would have to drink a ridiculous amount of water to get anywhere close to the recommended Dietary Allowance of minerals in their diet. If you live in Boston, for example, you’d have to drink over 650 glasses of water each day just to meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance. This view is backed up by The American Medical Journal that states, “The body’s need for minerals is largely met through foods, not drinking water.”
To summarize this, your body needs plenty of clean water. The best way to get consistently clean water is via a well-designed and properly constructed water distiller. I recommend two different distillers. For emergencies, I recommend the Survival Still.