If you’re considering investing in a reverse osmosis system for your home, you might have seen a number of articles, videos and blogs debating how healthy reverse osmosis water really is. Perhaps you’ve read that reverse osmosis water is acidic, or that the process of reverse osmosis strips water of healthy minerals.
The reality is that these claims are misleading, and paint a picture of reverse osmosis systems that simply isn’t accurate. In fact, the process of reverse osmosis does not make water unhealthy in any way — rather, the purification benefits may protect you from many water-borne contaminants.
Read on to get a better understanding of what reverse osmosis really is; how it affects water quality; and how it impacts your body and health.
Is reverse osmosis water acidic?
Yes, it is slightly more acidic than pure water, which has a pH level of around 7 – 7.5. Typically, the water being produced by reverse osmosis technology is between 6.0 – 6.5 pH. Coffee, tea, fruit juice, carbonated drinks, and even milk have lower pH, which means they are more acidic than water from a reverse osmosis system.
Some people claim that reverse osmosis water is not healthy because it is more acidic than pure water. However, even water standards from the EPA state that water between 6.5 and 8.5 is healthy and safe to drink.
Many assertions about the “dangers” of reverse osmosis water comes from proponents of alkaline water. However, despite plenty of alkaline water enthusiasts asserting that alkaline water can support your health, the Mayo Clinic notes that there simply isn’t enough research to verify any of these claims.
Unless you suffer from conditions like acid reflux or gastrointestinal ulcers that may be best treated through reduction in acidic foods and beverages, there is no scientifically-validated evidence to indicate that reverse osmosis water is bad for your health.
Does reverse osmosis water remove healthy minerals from the water?
Yes and no. While the process of reverse osmosis does remove minerals from drinking water, it’s very unlikely that these minerals would have any lasting impact on your overall health. Why? Because minerals in drinking water are unlikely to make a meaningful difference to your health. Instead, vitamins and minerals derived from your diet are much more important.
According to Dr. Jacqueline Gerhart of UW Health Family Medicine, “Removing these essential elements from our drinking water doesn’t pose much of a problem, since a well-rounded diet will provide these as well.” Only people who “do not eat a diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals,” she says, are at any risk of vitamin and mineral deficiency.
While reverse osmosis does remove minerals from water, it also removes harmful chemicals and contaminants like fluoride and chloride, which the Water Quality Association includes in its list of common water-borne contaminants. If these contaminants are consumed consistently over a low period of time, they can lead to chronic health issues like kidney problems, liver problems and reproductive difficulties.
Other water-borne contaminants removed by reverse osmosis include:
Before worrying about minerals in your water, ask yourself a simple question: Am I getting nutrition from the water I drink, or from the foods I eat? Water hydrates our bodies and is essential for proper organ function — but the vitamins, minerals and organic compounds we need to lead healthy lives is generally derived from the foods we eat, not just the water we drink.
Will drinking water from a reverse osmosis filtration system harm my health?
There is virtually no tried-and-tested evidence to suggest that reverse osmosis water is harmful to your health. If you eat a balanced diet and do not suffer from conditions like severe acid reflux or gastrointestinal ulcers, drinking reverse osmosis water will have no impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
If you do require water with a higher pH, however, there are reverse osmosis systems that feature optional filters that are fortified with minerals and electrolytes. This will increase the pH and help reduce effects associated with conditions exacerbated by acidic foods and beverages.
Get Purified Water in your Arizona Home
To learn more about how reverse osmosis works, or to get a quote for a reverse osmosis system for your home, contact our team of water experts. Our team can help you understand how water filtration and purification can make your home’s water tastier and healthier for your skin, hair and body.