Did you know that drinking mineral-rich water is essential to your health and wellness? It’s the way nature intended it to be after all. Alkaline water full of life-giving micro and macro minerals not only makes water taste better, but is also vital to your health and well-being according to the World Health Organization (WHO) in its book, Nutrients in Drinking Water.
It’s especially important to add minerals to Reverse Osmosis (RO), distilled, and even some purified bottled waters, because they are often stripped of minerals and may even be acidic as I discussed in this recent post, “Are You Unknowingly Drinking ‘Dead’ Water Void of Essential MInerals?” But you may also want to find a way to filter and enrich plain tap water as well.
Here are some easy ways to make your water more alkaline and mineral-rich whether you are at home, at work, or on the go. You may find that a combination of these solutions works best for you. Let me know your thoughts and if you have any other ways to add minerals back into your water.
1. Add trace mineral drops to your water
Do you enjoy mineral water? Adding trace mineral drops to your water will make you think you’re drinking mineral-rich water from a coveted natural source. You’ll actually enjoy your water again, because it tastes so much better. Plus, it’s easy to quickly add a few drops to a glass of water, water bottle, or even a pitcher for the whole family to enjoy.
Trace mineral drops include micro minerals that your body needs in very small amounts, such as chromium, copper, fluoride, manganese, molybdenum iodine, selenium, iron, and zinc. Many drops also contain a fair share of magnesium, an important macro mineral. Adding minerals to water makes them much more easily absorbed by the body, because they are in their electrolyte or ionic form. You also get the advantage of taking in a steady supply of these minerals as you drink water throughout the day. Plus, they are relatively inexpensive. An 8 oz. bottle usually costs under $20 and may allow you to re-mineralize anywhere from 100 to 200 gallons of water.
2. Add a mineral-rich sea salt to your water
Nope. I’m not talking about your standard, run-of-the mill table salt, but instead a mineral-rich, non-processed salt, such as Himalayan sea salt, which is full of 84 trace minerals. You can add a pinch to a glass of water (it shouldn’t taste salty) or about 1/4 tsp. to a gallon of water. I’ve tried it and it tastes fine. The trick is to use fine salt, so that it dissolves easily. By the way, it’s an inexpensive solution for adding trace minerals, because two pounds cost well under $10.
Another option is to make a mixed salt solution to store in a glass dropper bottle and then use that to re-mineralize your water as explained on this website, Dancing With Water. The site also sells a salt blend which includes salts from around the word, such as Celtic Grey, Hawaiian Red, Redmond Real, French Grey, etc. The idea of using a salt blend — or even of rotating them — may be good because you get the benefit of different minerals that way.
3. Use a water bottle that filters and infuses your water with ionic minerals
Want something you can take with you and use anywhere that not only infuses regular tap water with ionized minerals, but also filters it? Then check out this Aqua Sanitas water bottle with a patented combination of 13 minerals. The kaolin clay and nano silver helps filter the water of chlorine and contaminants. The minerals, negative ion balls, and more give the water a pleasant soft taste. It’s made of surgical steel, comes in a variety of colors, and has a removable filter at the top, which you need to replace once a year, and a mineral disk built into the bottom of the bottle that lasts for five years. From my understanding, the bottle will soon be retailing in the U.S. for under $100. (For a similar, but much less expensive option, check out the alkaline water flask by Santevia, which also offers other products as mentioned in #4 below.)
4. Use an alkaline pitcher to add minerals back in
If you want the convenience of a pitcher, you might be interested in this one made by Santevia that filters water, raises the pH, and also adds back in calcium, magnesium, and other beneficial minerals. It comes in four fun colors and the filter life is 80 gallons. Plus, the lid has a handy built-in countdown clock so that you know when to change the filter. It retails for about $59 and the replacement filters come in a 3-pack for $43.99. By the way, the company also makes several other products, such as an alkaline water stick you can add to a water bottle, a stainless steel flask mineral bottle (similar to that described in #3 above), and an alkaline reverse osmosis system.
5. Make spa water
Craving water with a little extra flavor in it? Then you may enjoy making your own spa water occasionally. Depending on the fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs you add to it, spa water offers a nice range of minerals and vitamins, not to mention great health benefits. It’s a great substitute for soda and juices. Plus, kids really enjoy spa water, too.
One of my favorite spa waters is “Cucumber-Mint Medley,” because cucumber water is full of such health benefits as I describe in “7 Compelling Health Reasons to Drink Cucumber Water.” Another good spa water to try is lemon water, which has many benefits as described in “Zest Up Your Wellness Routine with Lemon Water.” But if you crave something sweeter, give this “Pomergranate-Berry Spa Water” recipe a try. Let me know which one is your favorite!
6. Add a greens blend to your water
Now this solution is only a winner if you don’t mind drinking green water! But I wanted to mention it because it makes a powerful energizing drink that is especially great after working out. And it won’t necessarily taste like algae, because you can get these blends in natural flavors like lemon-lime or berry. I’ve often used the unflavored ones, though, since “natural” doesn’t always mean it’s truly natural.
Available in powder form, many manufacturers offer greens powder blends derived from veggies, herbs, grasses, algae, and grains that are not only full of trace minerals and macro minerals, but other goodies like chlorophyll and vitamins, too. In addition, many blends boast that they provide fiber, prebiotic, probiotic, enzyme, and antioxidants benefits as well. Be sure to read labels carefully to make sure you get what you want as there are many choices.
7. Use a pH-balancing filter for your reverse osmosis system
Does your RO water taste too pure? That’s probably because about 99% of the minerals have been stripped from it. Correct the problem by raising the pH and adding calcium and magnesium back in with a simple filter, which is often called a pH-balancing, calcite, or remineralizing filter. By the way, you may not necessarily have to change your RO system, because it’s an add-on filter. But you will need to change the filter occasionally — perhaps twice yearly — and pay around $30 – $50 each time for a new one.
How much calcium and magnesium does such a filter add back? And what is the final pH? That is dependent on three factors: water temperature, flow rate, and the original pH of the water according to a technical representative at Premier, a manufacturer of Watts Premier RO filtration systems. Unfortunately, the pH and actual amount of minerals cannot be determined without doing a test according to the company. When testing my own system, I found that the filter helped raise the pH, but that the total hardness of the water was quite low at 25 ppm, so it didn’t really seem to add back in a substantial amount of minerals.
Note: If you’re not sure about the pH or hardness (i.e., mineral content) of your water, you can check both using simple test strips. Sometimes you can also get your water tested for free at a pool and spa supply store or a supplier of water filtration systems. By the way, I discovered that calcium is usually easy to test for, but magnesium may require a more complex and expensive test that a lab needs to do.
Copyright © Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2014 – 2015. All rights reserved.
Photos © Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2014 – 2015.