Is Mineral Water Really Better?
Water makes up roughly 70 percent of our bodies (ok, mine is probably 70 percent coffee), and if water’s considered one of the staffs of life, then mineral water must be one of the luxury staffs, right? After all, mineral water has long been touted for providing restorative health properties; a recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease even reported that drinking a liter of mineral water daily can prevent Alzheimer’s memory loss. And along with the aforementioned, makeup artist Maki Ryoke sourced mineral water to help give models of the Costello Tagliapietra runway show a dewy look at New York’s Fashion Week—so its benefits are vast, but is mineral H2O really better for you? We tapped into some of our resources to find out.
“Minerals are essential for optimum growth and health of the body,” says Nancy Thielman, director of fitness and membership/assistant spa operations director at Florida’s Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, which sits atop five natural mineral springs that are used in spa treatments, swimming pools, and drinking water. Among minerals’ advantages, Thielman tells us, are supporting healthy bones, aiding in digestion, maintaining electrolyte balance, reducing inflammation and swelling of muscles and joints, improving skin conditions and arthritis, and cleansing and detoxifying the body.
“Mineral water is more easily absorbed by the body—mineral water is absorbed by the body both internally and externally—than minerals ingested [through] food,” she adds.
And with that absorption arises a beauty bonus as well. “The sulfates in the mineral water cleanse and detoxify the body, [and] when toxins are removed, the skin naturally glows. Hydrated skin is healthier and plumper and smoother!” Thielman reveals. Plus, this devotee says she believes that washing your hair with mineral water will give you healthier, shinier locks.
At Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn in California, spa-goers are encouraged to try the signature Bathing Ritual, which showcases the natural thermal mineral springs, heated at 135 degrees, found 1,100 feet beneath the property. Fairmont Sonoma shared with us a list of naturally occurring minerals present in detectable quantities in its mineral water and their benefits—here are just a few:
- Potassium: muscle relaxation, nerve transmission, primary positive electrolyte inside cells
- Chromium: works with insulin to allow glucose into cells, indirectly affects levels of fat in the blood
- Zinc: DNA and protein synthesis, fertility, skin growth, taste buds, protein digestion, carbon dioxide removal, disease resistance, processing alcohol
- Fluoride: aids in hardening and stability of calcium salts for bones and teeth
But before you run to the store to purchase bottles of mineral water brands, Perrier, Evian, or Pellegrino (my personal fave), what about sticking with, say, ordinary tap water? While some will argue about its subpar treatment practices, tap water is obviously and by far less costly than bottled water (it lacks the latter’s arguable environmental and carbon footprint considerations as well), plus a majority will contain hints of minerals, depending on your water source. What it really appears to boil down to is personal preference.
We’ll drink to that.
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The Water Secret by Howard Murad, M.D.
San Pellegrino image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons; DeusXFlorida