Is Softened Water Bad to Drink?
"My husband is on a no-salt diet - he can't drink soft water
Well, if he's on a no salt diet, he will be dead soon, because you can't live without salt.
"I'm on a low sodium diet and soft water makes my blood pressure go up."
OK, I can address that, but since I am not a doctor, I shall defer to one of Americans' Respected Medical Institutions - namely Mayo Clinic. These are their words, not mine:
Regular tap water contains very little sodium. The amount of sodium a water softener adds to tap water depends on the "hardness" of the water. Hard water contains large amounts of calcium and magnesium. Some water-softening systems replace calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions. The higher the concentration of calcium and magnesium, the more sodium needed to soften the water. Even so, the added sodium doesn't add up to much.
An 8-ounce (237-milliliter) glass of softened water generally contains less than 12.5 milligrams of sodium, which is well within the Food and Drug Administration's definition of "very low sodium." Thus, it's unlikely that sodium in softened water would pose a risk for most healthy people.
However, if you're on a very low-sodium diet and you're concerned about the amount of sodium in softened water, you may want to consider a water-purification system that uses potassium chloride instead. Another option is to soften only the hot water and use unsoftened cold water for drinking and cooking.
In any case, it's important to keep in mind that the majority of sodium in an average person's diet comes from table salt and processed foods. Thus, the best way to decrease sodium in your diet is by putting away the saltshaker and cutting back on processed foods.
From Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D. of MayoClinic.org
So while it is not likely that soft water will increase your sodium intake significantly, I will add two important reasons NOT
to drink softened water:
- It just doesn't taste good! Yes, that is my opinion, but I am not alone in that thinking. The water does taste different and I don not like it!
- There are a whole lot of other contaminants in the water supply that aren't good for you that a water softener cannot remove - like Chlorine, Chloramine, THM, TCE, PCB, pesticides and chemicals.
I drink water that is purified by reverse osmosis
, which is the best way known to man to remove the largest spectrum of contaminants from the water. Since reverse osmosis or RO was developed to desalinate sea water, it effectively removes the sodium as well. That leaves you with chemical-free, sodium free, healthy, great-tasting water that you can rely on. To those who say, that the minerals in the water are good for you and you should not remove them - what about the chemicals that aren't good for you? Listen to this: WATER IS NOT A SIGNIFICANT SOURCE OF MINERALS!
You get minerals from your food and supplements. Don't obfuscate the issue. However, if you are concerned with keeping you water mineralized, we now have re-mineralization filters
that do just that after the RO process. You can have your cake and eat it too!