Water that has been treated with reverse osmosis has had 99.95% of its salts and minerals removed. As the RO process extracts both good and bad elements, it may be beneficial to remineralize reverse osmosis water.
We will examine the best methods of achieving this.
The process of reverse osmosis water comprises forcing water through a semipermeable membrane under high pressure.
This is thereverse of osmosis, which is the process of a solvent e.g.,water passing naturally through a semipermeable membrane such as a cell wall until it finds its equilibrium between a higher and lower solute..
The World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a study (1)which concluded that the long-term effects of drinking reverse osmosis, or pure water, are potentially harmful, due to the loss of nutrients such as calcium and magnesium.
Table of contents
- What happens to the Water during Reverse Osmosis?
- How to Remineralize Reverse Osmosis Water
What happens to the Water during Reverse Osmosis?
Water is a natural source of minerals, chemicals and salts, both beneficial and harmful. Bad elements can include:
The water may also have been contaminated by sediments and organic (plant and animal) matter.
Good Elements include:
Can RO Differentiate Between Good and Bad elements?
As there is no way for the reverse osmosis process to differentiate between the good and bad components, about 99.95% of all elements present in the water are removed.
Only those molecules that are small enough to pass through the membrane along with the H2O (water) molecules are retained.
What are the Health Consequences of RO Water?
A reduced intake of wholesome minerals can have serious, even potentially fatal health consequences:
- The mucous membranes in the intestines can be damaged.
- Missing minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium can result in:
- Brittle bones
- General fatigue
- Digestive problems
- Heart palpitations
- Kidney disease
- Blood formation problems
Can you Cook With RO Water?
Demineralized water effects also apply to food that is cooked in RO water, resulting in an even lower intake of minerals by the body, as the demineralized water absorbs the minerals present in the food.
As we are more prone to eating junk food that doesn’t contain many healthy nutrients, the use of RO water further reduces your intake of mineral nourishment.
Water has a neutral pH value of 7, i.e., it is neither acidic nor alkaline. Water that has undergone reverse osmosis results in a lower pH level, making it acidic.
This affects the taste as well as reducing its health values.
How to Remineralize Reverse Osmosis Water
Taking the potential unhealthy side effects of using reverse osmosis water on a regular basis into account, it may be beneficial to remineralize reverse osmosis water.
There are various methods to achieve this:
- Adding Himalayan salt
- Adding a Mineral Filter to your RO system
- Using an Alkaline Water Pitcher
- Adding Green Powder
The process to remineralize RO water will add back some of the nutrients which have been removed.
1. Himalayan Salt
The addition of Himalayan salt is a cheap, effective method of adding minerals to reverse osmosis water.
Himalayan salt is sea-salt packed with all 84 trace minerals.
About a quarter teaspoon of salt to a gallon of RO water is sufficient, or you can add a small pinch to your glass.
It will not make the water taste salty, unlike normal table salt which will have no effect on remineralizing reverse osmosis water.
2. Remineralization Filter
Another option is to add a remineralization filter to your RO system.
Many of these will already have an additional filter that allows the passage of beneficial nutrients back into the water.
This increases the alkalinity and makes the water taste better as well as potentially:
- Decreasing your blood sugar levels
- Making you less prone to allergic reactions
- Giving you increased energy.
To add a mineral filter, you could either purchase an RO system that has this pre-installed or add a filter post-purchase.
Some RO systems will only add back calcium, while others will also add magnesium, potassium and other minerals.
Adding a remineralization filter is the costliest option, but the most convenient for remineralizing reverse osmosis water.
It is also possible to buy trace mineral drops which you add to the RO water.
3. Alkaline Water Pitcher
A third option is to make use of an Alkaline Water Pitcher. This is a container that includes a filter which restores healthy minerals to your drinking water.
Recommended Reading: Alkaline Water Filters: Guide + [Reviews 2021]
The filter cartridge needs to be replaced regularly: after treating approximately
— 80-150 gallons of water or
— every 1.5 – 2 months
If the water starts to taste different, it’s probably time to install a new filter. Some units come with an electronic 60-day timer which will tell you when it’s time to do this.
4. Green Powder
Yet another option to remineralize RO water is to add green powder.
This can be purchased in tins, and comprises a blend of dried fruits and vegetables, which can be added directly to your drinking water, food or tea.
The minerals and vitamins that this mixture contains will top up those removed during the RO process.
How is Green Powder Processed?
It is processed either by
— Dehydrating the whole fruits and vegetables or
— By extracting and drying the juices or
— A combination of both
Before being compressed into a concentrated powder.
The whole fruits and vegetables are less sweet than the juices. Despite the name, not all the ingredients are verdant: green powder can consist of:
- Brussel Sprouts
Grasses like barley, wheatgrass, alfalfa as well as fruits like blueberries, raspberries, goji and acai berries can be included..
Additional fiber and probiotics may also be added to the end product.
Green powder does not have to be used in RO treated water: it can be added to salads and soups, as well as taken as a supplement where fresh fruit and vegetables may not be readily available.
Get the Green powder from here.
Reverse osmosis water is pure water and therefore not unhealthy in itself.
However, judgement and common sense should be used before only using RO water for drinking, cooking and other household activities.
It must be borne in mind that all the good nutrients along with the bad are removed, and that this can result in serious and sometimes life-threatening body defects.
A balance between pure and remineralized water must be maintained.
Also, remember that remineralized water must be supplemented with a healthy diet and regular exercise.