Is RO (Reverse Osmosis) Water Safe To Drink? (Myths, Facts And Benefits)

Did you know that about 3,575,000 people die from water-related illnesses each year, out of which 2,200,000 are children?? Most of us will think twice before directly consuming tap water.

But there are numerous debates on the topic regarding the purity of water, i.e., tap water is safer than reverse osmosis water.

So, I would like to ask you this question- would you mind drinking tap water filled with harmful contamination, or would you prefer water that is purified, even if it means beneficial minerals are filtered?

In this article, we will discuss the RO water and how genuine this debate is.

 

What Do You Mean By Reverse Osmosis Or RO?

RO is a popular type of water filtration method used both at home and in commercial spaces. This process was invented back in the 18th century by Jean Antoine Nollet. Later, it was also used by the U.S. Navy abroad submarines to convert the contaminated seawater into a consumable form.

So, we can conclude that it is one of the most common methods used to produce pure water.

In reverse osmosis, the comminated tap water passes through a semipermeable membrane. This membrane is designed in such a manner that only pure water molecules pass through it when pressure is applied. The remaining impurities and other harmful large particles remain, i.e., it does not pass through.

 

What Happens During RO?

Reverse Osmosis

So, during the reverse osmosis process, the removal of harmful substances like lead, mercury, chromium, and so on take place. The contaminated water can lead to problems like diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, even an increase in blood pressure.

Contaminated water is hazardous for children, pregnant women, the elderly, and anyone who has recently undergone an operation or is under any medication.

Apart from filtering just the harmful toxins, RO also filters 90% of the valuable minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, etc. The World Health Organisation has cautioned us regarding the impact demineralized water has on the human body.

To put it short, drinking water with low TDS (Total Dissolved Salts) or a low level of minerals harms our body. There is a chance that the person might suffer from headaches, tiredness, muscle cramps, disturbed kidney functioning, and lower bone mineral density.

Here, the topic for the debate starts…

 

The Debate- Is RO Water Safe To Consume?

There are two main reasons for this debate-

1. Useful Minerals Are Stripped Off

water filter

One of the reasons for this debate is because the RO process involves stripping the water off beneficial minerals needed for your body. Because of this, most people avoid buying a RO filter; instead, they drink tap water.

However, what we fail to realize is that tap water is full of harmful toxins, chemicals, and other minerals like fluoride, chloride, aluminum, arsenic, silver, sodium, lead, etc.

Another claim was that our body absorbs the minerals found in the water quicker than those found in food. But, even this claim was put to rest. This is because the minerals found, whether in food or water, are in the same form when digested.

Something to ponder over- Do you think you get sufficient minerals and other nutrients from water alone?

The answer is- NO! The amount of minerals and other useful components in water is minimal. On the other hand, the amount of contamination is extremely high. We get most of our nutrients, minerals, and vitamins from our diet, not the water we consume.

So, it is alright to consume RO water as long as you make up for the deficient nutrients in your diet. As long as you have a complete and healthy diet, you are good to go!

 

2. Reverse Osmosis Water Is More Acidic 

Acidic pH

The second reason is that the water produced after RO filtration is considered dead water, i.e., it does not contain either the beneficial minerals or the contaminations. The problem with dead water is that it is more acidic because the pH level drops below the recommended level while RO filtration.

Normal water has a neutral pH level, i.e., seven, while RO water has a pH level ranging from five to seven, which is below the recommended pH level, 6.5 to 8.5. This drop-in pH level can lead to problems like acid reflux syndrome or gastrointestinal ulcers.

Something to ponder over- The pH level of lemon juice is two while orange juice is three and black coffee is five. Do we still not consume these?

An argument against this is that the acids in the stomach are more acidic than RO water. The hydrofluoric acid secreted by the stomach lining has a pH level of one, which is far more than the pH of RO water. So, this won’t have much effect on our body.

Another argument is that the pH level will automatically balance out when the food reaches our stomach. Also, our body is well equipped to balance the increase in the pH level.

However, if you are worried that consumption of RO water will lead to problems like acid reflux syndrome or gastrointestinal ulcers, especially if you have a history with these diseases. Then, you will be happy to know that many filters are available in the market now that operate on reverse osmosis filtration mechanisms while re-mineralizing the water.

 

Reverse Osmosis Filtration System With Re-Mineralization

In this reverse osmosis filtration mechanism, not only are the contamination and harmful toxins removed, but healthy minerals are also added. This ensures that we receive the healthy minerals that are meant to be found in water.

Also, we need not worry about problems like cardiovascular issues, neurological diseases, preterm birth or low birth weight, high blood pressure, lower bone density, etc. These were some of the main problems that could have arisen due to the demineralization process.

Thus, a reverse osmosis filtration system with re-mineralization is a perfect solution for the problem regarding impurities, the loss of minerals, and the pH level problem.

 

Some Of The Most Common Myths Revolving Around Reverse Osmosis

  1. This water is not safe for consumption as the nutrients are filtered. Just like it is always better to be safe than sorry, it is always better to have no nutrients than to catch water-borne diseases, primarily when water does not provide a lot of minerals.
  2. It is too acidic to drink. As mentioned above, we do consume food items that are more acidic than reverse osmosis water. Also, your body is equipped to adjust to any pH level change.
  3. Reverse osmosis is nothing but a simple filtration process. There is scientific alternation made to the water. This means that there is no scientific alteration made to the components of water; it converts to its purest form.
  4. Reverse osmosis water will attack the body cells because of the low TDS level. This basically means that you will have health problems because minerals found in water are filtered. But we can solve this problem with the consumption of a well-balanced and healthy diet.
  5. The process wastes a lot of water, and that the semipermeable membrane gets damaged quickly. Most membranes last up to 6 months if it is adequately maintained. Check if it gets clogged frequently, and if it does, clean it properly. Also, we can reuse the wastewater by watering plants, washing dishes, and so on.

 

Benefits Of Reverse Osmosis Water

Here are some crucial benefits of drinking RO water that you should know of:

  • There is a guarantee that you will have cleaner, safer, and toxin-free water for consumption.
  • The chance of a person catching a disease caused by bacteria, viruses, lead, nitrates, and other impure particulates is less.
  • Reverse osmosis water tastes better than contaminated tap water. It does not have any plastic or metal taste to it.
  • There is an unlimited supply of water when compared to bottled water.
  • Since there is an unlimited supply and we get water instantly, we save energy in the long run.
  • It also reduces the number of plastic bottles in the environment and paves the way for a greener Earth.
  • You will have to buy another bottle of water when the previous one gets over. So, RO water saves a lot of money in this context.
  • An RO filtration system is easy to maintain as it is not too bulky.
  • The filter only needs to be changed every six months, so the maintenance is also not very high.
  • The modern version of this system has a re-mineralization facility which is an extra perk.

 

You May Also Like To Read:

Tips For Choosing A Reverse Osmosis Filter

Tips To Maintain Your RO Filter

 

Summary

By now, you would have understood that even though RO filters the healthy nutrients while purifying the impurities, it is better than catching water-borne diseases. Besides, there is no solid proof that RO has an adverse effect on your body. Plus, with the re-mineralizing facility, the rest is assured.

Comment and let us know your thoughts on the reverse osmosis filtration process and whether the water is good for us.

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