Ever wondered if there is any value to mineral waters? Looking for a practical way to get more magnesium without popping a pill?
In previous posts, I have mentioned that maintaining a diet rich in dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds and wholegrains is an excellent way to ensure your magnesium intake is in good shape, (and, of course, your amino acid, vitamin and fibre intake). Unfortunately, depletion of magnesium from our soil means that the concentration of magnesium in foods is reducing, and even a great diet may not provide you all the magnesium you need. Happily, if you choose wisely, the water you drink may offer another means to fill your mineral tank.
As rain water slowly seeps through layers of rock it collects minerals and thus becomes mineral water (or spring water, the name depending on total weight of the minerals). Rock-forms abundant in Australia such as granite, sandstone and limestone yield waters rich in silica, potassium or sodium and calcium, but not magnesium. By comparison, water that has filtered through the less familiar dolostone will acquire magnesium.
South Australia boasts one spring water that has a magnesium content comparable to the popular brands Evian and Santa Vittoria. It trades under the name PH8, and it provides 21mg per litre of magnesium . You will see, however, as mineral waters go, this is still a low magnesium content.
Many European mineral waters have considerable quantities of magnesium and provided you are not on a sodium-restricted diet, are suitable for regular consumption (check the label for sodium content). One litre or four glasses of the Czech brand, Magnesia, provides 170mg of naturally occurring magnesium. That is over half the recommended daily intake of 320mg for women over 30. Other magnesium rich brands are German Tonissteiner and Gerolsteiner, which provide 126-108mg/L, and the French brands, Hepar, Quezac, Arvie, Badoit, and Contrex, providing 119-75mg/L .
Mineral water without the plastic bottle
Even though certain mineral waters offer a valuable source of dietary magnesium, it is difficult to be an advocate for bottled water due to the environmental impact, impracticality and expense. A positive alternative is offered by an Australian company, Vitel Water. Their custom crafted magnesium oxide beads can be placed overnight in vessels of rain or tap water in order to provide magnesium enriched water in the morning. According to tests carried out by ALS Global, a Brisbane-area tap water sample with 3mg/L of water increased to 15mg/L after 8 hours in contact with the beads. Drinking eight glasses per day would provide 96mg more magnesium than the original sample. That ‘bonus’ magnesium is equal to one third of the recommended intake for women aged over 30. The other bonus is that the beads are reusable, almost indefinitely.
Mineralised water has long been a source of essential nutrients in the human diet. Our municipal water systems provide us with water that, in more ways than one, is a long way from a mountain spring. This means if you are drinking tap water (or rain water), you’re missing out on nutrition- and you have been for a long time. To make up for it, next time you are fine dining, why not indulge in a glass of Czech mineral water? Or, if you have been considering an upgrade to your Brita filter, you may like to investigate Vitel Water at vitelwater.com.au. More information on the many benefits of magnesium can be found in a future blog post Magnesium under the Microscope.
- FineWaters-Media. PH8 Natural Alkaline Water. n.d.; Available from: finewaters.com/bottled-waters-of-the-world/australia/ph8
- Zdravilišče-Rogaška. Effects (of Donat Mg). Medical Centre Rogaska 2015 [cited 2017 28 March ]; Available from: rogaska-medical.com/en/donat-mg/effects
- Eupedia. Mineral analysis of a few European mineral water brands. n.d.; Available from: eupedia.com/europe/european_mineral_waters.shtml
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