is reverse osmosis water safe

Most of us will not think twice about drinking the water coming out of our taps. We simply turn the tap, drink and get on with our activities. But truth be told, the water coming from our taps may not be as safe many of us assume.

Even water coming from a well-regulated source can still contain harmful chemicals, toxins, and other contaminants that can potentially put our health at serious risk.

Effectively filtering your water with a process like reverse osmosis eliminates exposure risk to viruses, herbicides, lead, and parasites.

What Is Reverse Osmosis?

RO is a process that takes water, forces it through a semipermeable membrane for purification purposes. The process exerts enough pressure to force the water through the membranes to remove impurities, minerals, and large molecules. Because the membrane is semipermeable, only certain substances are allowed to pass through.

The membranes have holes small enough to only allow the water through. It catches everything else and the result is “pure” clean water free from minerals and bacteria.


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Benefits of Reverse Osmosis

Despite the extensive scientific research that has been done on reverse osmosis water, so far, there is no documented evidence of any negative health effects arising from water that has been treated by this method. On the contrary, the process has several benefits.

Improves Water Taste

Although by all standards, taste is a subjective attribute, research shows that water treated through reverse osmosis is rated as having a better taste compared to ordinary tap water. This is because the process of removing impurities and sediments from the water allows people to drink fresher, cleaner, and tastier water.

Boosts Body’s Natural Ability

The toxins and countless microorganisms in your tap water can potentially contribute to disease and allergy symptoms. Removing them from your drinking water significantly reduces your body’s internal toxic load. It improves your natural ability to fight disease and such allergy symptoms.

Removes Toxins

Even in our domestic settings, tap water toxicity remains a real concern. Toxins such as arsenic and lead have been found to ­­flow through our taps. A study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal found arsenic to be prevalent in drinking water and that it can contribute to the growth of skin cancer. Among the toxins eliminated by reverse osmosis is arsenic.

A reverse osmosis unit will completely filter out all minerals, debris, microbes, and synthetic and natural toxins. Drinking reverse osmosis filtered water means you are getting 100% pure, high-quality water that also tastes great.

Filters Cryptosporidium

After reverse osmosis, your water doesn’t contain Cryptosporidium. This is a parasite that is found in contaminated water and when ingested, it affects your small intestines and causes stomach cramps, diarrhea, and fever. Children ingesting cryptosporidium can experience malnutrition and dehydration.

Removes Pesticides Or Herbicides

If your area is plagued with water-related issues and concerns, reverse osmosis is an excellent method to ensure the safety and quality of the water you drink. If herbicides or pesticide are a health concern in your community, using RO to filter your water makes lots of sense.

Removes Sodium

The reverse osmosis process removes sodium molecules found in your water. This is because large sodium molecules will not pass through the RO filtering membranes. Therefore, drinking reverse osmosis filtered water has benefits for those dealing with high blood pressure issues, liver or kidney disease as well as other sodium restrictions.

Does RO Water Have Any Side-Effects?

There are, according to some sources, several disadvantages associated with reverse osmosis water. However, the fact is that there no documented evidence to support these alleged side effects of reverse osmosis, although it’s good to be conversant with them.

It Also Removes Trace Minerals

For starters, the majority of reverse osmosis systems in use don’t have a way of differentiating between “good and “bad” ingredients. So, as the process is removing the harmful contaminants, the beneficial trace minerals needed by our bodies are also removed. These include minerals like iron and manganese.

Leaches Minerals

Because water from a reverse osmosis unit lacks minerals, when it is consumed, it’s suspected of leaching minerals from your body. This would mean that the minerals and vitamins you consume through food are being leached or urinated away.

Dilution of Electrolytes

In a natural setting, as water flows past, it dissolves minerals like calcium, magnesium, and sodium that are found in rocks, the electrolytes. The minerals then become components of the water flowing out of the taps. Consuming reverse osmosis water is thought to leads to a weakening of the electrolytes that have been dissolved in the body water.

This leads to less than adequate redistribution of body water between different compartments. In turn, this may compromise the integrity of vital human organs whose side effects include weakness, tiredness, and headache. The more severe symptoms include impaired heart rate and muscular cramps.

What Can You Do?

So what can one do to your reverse osmosis filtered water? This water is soft containing minimal minerals – and that’s where the problem lies. Drinking reverse osmosis water that is mineral-deficient may dissolve the minerals already in your body tissues and bones.

If you are already using a reverse osmosis unit, or are planning to get one, then you need to put back the lost minerals taken out by the RO process. This can be achieved by re-mineralizing the water and the best way to do it is with a remineralizing cartridge. This cartridge is attached to the output/tap/faucet from the reverse osmosis unit or system. It restores the essential minerals back to your water.

The Verdict

Lots of scientific studies and research have been conducted about reverse osmosis as a method of water filtration. So far, there is nothing conclusively documented about any negative effects of drinking RO treated water on human health. Reverse osmosis systems, in fact, top the list of health institutes and governments when recommending options for water filtration.

It is good clearly to drink reverse osmosis treated water if you want to avoid potentially contaminated water! Yes, the systems do actually remove most minerals from your tap water. The truth, however, is that we get most of our vital minerals from what we eat and not from the water we drink.  And if you want to any minerals, you can always remineralize your water!