Most foods contain sodium chloride, also called table salt, as a mineral. The human body needs it for health, but most ingest too much of it, as salt consumption has increased dramatically in recent years due to lots of fast food and processed food.
Too much salt causes high blood pressure and kidney damage, among other things. In the long run, other organs can also be damaged in the process. Since the need is already covered with small amounts, some people should resort to low-sodium water.
The most important in a nutshell
- A mineral water containing less than 20 milligrams of sodium per liter is considered low in sodium, while one containing more than 200 milligrams of sodium per liter is considered high in sodium.
- Infants should consume low-sodium mineral water, as should people with high blood pressure and breastfeeding women. Athletes, on the other hand, should consume mineral water with a high sodium content.
- Carbonated and low-sodium mineral waters are particularly suitable for stimulating digestion and improving blood flow to the stomach and oral mucosa. Low-sodium non-carbonated mineral waters help prevent body acidity, tooth enamel problems and excess bloating.
What is low sodium water?
The sodium ions in the water are the result of leaching and dissolution of sodium compounds in the soil. Sodium is also used in industry for a variety of purposes, including metallurgy, in nuclear reactors as a coolant, and in fertilizers as sodium nitrate. As a result, sodium compounds also enter the environment.
Low-sodium water ensures that this mineral does not exceed a specified maximum level. Many people use the TDS value in water to determine how much sodium and also other minerals are in the water. However, this value does not reveal which minerals are involved, only that some are present.
At what values is a water considered low in sodium?
A water with less than 20 mg of sodium per liter is considered low sodium. From 200 mg of this mineral, water is considered rich in sodium. Sodium is critical to human health. A healthy adult should consume approximately up to 1500 mg per day. In addition to potassium, it controls the water balance and ensures a balanced distribution.
Sodium is vital for maintaining acid-base balance . Because it has an electrical charge, it is also important for nerve signaling, muscle function and heartbeat.
The symptoms of an undersupply of sodium and chloride are cramps, circulatory failure and gastrointestinal problems. Irritability, restlessness or fatigue, on the other hand, can result from excess sodium in healthy people.
Water with different compositions can even be visibly different. Water crystals formed at temperatures between – 5 and 0 °C look different depending on the water quality. This can be influenced by chemical or mechanical factors and vibration. For example, water that has a destroyed internal structure forms no crystals or damaged crystals, while on the other hand, spring water usually forms hexagonal crystals.
Is low sodium water healthy?
Doctors advise people with high blood pressure to consume low-sodium foods, and therefore low-sodium water. Low-sodium water is also healthier for infants. Mineral water especially suitable for babies is always produced with a sodium concentration of less than 20 milligrams per liter.
Since athletes lose a lot of salt during physical activity, they should drink rather sodium-rich water . However, this is not crucial, as the body absorbs most of the sodium it needs from solid food.
So it depends on the individual situation whether low-sodium water is healthy or whether you should reach for a higher-sodium water after all.
How does sodium get into drinking water?
Sodium compounds in the soil are washed out and dissolved, thus naturally entering the drinking water. Sodium is also used in industry for a variety of applications, including metallurgy, as a coolant in nuclear reactors, and as sodium nitrate in fertilizers, which is also released into the environment.
How are excessive sodium concentrations purified from the water?
Reverse osmosis, electrodialysis, distillation and ion exchange are all techniques used to remove excess substances from water. Reverse osmosis, which aims to obtain the purest water possible, is the most widely used method to remove excessive sodium concentrations.
How much sodium is in tap water?
The sodium content of tap water varies depending on the region. The regional health department ensures that the limit values are complied with.
Low sodium mineral water
Mineral springs are required to provide consumers with certain information on the label. Both the name of the source and the place where it is located must be indicated. In addition, the name and address of the mineral water producer must be evident. Only one brand of mineral water may be bottled from one source.
In addition, the label must contain a so-called sales description, for example “natural mineral water” or “medicinal water”. At this point, manufacturers can mention the treatment process. It is allowed to remove undesirable substances such as iron, sulfur, manganese and arsenic from the water. A statement bearing the designation“de-iced” or“desulfurized” indicates this. The label may also contain information about carbon dioxide content.
What are the ingredients of low-sodium mineral water?
Unlike other mineral waters, low-sodium water contains a significantly lower amount of sodium, although all mineral waters contain sodium and other minerals. However, the concentration is very different for all of them. This affects the taste of the water on the one hand, but also the health. Since the percentage of minerals can vary greatly, it is worth looking at the label on the water bottle.
Every mineral water, including low-sodium mineral water, consists of various natural ingredients:
- Potassium: Regulates the transmission of stimuli in nerve and muscle cells and maintains electrolyte balance.
- Magnesium: It supports bone and muscle development as well as excitation of nerves and relaxation of muscles.
- Calcium: Strengthens bones and promotes muscle tone.
- Sulfates: It supports protein metabolism, stimulates digestion and bile flow, and binds water in the lower digestive tract.
- Chloride: Water balance and the regulation of acid-base concentration are regulated, as is the defense against pathogens.
- Hydrogen carbonates: They keep the pH of the blood in balance and counteract heartburn.
When low-sodium mineral water is compared with conventional mineral water, however, only the sodium content is important at first. The ingredients mentioned vary depending on the manufacturer and origin. Thus, the taste of the different waters is also slightly different.
Sodium content of sports drinks
As an athlete, you need to ensure a high sodium content when choosing a drink. Ideally, this should contain at least 400 milligrams of sodium per liter.
Certain minerals, including magnesium, calcium, chloride and potassium, affect the muscles and help prevent muscle cramps. After physically strenuous activities, it may be beneficial to drink water with a higher magnesium concentration. Hydrogen carbonate regulates the pH of the blood, and its effectiveness is greatest at a concentration of at least 600 milligrams per liter.
Since much of the sodium is lost through sweating, it is important to replace it. In addition, it helps the body retain fluid. Those who prepare their own drinks should ensure that mineral water with a sodium content of at least 200 milligrams per liter is used and that one part fruit juice is mixed with two to three parts water.
For whom is low-sodium mineral water suitable?
As mentioned earlier, patients with high blood pressure or kidney problems are often advised to drink low-sodium mineral water. Babies and breastfeeding women should also consume low-sodium mineral water. This is because babies’ kidneys are still underdeveloped, so too much sodium is difficult to regulate.
However, once children reach kindergarten age, it is no longer necessary to feed them low-sodium water. Before that, however, it is best to use mineral water that is explicitly suitable as baby food according to the label.
Is the taste of low sodium water different?
The mixture of substances in the water determines its taste. Minerals, especially sodium and potassium give the water a rather salty taste. Low sodium water, on the other hand, has a neutral and mild taste. Minerals, by the way, influence not only taste, but also a number of biological processes in the body. People with health problems should therefore choose their drinking water carefully.
Low sodium water: carbonated or still?
By and large, whether carbonated or still water is preferred depends primarily on personal taste.
Advantages of carbonated water
The addition of carbon dioxide to mineral water has several advantages. The claim that carbonic acid “overacidifies” the body has long been disproved. Carbonic acid even improves mucosal blood flow, and this in turn affects taste perception: The improved blood circulation in the mouth cleanses the taste buds and improves the perception of the variety of tastes. Consumers who crave a slightly acidic and refreshing beverage will be enticed by the presence of carbonation to drink more and meet their daily fluid needs.
Carbonated mineral water is more durable because it inhibits the growth of microorganisms . However, the food standards for still and carbonated water are the same, so still water is also safe to drink. On particularly hot summer days, already opened carbonated water is preferable to opened non-carbonated water from a hygienic point of view. Especially if it’s not refrigerated.
Numerous health benefits are associated with carbonated mineral waters. Particularly compelling is the fact that it improves digestion by facilitating nutrient absorption and stimulating digestive juices.
Advantages of non-carbonated water
Many consumers prefer non-carbonated mineral water. The absence of carbonic acid in low-sodium mineral water is especially beneficial for people with sensitive stomachs and for young children. Since there is no carbonic acid, there is also no risk of belching or heartburn. Instead, the water is gentle to the mucous membranes of the mouth and stomach due to its mildness.
It is also an optimal thirst quencher for athletes, as non-carbonated mineral water does not cause a feeling of fullness or belching, which facilitates sports activities.
Carbonated or non-carbonated water, it’s always better to go with the water you end up drinking more of.
Low sodium water is healthier for some people than others. This, of course, raises some questions that want to be clarified before consumption. The most common questions about low-sodium mineral water are answered below.
Is low sodium water suitable for babies?
Infants and toddlers need a balanced mineral budget. Their kidneys are particularly sensitive to high sodium concentrations, especially in breast milk and baby food. To minimize sodium content, it is optimal to choose products with as little sodium as possible. Sodium content should also be considered when selecting bottle feeds or porridges. In addition to selecting appropriate water for bottle feeding, infants should consume low-sodium mineral water as a beverage.
Can you drink low sodium water for high blood pressure?
Water is an important factor in controlling high blood pressure. However, those who already suffer from high blood pressure should make sure to drink low-sodium mineral water. Since we now consume a lot of foods that contain a large amount of table salt, people with hypertension should at least drink low-sodium water to avoid taking in more unnecessary sodium. This is because sodium binds water, and when sodium levels in the blood are high, water accumulates there as well. This in turn leads to high blood pressure.
In which foods is the sodium content high?
Bread, cheese, sausage and canned fish, for example, contain a lot of sodium. For a balanced diet, fresh vegetables and fruits are therefore also essential to balance sodium and maintain health.