Water Education - Water and Health

Will Drinking Water Influence My Sodium Levels?

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It lists the following nutrient guidelines for food labeling:

  • Low-sodium: 140 mg or less per serving (or, if the serving is 30 g or less or two tablespoons or less, 140 mg or less per 50 g of the food)
  • Very low-sodium: 35 mg or less per serving (or, if the serving is 30 g or less or two tablespoons or less, 35 mg or less per 50 g of the food)
  • Sodium-free: Less than 5 mg per serving

How much sodium is actually in my drinking water?

In a National Inorganics and Radionuclides Survey, conducted by EPA in the mid-1980s, about 3/4 of 989 water systems included had concentrations of sodium of less than 50 mg/l. Assuming that an adult weighing 70 kilograms (about 150 pounds) drinks two liters (about 8 glasses) per day, he or she would typically ingest less than 100 mg of sodium per day from drinking water.

Based on this data, a 1/4-liter serving (about an 8-ounce glass) would contain less than 12.5 mg of sodium, well within the FDA's "very low sodium" category. It is important to note that sodium is an essential nutrient. The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council recommends that most healthy adults need to consume at least 500 mg/day and that sodium intake is limited to no more than 2400 mg/day.

Is it necessary to remove the salt from my tap water?

Yes, but only if you are restricted to a very strict low-sodium diet. For most people, the salt levels found in tap water are not harmful and the amount found in a serving of drinking water is very low with North American tap water having in the range of 18 to 41 mg per liter of sodium. In comparison, filtered bottled water contains sodium in the range of 4 to 8 mg per liter. If you are unsure about your overall salt intake, it would be wise to consult a physician or registered dietitian to plan a healthy diet that takes into account both your food and water salt allowance.

An affordable and more eco-friendly alternative to bottled water would be to install a reverse osmosis under-the-counter drinking water system. This technology is guaranteed to remove 90-99% of all contaminants in the water, including sodium. Filtering your own water will save you a lot of money while providing you with fresher water without the nasty plastic taste of bottled water. You would also be protecting the environment by keeping plastic bottle waste out of landfills and the ocean.

Taking care of our health should be a top priority in everyone’s lives. In order to be truly happy, we must maintain our energy, our spirit, and our health. The first step in achieving this would be to educate ourselves on these important topics; thus by reading this article you are already on the right track to a healthy life!

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