Drinking Water & Health
Types of Drinking Water
  • Natural water
    Originated from wells, mountain springs, reservoirs, lakes, underground springs, or alpine glaciers.
  • Natural mineral water
    Water naturally gushing deep underground or collected by drilling, containing a certain amount of minerals or trace elements.
  • Drink pure water
    Originating from the surface, underground or public water supply system, it does not contain minerals or trace elements.
  • Other drinking water
    Refers to packaged drinking water other than natural water, natural mineral water, and drinking pure water. A certain amount of minerals can be added manually.
Water and Life Health
Drinking Water is Closely Related to the Health of Human Life
Water content in the human body
With increasing age, the water content in the human body will gradually decrease. The embryonic water content can reach 98%, the average fetus at 3 months is 91%, the average at 8 months is 81%, and the average at newborns is 80%. After 10-16 years of age, it gradually reaches adult levels. Water content is 50% for men over 60 years and about 45% for women.
Minerals in Water
  • Neglected Water Nutrition
  • The Importance of Magnesium in Drinking Water
  • The Importance of Calcium in Drinking Water
  • Many people think the content of mineral elements in water is very small and can be ignored. In fact, no matter how rich the diet structure, a certain proportion of important mineral elements required by the human body comes from drinking water.
  • According to an academician of the American Academy of Engineering, over the long-term, consumption of ion-free water can lead to nutritional deficiencies [2]
  • The World Health Organization's Nutrients in Drinking Water states that drinking water is an indispensable source of minerals intake for human body. Purified water cannot supplement minerals, and causes the loss of mineral elements from the body [3]
  • The World Health Organization's Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality 1 st edition, states that the human body must ingest a certain amount of minerals and trace elements from drinking water. The typical intake of calcium and magnesium is about 5% to 20% of the total adult intake[4].In addition, food cooked with purified water will lose a large amount of mineral elements, of which magnesium and calcium can reach up to 60% [3]
  • Waterborne magnesium is known to be more bioavailable than magnesium obtained from foods and thus may be more important clinically[5].
  • Magnesium participates in many different biological functions, ranging from catalytic roles in enzyme activation or inhibition, and regulatory roles by modulating cell proliferation, to cell cycle progression and differentiation. Most correlation studies show that people with higher magnesium levels in drinking water have lower cardiovascular disease and stroke mortality, and vice versa[3].
  • Calcium performs many biological functions in the body, the most important of which is bone mineralization. The mineral composition of drinking water is becoming relevant in the modulation of calcium homeostasis. In fact, calcium present in mineral drinking waters is an important quantitative source of calcium intake. Together with its excellent bioavailability, contributes to the maintenance of the bone health, provides beneficial effects on both bone biomarkers and bone densitometric parameters[6].
  • Mineral water rich in calcium does not contain calories and can be used as an important dietary source of calcium. The calcium from the mineral water is thus highly bioavailable, at least as bioavailable as milk calcium[7].
  • There is some evidence that high-calcium water is beneficial to bone. There is some evidence that high-calcium water is beneficial to bone. Spine mineral density was significantly (P = 0.03) higher in 175 women aged 30–70 years living in Sangemini, a region of central Italy, who drank the local high-calcium water (318 mg/l), compared with 80 women in the same region who drank low- calcium water (<60 mg/l). The estimated difference in calcium intake from an assessment of diet and water was 258 mg/day on average.
pH of Water
Why test the pH of water?
The pH of water is determined by the mineral components dissolved in the water. Natural water normally contains many minerals such as potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, metasilicate, etc., results in weakly alkaline of water. Water without minerals tends to be acidic. Therefore, by testing the pH of water, you can briefly determine if the water contains natural minerals.
What kind of water is suitable for infants and young children?
Chinese Nutrition Society recommends that infants and young children should scientifically drink water based on different growing stages [8]
0-6 months babies
0.7L per day
unless the weather is hot or other reasons
Breast milk can fulfill water requires
7-12 months babies
0.9L per day
60% is supplemented by milk
40% through water and other complementary food supplements
1-3 years old
1.3L per day
more than 60% from water
and complementary food supplements
Note: Refer to "Reference intake of dietary nutrients for Chinese residents", edited by Chinese Nutrition Society
The mineral content of drinking water for infants and young children should not be too high
The liver and kidney functions of infants and young children are not yet mature. Drinking high mineral content water will increase the burden on the liver and kidney of infants and young children.

The German Federal Law Gazette [9] and the Austrian Federal Law Gazette [10] both explicitly require that the drinking water provided to infants and young children should have sodium ≤20mg / L.

In 2005, the journal from WHO, “Nutrients minerals in drinking water: implications for the nutrition of infants and young children” [11] pointed out that infants and young children are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of high mineral salt intake.

Bulgaria Pediatricians also recommend TDS ≤ 100 mg/L for infant drinking water [12]. TDS refers to the total dissolved solids in water.
Drinking water for infants and young children must not be completely free of mineral elements
Infants and young children have relatively narrow channels to obtain minerals, it is necessary for drinking water to contain suitable minerals. Long time purified water drinking will take out the body's own sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and other minerals. Infant formulas normally contain only 8 to 12 mineral elements. Baby's growth needs nutrition, so it is recommended to use drinking water containing natural mineral elements to brew milk powder.

Infant drinking water must strictly meet microbe limits
As the gastrointestinal tract of infants is still very fragile, foreign countries require commercial sterility of drinking water for infants [13], China also has strict microbiological requirements for liquid food for infants [14-16].

China stipulates that liquid infant formula must meet the requirements of commercial sterility, but infant drinking water is not included at present. There is no requirement for commercial sterility in the existing sanitary (safety) standards for drinking water and bottled drinking water, either.

Commercial sterility: the product contains no pathogenic microorganisms, or non-pathogenic microorganisms that can reproduce at normal temperatures
Therefore, even if the mineral content of ordinary bottled water meets the requirements, it still needs to be boiled before infants and children drinking.
Click to view references
[8] 中国营养学会.中国居民膳食指南2016 [M]. 北京:人民卫生出版社, 2016.
[9] Bundesrat. Verordnung über natürliches Mineralwasser, Quellwasser und Tafelwasser (Mineral-und Tafelwasser-Verordnung): Min/TafelWV[S/OL]. [2019-07-18]. https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/min_tafelwv/Min_TafelWV.pdf.
[10] Verordnung der Bundesministerin für Frauenangelegenheiten und Verbraucherschutz. Verordnung der Bundesministerin für Frauenangelegenheiten und Verbraucherschutz über lebende Muscheln (Muschelverordnung): 391L0492, 389L0662[S/OL]. [2019-07-18]. faolex.fao.org/docs/texts/aut8226.doc.
[11] Sievers E. Nutrient minerals in drinking water: implications for the nutrition of infants and young children [A]. in WHO (eds.). Nutrients in drinking water [C]. Geneva: The WHO Press, 2005, 164-175.
[12] Митова M. Общата минерализация над 100 mg/l затруднява организма на новороденото [N]. Монитор, (2007-1-8)[2010-3-21]. http://www.monitor.bg/article?id=106431
[13] FDA. Code of Federal Regulations, Bottled Water: 21 CFR 65.110 [S/OL]. [2019-07-18]. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch. cfm?fr=165.110&SearchTerm=bottled%20water.
[14] 中华人民共和国卫生部. 食品安全国家标准婴儿配方食品:GB 10765-2010 [S]. 北京:中国标准出版社, 2011.
[15] 中华人民共和国卫生部. 食品安全国家标准较大婴儿和幼儿配方食品:GB 10767-2010 [S]. 北京:中国标准出版社, 2011.
[16] 中华人民共和国卫生部. 食品安全国家标准婴幼儿罐装辅助食品:GB 10770-2010 [S]. 北京:中国标准出版社, 2011.