Reverse osmosis removes minerals such as magnesium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, etc. from your drinking water because their molecules are larger than the tiny pore size of the RO membrane.

Reverse osmosis filters are widely known and used in water treatment systems to produce high-quality drinking water. It’s highly effective because it removes a wide range of contaminants, including total dissolved solids (TDS) and chemical contaminants. It removes all the contaminants in your tap water except microbes such as viruses and bacteria.

It can be used on both well water and municipal water supplies. When you look at the pros and cons of the reverse osmosis system, it’s worth buying because the cons are so few compared to the benefits. A notable downside to RO is that it doesn’t selectively filter natural minerals. This means while reverse osmosis removes harmful contaminants and unwanted minerals, it also takes out essential minerals.

The World Health Organization stated that most of the beneficial minerals in our bodies are sourced from food, not drinking tap water. Still, many consumers are concerned about the RO system removing healthy minerals because minerals are easier to absorb from water.

Does the Reverse Osmosis Process Remove Healthy Minerals in Your Drinking Water?

Yes, it does. In the process of filtering out dangerous impurities from your water, the reverse osmosis system also takes out certain minerals that are good for the body.

The RO process eliminates both organic minerals and inorganic minerals alongside other contaminants from your water because they are smaller than water molecules. It takes out minerals such as zinc, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, fluoride, etc.

However, this isn’t a big deal. After all, you can get whatever mineral content you need from eating dietary plant foods.

For those who prefer drinking water with mineral content, you can remineralize your water. Aside from the dissolved minerals that reverse osmosis removes, it also eliminates salty taste, odor, etc.

The healthy minerals found in water include:

Calcium and Magnesium

These minerals cause water to become hard, but they are essential for the human body. Our bodies need calcium to develop healthy, strong bones and teeth. On the other hand, the human body needs magnesium for energy and weight management. However, it’s easier to obtain calcium than magnesium from only food.

Potassium

This mineral balances the body fluid and provides support for the heart.

Sodium

Sodium is a vital mineral for the human body, but you shouldn’t take it excessively. The human body requires a minimum of 500 mg of sodium daily. One hundred liters of water usually contains roughly 5mg of salt.

Copper

This mineral is good for bone and blood health, the nervous system, and our body’s metabolism.

Zinc

We need zinc for good blood circulation and to boost our immune system. It’s also vital for DNA synthesis. There are trace amounts of zinc in the average water supply.

reverse osmosis system in kitchen

How Reverse Osmosis Removes Minerals from Water

Reverse osmosis systems or RO water filters use the reverse osmosis membrane (also called semi-permeable) to produce contaminant-free water. Each of these filtration stages removes significant quantities of contaminants. Its sediment filter eliminates bigger contaminants such as rust, silt, and dirt or debris. The carbon filter removes lead, chlorine, etc.

However, the RO membrane does the most significant work. Only contaminants smaller than 0.001 microns can pass through the membrane.

These water systems effectively remove minerals because they leave your water with almost undetectable mineral content. Reverse Osmosis is one of the few filtration systems that can provide nearly 100% pure water. However, the filtered freshwater is demineralized but free from contaminants.

FAQs

What minerals are left in reverse osmosis water?

RO water systems can remove up to 99.9% of contaminants from your water. This leaves trace quantities of minerals such as sodium, copper, magnesium, iron, calcium, fluoride, phosphorus, etc. By trace quantities, we mean between 0.1% to 1%.

When the feed water flows through the RO membrane, it will thoroughly remove the previously significant quantities of the minerals mentioned above. So when drinking RO water, you’re consuming extremely small quantities of these minerals. It still doesn’t affect the quality, though. So your water will have the same water quality as bottled water.

Do I need to add minerals to reverse osmosis water?

You can if you want. Fortunately, specific models of RO units come with an alkaline water system. This post filter injects a regulated amount of minerals into your water after it’s been treated. This is a win-win because you get contamination-free water containing vital minerals and an enviable alkaline taste.

If your RO unit doesn’t come with an alkaline water filter, you can manually add drops of a specific useful organic mineral.

About the Author

Lucas Greer

Lucas vs. Wild - Lucas is a true nature lover and survivalist. When he's not teaching science at school, he can be found in nature, hiking, climbing, camping, and rafting. He knows all the tricks and DIYs for making unclean water drinkable with simple means in an emergency. At school, his students love him for his exciting water filtration projects.

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