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Is it Safe to Drink from Copper?

Is it Safe to Drink from Copper?

People have been drinking water stored in copper vessels for millennia. In fact, copper can easily be put among the most important metals ever utilized by humankind. When in touch with water, copper leaches safe amounts of copper ions which, besides their strong antibacterial and alkalizing properties, contribute to many important processes in the body.

However, as with everything, badly manufactured copper vessels and improper use can cause more harm than good. So, is it safe to drink water out of copper vessels? The answer depends on different factors, and it comes down to the quality of the vessel, what you store in it, how you use it, and how often you clean it.

In this article, we will look at the potential benefits and risks of drinking water from copper vessels, and what you can do to ensure that you are receiving the best of what copper has to offer.

The Practice of Drinking Water from Copper Vessels

Copper has been utilized for more than nine millennia. Ancient cultures held high regard for this metal for its antibacterial properties. In fact, the ancient Egyptians associated copper with the symbol for eternal life, the ankh, which was later also adopted, albeit slightly modified, as a symbol for copper by the ancient Greeks.

The ancient civilizations found many uses for this metal: from utensils and vessels to mirrors, jewelry, and even weaponry. Perhaps one of the most notable uses of copper was the manufacture of water-storing vessels, as this ensured bacteria-free drinkable water.

Because of this discovery, some cultures, like the Hindu culture, would go on to introduce copper into their medicine. Ayurvedic medicine went a step further, recognizing copper as one of the most important metals responsible for the health and well-being of the human body.

This use of copper vessels for storing and drinking water continues to this day. Thanks to its low reactivity and high durability, copper has been used in the manufacture of water pipes, water-storing jugs, bottles, mugs, and cups.

If the water you drink comes from the tap, there is a chance that it passes through copper pipes and, thus, contributes to about 10% of your daily copper needs.

In the case of copper vessels, storing water in copper jugs, bottles, or other containers means allowing copper ions to leach into the water over time. When you drink copper-infused water, you ingest small and safe quantities of copper which are necessary for the normal functioning of the body, while also ensuring that no harmful bacteria is present in your drinking water.

The Health Benefits of Drinking Out of Copper

As you are already aware, copper has excellent antibacterial properties. Studies have shown that storing water in copper vessels ensures the elimination of harmful bacteria such as E. Coli, Salmonella, and Vibrio Cholerae. This helps translates into safe drinking water, and copper vessels can be especially useful when traveling to developing countries with questionable water quality.

Additionally, copper vessels have an alkalizing effect on the water, making it even more beneficial for your health. This happens when the copper ions are released into the water, increasing its pH.

The copper ions that are released into the water over time also serve to provide an additional intake of this important mineral, which supports many important bodily functions.

Copper has been found to support the production of red blood cells, the absorption of iron, the regulation of the heart rate and blood pressure, the immune system, connective tissue and bones, the brain and the heart, while also preventing inflammation and prostatitis.

For more information about the usefulness of copper, you can read our comprehensive article on the benefits of copper on health.

Is it Safe to Drink Water from Copper Vessels?

Generally, if you limit the use of copper vessels to drinking water only, there are no risks or dangers that you should be concerned about. This, of course, needs to be coupled with high-quality, food-safe copper vessels that come from reputable sellers.

It is true that copper reacts when in touch with water in a process known as oxidation. In fact, this process is how copper oxide ions are released into the water. When used properly, the copper leached into the water overnight amounts to 0.475 ppm (parts per million). This amount is well within the water copper content limits set by the World Health Organization (WHO) – which is 2 ppm (or 2 mg per liter).

The main concerns related to drinking water out of copper vessels are related to copper poisoning which may occur as a result of an excessive amount of copper in the water. While this is a valid concern, using copper vessels properly will generally not result in such an effect, as copper is a metal that has low reactivity and high durability.

This, unfortunately, does not make drinking out of copper vessels risk-free. As you will see below, if the copper vessel is unlined, you should be careful to limit its use to storing drinking water only. Additionally, you should only purchase copper vessels that guarantee 100% pure and food-grade copper which has been manufactured to the highest standards.

How Much Water is Safe to Drink from a Copper Vessel?

We need copper in our daily consumption for a well-functioning body. And while copper also comes from other sources, such as dark chocolate or certain nuts, adding an additional source of copper is never a bad idea. The fact that the water copper levels in copper-infused water are well within the recommended limits means that it can be safe to drink it for as long as you wish.

However, as a precautionary measure, it is generally recommended to drink no more than four cups of copper-infused water a day and take a month’s break after drinking copper-infused water for three months. This is enough time to allow the body to remove any excess copper that has been deposited.

When It Is Dangerous to Drink from Copper Vessels

Just like with anything else, there are always certain risks that may affect you negatively. This is inevitably true for copper vessels, and it boils down to how you use them, what you store in them, and whether they should be used for consumption purposes at all.

The dangers related to drinking from copper vessels can vary from an excessive intake of copper due to a reaction with acidic substances to badly manufactured vessels that contain impure copper or chemicals which can interact with the water.

Here is what you should beware of when purchasing and using a copper vessel.

Storing Acidic Liquids or Foods

If the copper vessel is unlined, the copper that touches the acidic substance may react and release a large amount of copper salts such as blue vitriol (bluestone), copper sulfate, and verdigris. This can be dangerous, as it may lead to copper toxicity and cause a number of health issues that can even be fatal.

These substances include but are not limited to pickled foods, honey, milk and dairy products, or anything citrusy, such as lemon, lime, or orange juice. The rule of thumb is to only store drinking water in copper vessels that have not been lined on the inside. In fact, these vessels are made solely for the purpose of storing water.

Exposure to Heat

When heated, copper becomes more reactive and, thus, bound to release a much larger number of copper ions when in contact with another substance. This is how it also tarnishes more easily, and it is one of the reasons not to put copper vessels into the dishwasher.

When it comes to how this process affects the liquids you are storing in the vessels, it is important to note that you should not use the vessel to heat water or put hot water in it. If you prefer to store water that you have previously boiled, make sure you let the water cool off to room temperature before you pour it into the copper vessel.

Copper pans and pots are lined for this reason. Here, the copper is used to distribute heat more evenly, and because copper pots and pans look beautiful. However, if the lining is damaged, do not use the cookware under any circumstance. Have it repaired or throw it away.

Improper or Irregular Cleaning

Copper tarnishes over time. While tarnish itself is not dangerous and may even reduce the reactivity of copper when in touch with water, it can become dangerous when the copper surface has started to rust and create a green patina. Regular cleaning is recommended not only for achieving the full effects of storing water in copper, but also as a precautionary measure.

Also, when it comes to cleaning, you should be careful about what kind of cleaning products you are using to clean your copper vessels. Avoid using hard chemicals or placing your copper vessels in the dishwasher. For more information on how to clean copper, you can check out this guide.

Beware of Bad Manufacturers and Sellers

Unfortunately, there are a number of low-quality manufacturers and sellers of copper vessels that sell adulterated copper or apply chemicals to the surface of the copper which contaminates the water stored within.

The risks related to purchasing low-quality copper vessels can include:

  • Impure copper. To cut down on manufacturing costs, some sellers may choose to use lower-grade copper that contains impurities that may negatively affect the quality of the water you are storing.
  • Varnished copper vessels. Some sellers choose to varnish their copper vessels to prevent tarnishing. However, this means that you will be storing your water in an environment that is bound to absorb dangerous chemicals.
  • Copper-plated vessels. In some cases, a low price tag may point to a lack of copper or, in other words, a plain metal vessel that has been only plated with copper. The copper plating will start to rub off after only a few months of use, resulting in exposure to a metal that can be dangerous to drink water from.

The Risks of Improper Usage of Copper Vessels

Aside from the risks related to using low-quality copper vessels, improper usage of copper vessels, such as in the case of storing acidic substances, can lead to serious health issues.

This is because when used improperly the copper can react with the environment and release excessive amounts of copper salts. A metallic taste can be an indicator of an excessive amount of copper in the water.

Ingesting these salts can cause copper toxicity. Copper toxicity is characterized by different symptoms that can range from mild to severe, and these include:

  • Nausea;
  • Headaches;
  • Fever;
  • Vomiting;
  • Blood in vomit;
  • Abdominal cramps;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Black feces;
  • Yellowing of eyes and skin (jaundice);
  • Brown ring-shaped markings in the eyes (Kayser-Fleischer rings); and
  • Passing out.

Additionally, copper poisoning can include the following mental and behavioral symptoms:

  • Anxiety and irritability;
  • Trouble paying attention;
  • Over-excitement and feeling overwhelmed;
  • Unusual sadness or depression; and
  • Sudden mood changes.

Long-term copper toxicity can be fatal and can lead to kidney conditions, liver damage or failure, heart failure, and brain damage.

If you have been experiencing symptoms like those mentioned above, it is highly advisable to consult a health professional.

While properly stored copper water cannot cause copper toxicity, it still contributes to an increase in the copper levels in your body. Therefore, it is best to stop drinking copper-infused water until you understand the cause of the symptoms.

How to Ensure that You Are Purchasing a Good-Quality Copper Vessel

There are several ways to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable seller of copper vessels, as well as to ensure that the vessel you are buying is made to the highest standards. Here is what to pay attention to:

The Seller’s Reputation

When buying a copper vessel, do not opt for the cheapest option. Instead, look for a reputable and market-leading seller that can guarantee the quality of their product. You should also check their credibility by reading online reviews. Copper H2O is the original maker and seller of high-quality copper water bottles, while Shantiva offers 100% pure copper water pitchers.

Copper Purity

When looking for a copper vessel, make sure that you confirm with the seller that their product is made of 100% pure food-grade copper. This guarantee should serve as a testament to the quality of the vessel you are purchasing.

Additionally, looking for visual cues can help in determining if the vessel is made out of pure copper. A sure way to recognize pure copper is by looking at the shape and design of the vessel. Pure copper is soft and cannot be molded into intricate shapes and designs. Additionally, the color of the vessel should be pinkish-orange.

The Manufacture of the Vessel

Depending on what kind of copper vessel you are purchasing, there are some elements that need to be present to ensure that they are made to the highest standards.

Copper water jugs. This type of vessel usually comes with a handle. Make sure the handle has been welded. The unacceptable alternatives can include riveted handles, which are much cheaper to manufacture, but also much more dangerous for consumption purposes.

This is because the rivets may not be made out of copper, but rather out of metals which can affect the water quality. Additionally, to avoid potential leaks because of the rivets, the manufacturer may add glue, which can be highly toxic and may contaminate the water stored in the pitcher.

Additionally, even if the handles have been welded, the practice of welding itself requires proper handling. In cases of low-quality pitchers, some manufacturers may apply too much heat during the welding process, resulting in microscopic holes through the body of the pitcher which may cause leakage.

Copper water bottles. In addition to the general risks of poor manufacturing practices, such as impure copper, varnish, or copper plating, there have been cases of badly constructed copper bottles. This can result in copper shards peeling off the inner surface of the bottle and ending up in the drinking water.

Copper mugs. Generally, copper mugs are famously used for cocktails such as the Moscow Mule. You should be aware that everything that goes into these cocktails is acidic, and that the mug must be lined to prevent the formation of dangerous copper salts. The quality of the lining is also important here, as poorly lined mugs may result in the exposure of the copper to the liquids.

The Price Tag

When buying copper vessels, cheaper is not better. While this does not mean that you should be paying for overpriced vessels, it does mean that there is a reason why the product has been set at a lower price. Generally, an authentic copper water bottle ranges between $35 and $45 USD, while an authentic copper pitcher should cost between $40 and $60 USD. This indicator, however, is not as strong as the reputation and quality assertion of the seller.

The Bottom Line

Drinking water out of copper vessels is a practice that has been around since the discovery of copper. If you properly limit the use of these vessels to storing water, using them can be a safe and healthy practice.

This is, of course, based on the assumption that you are using a quality vessel. The quality of the copper and the manufacture of the vessel play an important role in the outcome. So, while it is important to ensure that you do not store acidic substances in the copper vessel, you should also ensure that the copper vessel comes from a reputable seller that can guarantee its quality.

Improper manufacture and usage of copper vessels can result in various risks that can affect your health negatively, so be aware of where you buy your vessel and how you use it.

When used properly, you can be sure that you are going to enjoy the many benefits of copper-infused water to the fullest potential. So, enjoy your water and stay healthy!

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Studies Support Use of Copper Water Bottles

Studies Support Use of Copper Water Bottles

While the concept of storing water in a copper water bottle or other copper vessel arose centuries ago and has its origins in Ayurvedic principles, the practice is gaining increasing attention from the scientific community. In fact, several recent studies have substantiated  that drinking water stored in a copper vessel is a safe and beneficial health practice. In this blog post, we'll summarize the results of three recent scientific studies concerning the use of copper water vessels as well as a report from the World Health Organization.

In one recent study, which was published in the Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, scientists studied the effect of storing water in a copper pot on microbially-contaminated drinking water, including harmful bacteria such as E.coli and salmonella. In particular, scientists stored water contaminated with this bacteria in copper pots for 16 hours at room temperature. Incredibly, following the 16-hour storage period, the scientists were unable to recover any bacteria from the water. In addition, the scientists found that the water's pH level had increased, meaning that it had naturally become more alkaline. As other studies have shown, natural alkaline water has a variety of health benefits.

Significantly, the scientists also determined that the copper content of the water was less than 0.2 ppm (parts per million), which represents an amount far less than the permissible limit set by the World Health Organization ("WHO"). As the study states, “safety of leached copper does not appear to be an issue since studies have shown that the current WHO guideline of 2 mg Cu/L is safe” and the levels absorbed in the study were well within permissible limits.

The WHO's recent report entitled Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality identified an upper limit for consumption of copper in water as 2.0 ppm (or 2 mg per litre), which is far higher than the amount of copper found in the water that was stored overnight in the copper pots as part of the study. Accordingly, the scientific evidence shows that there is no realistic risk of consuming too much copper by drinking water stored in a copper vessel, even when that water is stored in the copper vessel overnight or even for several days (more on that below). As a result, there is no realistic risk that drinking water from a copper water bottle will cause gastrointestinal irritation or other health issues.

In another recent study, scientists again studied the effect of storing water in a copper pot on water contaminated with bacteria. In this study, the scientists incubated water with a colony of harmful bacteria and then stored the water overnight at room temperature in both copper pots and glass bottles. In the morning, the bacteria was no longer recoverable from the water that had been stored in the copper pots, although it was recovered from the water stored in the glass bottles. The study found that the water stored in the copper pots had also become more alkaline.

Significantly, the scientists also determined that while the water stored in the copper pots absorbed some of the copper overnight, the water’s copper content was less than 0.475 ppm, which is well within the permissible limits for human consumption and is thus safe for drinking.

In yet another recent study, researchers stored water contaminated with bacteria in a variety of different water containers, including copper and silver containers, in order to determine their efficacy at removing biological contamination from drinking water. The study revealed that the copper vessels had a significant inhibitory effect on the bacteria in the water after only a few hours of exposure. The scientists found that the pH of the water had also increased within a healthy range.

The scientists in that study also measured the concentration of copper in the water every 2 hours in order to determine whether the water remained safe for consumption. While the scientists detected a gradual increase in the amount of copper absorbed by the water, they determined that the amount still remained well within the permissible limits laid out by the WHO even after the water was stored in the copper vessel for several days.

The following graph from the report provides a helpful illustration of the rate at which copper was absorbed into the water. In particular, the data shows that the copper levels in the water remained within permissible levels even after several days. This study suggests that storing water in a copper bottle overnight or even for a few days does not pose any risk to health.

The conclusions of these and many other research studies support what Ayurvedic medicine has been telling us for centuries: that drinking water stored in a copper vessel can be a safe and beneficial health practice. We look forward to seeing more evidence in support of the use of copper water bottles as the practice gains increased attention from scientific community. If you are looking for a high-quality 100% pure copper water bottle, check out Copper H2O.

About the Authors: This article was collaboratively written by our team of researchers and writers with the benefit of all available scientific studies and other relevant literature. Our team of researchers and writers include experienced health researchers including a qualified medical professional. Please note that information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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The Health Benefits of Natural Alkaline Water

The Health Benefits of Natural Alkaline Water

Drinking alkaline water can be a great way to support a healthy lifestyle. However, did you know that there are two very different kinds of alkaline water with very significant differences between them from a health perspective?

In this blog post, we’ll introduce alkaline water, explain the benefits of alkaline water, and identify the important differences between the two kinds of alkaline water: natural alkaline water and artificial alkaline water. We’ll also share with you the well-kept secret of how you can make natural alkaline water easily, safely and inexpensively using a copper water bottle. Let’s dive in!

What is Alkaline Water?

The word “alkaline” in the term “alkaline water” essentially refers to the pH level of water. The term “pH” is a scientific term which essentially refers to the acidity or non-acidity of a liquid. All liquids have a pH, which is expressed on a scale of 0 to 14. Liquids with a lower pH (that is, closer to a pH of 0) are more acidic than liquids with a higher pH (that is, closer to a pH of 14).

For example, liquids with a pH lower than 7 (like coffee and vinegar) are acidic liquids, while liquids with a pH higher than 7 (like liquid soap and baking soda) are non-acidic liquids, which are also known as “alkaline” or “basic” liquids. Pure water has a pH of 7, which is considered neither acidic nor alkaline. Accordingly, alkaline water is water that has a pH greater 7 and is non-acidic. As discussed in more detail below, healthy alkaline water typically has a pH of 8 or 8.5.

Alkaline water is commonly believed to be beneficial to health. In particular, health advocates believes that alkaline water helps neutralize acidity in the body and thereby helps increase energy levels, slows the aging process, boosts the immune system, supports weight loss, detoxifies the body, cleanses the colon, rejuvenates the skin, supports the health of muscles and joints, and prevents numerous diseases, including cancer.

In fact, recent studies have found that alkaline water may benefit those with high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Moreover, other recent studies have found that drinking alkaline water neutralized acid in the bloodstream, leading to improved circulation and increased oxygen distribution throughout the body. Another recent study has also determined that drinking alkaline water can help fight or even eliminate acid reflux disease.

Differences Between Natural Alkaline Water and Artificial Alkaline Water

In general, there are two types of alkaline water. The first type of alkaline water is commonly known as “artificial alkaline water” or “artificially alkalinized water”. This is typically water that has been produced by passing tap water through an alkaline water machine, which is also known as an electrical ionizer.

Alkaline water machines operate by a process known as ionization or electrolysis, which is essentially a process that electrocutes water by repeatedly sending electric currents through it. Throughout the process, the water molecules are forcibly split by the electrical current and pushed over metal plates generally made of platinum and titanium. This process creates an exchange of platinum and titanium ions which essentially “forces” the water into a greater state of alkalinity. Adjusting the electrical flow determines how many ions are forced into the water. Some alkaline water machines also come with artificial powders that can be added to the water to make it even more alkaline.

Alkaline water machines generally increase the pH of water from 7 (being the “neutral” pH level of normal water) to an extreme pH of 12 or even 13, which is just short of the highest possible pH level (being a pH of 14).

While alkaline water machines are widely available for purchase in many stores as well as online, they are often marketed in a very aggressive manner along with claims that are false or misleading. As a result, you should exercise significant caution when considering an investment in an alkaline water machine. In fact, as described in detail below, many health advocates have cautioned that drinking artificial alkaline water for an extended period can have serious health side effects.

One reason advanced by health advocates is that the metals contained in alkaline water machines (platinum and titanium) are toxic and detrimental to your health. Accordingly, while water will become more alkaline as it passes through an alkaline water machine, it will also become increasingly toxic. In addition, alkaline water machines can increase the pH of water to an extreme level, which can negatively affect the body. In particular, excessive alkalinity can decrease natural stomach acidity, which can make your body more vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. In addition, drinking water that is too alkaline can cause gastrointestinal issues, negatively affect bone health, and cause skin irritation, as well as other health problems.

Artificial alkaline water is very similar to “empty food” that is high in calories but lacks the essential minerals that your body needs to flourish. In fact, a study published by the World Health Organization cautions against drinking water with low mineral content. When artificial alkaline water is consumed, its high pH level essentially “tricks” the body into thinking that it is receiving water that contains a significant amount of dissolved minerals. This “trick” can cause the body to release mineral reserves into the blood and kidneys, thereby ultimately making the body deficient in minerals as a result. In addition, the powders provided along with alkaline water machines are not pure and may also have negative health consequences. Beyond these health concerns, alkaline water machines can also be expensive to purchase and operate.

The issues associated with artificial alkaline water can be avoided by drinking what is commonly known as “natural alkaline water”, “naturally alkalinized water”, or “living water”. Natural alkaline water is essentially naturally-sourced water that has become alkaline as a result of its natural environment. For example, water can become naturally alkaline as it passes through a mountain spring. As the water flows and rubs against rocks in the earth, it will naturally pick up and absorb various minerals that will increase the water’s pH and make it more alkaline. Unlike artificially alkalinized water, naturally alkalinized water has a more naturally alkaline pH of 8 or 8.5, which is much healthier for your body.

Unfortunately, unless you live near a mountain spring, you may feel that you have little choice but to resort to buying natural alkaline water from a grocery store or health food store. Unfortunately, such water is almost always packaged in plastic bottles, which can leech chemicals into the water and thereby harm your health. In addition, plastic bottles are very harmful to the environment. Beyond these concerns, bottled water is generally expensive and the costs can quickly add up.

In addition, it is important to exercise significant caution when purchasing alkaline water in bottled form. Many grocery stores and specialty stores sell bottled alkaline water that is marketed as natural alkaline water when it is in fact artificially alkalinized water. In general, this water has been created through the process of reverse osmosis and has then been mixed with a powder in order to alkalinize it. As noted above, these powders are often not pure and can be harmful to health.

Fortunately, as described in more detail below, you can avoid the issues associated with artificial alkaline water and bottled alkaline water by making your own natural alkaline water easily, safely and inexpensively using a copper water bottle.

How to Make Natural Alkaline Water Using Your Copper Water Bottle

When you store water in a copper water bottle, the water naturally and safely absorbs very small amounts of copper. This naturally ionizes the water and causes the water to become natural alkaline water.

As a result, a copper water bottle is essentially a natural alkaline water bottle. In fact, the process for making natural alkaline water in a copper bottle is much like the process by which water becomes natural alkaline water in nature. In nature, water can become alkaline by passing through a mountain spring and absorbing minerals. Water stored in a copper water bottle essentially does the same thing as it rubs against the walls of the copper bottle.

In fact, in a recent study scientists studying the effect of storing water in a copper vessel determined that the water became alkaline. In particular, the scientists discovered that the water's pH rose steadily the longer it was stored in the copper vessel. In addition, the scientists studied the effect of the copper vessel on microbially-contaminated drinking-water, including serious bacteria such as e.coli and salmonella. Incredibly, the scientists determined that water infected with these bacteria was completely decontaminated after being stored in a copper vessel for a number of hours at room temperature.

Apart from naturally making water alkaline, storing water in a copper water bottle can also have other health benefits. Copper is an essential mineral, and copper water (also known as “tamra jal” in ayurvedic medicine, and also commonly known as “copper infused water” or “copper charged water”) can have excellent health benefits. For example, copper is anti-bacterial, acts as an effective anti-oxidant, improves immunity, supports good health, prevents aging, eliminates toxins and free radicals, and stimulates the brain. Because copper is naturally anti-bacterial, copper water bottles are naturally self-sterilizing and do not require as much cleaning as other water bottles. Interesting, copper water vessels have been recognized for their health benefits throughout history.

Making alkaline water using a copper water bottle is as easy as pouring water into your copper water bottle and giving the water time to naturally alkaline. Water stored in a copper vessel will become increasingly alkaline the longer it remains in the copper vessel, and the speed and degree of the alkalinization process will depend on various environmental factors, including the temperature of the water and its original pH level. In general, the natural alkalinization process will occur a bit faster if the water is at room temperature or slightly warmer.

You can use any type of water in your copper water bottle, including tap water, water that has been passed through a filter, or even bottled water. You will probably notice the greatest difference with tap water, which is generally the least alkaline and in the need of the most care. Although tap water is generally fine in most first-world cities, you may wish to consider filtering you water before pouring it into your copper water bottle.

Make sure you use a copper water bottle that is made of 100% pure high-grade food-safe copper and does not have any other metals, alloys or lining. Make sure to do your research and ensure that you are avoiding certain manufactures (particularly those who sell on Amazon and Ebay and manufacture their copper bottles in China and India) who falsely claim to sell pure copper water bottles that are actually plain metal bottles plated with copper. Also make sure to avoid sellers who sell copper bottles that are coated on the interior with a toxic lacquer. Our copper bottles are 100% pure high-grade food-safe copper and contain absolutely no toxic materials of any kind.

In addition, you should try to use a hammered copper water bottle, as the hammered texture increases the surface area of copper on the inside of the copper water bottle which makes contact with the water stored in it. The greater the physical contact between the water and the copper, the greater the health benefits for you and the faster the speed of the natural alkalinization process.

In general, we suggest storing water in your copper water bottle for 6-8 hours for the most beneficial effect. For best results and a healthy start to your morning, try storing water in your copper water bottle overnight and drinking from it first thing in the morning. For some great tips on the healthiest way to drink water, check out our recent blog post about the healthy way to drink water

About the Authors: This article was collaboratively written by our team of researchers and writers with the benefit of all available scientific studies and other relevant literature. Our team of researchers and writers include experienced health researchers including a qualified medical professional. Please note that information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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The Ultimate Guide to Copper Vessels

The Ultimate Guide to Copper Vessels

Copper vessels have been around for thousands of years. In fact, they are one of the earliest types of vessels ever made after clay vessels. Due to the positive antibacterial properties of copper, it is still widely used nowadays in many medical tools, utensils, and water-storing vessels. In this post, we discuss the history of copper vessels, how to use them, their health benefits and much more.

The History of Copper Vessels

Known as the ‘jewelry of the kitchen,’ copper has been used for more than six thousand years as a material for all sorts of tools, vessels, and kitchenware. Its use is owed to the fact that copper is a highly durable metal with low reactivity, and thus more resistant to corrosion.

Its first recorded emergence dates back to ancient Mesopotamia, where people would craft copper tools, weapons, and utensils as an alternative to stones or clay. In the case of copper vessels, the Mesopotamians would create drinking pots, glasses, jugs, trays, plates, pans, and other items from copper.

The ancient Egyptians soon adopted the use of copper as well. They used it for pipelines, tools and instruments, artistry, cookware, and vessels. For the kitchen, they would craft copper cutlery and utensils like plates, pans, trays, and pots.

Simultaneously, the Eastern cultures would also adopt the use of copper for tools and kitchenware. Perhaps the most prominent example of its use can be traced to the Indian subcontinent, where every household would possess all sorts of copper vessels, utensils, cookware, decorations, and constructions.

Here, copper also received a religious connotation, with ceremonies involving copper coins and vessels still occurring today. Aside from its aesthetic features, copper also had religious importance as it was recognized as a metal which could purify water and fight diseases. 

Ayurvedic medicine illustrates this importance best, affirming copper's excellent antibacterial and disease-fighting properties through the use of copper pots and containers for storing water. Ayurveda places copper among the most important metals, which can balance all three elements in the body – vata, pitta, and kapha.

What Are Copper Vessels

Copper vessels are containers made of copper used to store liquids such as water. They can come in different shapes and have different purposes. The reason that copper is still used in the crafting of vessels is due to copper’s durability and ability to sterilize whatever it touches by killing bacteria and other pathogens.

Nowadays, copper vessels are mainly used for drinking water, as they can sterilize it, alkalize it, and release beneficial copper ions into it. When used for storing acidic drinks (such as cocktails), these copper vessels can be lined with a non-reactive metal to prevent the formation of toxic copper salts.

The Different Kinds of Copper Vessels

Depending on the purpose, copper vessels can be lined or unlined and can vary in size from cups and glasses to bottles and pitchers. Here, we will look at the different kinds of copper vessels and what they can be used for. 

Copper Drinking Glasses/Cups

Copper drinking glasses and cups are used for storing water. They are relatively small and therefore not as effective in the process of creating copper water. This is because the water needs to be stored for 7-8 hours before drinking if you want to achieve the best results.

However, they can still be more effective than non-copper vessels, even if this translates into a minimal release of copper ions. Therefore, this type of copper vessel would mainly serve a decorative purpose and would work well in combination with a copper pitcher. 

Copper Mugs for Cocktails

When it comes to cocktails or other acidic drinks (such as lemon water), the copper vessel needs to be lined with a non-reactive metal to prevent the release of toxic copper salts.

These copper vessels are primarily used for decorative purposes, as they boost the visual and aesthetic effect of the cocktails they are used for. A classic example of the ideal copper mug/cocktail combination is the Moscow Mule, which is traditionally served in a lined copper vessel.

Copper Water Bottles

Copper water bottles are excellent if you are constantly on the move. While they do not store as much water as a pitcher can, they are ideal if you want to switch completely to using a copper vessel for storing drinking water.

Because you would usually drink more often from a copper bottle and refill when it empties, it means that the copper ion count would not be as high as that in a container which has sat with water for more than 7 hours.

Copper Water Pitchers

The copper water pitcher (or copper jug) is the most effective type of copper vessel for storing water. This is because it can store the highest amount of water, and generally enough to serve your drinking needs for a whole day.

Copper water pitchers usually come in different volume sizes and are meant for storing water overnight. They are also the easiest to clean and maintain.

What Can Be Stored in Copper Vessels

As you have read so far, copper vessels are primarily used for storing water and creating copper water. This is because although copper is not as reactive as some other metals, it still reacts with the environment and corrodes over time.

This corrosion can only be enhanced under the influence of heat, chemicals, and acidic substances, and the reaction can lead to the creation of toxic copper salts. This also goes for dairy products and honey.

Why to Avoid Storing Acidic Substances in Copper Vessels

When in contact with copper, acidic substances catalyze corrosion and play a part in the creation of copper salts such as blue vitriol (bluestone), copper sulphate, and verdigris, which can lead to copper toxicity.

In cases where acidic substances have been stored in copper vessels, some people report an acidic or metallic taste, which is a clear sign of a presence of copper salts. When ingesting these toxic substances, one may experience gastrointestinal problems, stomachache, nausea, dizziness, frequent thirst, and other short-term and long-term health issues.

The main issue with having too much copper in your body (which can happen because of copper reacting with acidic substances) is that the body finds it hard to eliminate the excess, potentially leading to copper toxicity.

Why Drink Water from a Copper Vessel

Storing water in a copper vessel is not only safe but also beneficial for the health. As we already mentioned, copper has excellent antibacterial properties, which translates into safer drinking water. However, this is only where the benefits of drinking out of copper start.

When in contact with water, copper releases a safe amount of copper ions which alkalize the water and provide a range of health benefits when ingested.

The Health Benefits of Drinking Water from a Copper Vessel

Aside from the antibacterial and alkalizing effects of copper on water, the copper ions present in it serve a special role in the healthy functioning of the body. Our bodies need copper as one of the crucial trace minerals, playing an important role in a number of functions, which include:

  • Production of red blood cells;
  • Absorption of iron;
  • Regulation of heart rate and blood pressure;
  • Activation of the immune system;
  • Prevention of prostatitis, or inflammation of the prostate; and
  • Development and maintenance of bone, connective tissue, and organs such as the brain and heart.

Drinking copper water can help in the following cases:

1. Harmful Bacteria

Copper is an oligodynamic metal, able to destroy as many as 1 million bacteria per milliliter. It has been shown to be extremely effective against bacteria such as Salmonella, Shigella, E. Coli, Vibrio Cholerae, S. Aureus, and Klebsiella, which are known to cause serious health issues.

This effectiveness is useful when travelling abroad, especially in developing countries, as traveller’s diarrhea and similar health issues are most commonly caused by pathogens in the drinking water.

2. Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland needs copper to function properly. Therefore, copper has direct benefits when it comes to the thyroid by balancing the gland’s inconsistencies. Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism have been linked with copper deficiency, which can be combated by drinking copper water regularly.

3. Brain Function

The brain works by transmitting impulses from one neuron to another through synapses. These neurons are covered by a sheath called the myelin sheath, which functions as a conductive agent. Copper is one of the main minerals involved in the creation of the myelin basic protein (MBP), directly affecting the formation and stabilization of the myelin sheath.

4. Arthritis and Inflamed Joints

Copper has very potent anti-inflammatory properties, helping to relieve aches and pains caused due to inflamed joints - such as in the case of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition to this, copper helps to boost the immune system and strengthen bone tissue, making it the perfect mineral in the fight against rheumatoid arthritis.

5. Collagen and Melanin Production

Copper plays an important part in the creation of collagen and elastin - two major structural components of our bodies responsible for the scaffolding of the bones, the skin, muscles, and other vital biological structures.

Its antioxidative properties can also prevent skin aging, and its effect on melanin production can aid directly in wound healing, cell production, and protection from UV radiation.

6. Digestive Function

Copper can improve the work of the digestive system in three crucial ways. It kills pathogens which can cause gastro-intestinal issues; it reduces inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties; and it stimulates peristalsis (the rhythmic contraction and relaxation of the stomach which helps food to get digested and move along the digestive tract).

7. Cardiovascular System

The muscle and connective tissue in the heart contain elastin and collagen, which, as we saw, are created with the help of copper. It has been found that copper deficiency can, in fact, lead to heart failure, as copper is needed for healthy muscle tone and function.

Additionally, copper helps in sustaining the elasticity of blood vessels, particularly the aorta and smaller arteries, allowing maintenance of proper blood pressure. It also serves as a cofactor for an enzyme involved in the coagulation of blood.

8. Immune System

Copper is necessary for the creation and maintenance of many of the cells and antibodies which play a crucial role in the immune system. These include the white blood cells (which engulf foreign material), antibodies, cytokines, B lymphocytes, and T lymphocytes.

9. Generation and Storage of Energy in the Cells

Present in a copper-containing enzyme, copper affects the release of cellular energy (ATP) inside the mitochondria, which are the power plants of our cells. 

Which Copper Vessel Is Most Effective for Water? 

While any copper vessel is better than no copper vessel for storing water, copper bottles and pitchers are the most effective types of vessels if you want to reap the full benefits of copper water.

This is simply because these vessels can store larger quantities of water at a time, allowing more water to stay in contact with the copper surface for a longer period of time and to become infused with the beneficial copper ions.

Another consideration when choosing a copper vessel is choosing one which has been hammered. This provides greater surface exposure and, thus, more interaction between the copper and the water.

The Importance of Buying Copper Water Vessel from a Reputable Seller

When buying a copper vessel, you need to ensure that it is 100% pure copper if you want to reap the full benefits and avoid exposure to chemicals and other harmful substances.

Not all copper vessels are created equally. There are many sellers who claim to sell pure copper vessels but which are, in fact, plain metal bottles plated with copper. This can result in the copper plating wearing off after several months of use and exposure to a metallic surface which may be even dangerous for the health.

Additionally, some sellers coat their copper vessels with a toxic lacquer which can release chemicals into the water.

Another thing to consider is whether the copper vessels have been crafted correctly. The handles of pitchers and mugs should not be screwed or glued onto the vessel, as this may lead to exposure to other substances which can affect the quality of the water. Furthermore, poor craftsmanship can result in copper shards peeling off the surface of the vessels and ending up in the water.

You will know that the vessel is made of pure copper if it does not have a lot of intricate details. This is because copper is a soft metal, making it hard to manipulate. If you see such intricate details, you may be looking at a copper alloy such as brass or bronze. These alloys may also be different in color - both lacking the classic orange luster of copper.

How to Be Sure that You Are Buying a Good Copper Vessel

Generally, you would want to check for these three things:

1. Ensure a Reputable Seller

The safest thing to do when buying a copper vessel is to buy it from a reputable and market-leading seller. In the case of online purchases, you can check their credibility by going through their reviews. If you are in the market for a copper bottle, make sure you consider Copper H2O, which is the original maker and seller of the highest quality copper water bottles. If you are in the market for a copper water pitcher, make sure you consider Shantiva.

2. Confirm 100% Copper

Ensure that you confirm with the seller that the copper vessel is 100% pure copper. Obtaining this guarantee ensures that your copper vessel is up to standards and is a testament to the quality of the copper used for making the vessel.

3. The Price

When buying a copper vessel, you should not hesitate to spend more, as low priced items generally indicate something flimsy, fake or poorly manufactured. However, this does not mean that the price should be unreasonable. In general, an authentic and well-made copper water bottle should cost between $35 and $45 USD and an authentic copper pitcher should cost between $40 and $60 USD. However, as prices differ from seller to seller, the reputation and quality assertion may be the best indicators.

How Is Copper Sourced for Copper Vessels?

Copper is a naturally occurring element, present in the Earth’s crust and mined all around the world. It sometimes occurs in pure, native form and it is common in many minerals, such as chalcopyrite, chalcocite and other minerals.

The largest sources of copper are from Chile, the USA, Canada, Russia, Zambia, Poland, Peru, followed by a number of other countries.

Alternatively, copper can come from recycled sources. Europe is the current leader in copper recycling with about 41% of the EU’s annual copper use coming from recycling.

Does the Source of Copper Matter?

As long as the copper used in the vessel is pure, the source has little influence. Copper is a natural element which is equally good regardless of the source. The important thing is for it to be 100% pure copper.

The Bottom Line

Copper vessels have been around for centuries for a good reason. They are durable and provide a safe and beneficial way to store water. Drinking water from a copper vessel can benefit you in many ways, and it plays an important part in eliminating plastic waste from the environment.

However, you should be careful where you get your copper vessel from, as some sellers may try to disguise other metals under copper plating or coat the vessels with toxic lacquer. Always ensure that you are dealing with a reputable seller of high-quality copper water vessels.

About the Authors: This article was collaboratively written by our team of researchers and writers with the benefit of all available scientific studies and other relevant literature. Our team of researchers and writers include experienced health researchers including a qualified medical professional. Please note that information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Drinking Water: Hydrating the Ayurvedic Way

Drinking Water: Hydrating the Ayurvedic Way

Most of us drink water without giving much thought to how we do it. After all, isn’t drinking water as simple as pressing a water bottle to our lips? In fact, the way in which we drink water can actually be life-changing.

Do you ever find yourself feeling bloated after eating? Do you ever find yourself feeling sleepy or drowsy after lunch or dinner? Do you ever find that your efforts to stay hydrated result in many frantic trips to the bathroom, including at night? Do you ever suffer from clogged pores, acne, or dull-looking hair? Amazingly, these and other issues can be mitigated by adopting a special method for drinking water which has been prescribed by ayurvedic medicine and followed by practitioners for centuries.

In this blog post, we’ll explain how making a few small changes in the way in which you drink water (which we call “hydration hacks”) can have a profound impact on your health and well-being.

How to Drink Water

The most important aspect of the ayurvedic method of drinking water is to ensure that you are drinking water in a manner that permits your body to effectively absorb it and use it efficiently. In order to do so, ayurveda suggests that you adopt what we call the “continual hydration approach” rather than what we call the “high volume hydration approach”. In particular, you should be aiming to take a few small sips of water frequently throughout the day instead of drinking large volumes of water a few times throughout the day.

In particular, it is ideal to take a couple sips of water at least every 30 minutes (subject to the other ayurvedic guidelines described below). In fact, drinking small amounts of water frequently throughout the day maximizes hydration and accelerates the body’s detoxification process. Accordingly, adopting the continual hydration approach can increase your energy levels, improve the health of your skin, nails, and hair, combat premature aging, improve digestion, strengthen your immune system, and generally result in a greater overall sense of well-being.

Many people set a particular goal for themselves in terms of the amount of water they need to drink each day and make sure they stick to that goal, even if it requires that they drink a large volume of water in a short period of time in order to “catch up” or “stay on target”. Such an approach may, for example, lead us to drink 2 or 3 glasses of water in one sitting in order to meet our goal of drinking 8 glasses of water per day (more on that later in this blog post).

Most people are surprised to learn that the high volume hydration approach (also known as “chugging”) can be less productive than they think. As amazing and adaptable as our bodies are, they aren’t designed to absorb large volumes of water in a short period of time, which means that the high volume hydration approach will generally result in the water running right through you! Unfortunately, this will not only cause you to go to the bathroom frequently (including during the night, which can disturb your sleep), but it will also deprive you of the benefits of proper hydration. In addition, the high volume hydration approach can, over time, lead to the depletion of essential minerals from our bodies.

Of course, the high volume hydration approach is perfectly understandable! We’re all busy, and we can’t always manage to keep hydrating throughout the day, particularly when our days become loaded with meetings, trips across town, emergencies, and other occurrences that aren’t conducive to always ensuring that we have a nearby source of water. Accordingly, many of us may feel the urge to drink a large volume of water once we return to a source of water so as to help us meet the goal we have set for ourselves.

If you find that your lifestyle tends to push you towards the high volume hydration approach, then there are a few handy “hydration hacks” you can employ to make it much easier to enjoy the benefits of the continual hydration approach. One easy hydration hack is to find a water bottle that you love, both functionally and aesthetically. We tend to surround ourselves with things that give us joy, so a water bottle that meets that requirement is much more likely to make its way into your bag as your leave home for the day. In addition, you are much more likely to actually drink from a water bottle that you love.

Many of our customers find that they have adopted excellent hydration practices through using one of our copper water bottles. In particular, many of our customers have commented that the aesthetically pleasing nature of their copper bottle makes it much more likely that they will keep it at their desk or in their bag when they leave home, and also makes it much more likely that they will take sips from it throughout the day. The gorgeous gleam of pure copper can be a great reminder to keep sipping!

Another great hydration hack is to set automatic alerts on your smartphone that remind you to take a few sips of water every 30 minutes. To avoid intrusions, you can set the alerts to vibrate. While the reminders may be annoying for the first day or two, they should soon help make your new hydration regime a habit, at which time you will have no further need for the reminders and can safely remove them. Interestingly, after a few days of this approach you may also find that your body becomes accustomed to your new hydration regime and that you naturally and automatically take a few sips of water every 30 minutes without needing to actively think about it.

The Timing of Drinking Water

It’s also important to keep in mind exactly when you are drinking water relative to the timing of your meals. In general, you should try to avoid drinking water while having a meal and instead hydrate at least 30 minutes before eating or 2 hours after eating. This is important because drinking water can have the effect of dousing the digestive fire that builds up in our stomachs before a meal (this digestive fire is also known as “agni” in ayurvedic medicine). Drinking water well before you have a meal ensures that your digestive system works as efficiently as possible, which can help avoid stomach-aches and that bloated feeling that many people experience after having a meal.

The same concept applies to drinking water while eating. In general, you should avoid drinking water during a meal if possible. However, if necessary, and particularly if you are consuming salty foods, it’s fine to sip a small amount of water while having your meal. If you drink too much water while you eat, your digestive system may not operate as well as it otherwise would. In order to avoid feeling thirsty after a meal, aim to have a few sips of water 30 minutes before a meal. In addition to helping you avoid feeling thirsty after your meal, the water will also hydrate your stomach’s lining, which will make it easier to produce enough stomach acid to properly digest your meal.

The Temperature of Drinking Water

It’s also vital to be mindful of the temperature of the water that you are drinking. In general, you should aim to drink room temperature water (or, better yet, lukewarm water) rather than cold water. The logic for this is the same as that set out above, except that cold water is even more prone to douse the digestive fire that builds up in our stomachs. In particular, cold water can freeze the enzymes and fluids in your gut, which can prevent your body from properly digesting food, and which can in turn increase the amount of toxins in your body.

In addition, drinking cold water can cause a contraction of blood vessels, which further increases the likelihood that toxins will remain inside your body rather than being excreted through your lymphatic system, which is essentially the network of tissues and organs in your body that is responsible for getting rid of toxins. The constriction of blood vessels can also prevent blood from circulating throughout your body, thereby reducing the delivery of nutrients through your body.

Conversely, drinking room temperature or lukewarm water supports the lymphatic system, which means that, over time, more toxins will be expelled from the body. In particular, drinking room temperature or lukewarm water flushes the lymphatic system, helps soften hardened tissues, dilates, cleanses and hydrates deep tissues, and heals and repairs the digestive system.

Drinking room temperature or lukewarm water can be particularly important for women during menstruation or for couples that are trying to become pregnant. This is because cold water can reduce circulation in a manner that weakens the reproductive organs. Of course, this isn’t to say that you can never enjoy drinking cold water, particularly on a hot day or after a hard workout! Cold water can be fine provided that you enjoy it in moderation and at least 2 hours before any meal.

It’s interesting to reflect on how the above differs dramatically from the usual custom at most restaurants, particularly in North America. Upon arrival at a restaurant, the server generally greets us with large glasses of ice water – precisely the sort of thing we should be avoiding right before we enjoy a nice meal! To avoid that, try politely asking your server at the outset to provide room temperature water – most servers will understand and will be pleased to do it! And, remember to keep any drinking during your meal to a minimum in order to preserve your digestive fire.

How Much Water Should I Drink?

Ayurvedic principles can also help you determine if you are drinking enough water to ensure that you are always feeling your absolute best. Most of us have heard the suggestion that we all need to all drink eight glasses of water a day to avoid being chronically dehydrated. While this may be a helpful guideline or rule of thumb, it does not apply universally.

In order to maintain good health and hydration we need to take in enough water to replace the amount of water we lose daily through perspiration, excretion, and other bodily functions. The ideal daily water intake varies widely from person to person and will depend on a variety of factors, including a person’s size, diet, age, daily activities and the environment in which they conduct their activities. Obviously, a petite person sitting stationary at a desk in an air-conditioned office will need less water on a daily basis than a very tall person working at a construction site in the blistering heat.

Fortunately, our bodies are very good at determining when they are becoming dehydrated and signalling that fact to us by creating the sensation of thirst. Dryness in the lips, skin, eyes, or hair can also be a good indication that the body is becoming dehydrated. Similarly, inflammation in the skin as well as clogged pores, acne, rashes, and red eyes can be a good indication that you need to increase you water intake. Of course, healthy and beautiful skin is a good indication of proper hydration.

In addition, constipation or infrequent bowel movements, or little to no sweat, can also be a good indication that your body is becoming dehydrated. Finally, the colour of your urine is also a good way to determine the quality of your hydration. Urine that is fairly clear and straw-coloured is a good indication that you are staying well-hydrated, while urine that is dark yellow is a good indication that you need to drink more water.

Start Your Morning by Drinking Water

Ayurveda also recommends that you start your morning by drinking water (which is a practice known as “ushapan” in ayurvedic medicine). During the night, our bodies engage in a detoxification process, which explains why we often need to use the bathroom first thing in the morning. You can assist your body in flushing out accumulated toxins and stimulate a proper bowel movement by drinking water immediately after waking up. Helpfully, hydrating first thing in the morning can also reduce drowsiness and make it easier for us to launch into our mornings with energy and vigour.

To make sure you remember to hydrate first thing in the morning, keep a water glass or other water vessel on your night table. Many of our customers fill their copper water bottles before bed at night, leave them on their night tables overnight, and then drink from them first thing in the morning. Using a copper water bottle also has the benefit of transforming water into natural alkaline water, which can have a variety of health benefits.

Watch for Improvement in Your Body

By making some minor changes to your hydration habits, you can dramatically improve your health and well-being.

After following these principles for a few weeks, you should start seeing results. In particular, you should start noticing that your skin and lips are less dry. You should also notice that the health of your skin and hair has improved. Your skin should also start to clear, your pores should start becoming less clogged, and you should be much less prone to acne or other skin issues.

You may also find that your digestion has improved, that you feel less drowsy in the mornings or after meals, and that you generally feel more energetic. And all it takes is a few simple and intuitive changes in the way you consume water.

About the Authors: This article was collaboratively written by our team of researchers and writers with the benefit of all available scientific studies and other relevant literature. Our team of researchers and writers include experienced health researchers including a qualified medical professional. Please note that information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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