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Copper and Coronavirus: Complete Guide (Updated Daily)

Copper and Coronavirus: Complete Guide (Updated Daily)

**This post was first published on March 11, 2020 and last updated on August 13, 2020 at 12:57pm PDT. It will be updated daily as more science and research on the coronavirus (COVID-19) becomes available.**

Research has shown that copper has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which make it a potential tool in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19). In this post, we comprehensively discuss all available research and studies. We also explain why copper is an ideal material for reusable water bottles and preferable to water bottles made from plastic or other materials.

General Research and Studies

The effect of copper on bacteria and viruses has recently been the subject of a number of articles, including in Fast Company, Dwell, ViceClevelandSmithsonian, and The New York TimesThese articles are all in reaction to a number of recent studies which have explored the capability of copper to kill the coronavirus. The Washington Examiner also recently published an opinion piece from a well-known professor of economics who persuasively made the case for greater use of copper to help slow the spread of future pandemics.

The anti-bacteria and anti-viral nature of copper was discovered long before the outbreak of the coronavirus. It was discovered centuries ago by ancient civilizations which led to the use of copper in various health applications, including in water vessels to purify drinking water. In modern times, copper has been the subject of numerous studies by the scientific community as well as attention 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. colisalmonella typhi and vibrio cholerae. In particular, scientists stored water contaminated with this bacteria in copper pots for 16 hours at room temperature. The bacteria was no longer recoverable when the researchers examined it, which was an incredible result compared to water stored in control glass bottles under the same environment (in which the bacteria continued to grow and flourish). The bacterial situation was even worse in reusable plastic bottles.

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. 

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. 

In addition, in 2008 the United States Environmental Protection Agency published a study showing that copper surfaces are proven to continuously reduce bacterial contamination and provide continuous antimicrobial action even with repeated exposures. The study also found that copper surfaces continuously kill over 90% of bacteria after repeated exposures during a day, prevent the buildup of disease-causing bacteria, and deliver continuous, long-lasting antibacterial activity.

These and other similar studies confirm long-standing anecdotal evidence linking exposure to copper with resistance to infection. The first recorded medical use of copper appears in the Smith Papyrus, written between 2600 and 2200 B.C. This ancient text said that copper could be used to sterilize wounds and drinking water. In addition, it has been said that ancient civilizations in Egypt and Babylon observed that soldiers found scraping their bronze (an alloy of copper and tin) swords into wounds would tend to be more resistant to infection. In addition, storing water in copper vessels has long been utilized as a practice in India to eliminate microbes from drinking water.

More recently, in the 19th century, during an epidemic of cholera (a bacterial disease) which was spreading through France, a French doctor noticed that laborers at a copper smelter in Paris were not becoming infected with cholera. He observed that the same was true of other people in the city that worked with copper, including jewelers, goldsmiths and boiler makers. That epidemic ended up killing more than 6,000 people out of a population of approximately 1.6 million, reflecting a ratio of approximately 0.4 percent. However, only 45 of the people that worked closely with copper died, representing a ratio of only 0.05 percent.

Research and Studies Specific to the Coronavirus

In addition to the above-noted research, there have also been studies on the effect of copper specifically in respect of the coronavirus.

The first notable study in that regard, published by the Centre for Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, focused on coronavirus 229E (HuCoV-229E). The study found that the virus persisted in an infectious state on common surface materials for several days. However, when the surface material contained copper, the scientists observed rapid inaction of the coronarvirus.

In particular, scientists found that the coronavirus was rapidly inactivated on copper surfaces, with the inactivation rate being roughly proportional to the percentage of copper in the metal surface. In particular, metal alloys containing 90% copper were found to inactivate the virus in 30 minutes or less. The researchers provided the following chart to summarize the impact on the coronavirus by reference to the percentage of copper in the metal surface ("Cu" refers to copper content). The vertical axis represents the amount of virus left on the copper surface:

copper and coronavirus

The researchers concluded that copper surfaces could be employed in communal areas and at any mass gatherings to help reduce transmission of respiratory viruses from contaminated surfaces and protect the public health.

More recently, on March 17, 2020, a new study was released concerning COVID-19 by the National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists in The New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists examined the length of time for which specifically COVID-19 could survive on various materials, including aerosols (air), cardboard, plastic, stainless steel and copper. The study concluded that while the coronavirus could survive for up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel and up to 24 hours on cardboard, it could only survive for up to four hours on copper. This study further confirms the anti-viral nature of copper.

The results of this study can be simplified as follows:

copper and coronavirus

This study has also received attention from The Economist, which published the following helpful summary chart comparing (in a more complex manner) the longevity of the coronavirus on copper as compared to the other materials:

copper and coronavirus

In another study, it was determined that copper can help prevent respiratory viruses, such as the coronavirus, from spreading. In that study, scientists found that the coronavirus was rapidly inactivated within a few minutes by copper surfaces.

Given this research, one may wonder why copper is not more actively used for surfaces in public places, including hospitals. In fact, in one study, scientists concluded that the use of copper surfaces could reduce bacterial and viral infection rates in hospitals by 58 percent. Although most hospitals have not yet adopted this approach, it appears to have significant potential. The following photograph of an intensive care unit in a hospital, care of the Medical University of South Carolina, illustrates the locations in which copper could be used as a surface in a hospital to minimize the spread of infections:

copper and coronavirus

This body of research has recently inspired health sciences researchers at the University of Arizona to study whether or not certain copper-based chemical compounds could potentially stop the virus that causes COVID-19.

How Does Copper Kill Bacteria and Viruses?

The special effects of copper can best be analyzed through the lens of both chemistry and biology. When bacteria or viruses come into contact with copper, they absorb copper ions, which are essentially electrically charged particles.

These copper ions, through a process known as the oligodynamic effect, essentially punch holes into the membranes (walls) of the bacteria and viruses. Once the membrane is damaged, the copper ions move inside and destroy the DNA and RNA, preventing the bacteria and viruses from further multiplying. Interestingly, bacteria have both DNA and RNA while viruses have only RNA. However, notwithstanding that difference, the effect of the copper ions is essentially the same. 

copper and covid-19

The following diagram, courtesy of the American Society of Microbiology, offers a more detailed depiction of this process. Portion "A" of the diagram depicts copper dissolving from the copper surface and copper ions causing damage to the membrane of the bacteria/virus. Portion "B" depicts the membrane rupturing as a result of the copper ions, causing damage to the bacteria/virus. Portion "C" depicts the copper ions inducing the creation of reactive oxygen which may cause further damage to the membrane. Portion "D" depicts the DNA/RNA within the membrane becoming damaged and inactivated.

copper and coronavirus

In one leading study, cells of e. coli were exposed for 1 minute to a copper surface, a normal non-copper surface, and a stainless steel surface. The study showed that cells exposed to the copper surface suffered membrane damage and quickly became immobilized. The following microscopic images from the study show the result. Live bacteria with intact membranes are green, while those with damaged membranes are red:

copper and coronavirus

Business and Government Start Considering Greater Use of Copper

As discussed in Forbes, this compelling research on the anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties of copper has led the medical industry to rush to create and manufacture specialized face masks made with copper. Because of the presence of copper in these masks, they are naturally anti-viral and self-sterilizing, which will hopefully help medical professionals re-use the masks for multiple patients. This may help address shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE). In addition, engineers have developed a process which is capable of spraying a thin layer of copper on door-handles and doorknobs. 

Other recent investigations prompted by COVID-19 have also demonstrated that the speed of copper's anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects can be accelerated if the copper is shaped in a way that maximizes the surface area of copper which makes contact with the bacteria or virus. It is for this reason that some businesses have started producing copper designed with a hammered or otherwise uneven texture to maximum surface area.

In addition, some governments have begun to consider the possibility of using copper in public areas in order to minimize the spread of infections. For example, a New York State Assemblywoman recently introduced a bill that would require publicly funded construction projects to use copper. The bill would require all new construction projects receiving state funding to use copper alloy touch surfaces – including door handles, bathroom fixtures, bed rails and handrails. It has been said that the legislation would reduce the spread of infection and help boost the local economy by investing in locally made materials.

The Problem with Normal Reusable Water Bottles

As research studies have shown, ordinary reusable water bottles can become environments that are prone to cultivating harmful bacteria and viruses.

As we use our water bottles throughout the day, they repeatedly come into contact with our hands, and thereby become covered in bacteria and potentially viruses. While the same is true of many other things (such as our smartphones), water bottles are more problematic because we put them to our mouths and drink from them. While it may be difficult to think about, the reality is that we put something covered in germs to our lips multiple times each day.

This problem is aggravated by the way that most reusable water bottles are designed. Often, we carry our water bottles by holding them by their caps or lids. This means that our hands come into contact with the lip of the bottle, which ends up touching our mouths when we drink from it. 

Even if our water bottles are designed differently and we wash our hands multiple times per day, droplets floating in the air containing bacteria and viruses (from other people that may have coughed or sneezed) can land on our water bottles. We can then become infected by those same bacteria and viruses when we drink from our water bottles.

In addition, there is plenty happening inside most reusable water bottles which is concerning. As studies have shown, there is a significant link between reusable water bottles and the growth of bacteria colonies. In short, since the nature and function of reusable water bottles involves moisture, they become breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses.

This problem can be further aggravated by the way that we refill our water bottles. For example, if we use a water dispenser or water fountain at the workplace, gym or in an airport, there is a very good chance that bacteria or viruses left by someone else who used that water dispenser or water fountain before us will find their way into our water bottle, contaminating the bottle and the water in it.

The Solution: Anti-Bacterial Copper Water Bottles

Mother nature has fortunately provided a solution in the form of copper. As demonstrated by various research studies, copper naturally and safely kills bacteria and viruses through a natural process. As mentioned above, copper has been used for thousands of years to sterilize contaminated water naturally and safely. 

What does this all mean for the coronavirus outbreak? It means that anytime you touch your copper water bottle, you can have confidence that any bacteria or viruses on the copper surface have already been destroyed or are currently under attack by copper ions. It also means that any bacteria or viruses present in your water bottle will be destroyed by virtue of the copper material from which the water bottle is made. It also means that your water bottle is naturally self-sterilizing, meaning you can put your mind at ease and not worry that your water bottle is becoming a risky bacteria and virus trap.

Copper H2O is the global market leader and original provider of the highest quality, 100% pure copper water bottles. All of our copper bottles ship within 1 business day from our warehouse in California, USA, and our processing times are unaffected and secure from the pandemic outbreak. Protect your health by ordering today and we will also donate 15% of the profits to charities supporting coronavirus relief efforts.

Click here to purchase a copper water bottle

Or, click here to purchase a copper water pitcher or a copper cup from our sister company, Shantiva.

Of course, as the The New York Times quite properly observes, copper is not a complete solution. Drinking from a copper water vessel doesn't replace healthy hygiene practices, self-isolating and social distancing in the prevention of coronavirus. Make sure to wash your hands frequently throughout the day with soap and water for 20 seconds and self-isolate where possible.

Let's support our good health together and flatten the curve! If you have any questions, please email us anytime at hello@copperh2o.com or comment below.

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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Copper Deficiency: Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

Copper Deficiency: Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

Copper deficiency is a condition that is often underdiagnosed or mistaken for other health issues. It can occur due to different reasons, but it mainly happens because of low dietary copper intake. Even a mild deficiency can lower the immune system and cause fatigue. Severe copper deficiency, on the other hand, can lead to serious health issues and, in extreme cases, death.

Copper belongs to a small group of metals that play an important role in human health. However, the human body cannot manufacture copper, and we, therefore, need to supply our body with it from outside sources. Copper deficiency mainly occurs when we consume too little dietary copper.

Unfortunately, modern research has shown that despite general belief, most people do not consume adequate amounts of copper. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recently noted that copper deficiency is likely a common and worldwide phenomenon. Even if this includes a large population with marginal or ‘mild’ copper deficiency, it still poses a problem, as even a mild deficiency can impair one’s health in subtle ways.

In this guide, we will look at the common culprits behind copper deficiency, the problems it can cause, and how you can treat it.

The Importance of Copper to the Body

Copper is one of the essential minerals needed for the proper function of many important processes in the body. By binding with certain proteins, it aids in the production of enzymes that function as catalysts to a number of bodily functions.

To name a few, copper plays an important role in providing energy to the body, transforming melanin for pigmentation of the skin, and in the formation of collagen and elastin (and, thus, the maintenance and repair of connective tissues). The last process is especially important for the heart and arteries.

Furthermore, copper is essential for the proper function of the immune system. It helps the body in numerous ways, from the production of white and red blood cells and the absorption of iron all the way to ensuring proper brain and nerve function.

In other words, a lack of this important metal affects all the previously mentioned processes and can even lead to further complications.

How Much Copper Is Present in the Body and How Much Do We Need Per Day?

The adult body contains around 0.6 – 0.95 milligrams of copper per a pound of body weight (1.4 - 2.1 mg/kilogram). When looking at a healthy person weighing 130 pounds (60 kilograms), this translates to approximately 0.1g of copper.

The recommended amount of copper intake per day (micrograms/day) varies based on age, gender, and other factors:

  • 0-6 months: 200 mcg/day (AI or Adequate Intake);
  • 7-12 months: 220 mcg/day (AI);
  • 1-3 years: 340 mcg/day;
  • 4-8 years: 440 mcg/day;
  • 9-13 years: 700 mcg/day;
  • 14-18 years: 890 mcg/day;
  • 19+ years: 900 mcg/day;
  • Pregnancy (all ages): 1,000 mcg/day;
  • Lactation: 1,300 mcg/day.

Copper is naturally found in many different types of food as well as in copper-infused water which can be created with a copper water bottle. While ensuring that enough copper enters the body, you should also take into consideration the interest in not exceeding the recommended upper limits.

If you believe you should increase your or your child’s copper intake, it is always best to consult a health professional first.

What Causes Copper Deficiency?

There are several culprits behind copper deficiency. They range from nutrition and lifestyle to genetics. A simple answer to the question of what causes copper deficiency is that copper deficiency occurs when copper is not supplied or absorbed within the body in the necessary amounts.

The risk factors which can lead to lower copper content in the body include:

Low Intake of Dietary Copper

Simply put, if you do not ingest enough copper regularly, the body will bind or flush out the copper you already have and start being deficient in it if it is not replenished. This phenomenon can happen if you regularly eat foods low in copper without introducing more variety to your diet.

Vegetarians, for example, are at greater risk of becoming copper-deficient because they typically consume plant foods in which copper bioavailability is low. As a study explains, the mineral bioavailability can be affected by the increased presence of fiber, phytic acid, and oxalic acid. This should be worrisome when unrefined cereal intakes are high and copper intakes are low.

People with chronic diseases that result in low food intakes, such as alcoholics and people with eating disorders, are also at risk of ingesting low amounts of copper because of the sheer lack of necessary nutrients that are otherwise present in food.

Another common risk of becoming copper-deficient is when a patient is maintained on total parenteral nutrition for long periods of time without proper copper supplementation.

The risk for copper deficiency may also be higher among the elderly and athletes due to special needs which increase their daily copper requirements.

Prenatal and Postnatal Copper Deficiency

Copper deficiency during pregnancy can cause problems for the child as well. This is because the child receives the necessary nutrients from their mother. In the case of copper, a mother that lacks the necessary copper can put their child at risk of birth defects, serious growth issues, and deadly genetic disorders. The higher the copper deficiency in the mother, the higher the risk to the baby’s health.

Newborn babies are also at risk of becoming copper-deficient because of a diet poor in copper. Essentially, babies that are breastfed or fed with fortified formula do receive the necessary copper amounts. On the other hand, babies fed with cow’s milk, or premature infants who undergo rapid growth on a diet poor in copper, are at a high risk of nutritional copper deficiency.

The Competitive Trio: Zinc, Iron, and Copper

Copper deficiency can be induced by select mineral supplements, particularly zinc and iron. This is because these three important minerals behave in a competitive manner. When there is an excess of one of these minerals, the intestinal absorption of copper is blocked, and remains so until the excess is eliminated. This process works either way; high copper intake can affect zinc and iron intake, and vice versa.

Zinc has been found to cause copper deficiency in circumstances where there has been high zinc intake over a period of time, leading to anemia and other health issues. In fact, it has been established that 62% of patients have been prescribed zinc at doses high enough to cause copper deficiency. To avoid zinc-induced copper deficiency, the zinc to copper intake ratio should not exceed 30:1.

The same is true for high iron intake, which has been found to negatively affect copper intake resulting, again, in anemia, cardiovascular issues, and other copper-related health issues. While iron-induced copper deficiency is not as common as one caused by zinc, it is nevertheless something you need to be aware of.

While all of these minerals are very important for the body, it is also important to maintain a healthy balance in terms of intake. The current recommended dietary allowance for zinc is around 8 mg/day for women and 11 mg/day for men. In the case of iron, the current RDA for adults aged 19-50 is 8 mg/day for men and 18 mg/day for women.

The recommended values, however, vary depending on age and other factors, such as pregnancy or lactation.

Malabsorption of Copper in the Intestine

Certain cases can lead to impaired absorption of copper in the intestine, even if you ingest enough copper. Aside from malabsorption caused by high zinc and iron amounts, copper absorption can also be blocked by high amounts of Vitamin C intake (more than 1500 mg/day) because of the same reason as with zinc and iron: competition for absorption.

The most common cause of copper deficiency is reduced absorption related to surgery on the gastrointestinal system. This can include a gastric bypass, gastrectomy, and upper gastrointestinal surgery.

Additionally, there could be issues related to copper absorption if you suffer from malabsorption syndrome, such as celiac disease or inflammatory bowel syndrome. In such a case, your body is not able to fully absorb all the nutrients in the food you ingest, leading to copper deficiency and other nutrient deficiencies.

Hereditary Disorders – Menkes Disease

Menkes disease is a genetic mutation that affects the copper-transport protein ATP7A, leading to serious copper deficiency. It is characterized by a peculiar steel-colored, kinky hair, floppy muscles, seizures, hypothermia, growth failure, and nervous system deterioration.

This disease occurs during early to middle childhood, generally affecting male infants. Female children of a carrier mother have an even chance of carrying the disorder but not be affected by it.

The Effects of Copper Deficiency

Depending on the severity of the deficiency, copper deficiency may lead to some of the following health issues:

  • Anemia;
  • Compromised immune function;
  • An increased risk of infection;
  • Low body temperature;
  • Skin and hair depigmentation;
  • Osteoporosis;
  • Bone fractures;
  • Thyroid problems;
  • Loss of skin;
  • Growth retardation;
  • Delayed puberty;
  • Brain tissue and nervous system damage;
  • Cardiovascular disease; and
  • Other complications.

The Symptoms of Copper Deficiency

Copper deficiency takes time to develop and show symptoms. In fact, you may be deficient without knowing it until the deficiency becomes more severe. However, there are a few signs which can point to deficiency.

Fatigue

As copper plays an important role in the formation of the red blood cells, the body, when deficient, becomes depleted of the necessary oxygen which helps our bodies  function properly. In other words, we develop anemia which affects our energy levels.

Additionally, the cells use copper to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the main source of energy for our bodies. When deficient, the body cannot generate enough ATP, resulting in weakness and fatigue.

Pain, Numbness, Weakness, and Disrupted Mood

Copper plays an important role in the production and maintenance of myelin. This is a substance that coats the nerves and facilitates the communication of signals throughout the nervous system. Additionally, a copper-containing enzyme is also responsible for converting dopamine into norepinephrine, resulting in mood disruptions.

The lack of copper can result in neurological conditions such as:

  • Myelopathy, which causes diminishing body function, pain, and weakness;
  • Peripheral neuropathy, which causes weakness, numbness, and pain, usually felt in the hands and feet; and
  • Improper synthesis of neurotransmitters, which can cause lowered feelings of pleasure and reward and other mood-related issues.

Frequent Colds and Sicknesses

A copper-deficient body is one with a compromised immune system. This is because copper helps in the formation of white blood cells. The compromised ability of the body to fight pathogens results in frequent colds and other infections.

Problems with Memory and Learning

Copper deficiency can lead to difficulties with learning and remembering. This is because the brain needs copper to function properly and develop. More precisely, copper is used by enzymes that supply energy to the brain and aid in the brain’s ability to defend itself and relay signals to the body.

Difficulties Walking

The nervous system relies on copper due to certain enzymes that require it to maintain optimal health of the spinal cord. They do so by insulating it, resulting in better signal relay between the body and the brain. When deficient in copper, these signals are not relayed efficiently, resulting in loss of coordination and unsteadiness.

Weak and Brittle Bones

Also known as osteoporosis, this condition has been linked to lower copper amounts in the body. This is because copper helps to create cross-links inside your bones, which ensure that the bones are strong and healthy. Additionally, copper contributes to the creation of osteoblasts, which are cells that help to reshape and strengthen bone tissue.

Sensitivity to Cold

Copper deficiency negatively affects the function of the thyroid gland in a manner that can cause it to fail to regulate metabolism and heat production. This is because copper affects the production of the T3 and T4 levels of thyroid hormones. When these are low, the thyroid gland may not work as effectively.

Pale Skin and Premature Gray Hair

Melanin is a pigment that determines the color of the skin and hair. As copper is used by enzymes that help in the production of melanin, a lack of it can affect the production of the pigment, resulting in pale skin and premature gray hair.

Vision Loss

In cases of long-term copper deficiency, the nervous system can become seriously affected, and this includes the optic nerve. If damaged due to a severe lack of copper for a longer time, it can result in partial or total vision loss.

How to Diagnose Copper Deficiency

If you suspect that your copper levels may be low, you should consult your doctor and ask to be tested. Copper deficiency is diagnosed by analyzing blood, 24-hour urine, and liver (hepatic) tissue.

The blood test measures the ceruloplasmin, blood copper levels, and free (unbound) copper in the blood. Ceruloplasmin is a protein that is made in the liver and which carries copper from the liver into the bloodstream and to the parts of the body that need it.

The urine test usually accompanies the blood test if the ceruloplasmin levels are abnormal or unclear. This test measures copper elimination levels. A 24-hour urine means the collection of all urine over a 24-hour period of time.

The liver biopsy is done to evaluate copper storage in the liver, as this is where copper is stored in the body.

A ceruloplasmin test is usually done if the person shows symptoms of Wilson disease, copper deficiency, or copper toxicity. It is also done on infants that show symptoms of Menkes syndrome.

Copper Deficiency Treatment

Copper deficiency is treated with either oral supplementation or intravenous copper. In cases of zinc intoxication, people are advised to stop taking zinc in order for the copper levels to go back to normal. This is also accompanied by oral copper supplementation.

Sources of Copper

Copper is important, so even if you do not have a copper deficiency it is paramount to ensure that it is present in your diet. You can find naturally occurring copper in different foods and you can also take copper supplements or drink copper-infused water.

Food

Copper is found in a wide variety of foods. Foods such as oysters and other shellfish, whole grains, beans, nuts, potatoes, and organ meats (kidneys, liver) are rich in dietary copper. Additionally, leafy greens, dried fruits, and yeast are also good sources of copper.

You can read more about the Top 28 Foods High in Copper to understand which foods are best, why they are high in copper, and how much you would need to satisfy your daily copper needs.

Copper Pills and Supplements

Copper pills and supplements are an excellent source of copper in cases of copper deficiency. There are different forms of copper available to purchase in pill and supplement form, and the absorption varies in terms of bioavailability. Namely, you can find copper supplements in the form of cupric oxide, cupric sulfate, copper amino acid chelates, and copper gluconate.

While there are not enough studies that confirm which form of copper is more easily absorbed in the body, one study has examined the difference between copper sulfate and copper glycinate (chelated copper). That study established that copper glycinate has better bioavailability.

In either case, it is important that you do not take copper supplements with iron or zinc and avoid zinc denture creams because of the competitive nature between these minerals.

Copper-Infused Water

Copper-infused water, or water stored in a copper vessel, is also a good source of copper supplementation. While drinking this type of water can help in fighting copper deficiency, the amounts are not high enough to replace oral or intravenous supplementation. However, regular consumption of copper-infused water can help to prevent copper deficiency and can lend a helping hand in the treatment of the same.

On the Opposite Side of the Spectrum: Copper Toxicity

According to the Copper Alliance, people are at a higher risk of copper deficiency than of copper toxicity. The World Health Organization has recognized that people worldwide are at greater risk of adverse health effects from a copper deficiency than from excess copper.

Although rare, copper toxicity is a serious issue that should be looked into when it comes to consuming products and substances which contain copper. It occurs when too much copper has entered the body and can be the result of either chronic copper buildup or acute copper poisoning.

Symptoms of acute copper poisoning include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. More serious complications include brain damage, severe liver damage, kidney failure, coma, and death.

The tolerable uptake levels for copper are:

  • 0-12 months: not possible to establish (sources should be only from food and formula);
  • 1-3 years: 1,000 mcg/day;
  • 4-8 years: 3,000 mcg/day;
  •  9-13 years: 5,000 mcg/day;
  • 14-18 years: 8,000 mcg/day;
  • 19+ years: 10,000 mcg/day.

The Bottom Line

Copper is a very important mineral that aids in many crucial functions in our body. In cases of copper deficiency, we become at risk of various conditions and complications which can lead to further health problems.

What is more, if you are a pregnant mother or are lactating, your child will need the copper you provide them. Babies that have not received enough copper during the pre-natal and post-natal period can experience stunted growth and other complications that can affect their lives negatively.

While the general truth is that severe copper deficiency is rare, mild copper deficiency is more common than you may think, and it contributes to a compromised immune function, mood changes, and other problems that lower the quality of your day-to-day life.

Taking measures to prevent copper deficiency is as simple as eating a variety of foods rich in copper and drinking copper-infused water.These approaches can also help in cases of already-existing copper deficiency.

If you suspect that you may be suffering from copper deficiency, we recommend that you consult a health professional and get tested. In this case, you may need to boost your diet with copper supplements and lower your zinc intake.

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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Is it Safe to Drink from Copper?

Is it Safe to Drink from Copper?

Copper water vessels are beautiful, but are they safe and healthy? 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. Let's dive in!

Introduction

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 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.

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!

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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Mineral Water: Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

Mineral Water: Complete Guide (Updated 2020)

In this article, we reveal everything you need to know about mineral water, including the reasons why it is good for you, the top mineral water brands, and how to add minerals to your water at home. Let's dive in!

Introduction

Slowly but surely the world is waking up to the fact that just because water is deemed “pure” doesn’t automatically mean that it’s good for you. 

Often, the process of purifying  water involves stripping it of essential minerals that the human body not only craves, but needs. The good news? We can put these minerals back fairly easily using a number of convenient methods. Read on!

In this article we discuss the following:

  • What is Mineral Water?
  • Mineral Water Benefits 
    • Is Mineral Water Good for You?
    • Mineral Water vs Normal Water
    • Mineral Water vs Spring Water
    • Mineral Water Side Effects
  • The Best Way to Incorporate Mineral Water Into Daily Life
  • Sparkling Mineral Water
  • Mineral Water Brands
    • Topo Chico Mineral Water
    • San Pellegrino Mineral Water
    • Perrier Mineral Water
    • Badoit Water
    • Best Mineral Water
  • Adding Minerals to Water
    • Importance of Remineralizing Water
    • Important Minerals to Add to Water
    • How to Add Minerals to Water
      • Mineral Drops
        • Trace Minerals 
        • Dr Berg Trace Minerals 
      • Himalayan Salt
      • Mineral Filters
      • Alkaline Water Bottles and Pitchers
      • Copper Water Bottles and Pitchers
      • Activated Charcoal 
      • Green Powders
    • Mineral Stones 
      • Maifan Stones
      • How To Use Maifan Stones
      • How To Clean Maifan Stones

    What is Mineral Water?

    Simply put, mineral water is water that is rich in naturally occurring chemical compounds that have nutrient value when absorbed by any living entity. Usually, this water is derived from a natural spring and has absorbed minerals due to frequent contact with rocks that offer various minerals, salts and sulfur compounds. 

    The most common minerals found in natural water are magnesium, calcium, sodium, and zinc. Studies have shown that consuming these minerals through one’s daily water intake is a relatively sound way of boosting the mineral levels of the body. We need all of these minerals to survive, and it is of great benefit to be able to get them directly from our drinking water, as opposed to having to take supplements.

    So, what qualifies as mineral water? According to the FDA standard, for water to qualify as “mineral water” it needs to contain a minimum of 250 parts per million of ‘total dissolved solids’ that originated from a geological, physically protected source of water located underground. Since the FDA regulates all water that is bottled and sold, they have set the bar for mineral water retailers in the west. 

    Mineral Water Benefits

    It’s easy to understand the magnitude of the benefits of mineral water when one considers the fact that it contains most if not all of the minerals that the human body needs, but can’t make itself. In other words, without an external, frequent source of calcium, magnesium, zinc etc, our immune systems would be at risk. 

    When asked what they feel is the biggest benefit of drinking mineral water, most individuals confidently state that it is peace of mind. Knowing the mineral content of your body at any given time is near impossible. You’re either deficient, or sufficient; the latter being the more preferable state. Making an effort to replace all water intake with a mineral water source means that you’re likely to be in a state of sufficiency more often than not, which brings peace to the mind. 

    One can go years being deficient in certain minerals before that deficiency begins to physically manifest itself as health problems. This can also be a double-edged sword, as certain illnesses and diseases can actually cause or contribute to mineral deficiency when left untreated. It all comes down to being in tune with your body and what it needs, and accepting that said needs may be very different compared to that of the person sitting next to you. 

    Is Mineral Water Good for You?

    In short, mineral water may be the only water that is genuinely good for you. For many this can be a tough pill to swallow, especially since so much time and money is put into getting us to consume “affordable” and supposedly “purified water” in bulk. 

    Look at mineral water as a supplement alternative that also hydrates your body in all the necessary ways. Since you’re hydrating daily anyway (we hope!), you may as well be doing so with mineral rich H2O that can provide long term benefits to your overall health. 

    Bone and digestive health have been closely linked to mineral water since it first became a subject of interest. Mineral water has proved to be a better source of calcium rich compounds than any other food-source, and certainly far greater than any animal-derived calcium. Further studies have linked mineral water with the ability to lower blood pressure, as well as promote health of the heart and surrounding cavities. Magnesium takes the credit for this, as it is an essential mineral for promoting sustainably clean blood. 

    Mineral Water vs Normal Water

    Make no mistake, regular tap water that is pumped through cities and towns also has a mineral content of sorts. The source of tap water depends largely on where it is located, and most tap water is derived from dams, lakes and rivers. 

    While these sources might be geologically and physically protected in accordance with FDA standards, they do not qualify as “water located underground”, and therefore cannot be deemed to be ‘mineral water’. The mineral compounds are also rarely or never above that of 250 parts per million, which is the minimum as per the aforementioned requirements. 

    Because water from these open aired sources is being pumped into the homes of millions of people, their quality has to be strictly regulated and treated. Normal water is put through a meticulous system of filtration and disinfection in order to ensure that no parasites, bacteria or viruses have any chance of survival. The disinfection process involves adding different types of chlorine or chloramine to the water in order to kill off any such things. 

    At this point, normal water becomes void of any real nutritional benefits, as even the trace amounts of existing minerals are overshadowed by the acidity of the chlorine. Once this water enters the body, our systems receive little to no mineral benefit and a lot of harmful fluoride and chlorine. 

    Mineral Water vs Spring Water

    Mineral water and spring water are really one and the same thing. The source of origin of all mineral water is an underground spring that is considered geologically and physically protected. 

    At the source, this water is already rich in minerals which it has absorbed from  the Earth. The mineral content of the water depends largely on where the spring is located. Some water may be higher in sodium, for example, while another source might be richer in magnesium. 

    All spring water that is bottled and sold as mineral water is first treated for potentially toxic substances like arsenic. This is a global standard for the bottling and reselling of spring waters, due to mass contamination that has affected communities in the past. 

    Mineral Water Side Effects

    There has been little need for deeper research into the negative side effects associated with drinking mineral water. This is because the benefits tend to outweigh even the most evident disturbances that can occur in the body. 

    Certain mineral waters can be higher in sodium content than others. Individuals who suffer from high blood pressure are advised to consume water that is low in sodium. Bottled water will usually state the sodium levels somewhere on the packaging. However, by simply seeking out mineral water with a low sodium content, you can hydrate with water that can actually work to lower your blood pressure, which is a great outcome. 

    Carbonated mineral water is high in carbonic acid, which can bring on hiccups as well as bloating. This is a common side effect with most carbonated beverages and is generally not considered negative per se. And, in any event, you can avoid this problem by seeking out mineral water that is not carbonated.

    The true threat of carbonated mineral water lies in its ability to fool the body into feeling ‘full’, despite having only consumed a fraction of one’s daily dose of food and water. Some people end up dehydrating themselves because it is difficult to drink large amounts of carbonated water and because it can leave you with the illusion of feeling as though your thirst has been quenched when it really has not. 

    The Best Way to Incorporate Mineral Water Into Your Daily Life

    While mineral water may be the superior choice when it comes to daily consumption, purchasing bottled mineral water does more harm to the environment than consuming normal water. It’s great that there are businesses out there who are making quality, mineral rich water accessible to the masses, but there appears to be little to no consideration for the planet in the process. 

    Big brand mineral water is usually treated and bottled at the source. This involves an incomprehensible amount of single-use plastic and packaging that can facilitate the easy distribution of the water around the world. 

    The plastic epidemic is something that should be of much greater concern to all those who call the Earth home. Another significant concern is the way that plastic can over time leach contaminant chemicals into the water contained in it, which can then have negative health impacts on those who drink it.

    Plastic contains a harmful chemical known as BPA. When leached into water and consumed by humans, the BPA mimics estrogen and wrecks havoc on the body — especially in women. It is therefore worthwhile to ask whether drinking bottled mineral water is worth it, given that you are potentially putting yourself at risk of cell mutation and hormonal dysfunction over the long term.

    So, what is the solution to this problem? The answer is simple: invest in a quality, reusable water bottle.Using a reusable water bottle means you’ll be able to resort to drinking normal water that has been filtered but then enhanced with Earth-derived minerals through a variety of fascinating methods that we will discuss later on — stay with us!

    Sparkling Mineral Water

    Sparkling mineral water, or carbonated mineral water, differs from the sparkling waters and club sodas you’re likely already familiar with. 

    Sparkling mineral water is naturally carbonated from the spring it came from; one can observe the carbon dioxide gas bubbling up throughout the water source before it is touched by human hands. Regular, store-bought sparkling water is water that is carbonated by adding carbon dioxide to it in its still state. 

    Unlike regular sparkling water, sparkling mineral water contains all of the beneficial minerals one gains from drinking spring water. This makes it the superior choice when deciding between both types of sparkling H2O. 

    Sparkling mineral water usually has a more appealing flavor when compared to regular carbonated water. The minerals give it a more balanced body, making the bubbles less aggressive when they hit the palate and nose. One could say that sparkling mineral water is slightly ‘softer’ than water that has been artificially carbonated. 

    Mineral Water Brands

    The FDA’s regulation of mineral water works to make it nearly impossible for manufacturers to sell regular water with a mineral label. Brands now need to declare the mineral contents clearly on their packaging, and adhere to the minimum of 250 parts per million standard of total dissolved solids at the time of extraction. 

    Some brands opt to further enrich their product with additional minerals prior to bottling and selling. This brings their mineral counts up, making their water more nutrient rich and therefore more desirable to consumers. In this section, we reveal the top mineral water brands.

    Topo Chico Mineral Water

    Topo Chico is a naturally carbonated water that comes from a spring in Monterrey, Mexico. The spring is called Cerro del Topo Chico, and has been used as a source of mineral water since 1895. 

    The purification process of the Topo Chico water does cause the water to lose a bit of its natural carbonation. For this reason, some carbon dioxide is added post purification to restore the balance of the ‘fizz’. In spite of this, Topo Chico mineral water is known for being one of the most gentle sparkling waters on the market, and nowhere near as fizzy as its counterparts. 

    Religious drinkers of Topo Chico mineral water report that this particular sparkling water is also significantly less salty than most carbonated mineral waters. 

    Legend has it that the Topo Chico mineral water was found when an ancient Aztec princess was ill and in dire need of healing. The priests within the kingdom lead her to a far away northern land, where the Cerro del Topo Chico spring was hidden. 

    After spending some time drinking and bathing in the mineral dense water, the princess was apparently cured of her disease entirely, and word of the healing properties of this water was passed down from generation to generation. 

    San Pellegrino Mineral Water

    If there’s one thing the Italians value, it’s quality food and drink, including quality drinking water. The natural terrain of Italy is abundant in underground springs that offer mineral rich H2O to all who can reach it. 

    San Pellegrino is one of the most recognizable brands of bottled mineral water around the world. Its attractive flavor has made it a much loved brand of naturally sparkling water, leading to exports from Italy to the furthest corners of the globe. 

    San Pellegrino is sourced at the San Pellegrino Terme, which is in Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy. This water starts its life at the top of the Dolomite Mountains, and it flows over rocks and valleys for 30 years before finally settling in the catchment area. 

    The bottling plant currently facilitates 50,000 bottles of San Pellegrino water per day. Up until the early 1900s, San Pellegrino was actually a still water brand. Carbon dioxide was added to the spring by the plant, as they found it caused the water to better retain minerals during the distribution process. 

    San Pellegrino contains 459 milligrams of sulfates per liter, making it one of the top mineral waters consumed by biohackers. Biohackers are individuals who make frequent, incremental changes to their diets and lifestyles with the goal of obtaining better health and well-being.

    Perrier Mineral Water

    The only country to take water more seriously than Italy is France. France has received global admiration for their advanced water filtration systems that deliver purified drinking water for public consumption in city centers. The French take water very seriously. 

    Perrier is up there in recognizability with San Pellegrino, particularly in the Americas and Canada. At present, it is enjoyed in 140 countries, over 5 continents. Perrier is bottled at a spring in the South of France, in a place called Vergèze. 

    The natural sweetness of this water makes it easy to drink by the gallon, in spite of its carbonated texture. This mineral water is carbonated prior to collection, and is not naturally this way. This brand also found that carbonating the water worked to better retain the minerals during the storage and distribution process. 

    Perrier has been praised for incorporating glass bottles into some of their manufacturing processes. Interestingly, Perrier purchased in Europe is likely to be contained in glass, while Perrier purchased in the USA is more likely to be contained in plastic; this speaks volumes about the ethical and health preferences of the consumers in question. 

    Badoit Water

    In France, Badoit is a much loved, highly sought after mineral water. It comes from the Saint Galmier region, and is bottled at the source of the spring. It is a unique water with a very refreshing body; some say that drinking it “feels like health”. 

    Badoit only bottles 69 million gallons of water per year, which makes this a rare product. Badoit used to be managed by the Evian group, but it was passed over to Danone in recent years. 

    In 2019, citizens of the United Kingdom noticed an increasing shortage of Badoit mineral water on their shelves. It was later announced by Danone that the brand would no longer be exporting the water into the UK. The ever increasing demand for the product in this region was not something that the natural spring could facilitate, and Danone wanted to honor the capabilities of the source and not exploit it. There have been significant droughts in the Saint Galmier area over the past few years, putting immense strain on the spring.

    Best Mineral Water

    If you have to look critically at bottled mineral waters around the world, it becomes very difficult to identify a single one as superior to all others. 

    One mineral water may benefit you more than another, simply because your blood pressure is higher than that of the average person. Likewise, one particular mineral water may be best for you as it falls within your personal budget. There are a lot of factors that come into play. 

    From the perspective of the average person, we love everything about Fiji mineral water. This nutrient dense mountain water was found on the Fiji Islands in the South Pacific, at the Yagara Valley on Viti Levu Island. 

    Fiji is unique as it is not just a mineral water, but also an artisanal water. This means that it was formed in an aquifer, which is an underground pressure chamber enclosed by layers of volcanic rock. This is arguably the most untouched water on the planet, right up until you crack the cap open to take a sip. 

    Fiji water is exceptionally smooth thanks to a significant presence of silica in the mineral compound. We also like that the water is bottled in recyclable, BPA free plastic bottles, posing far less risk to the health of the consumer. That said, it is still better for the environment to switch to using a reusable water bottle and fill it with your own homemade mineral water. More on that below!

    Adding Minerals to Water

    We maintain our firm stance on reusable water bottles being the smarter, more environmentally conscious choice as opposed to using single-use bottles every time one needs to hydrate. 

    But, how exactly do you go about adding the necessary minerals into regular water so that one can reap the benefits of mineral water during daily consumption? Luckily, it’s a lot easier than it sounds. 

    Remineralizing water can be achieved through a number of methods, and health-conscious companies are uncovering more as research continues. The following are the methods that best help achieve the goal of bringing the quality and mineral content of regular water up to the industry standard levels of commercially marketed mineral water. 

    Importance of Remineralizing Water

    Firstly, one needs to consider why one should even bother going through the effort of remineralizing drinking water. After all, this is not something that is simply done once and for all; it’s usually a repeated practice that needs to be adhered to for every glass of water that flows down your throat — it requires dedication!

    Take a minute to consider, instead, how much dedication and effort, not to mention money, is required to react to the onset of illness and disease in the body. Viewed from this perspective, it makes sense to dedicate yourself to a health regimen that helps avoid the necessity to deal with health problems later in life. 

    The fact remains that, as humans, we are incapable of producing certain basic minerals of our own to keep our bodies in tip top shape. One way or another, these minerals have to come from an external source of some kind, and if we don’t want to put our health at risk and end up taking 20 supplement tables per day later in life, we should do what we can to ensure that our bodies are consistently receiving these minerals throughout lives. We can do this by simply remineralizing our water — starting now. 

    Important Minerals to Add to Water

    According to the World Health Organization, there are 11 essential minerals that humans need to consume every day. They are: iron, zinc, copper, iodine, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, fluoride, sodium, potassium and chloride. 

    Getting any or all of these from one’s drinking water can be seen as a small daily victory. However, not all of these minerals are as easily accessible as the rest, and most spring-sourced mineral waters contain a compound of calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, bicarbonate, iron and zinc. Phosphorus, fluoride, copper, iodine and chloride aren’t as commonly occurring, although trace amounts are expected. 

    Interestingly, each of these different minerals is used to carry out different functions within the body. The body needs zinc, for example, to be present in each and every cell of the body as a means of combating viruses and diseases. Similarly, the body uses a healthy dose of potassium to ensure that all nerve endings are able to fire properly. 

    There is no way to avoid the fact that minerals are what make our internal worlds go around. Those of us who have not been getting them from our water have likely been getting them from our food, but this route is never a truly reliable source as we cannot always be sure about the mineral contents of the foods we eat, especially if we are unclear on their source. 

    How to Add Minerals to Water

    We’ll now dive deeper into exactly how you can go about adding minerals to normal drinking water in order to convert it into mineral water. We encourage all who are interested in consuming more nutrient dense water to invest in a reusable water bottle of their choosing to store and carry their mineral water, ideally one that is plastic-free and therefore most friendly to the environment and your body. 

    The water bottle market is ever-growing, with many plastic-free options to suit every individual. Some of our favorite reusable water bottles are made from stainless steel, copper, and even glass. 

    Adding minerals to larger vessels of water, such as a full water bottle, is far less time consuming and tedious than remineralizing individual glasses of water every time one needs a drink. Most remineralization methods require a period of standing time during which the process can take full effect, so creating larger  batches at a time is definitely recommended and will make the process much more time effective.  

    Mineral Drops

    To make the process of remineralization really simple, some wellness brands have come out with products known as ‘trace mineral drops’. As far as remineralizing water goes, this is one of the easiest ways of doing so, albeit arguably one of the least effective. 

    Mineral drops come as a highly concentrated bottle of liquid, fitted with a dropper for convenience. The user is instructed to add a few drops of the solution into each glass or bottle of water that they drink. 

    The drops contain trace amounts of all of the minerals recommended by the RDA. A half a teaspoon of mineral drops is said to contain the equivalent mineral intake of half a cup of seawater with 99% of the sodium removed. 

    With regular, repeated consumption of mineral drops in every glass of water you consume, you can build up quite a lot of nutrients within your body, boosting your immune system and offering other long term health benefits. Just 2 to 4 drops per glass is the recommended dose. 

    Mineral drops are only able to offer the micro trace minerals; macro minerals are not included in this method of remineralization. Read on to learn the difference!

    Trace Minerals 

    To better understand what is meant by ‘trace minerals’, one first needs to understand macro minerals. Macro minerals are the minerals that we need larger quantities of as a daily requirement, as they are present at larger levels within the body. Essentially, the body is more intensely dependent on macro minerals. 

    Macro minerals include calcium, chlorine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. One needs to make a conscious effort to get enough of each of these from a basic diet and hydration regime. 

    Trace minerals are the counterpart to macro minerals. They are the minerals found in much smaller quantities within the body, and while still incredibly vital, one doesn’t need to consume as much in order to replenish the body’s levels when they become depleted. 

    Trace minerals include iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride and selenium. Most of us get all of these simply by eating a wide variety of foods in our diets. 

    There are certain medical conditions that result from a lack of trace minerals over an extended period of time. Different types of thyroid disease can be directly linked to a lack of iodine in the body, which is something that goes easily unnoticed for years before materializing as a physical ailment. Iodine is a mineral found predominantly in sea vegetables. 

    In an effort to associate itself with trace minerals, one company in the industry has named itself “Trace Minerals”. This company produces a wide variety of supplements and vitamins, as well as mineral supplement droplets that can be added to your drinking water. Their most popular product is a bottle of concentrated mineral drops that they recommend adding to all of the water you drink in order to mineralize it and support your body’s needs.

    Dr Berg Trace Minerals 

    Of course, one doesn’t have to adopt remineralization of their drinking water as their daily fix for trace minerals. There are a plethora of effective trace mineral supplements on the market, and instead of making your water more mineral rich you can simply pop a capsule every morning and call it a day. 

    Dr Berg’s trace mineral supplement is the preferred daily dose for a lot of people who have noticed trace mineral deficiency in their diets or bodies. Each capsule contains the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of all trace minerals, and users have the option of taking a capsule either once or twice throughout the day, depending on the severity of their situation. 

    This supplement is relatively affordable and makes a great addition to an existing healthy lifestyle. 

    Himalayan Salt

    Himalayan salt is a mineral harvested from the foothills of the Himalayas in the Punjab region of Pakistan. It is considered the purest salt on Earth, and has for centuries been praised for its multitude of health benefits. 

    Regular table salt is fortified, and therefore contains little to no nutritional benefits other than basic sodium. Himalayan salt is rich in iron oxide, which gives the salt its distinctive pink color. It is also naturally saturated with iodine, a trace mineral in respect of which many people suffer a deficiency. 

    Saturating drinking water with Himalayan salt forms something known as ‘sole water’. Sole water is simply electrolyte dense brine; the electrolytes make it far easier for the body to absorb other minerals for healing benefit. 

    One doesn’t have to drink salty water just to reap the rewards of positive electrolytes . In order to remineralize water using Himalayan salt, you’ll need to find a generously sized glass jar with a plastic lid (as salt can erode metal). 

    Fill the jar about a quarter of the way with Himalayan salt (course or fine), and fill the rest of the jar with water. Leave this to stand overnight and in the morning assess to see that all of the salt has been successfully dissolved. If salt residue remains in the bottom of the jar, leave it for a few more hours until it disappears. 

    Once that happens, the jar is now mineralized and you can use the solution in all drinking water for the foreseeable future. Mix one tablespoon of the solution into every glass or bottle of water that you drink. Himalayan salt is rich in 84 trace minerals and consuming it in the form of sole water means you’ll easily absorb most of them. 

    Mineral Filters

    Water filters are a great addition to any health conscious household. They allow users to safely consume tap water, as most of the chlorine can be removed by the filter itself. 

    Because water filters use rocks and sand as filtration aids, many assume they are adding Earth minerals back into the water in the process. However, this is not always the case, and only water filters equipped with reverse osmosis ability are able to remineralize water. Certain water filter brands will have cartridges available that possess the ability to add minerals to drinking water. These cartridges can treat water with a pH value lower than 6.5, and are relatively inexpensive to invest in for long term use.

    Alkaline water filters are another form of mineral filters. They work to transform existing water into water rich in alkalizing compounds, including calcium, silica, potassium, magnesium, and bicarbonate. These are all highly beneficial minerals to the human body.

    Copper Water Bottles and Pitchers

    By Copper H2O

    Another way to add minerals back into normal drinking water is to store your water in a copper vessel, such as a copper water bottle or copper pitcher.

    Over 5000 years ago, teachings were documented by the Ancient Indians in scriptures known as the Vedas. This is where the secrets of Ayurvedic living were first recorded, and the importance of minerals within the human body started to become understood. 

    In Ayurvedic teaching, humans are encouraged to wake each morning and drink water from a copper vessel that has been sitting overnight. Our understanding of this practice has come a long way in recent decades, as scientists have discovered the undeniable health benefits associated with copper enriched water. 

    Copper is one of the essential trace minerals that we need as part of our RDA. Copper deficiency has been linked to anemia, arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. In milder cases, individuals lacking in copper may experience chronic fatigue, hair loss and pigmentation. 

    When using a copper water bottle in addition to other remineralization methods, you can produce some of the most nutrient dense water available for public consumption.  

    Activated Charcoal

    Another ancient technique for remineralizing water dates back to the 17th century in Japan. This is where the benefits of activated charcoal were uncovered, most notably as a way of purifying contaminated water. 

    Activated charcoal is formed by burning either wood, coal, coconut shell or bamboo without any oxygen in order to create char. The char is then burned at incredibly high temperatures in order to create a porous substance. 

    The porous nature of the charcoal attracts the contaminants found in compromised water. It pulls them out and makes the water safe for human consumption. It is during this process that trace minerals are put back into the water by the charcoal. 

    Activated charcoal can be expensive to maintain, as the sticks or cubes need to be replaced roughly every three months. They also need to be regularly sterilized to release all accumulated contaminants that have been pulled from the water sources.  

    Green Powders

    There is a lot of debate surrounding whether or not green powders are worth the hype. Almost all green powder brands on the market promise to, in one way or another, “deliver key minerals and vital phytonutrients”. 

    If you were to break down green powders in a lab, you’d find they are little more than broken down vitamins, minerals and green fruits and vegetables. They are essentially a nutrient dense meal, but without the physical fibers. 

    Adding green powder to your water is a safe and effective way of adding minerals that might not otherwise be present. That being said, not all green powders are safe to consume in large quantities.  As a result, you might want to limit your consumption of green powders to only one or two glasses of water per day. 

    Green powders are also not a replacement for eating actual green fruits and veggies. The dietary fiber that comes from eating these foods is irreplaceable and vital to healthy gut activity; one needs to honor this and maintain a balanced diet in addition to consuming green powders. 

    Mineral Stones 

    At this point, you’re probably wondering about just adding mineral-rich stones directly into your drinking water, and forgetting about some of these other more complicated alternatives. You’d be absolutely right. 

    A new trend is emerging worldwide where health conscious individuals are opting to bring natural alkalizing stones and rocks directly to their personal water sources. By adding the right mineral stones into your existing water purifier or storage container, one can rest assured that consistent amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc will be present in said water, provided that the stones are left in the water long enough. 

    Maifan Stones

    The most effective mineral stones we’ve found to aid in water remineralization is Maifan stones. These stones have been used in ancient Chinese medicines for centuries, and only now are we discovering how beneficial they are when present in drinking water. These stones have also been widely present in fish tanks due to their powerful filtration abilities. 

    Each Maifan stone is made up of a combination of plagioclase feldspar, orthoclase feldspar, hornblende and biotite, as well as numerous other silicates and minerals. These compounds make them rich in almost all of the minerals that our bodies need, including calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, copper and selenium. 

    In addition to minerals, the stones also offer beneficial metals including molybdenum and silicon. For centuries, these stones have been used as alternative forms of healing to aid in improving the metabolism of the human body, to assist blood circulation, and to treat chronic gastritis, rheumatism, high blood pressure and  an array of skin conditions. 

    In addition to offering all of these nutrient benefits, Maifan stones also iodize the minerals in question, making them far easier for the human body to assimilate. 

    How to Use Maifan Stones

    To reap optimum rewards from a single Maifan stone, we recommend investing in a decently sized water vessel  of your choosing, and keeping one or more  Maifan stones inside of it at all times. By doing so, you ensure that your drinking water is perpetually cleaned and charged with the minerals that Maifan stone has to offer. 

    There is no real limit to the mass of water that a single Maifan stone can alkalize. One can just as effectively place the Maifan stone in a central water container, such as a 20 liter kitchen dispenser, and drink from this source as needed. That being said, storing a singular Maifan stone in a smaller water vessel makes for a far more nutrient dense water supply. 

    It is understood that a Maifan stone begins remineralizing water roughly 8 minutes after the water and stone make first contact. 

    How to Clean Maifan Stones

    In comparison to all other remineralization methods, the Maifan stone is definitely the one with the least maintenance. 

    Unlike other mineral stones and activated charcoal that has to be regularly sterilized, you only have to remove your Maifan stone once every 6 months. At this time, simply boil the stone in clean water for 20 minutes. 

    It is likely you will only start to see erosion of the Maifan stone after about 1-3 years, depending on the frequency of use. At this time, you’ll need to invest in a new one, as the stone will start to lose its filtration abilities quite rapidly. 

    Depending on the chlorine levels in your drinking water, your Maifan stone might show significant signs of erosion sooner than 3 years. Some look at this as a sign of a weak stone, or a product lacking quality, when the reality is actually the opposite. 

    When it comes to Maifan stones, and water filters in general, signs of erosion are to be applauded. They show the stone has worked against some tough contaminants up until this point, and that, had they not been present, the same decay and erosion may have occurred inside of your body instead. 

    Conclusion

    We hope you have enjoyed this complete guide to mineral water and how to make it yourself, including through the use of mineral stones. If you want to super-charge your drinking water, considering using maifan stones in conjunction with a copper water bottle or copper pitcher. Copper vessels such as these have been shown to kill viruses and bacteria present in the water while also naturally increasing the alkalinity of the water. To learn more, click here!

    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. 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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    Studies Support Use of Copper Water Bottles (Updated 2020)

    Studies Support Use of Copper Water Bottles (Updated 2020)

    Did you know that recent studies show that drinking water stored in copper bottles is a safe and beneficial practice? In this blog post, we'll summarize those studies and explain how you can benefit from using a copper water vessel. Let's get started!

    Research Studies

    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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