Adult men and women need between 1,000 and 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day. Unfortunately, most adults don’t get enough of this bone-preserving mineral. To make up the shortfall, some people reach for a bottle of calcium supplements. Recently, the safety of taking supplemental calcium has been called into question after a study showed taking calcium supplements increases the risk of heart attack by 30%. For this reason, it’s better to get calcium from natural sources such as dairy products – or even mineral water. Is calcium in mineral water a good way to add more calcium to your diet?
What Are the Minerals in Mineral Water?
Mineral water is water that contains natural minerals such as calcium and magnesium. It comes from minerals springs, and extra minerals can’t be added to the final product. Some companies bottle mineral water and sell it directly to the public as plain mineral water or sparkling mineral water. Mineral water may contain a variety of minerals and trace minerals including magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron.
Calcium in Mineral Water: Is It a Good Source?
The amount of calcium in mineral water varies, depending upon the spring it’s collected from. Mineral water from European mineral springs is usually higher in calcium than mineral water from Canada and the United States. Calcium content in mineral water marketed in most stores ranges from a low of 50 milligrams to over 300 milligrams per serving. Perrier water, which is popular in the United States, has 170 milligrams of calcium per serving.
Since you need 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day, you’d have to drink a large amount of mineral water to meet your daily calcium requirement through mineral water alone. While doing so, you could also take in a fair amount of sodium. Some mineral water such as Perrier is low in sodium, while others can have very high sodium contents.
Calcium in Mineral Water: The Bottom Line?
The amount of calcium in mineral water varies widely. Before using it as a calcium source, check the bottle and make sure it has at least 200 milligrams of calcium and is low in sodium. Even then, you’ll have to drink at least five servings to meet minimum calcium requirements through mineral water alone.
All in all, most mineral water is a healthier choice than tap water, because it contains calcium and magnesium that most people don’t get enough of. Magnesium helps to lower blood pressure and may reduce the risk of heart disease. But, it’s best to get some of your daily calcium from another source such as dairy to limit sodium – and because the minerals in mineral water may not be as easily absorbed as those from dairy products. Mineral water has its benefits, but don’t use it as your only source of calcium.
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