Water softeners do remove minerals like calcium and magnesium from your water, and these are minerals that your body needs. However, having them removed from your water won’t decrease your intake of these minerals, since your body does not usually get these minerals from water but instead from your diet. Let’s take a closer look.
Which Minerals Are in Hard Water?
Hard water is typically water that contains significant amounts of dissolved calcium, magnesium, and similar minerals. These are picked up naturally from the areas water has flowed over before it reaches your home. Having these minerals in your water can lead to film-like deposits left on your dishes or other surfaces. These chalky deposits may seem nothing more than annoying on dishes, but they can also build-up in your appliances and eventually cause them to need repairs or replacement.
What Happens to the Minerals?
Softening water does not fully remove calcium and magnesium from your water, but it neutralizes them by changing their form. How this is done depends on what sort of water softener you have. For example, water softeners that use salt utilize a process called ion exchange. This process essentially “trades” the calcium and magnesium for the soft mineral sodium.
However, if you have a salt-free water conditioner, the process is a little different. Salt-free systems are referred to as water conditioners rather than water softeners because they don’t remove hard minerals from water. Instead, they condition water by chemically changing minerals such as calcium and magnesium so that they no longer attach to surfaces and create build-up.
Is Added Sodium Bad for You?
If you have a water softener that uses salt, it will add sodium to your water. The amount of sodium added depends on how hard your water is. Sodium in large amounts can be unhealthy, but luckily the amount added by water softeners, even for very hard water, is incredibly small. If you are concerned about the amount of sodium that’s healthy for you, or if you have a sodium restricted diet, contact your doctor before using a water softener. You can also consider using a salt-free system instead.
Where Else Can You Get Healthy Minerals?
Whether you have a water softener or a salt-free water conditioner, both will leave your water without the original hard minerals it previously contained. Some people worry that because of this they will have an unhealthy lack of these minerals in their body. However, as mentioned earlier, your body does not get its calcium and magnesium from your water. In water these minerals exist in an inorganic state, and your body cannot even digest them.
Instead of worrying about these minerals in water, look at your diet to make sure that you’re getting a healthy amount of them. For example, digestible calcium is found in dairy products like milk. Magnesium is present in broccoli and many other vegetables. As long as you have a healthy diet with a variety of foods, you’ll get the minerals that you need. If you’re concerned about the amount of calcium and magnesium you’re consuming, talk to your doctor about a diet that’s right for you.
If you would like more information about how water softeners and conditioners work, contact Clear Water of San Marcos, located in San Marcos, TX.