For something as simple as water, you will be surprised at how many debates this liquid can cause. You might think that all water is the same, but this isn’t the case.
The list of different types of water seems endless. Water from the same source may be the same. But how that water is prepared, flavored, etc. can change it significantly.
You have likely heard of hard water, especially if you live in a busy city. But you can also get soft water. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at what softened water is, and whether, or not, you can drink it.
So, if you want to find out this, and lots more, keep on reading!
What Is Softened Water?
To help us understand what soft water is, let’s look at what hard water is…
What Is Hard Water?
You have probably heard the term “hard water”, but you might not know exactly what it means. Hard water has a high amount of minerals in it.
Instead of being clear, hard water tends to have magnesium and calcium dissolved in it. So, when you drink hard water, you are also drinking these minerals.
Hard water is caused by rainwater traveling through mineral deposits in the ground. These deposits might include limestone, gypsum, or chalk.
When the water passes through the deposits, minerals dissolve into the water. Minerals in hard water may make the water taste different than soft water.
Drinking hard water may have some health benefits, but it is damaging to plumbing and pipes. It can cause boilers to break down, damage taps, and more.
This damage is caused by hard water leaving calcium deposits in pipes and on appliances.
So, What Is Soft Water?
Soft water is the opposite of hard water. While hard water has a high amount of minerals, soft water has little or none. For water to be considered “soft”, it must have less than 1 gpg of hardness.
GPG stands for “Grain per Gallon” and it is a water hardness test. Any water that has a measurement below 1 gpg doesn’t contain enough minerals to be considered “hard”.
In contrast, anything that measures 1 gpg or higher is considered hard water. Generally, hard water will have 1 grain of hardness per gallon, hence the measurement “GPG”.
When rain falls, the water is soft as it contains no minerals. Once the water travels through the ground, it will pick up minerals and become hard.
The water softening process removes minerals and makes the water soft again.
Can You Drink Softened Water?
Hard water may have health benefits, but it doesn’t always taste the best. You might consider drinking water that has been through the softening process. But is it safe to drink?
Let’s take a look…
Yes, you can drink softened water. Soft water just has fewer minerals than hard water. It is difficult to get soft water naturally, but it is possible to soften water and it is perfectly okay to drink it.
There are lots of reasons why you might choose to drink softened water. Maybe you prefer the taste or you believe in the health benefits.
Soft water may be beneficial to drink and also better for cleaning. So, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of drinking softened water.
What Are The Benefits Of Softened Water?
So, let’s take a look at some of the main benefits of softened water…
Good For Your Kidneys
Since hard water contains a lot of calcium and magnesium, drinking it may lead to an increased risk of kidney stones or urinary infections for those who are predisposed.
So, drinking softened water may reduce the risk of developing these conditions.
Some studies suggest that the excess calcium in hard water may lower sperm count in some men. Softened water does not have this excess calcium and may not have the same negative effect on fertility.
These studies looked at long-term effects (years of drinking hard water), so short-term use isn’t likely to have the same results. Consult your physician if you have concerns.
Better For Your Hair And Skin
Finally, softened water is better for bathing. Softened water creates a better lather and rinses cleaner.
It doesn’t leave a residue on your skin or hair. It can also be better for people, especially young children, with skin sensitivities like eczema.
Is It Better To Drink Soft Or Hard Water?
A lot of people are under the impression that soft water is better to drink than hard water, simply because the minerals have been removed. But is this the case?
Ultimately, no, it isn’t. Neither soft nor hard water is better. Both will hydrate you and each has some benefits. Research the pros and cons of each and make an informed decision for you and your family.
In short, yes, you can safely drink softened water. Softened water is just processed to remove any minerals. So, it is perfectly safe to drink and may be the right choice for you!
Thank you for reading!