Tap water has two major benefits: it costs a lot less than bottled water and it’s a lot more sustainable. No wonder, then, that many simply drink tap water. But often the water is very hard, so it contains a lot of lime. Can you drink hard water or is it unhealthy? The answers.
Hard water from the tap is no exception in Germany. You can tell by the fact that the tap water is cloudy when you pour it and limescale quickly settles in the kettle and also in the washing machine. It is particularly noticeable in the kettle, as the limescale can come loose in pieces and float in the water. That looks anything but appetizing. But is drinking hard water also unhealthy?
How does limescale come about in tap water?
Before we can conveniently take our tap water from the tap, it happens a long way. Starting from the groundwater, it has to flow over stones and gravel and can absorb minerals, mostly calcium and magnesium. Lime consists mainly of these two minerals. The more calcium and magnesium the water absorbs on its way into the pipe, the more calcareous it is.
Is drinking hard water unhealthy?
Magnesium and calcium are important minerals for our body. Drinking hard water is by no means unhealthy. On the contrary: It can even have a positive effect on our health since the two essential nutrients are absorbed by the body when needed.
And don’t forget: our bodies are smarter than you might think. Because everything that the organism does not need is excreted via the kidneys and intestines. For a healthy organism, it is therefore completely harmless to drink hard water.
Is Hard Water Bad For Your Heart?
According to the German Heart Foundation, the myth that hard water can lead to the calcification of the coronary arteries is also wrong. Chief Physician Prof. Dr. medical Harald Klepzig from the Scientific Advisory Board of the German Heart Foundation emphasizes on the website: “The question of whether a high content of lime in drinking water is related to the calcification of the coronary arteries can be answered with a clear no. There is no connection between the intake of lime from drinking water and the calcification of the coronary arteries.” Instead, calcification of the coronary arteries is a consequence of diseases that can arise from an unhealthy lifestyle.
Drinking tap water with lime does not have any negative health effects on our bodies. The spirits only differ when it comes to taste. Some people don’t like the taste of hard water. In these cases, a water filter can help. But be careful: water filters must be cleaned every four weeks, as germs can quickly accumulate in them.
Tap water can also be harmful to your health
Limescale in tap water is not a problem. Before you drink your tap water, you should still have it checked, especially if you live in an older building. Old lead pipes can pose a health hazard because they can absorb lead through the water. Tap water can also be contaminated with germs. The tap water should therefore be checked, especially before the birth of a child.
However, if it turns out that neither germs nor heavy metals can be found in your tap water and it is only calcareous water, you can drink it without hesitation.