Raw Water: How Healthy Is The Spring Water Trend From The USA Really?

Raw Water has a growing fan base in the United States, particularly in California. But is it really as healthy as its followers believe?

There are trends everywhere these days – including in the area of (healthy) nutrition. A new movement from the USA has now dedicated itself to raw water. It should be particularly good and healthy for our body. But is that really true? Should we join this trend and is it really healthy for us? We took a closer look at this trend.

What is raw water?

The term “raw water” hides water from natural sources that is not further filtered or treated. It also has an expiration date and turns green if left too long. However, this should only be an indication of its special freshness.

In contrast to water from the tap, raw water should contain all healthy bacteria and no dangerous substances. The range of effects of the microorganisms that are said to be contained in Raw Water is enormous: they are supposed to ensure better skin, make pimples and wrinkles disappear and make the hair more beautiful. Nails and joints should also benefit from the water.

The provider “Live Spring Water” in particular has been particularly effective in promoting its untreated water straight from the source. The product, of which 7.5 liters are available for just under 14 euros, is often no longer available in American supermarkets. A selling point of Live Spring Water: We want your water to be extra fresh. If it is too hot and stored in the sun, it quickly turns green. This does not happen with normal water from the supermarket because it is not as fresh as raw water.

Is the Raw Water Trend Healthy?

So far there is no scientific evidence to suggest that raw water really has such a positive effect on our health. Although the followers of the spring water movement are convinced of the effect of the water, this has not yet been proven. On the contrary, experts even advise against drinking the pure spring water.

That’s why experts warn of inadequately monitored raw water

We have with Dr. Ingrid Chorus, head of the department for drinking and bathing pool water hygiene at the Federal Environment Agency. She told us: “I would not drink water that is advertised as having ‘healthy bacteria’ levels. It is unclear how well it is controlled and there are good reasons why drinking water is monitored very carefully and why ours The guiding principle for drinking water quality in Germany is that it should only contain harmless environmental bacteria in low concentrations.”

On the one hand, water can also contain viruses or permanent stages of parasites from animal excretions, which can be very resistant to the environment. Here even the intake of a small amount of virus can lead to severe diarrhea. “For this reason, hikers, for example, are warned not to drink water from streams – even in forests or high mountains without settlements or agriculture,” explains Dr. chorus

On the other hand, one cannot know exactly to what extent other people may have contaminated the water. “Also, one should not forget that this trend comes from the USA, where the water is usually heavily mixed with chlorine and many people find this unpleasant. This is not the case in Germany. Chlorine is only used here if the water supply through surface water. The amount used is then still so small that there are no longer any noticeable concentrations at the tap,” says Dr. Ingrid Chorus.

Incidentally, Live Water’s website states that their water comes from the Opal spring in Oregon and that it is tested every year. No contamination was found in these tests. The doctor and medical journalist Sarang Koushik already commented on ABC News and explained that the water had not been officially tested.

dr Ingrid Chorus points out that if the water is tested and proven to come from deep protected springs, it would be comparable to bottled water from Germany, which is also untreated spring water. However, it shouldn’t contain many bacteria and shouldn’t turn green – and wouldn’t be “alive”.

Can we drink our drinking water unfiltered?

In Germany, 99 percent of the measured drinking water values ​​meet the quality requirements of the Drinking Water Ordinance. Bacteria can only be detected in one percent of the measurements. However, their concentration is then often so low that there is no acute danger to health. The limit values ​​for bacteria are deliberately set particularly low, so that exceeding them will not necessarily have health consequences. In addition, the increased values ​​are very often measured only temporarily and can no longer be determined at the next check.

In addition, our drinking water is either filtered in the waterworks – highly professionally and with good monitoring of the process – or, if it is groundwater from deep layers of the soil, through the soil – which, by the way, is an excellent filter.

The water that comes out of the tap does not usually need to be filtered. The use of water filters is not necessary, especially in large cities where it is certain where the drinking water comes from. It only looks a little different if you are a guest in rural areas and are not quite sure where the drinking water is obtained from and how well it is monitored.

“We are skeptical in this case and wonder whether the use of water filters is more likely to bring in additional substances or whether bacteria will grow in the device,” says Dr. Ingrid Chorus. By the way, we don’t need to be afraid of calcified taps. “Lime is harmless,” says the expert.

The situation is a little different, however, if the pipes in the house are not in good condition and/or the water stagnates in the pipes for a long time on the way up. In this case, for example, lead can get into the water.

“But if the water comes out fresh and cool from the tap, you can drink it. If it’s no longer in the tap, the water doesn’t have time to absorb pollutants from the tap. That’s why the most important basic rule is that the water fresh off the line,” says Chorus.

What are we learning? You don’t have to follow every trend and in Germany you can drink the water that comes from the tap with peace of mind. We can leave the filtering to the waterworks.

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Written by Allison Turner

I am a Registered Dietitian with 7+ years of experience in supporting many facets of nutrition, including but not limited to nutrition communications, nutrition marketing, content creation, corporate wellness, clinical nutrition, food service, community nutrition, and food and beverage development. I provide relevant, on-trend, and science-based expertise on a wide range of nutrition topics such as nutrition content development, recipe development and analysis, new product launch execution, food and nutrition media relations, and serve as a nutrition expert on behalf of a brand.

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