Mineral water is harmful to our body

Drinking water containing lime - harmful or even healthy?

Is calcareous water - healthy or unhealthy?
Many people ask that. Because the trend to use tap water rather than the comparatively expensive mineral water from the bottle is becoming more and more popular. However, the lime content of drinking water often raises questions. We therefore clarify the question of whether drinking hard water is really unhealthy, whether it is harmful to drink “hard” water and whether water containing hard water has any impact on health at all. We also show which substances in drinking water are really questionable and why a water test is recommended by experts.

What is calcareous water?

The lime content of the tap water is called the degree of hardness. We have already summarized for you in this article in detail the lime concentration from which the water is classified as “hard”, “soft” or “medium” and what that means for household appliances. In this article we specifically address the question of whether calcareous water is unhealthy or even harmful to the human organism.

Is it harmful to drink water that contains hard water?

For many people, tap water is a good alternative to bottled mineral water. On the one hand, you save yourself having to lug boxes. In a direct comparison, it is also much cheaper than mineral water. However, very few are really sure whether their own tap water is suitable for drinking. In addition to contamination by heavy metals or microbiological pollution, which incidentally mainly takes place in the in-house pipes, the lime content in tap water is a factor that still makes many people reach for the bottle. But is hard water harmful and is it really a reason to drink mineral water?

The answer: "Hard" water, i.e. tap water that has a higher degree of hardness and is therefore more calcareous, can be drunk without hesitation.

Is lime in water a danger to the heart?

There is a widespread misconception here that calcareous drinking water promotes calcification of the arteries. However, this is definitely not the case, experts agree. The uptake of lime via the water and the calcification of the coronary arteries are therefore not related - for example Prof. Dr. med. Klepzig in an article for the website of the German Heart Foundation.

No. While smoking, persistently high blood pressure or obesity are typical risk factors that can lead to heart disease or clearly promote it, hard water is not one of the triggers of heart disease.

Is Hard Water Harmful?

The difference between "soft" and "hard" water can often be seen in the taste. Except for this aspect, where personal taste is decisive, hard water does not have a more damaging effect on the organism than soft water.
Lime is made up of magnesium and calcium. These two minerals are essential for the human body. Calcium is important for building bones and teeth, among other things, and magnesium plays an important role in muscle and bone health. Accordingly, calcareous water can even be seen as a useful food supplement.

Incidentally, a common misconception: arteriosclerosis, also known colloquially as "calcification", is often incorrectly associated with the consumption of hard water. In fact, however, this condition, where harmful buildup in arteries becomes a problem, is mainly caused by certain fats that we ingest with our food.

No! However, hard water is by no means dangerous.


The degree of hardness has an impact on skin and hair "

What does calcareous water do to skin and hair?

The hardness of the water also affects the skin and hair. It may well be that hair looks brittle and rough after washing with very hard water and dry skin becomes a problem. Here it makes sense to use appropriate care products.

Do we need hard water to stay healthy?

Scientific evidence shows that we get most of our magnesium and calcium needs from foods such as milk, bananas and some vegetables. Only a fraction of the minerals contained in water is actually metabolized by the body. However, this excess is not harmful - it is excreted by the organism.

In order to actually cause problems, much higher amounts of lime than magnesium and calcium would have to be consumed. This could lead to the organism no longer being able to excrete the unusable amount due to the high concentration. However, it is almost impossible to absorb such amounts through our drinking water.

Answer: Not necessarily. Only a fraction of the minerals contained in drinking water is actually metabolized by the body.

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Determining the degree of hardness: How can you measure lime scale in water?

In most cases, information on the hardness of the water can be found on the website of the local water supplier. It may be worthwhile to ask here to find out the lime content of your own drinking water.

House owners will usually also find the degree of water hardness on the annual water bill. In order to measure for yourself how hard your own tap water is, you can buy appropriate indicator strips in the pharmacy.

The IVARIO water test also measures the exact hardness of the water in addition to 16 other important test parameters.

Determine your own water hardness - water test for calcium, magnesium and hardness, heavy metals & bacteria by IVARIO

Consumers can have the water hardness checked with this simple laboratory test and thus gain clarity and certainty about their own water hardness. In addition to the hardness of the water, you can also find out whether your tap water is contaminated with heavy metals and bacteria. A drinking water test not only protects your household appliances, but also your own health.

Should you filter calcareous water?

From a health point of view, it is not absolutely necessary that hard water is filtered. However, there are various arguments in favor of filtering hard water. This includes, for example, the protection of devices and fittings. Because limescale is stubbornly deposited and can thus clearly reduce the service life of washing machines, coffee machines and similar devices. Limescale deposits are also annoying on bathroom and kitchen fittings. In order to counter these two factors, however, the water would have to be filtered before it reaches the fittings or devices. This is only possible with a correspondingly high level of effort, so that this alternative tends to be rather uninteresting for many households and instead regular descaling of appliances and fittings is preferred.

Answer: Not from a health point of view. However, a water filter can improve the taste of tap water.

So what can you do about hard water?

If the lime content is particularly high, the taste of the water can also suffer. In addition, the water becomes somewhat cloudy. If consumers do not want to use this water for drinking, table water filters are ideal. Here, however, you should pay close attention to the quality of the device. Because various tests have shown in the past that table water filters can sometimes become a breeding ground for germs and pathogens.

You can find out more about water filters in our article:
"Water filters - what are they really good for?"

Conclusion: Calcareous water is not unhealthy - but caution is advised

Experts recommend having your own tap water analyzed for bacteria, germs and pathogens as well as heavy metals such as lead or copper. There are far more dangers lurking here than the consumer generally thinks. Because above all old lines (for example made of lead) but also dead lines, maintenance errors and various other problem areas can promote problems and damage health in the long term. This is especially true, but not only, when babies or toddlers live in the household.

The question "Is hard water unhealthy" can therefore be answered with a clear "No".

Do you have any questions about hard water?
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Here you can find out about a water test for lime and many important substances in your tap water.