Mineral Water Benefits: Why Drink Bubbly Mineral Water Every Day?
By: Dave Asprey
March 9, 2015
Why do I drink San Pellegrino carbonated mineral water every day? What are the benefits of mineral water?
Mineral water is one of the most underrated supplements out there. It isn’t just the delicious fizzy taste; it also contains, as you might guess, some minerals! One under-appreciated mineral is sulfate, and there is lots of sulfate in San Pellegrino compared to most other mineral waters.
After coming across Stephanie Seneff’s work with Weston A. Price a few years ago at an SVHI meeting, I dug in and agree with her that sulfate will likely become as biologically important as nitric oxide, another hugely important signaling molecule that was invisible to biologists because it disappears quickly.[i] (If you subscribe to my Biohacking Box, you recently received some nitric oxide test strips because it matters for brain and vascular performance.)
Here’s an overview of why I drink this stuff…it’s not just about the mineral water benefits, it’s also a Bulletproof Diet friendly beverage because it has no sugar and no chemicals.[ii] Even though I don’t agree with Nestlé’s politics around water ownership, this is typically the most available form of healthy water at many restaurants.
Why You Want To Drink Extra Sulfates
Sulfates are needed in your diet – in fact sulfur is the 8th most common element in your body by mass, but there is no RDA for sulfur. Even then, your body doesn’t make sulfates well from sulfur you ingest, so you’ll want a better source of it than eating foods like eggs and broccoli that are high in sulfur content.[iii][iv]
This means you want to give your body a form of sulfate it can actually use. Enter, San Pellegrino.
No, I don’t have a marketing agreement with San Pellegrino. Any of the strongly flavored sparkling mineral waters work, but San Pellegrino – and any of them from a glass bottle – work.
If normal humans get 10% of their sulphur from water, as Seneff argues, superhumans can probably get more! These small changes in our environmental inputs, even water, create higher performance…that’s biohacking.
Dr. Stephanie Seneff writes:
Remarkably, people who drink soft water have an increased risk of heart disease compared to people who drink hard water. Many possible reasons have been suggested for why this might be true, and just about every trace metal has been considered as a possibility. However, I believe that the real reason may simply be that hard water is more likely to contain sulfur.
Compared to other mineral water brands, San Pellegrino has some of the highest levels of sulfate (SO4–) water known in the world today: 459 milligrams per liter.[v] It also has a decent amount of calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate as well as other trace minerals.
First analyzed for its mineral contents in 1748, San Pellegrino has long been regarded as a source of healing mineral spring water though no one knew why at the time – its mineral contents have not changed to this day. San Pellegrino water has been around since the 1300s and flows from three springs from a mineral water basin at the foot of a dolomite mountain.
In fact, “San” means “Saint” – literally, this is a healing spring that was thought to cause miracle healing likely because of its sulfate content.
Our bodies need the right amounts of minerals, and sulfates are harder to get and unappreciated. The benefits of getting more sulfates are diverse, supporting joint, muscle, and nervous system health and detox.[vi][vii]
As you might expect to read here, the way we’ve damaged our soil with modern agriculture plays a role in why you’re likely low on it; sulfur depleted soil creates sulphur deficient plants (study pdf here).
Note: do not get sulfate and sulfite mixed up, although they sound similar. For the most part you want to minimize sulfites in your diet. (This study explains more about why.)
Vitamin D3 is one of the top 10 supplements from The Bulletproof Diet book recommended for just about everyone. But what if, even after you take vitamin D, you don’t get to use it fully? Seneff’s work points out that this may be a real problem: read more about why here.
Seneff also notes that cholesterol sulfate, but not plain cholesterol, has polarity that lets it pass freely through cell membranes so it can easily muscle cells. On a high saturated fat diet without fear of unoxidized dietary cholesterol, more sulfate is a good thing! Seneff is proposing a theory that cholesterol sulfate is core for the metabolism of glucose for fuel. (This is bad news for vegans if it’s proven to be true!)
Other Mineral Water Benefits
I like the taste and I want the extra minerals, so Pellegrino is my go-to source. Other mineral springs waters are also beneficial for their contents of various other trace minerals – magnesium, calcium, sodium, lithium, and so on – so definitely check the labels when you go water shopping to see what you’re really getting out of your bubbly.
I tend to avoid calcium supplementation because free calcium wreaks havoc in the body, and I take K2 to keep my free calcium at healthy levels. I was so concerned about it that I had a cardiac calcium scan done after 3 years of 1.5-2.25 liters per day of San Pellegrino. The results showed I have no calcium risk.
There’s also the fact that you can get it in glass bottles, to avoid BPA (don’t drink the cans or plastic bottles if you can avoid them).
CO2 levels in the body signal your cells to absorb more oxygen. Also, though not proven by a long shot, there is an argument that short-term increases in CO2 may lead to better oxygen uptake. I first hypothesized this on a flight, when I was hacking my blood oxygen levels, and noticed that I felt much better when I drank lots of carbonated water at high altitude. You may (or may not) notice performance improvements from carbonation (carbonation can also increase acid levels in your body, so if you’re overly acidic, it may not be helpful for you.)
Oh, and go get yourself mineral tested to find out which ones you should be guzzling more of. Bubbly water isn’t certified for medical use, but it sure tastes good!
- Top 10 Bulletproof Supplements
- Why Getting Your Nutrition Only From Food Is A Bad Idea: Why You Need Supplements
NB: Stephanie Seneff, PhD, Weston A. Price Foundation, work referenced throughout:
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