Magnesium, the fourth most abundant element in the world, is safe to consume for humans if present in drinking water up to a safe limit. It is estimated that the consumption of 10–100 ppm magnesium in drinking water could potentially prevent 4.5 million heart diseases and stroke deaths per year worldwide. But larger amounts of magnesium in water make it hard, which risks human health and your appliance’s functionality. That’s why it’s important to check magnesium levels in drinking water and how to remove it. This article will provide you with the benefits, disadvantages, testing methods, and removal of magnesium from drinking water.
Magnesium and Hard Water
Hard water has higher mineral contents, including magnesium and calcium. Magnesium is found in the form of magnesium carbonate in hard water. Using this water for drinking can cause severe health issues, and it can also cause a buildup on your appliances. That’s why you must avoid using it for drinking if magnesium and calcium ions are present in drinking water over the recommended limit.
Permissible Limit of Magnesium in Water
According to World Health Organization (WHO), the safe limit of magnesium in water is 50mg/l. For a human body, it’s safe to consume 420mg of magnesium daily, but it includes all magnesium from your diet. Drinking water is a small portion of this limit.
Health Concerns of Magnesium for the Human Body
The human body with sufficient magnesium enjoys various health benefits. It only becomes dangerous when it exceeds from recommended dose; otherwise, it has incredible benefits. Here are the few notable health benefits that magnesium offers.
Regulates Blood Circulation
Magnesium in drinking water regulates blood circulation. It improves blood pressure and manages muscles that help circulate oxygen and blood in the human body. Hence, the chances of cardiac arrest decrease.
Makes Bones Stronger
Magnesium intake makes bone stronger. According to research submitted at National Center for Biotechnology Information, older women with more than 422.5 mg/day of magnesium intake have more bone density than women of the same age with less magnesium intake.
Promotes Digestive Health
Magnesium intake helps in the digestion process and works best against constipation. Magnesium works to draw water into the intestines, improve stool consistency and, as a result, prevent constipation.
Provides Relief in Severe Headache
Drinking water having recommended amount of magnesium also helps in relieving stress. It decreases nausea and vomiting and also provides you relief from severe headaches. Taking regular dietary magnesium helps your body to relax.
Both deficiency and increased amounts of magnesium in the human body are dangerous. If you consume drinking water higher than recommended magnesium levels, you may have to face:
- Increase laxative effects
The deficiency of magnesium in the human body can lead to:
- Constantly severe migraines
- Increased blood sugar
- Weakness and shaking of the body
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Muscle pains and spasms
- Itchy skin
Besides the disadvantages mentioned above, the higher level of magnesium in drinking water can easily damage home appliances through a buildup (scaling).
Testing Methods for Hard Water
As hard water has a higher concentration of magnesium and calcium salts, so you must test it before consuming it. The best method to test hard water is to take water into a container and add some liquid soap to it. Shake it well and check if you see suds in it; the water is hard and unsuitable for drinking.
It is estimated that currently, in America, 85% of drinking water has some levels of magnesium in it. To test your drinking water for magnesium and other minerals level, you can opt for hard water kits from Amazon. These kits indicate the level of minerals in hard water through color changes or a color comparison chart.
Besides test kits, digital calorimeters are another good option to test your drinking water. These calorimeters indicate calcium, magnesium, and other minerals level in the water.
You can also go for certified lab testing for hard water to get more accurate results.
How to Remove Magnesium from Drinking Water?
The best way to remove excess magnesium from your drinking water is to use water softener. The devices used as water softeners stimulate magnesium ions and replace them with sodium ions, making water less hard. It reduces mineral content and improves water quality as well. Water softening devices are easily available in the market and not very expensive as they seem to be.
Magnesium in drinking water provides many health benefits, but when its level increases from the safe limits, it can be dangerous for human health. Hard water damages home appliances and reduce their warranty. Thus, test your home water for magnesium levels and use some water softeners to make it less hard.