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Is It Healthy to Drink Reverse Osmosis Water? A Comprehensive Guide

Many health-conscious people worry about the health benefits of reverse osmosis water. Reverse osmosis (RO) is a widely used water purification method that uses a semi-permeable membrane to remove impurities and contaminants from water, assuring safe and clean drinking water in homes, industries, and bigger scales.

This extensive article examines the pros and cons of drinking reverse osmosis water and answers some of the most often-asked questions.

How Does Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration Work?

Most reverse osmosis filtration filters have multiple stages. Sediment filters remove sand, dirt, and rust in the first step. A carbon filter removes chlorine, pesticides, and other organic pollutants affecting water flavor and smell before the water undergoes reverse osmosis.

The reverse osmosis membrane is crucial. It is a thin, semi-permeable barrier that lets water molecules through but blocks more giant molecules like dissolved salts and minerals, heavy metals, and other pollutants. The RO membrane has nanometer-wide holes. It filters even tiny particles because of this.

The RO membrane pushes water at 40–60 psi. This pushes water molecules through pores while leaving larger molecules and impurities behind. One side of the membrane collects cleaned water, while the other flushes the contaminants.

After the RO membrane, water may be filtered again to improve it. Some RO filtering systems have a post-carbon filter to eliminate contaminants and improve water flavor. Others have an alkaline water filter to increase the pH of the water before drinking.

RO Water Vs. Tap Water

RO water is generally safe and healthy. It’s a great option for people with compromised immune systems or who live in areas with low water quality because it’s extensively filtered using a reverse osmosis water filter. RO water may only be best for some, though.

RO water has fewer minerals than tap water, but these minerals are not necessary for human health and may be obtained from food. As long as healthy people eat enough minerals and electrolytes, RO water’s lack of minerals and electrolytes is acceptable.

RO water’s neutral taste and odor make it a good choice for people who don’t like tap water or bottled water’s chemicals. RO water has very little minerals or contaminants, so it may taste different than tap water.

Benefits of Drinking Reverse Osmosis Water

Water is essential to human health, yet its quality can vary. Tap water may contain chemicals, minerals, and sediment that negatively affect its taste and quality. In order to address these issues, reverse osmosis filtration systems are frequently used to purify the water and remove these impurities.

This section will scrutinize the benefits of consuming reverse osmosis water and the reasons why it may represent a more advantageous and eco-friendly alternative for fulfilling your drinking water needs.

Withdraws Impurities

Reverse osmosis filters are capable of removing contaminants that might be overlooked by other filtration systems. This process involves pushing water through a semi-permeable membrane, which efficiently eliminates microscopic germs, viruses, chemicals, and minerals. As a result, drinking water treated by reverse osmosis filters can be made cleaner and safer, which can have a beneficial effect on your health.

Improved Taste

Water undergoing reverse osmosis is often described as having a clean, crisp taste. This is because the process removes many of the minerals and impurities that can affect the taste of water. The result is a purer and more refreshing drinking experience that can make staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy lifestyle easier.

Good for Health

Ensuring good health necessitates consuming clean water, and opting for reverse osmosis water is an intelligent decision as it lacks contaminants and impurities, rendering it a healthy alternative. 

Safe for Consumption

Reverse osmosis purifies water safely. There are no harmful chemicals or additions. It filters and removes contaminants naturally, making drinking water safe and adequate.

Saves Money

Reverse osmosis water filtering systems assist the environment and save money on bottled water. Bottled water is expensive and polluting to make and deliver. Reverse osmosis systems provide clean, safe drinking water without bottled water’s cost or environmental impact.

Reverse osmosis water can improve taste, health, and cost. A decent reverse osmosis water filtration system can provide you peace of mind that your drinking water is safe and pure.

Potential Drawbacks of Drinking Reverse Osmosis Water

While there are many benefits to drinking reverse osmosis water, there are also potential drawbacks that should be considered:

Mineral Loss

One notable downside of using a reverse osmosis water filter is that it eliminates the beneficial minerals along with the harmful impurities. While some individuals may consider this an advantage, others may view it unfavorably, especially if they rely on drinking water as a primary source of these essential nutrients that can be obtained from the foods you eat.

Acidic pH

Reverse osmosis water often has a lower pH level than tap water, making it slightly acidic. While this isn’t harmful, some people may prefer water with a more neutral pH.

Sending Water to Drain

The reverse osmosis process does produce some wastewater. This can be particularly problematic in areas with water scarcity or where water is expensive.


The installation and maintenance of reverse osmosis systems can come at a considerable cost, making it unaffordable for specific households or businesses. Furthermore, the expenses of replacing filters and membranes can accumulate significantly over time.

Lack of Fluoride

In several regions, fluoride is added to tap water to prevent tooth decay, but reverse osmosis water typically does not contain this mineral. Although fluoride is available through alternative sources like toothpaste and supplements, specific individuals may prefer obtaining it from their drinking water. 

It is crucial to weigh these likely downsides when determining if reverse osmosis water is suitable for fulfilling your drinking water requirements. Despite being an efficient water filtration method, it may only be appropriate for some.

Is Reverse Osmosis Water Safe?

Despite the potential downsides, experts generally agree that drinking reverse osmosis (RO) water is safe for animal and human organisms. The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed RO water as safe for consumption, meeting all the requirements for drinking water quality. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also regulates RO water and has established acceptable levels of impurities and contaminants.

It’s important for individuals with certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease or mineral deficiencies, to consult with a healthcare professional before regularly drinking water treated by a reverse osmosis filtration system. This is because the reverse osmosis process may remove minerals and electrolytes necessary for maintaining good health. The World Health Organization advises against the complete removal of minerals from drinking water, as they are vital for the proper functioning of animal and human organisms.

Alternatives To Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration

Reverse osmosis (RO) water filtration is highly effective but may not be suitable for everyone. We have several possibilities, each with pros and cons.

Carbon filters

Carbon filters remove chlorine, organic chemicals, and pesticides using activated carbon. Optional carbon filters can be used in conjunction with sediment filters to improve the effectiveness of drinking water produced by the filtration system.

UV sterilization

UV sterilization eliminates bacteria and pathogens from water using ultraviolet light. ultraviolet light. This technique is frequently used with others to cleanse water as thoroughly as possible.


Distillation eliminates impurities by the heating and cooling of steam. It removes heavy metals and dissolved solids from water, although using more energy than alternative methods. This method is very expensive and typically not cost-effective for a homeowner.

Ion exchange

The ion exchange process entails replacing harmful ions with ions such as sodium or potassium. Although it has demonstrated effectiveness in removing calcium and magnesium, it may exhibit comparatively lower efficacy in eliminating other contaminants.

Natural filtration methods

Sand, gravel, and biofilters can remove bigger particles and contaminants from water. They may not remove dissolved minerals or tiny particles compared to other methods. Combining these approaches ensures safe and healthful drinking water.

While choosing a water filtration process, one must consider the water source’s quality, the toxins to be removed, and personal health preferences. Specific filtration issues may be best solved by combining several methods.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Drink Reverse Osmosis Water Every Day?

Drinking reverse osmosis water daily is acceptable if it undergoes appropriate filtration and is maintained using high-quality reverse osmosis water filters. It is typically a safe and refreshing source of drinking water. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to acknowledge its potential downsides and ensure that you obtain the necessary minerals and nutrients from alternative sources.

Does Reverse Osmosis Water Remove Fluoride?

Yes, a reverse osmosis system removes fluoride, a common additive to drinking water for dental health benefits. This can concern some people, as fluoride is essential for dental health. If you’re concerned about fluoride removal with a reverse osmosis system, you can add fluoride back to the drinking water using drops or tablets.

How Long Does Reverse Osmosis Water Last?

Properly stored reverse osmosis water will last. Reverse osmosis water lacks germs and other microbes that degrade tap water. It can be refrigerated in a clean, airtight container for weeks or months. Nevertheless, air and sunlight can damage water quality. Water becomes stale and loses its crisp, refreshing taste the longer it is stored.

How To Store Reverse Osmosis Water?

To store reverse osmosis water produced by many reverse osmosis systems properly, it is essential to use a clean container, keep it cool, avoid sunlight, and use it within a reasonable timeframe. Using a food-grade container, refrigerating the water, and keeping it away from direct sunlight are all necessary steps to ensure the water stays fresh and delicious.

How Much Is Water Wasted During the Reverse Osmosis Process?

Water waste from reverse osmosis is determined by the feed water quality, system performance, and operating conditions. Water waste from reverse osmosis is reduced by using recycled water and efficient systems.

Does Reverse Osmosis Water Leach Minerals from the Body?

RO water does not leach essential minerals from the body. It is true that the process of reverse osmosis removes minerals from water, but these minerals are not the only source of essential nutrients for human health. There are other dietary sources to obtain minerals necessary for the body’s functioning.


Reverse osmosis water has grown in popularity in recent years because it can improve water flavor while filtering out dangerous contaminants. 

To counteract the concern that reverse osmosis water removes beneficial minerals, Shell Water Systems offers alkaline filtration to add Calcium and magnesium, all essential for health, back to the water.

Before making a final decision on drinking water, each person should independently consider the advantages of drinking reverse osmosis water. 

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