COPPER WATER: PURPOTED BENEFITS AND IMPLICATIONS
Everyday, there is new research coming up about what we consume, how we consume them and even when to consume them. Recently I stumbled on a research that seemed interesting and I just couldn’t hold back but share with you all.
“Copper water” is an emerging trend that promotes the practice of storing drinking water in a copper container or copper water bottle.
While you and I (yes, i just heard of it) may have just recently heard about this trend, it’s widely supported by Ayurveda, an Indian system of holistic medicine with ancient origins.
It’s okay to wonder if this practice is just mere bants and fad or if it has benefits at all.
This article reviews the purported benefits and downsides of drinking copper water.
Copper water isn’t a beverage or bottled carbonated drink (the one that will do kpissh if you open it) you’ll find in the nearest supermarket or health store. Rather, you have to make it by storing drinking water in a copper container.
Copper (Cu) is a trace element, meaning that you only need minimal amounts of it.
Cu plays a role in multiple essential body functions, such as the production of energy, connective tissues, and your brain’s chemical messaging system. It’s widely found in foods like shellfish, nuts, seeds, potatoes, whole grain products, dark chocolate, and organ meat
“Proponents of this practice state that storing water in copper containers allows the metal to infuse into the water, thus conferring benefits to the drinker”.
So many claims to support the practice include the fact that copper water offers multiple benefits, including better heart and brain health, a “boost” in the immune system, and even weight loss, anti-aging, and tanning effects.
However, it’s unlikely that copper water provides these health effects.
“Instead, these benefits may merely reflect copper’s roles and functions in your body, given that it’s involved in energy production, pigmentation, the development of brain and heart tissue, immune system function, and angiogenesis — the formation of new blood vessels”.
One of copper’s benefits appears to be backed by science — its antibacterial effect.
Both old and recent evidence suggests that copper may be used as a water purification or sterilization system, as ancient Ayurveda techniques recommended
This may be especially beneficial for those who don’t have access to safe drinking water
Contaminated water can contain considerable amounts of bacteria, including Vibrio cholerae, Shigella flexneri, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella typhimurium, that can cause diarrhea — one of the leading causes of death in developing countries.
Simply storing water in a copper pot or vessel may kill these harmful bacteria; i guess that’s a good one right?
The term “contact killing” is used to describe copper’s antibacterial effect. The term explains how copper causes an aggressive and extensive damage on the cell wall of the bacteria.
Still, studies agree that water should be stored in the copper container for several hours (about 16-48 hours) before drinking it to ensure that the antibacterial effect has been successful.
Long-term exposure to high doses of copper may cause copper toxicity, which is characterized by nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. It may even lead to liver damage and kidney disease
One way you may develop copper toxicity is by consuming stagnant water that flows through copper-containing pipes, which allow for high quantities of copper to leach into the water .
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends no more than 0.47 mg of copper per cup (2 mg per liter) of water, so that the tolerable upper intake of 10mg/day is not exceeded.
The bottom line
Copper water is simply water that has been stored in a copper container. This allows for safe amounts of copper to leach into the water.
Almost 85% of this practice’s purported benefits aren’t backed by scientific studies. The only clear cut fact is that it could exert an antibacterial effect that may kill diarrhea-causing bacteria in contaminated water.
However, research suggests that for the leached copper to kill bacteria, the water must be stored in a copper vessel at least overnight or up to 48 hours.
Heavy metals leaching into water would lead to toxicity which would in turn have an adverse effect on your health. Unless there is a strong scientific backing, just drink your water in whatever vessel you’ve been drinking it please.