India is not Australia, where you can drink water straight from the tap.
Instead, the water quality in India requires every home to use water purifiers to remove TDS and other impurities. So, whenever you switch on your TV, you encounter some advertisements for water purifiers.
Recently, the ad featuring Madhuri Dixit promoting the Aquaguard water purifier with Zinc and Copper technology has become popular. So, here comes the question,
‘Are copper water purifiers safe?’
With due respect to Madhuri Dixit as an actor of repute, I must say that copper water purifiers are safe. Moreover, drinking copper-infused water is good for health. We shall discuss these aspects in our article. But before that, let us list prominent water purifiers in India offering Copper Purification technology in their products.
- Eureka Forbes Aqua Guard Aura UV+UF
- Aquaguard Marvel RO+UV+MTDS with Active Copper Technology
- Kent Supreme Copper Next Gen RO Water Purifier
- HUL Pureit Copper Water Purifier
- Bluestar Aristo RO+UV Water Purifier
- TTK Prestige Tattva 2.0 Copper 16L Water Purifier
- Livpure Zinger Copper RO+UV+UF+Mineralizer Water Purifier
- Eureka Forbes Aquaguard Enhance NXT UV+UF Water Purifier
We are not discussing the purification process in these water purifier products because they are the same. This article is dedicated to the benefits of using copper in water purification.
What is the role of copper in water purification?
Your grandma will never recommend using water purifiers for purifying drinking water. Her copper vessel should be enough to do the trick. Yes. Copper has antimicrobial properties that can kill bacteria, refine water, and enhance the taste. Here it is if you ever need an example of Indian tradition meeting modern technology.
Our sacred texts propagate Ayurveda which strongly recommends storing drinking water in copper vessels.
Copper is a trace element, meaning you do not require copper in large quantities for purifying drinking water.
Generally, our diet takes care of our body’s copper requirements. But drinking water stored in copper vessels can boost our immune system and balance the doshas, Vata, Pitha, and Kapha.
Please note that water needs to be stored in copper vessels for a minimum of eight hours for the water to undergo the oligodynamic effect and acquire the ability to eliminate disease-causing germs and viruses. The water purifiers using copper-infusion technologies believe in the benefits of copper to maintain the water’s purity.
The Role of Copper in Water Purifiers
The water purifiers above do not rely on copper infusion alone as their water purifying technology. Instead, they use methods like RO, UV, UF, and others for water purification.
The copper ion/molecule infusion is usually the final step where the machine introduces appropriate amounts of copper into every glass of water.
For example, in real-time, the HUL Pureit water purifier uses Copper Charge technology to charge the RO-purified water with 99.8% pure copper. So, it does not store water in copper tanks. That is in direct contrast to what Ayurveda prescribes. The purifier claims that it automatically senses and schedules copper auto-cleaning to ensure fresh copper infusion at all times.
Similarly, the Eureka Forbes Aquaguard Enhance NXT water purifier uses Active Copper technology to add copper ions to drinking water before dispensing it.
So, these seem to be pure advertising gimmicks because they do not ensure copper benefits. Therefore, drinking purified water from these purifiers should not make any noticeable difference. However, it is safe to drink purified water from these appliances.
So, what is the best way to ensure you reap the benefits of copper in drinking water? First, let us discuss this aspect.
The Best Way to infuse copper in drinking water
Ayurveda has already detailed that storing water in copper utensils is advisable. However, the right way is to allow the water to remain in the copper vessel for eight hours or overnight before you consume it.
Therefore, mere drinking water from a copper flask or a tumbler will not suffice. The water has to be in contact with copper for a sufficient time for the copper ion infusion to happen.
The World Health Organization recommends that the copper content in water should not be more than 0.47mg per cup. It roughly translates to 2 mg per liter. The general recommendation is a tolerable upper intake level of 10 mg of copper daily. However, we generally get this requirement in our food. So, it is better to restrict our copper water intake to around 700 ml daily. Our texts recommend drinking copper water (water stored overnight in copper vessels) every morning before consuming anything.
Can we drink copper water daily?
Yes. There should not be any problem drinking copper water daily, provided we monitor its intake and restrict it to around 700 to 1000 ml daily. So, what will happen if the daily copper intake is high?
The effects of high copper intake
Generally, the copper that leaches out from copper vessels into the drinking water is considerably below WHO stipulated safety limits. So, you can store water for a maximum of eight to ten hours in copper vessels. Anything more than that can cause copper toxicity in the long run.
Though copper infusion is healthy, anything in excess is bad. Higher copper intake can cause dizziness, nausea, abdominal pain, and liver/kidney failure.
Is it safe for us to drink water from a copper flask or bottle?
There should not be any problem drinking water from copper flasks, provided the water is not stagnant for extended periods. It is not recommended to store water in copper flasks for more than 24 hours. Besides, copper toxicity can occur only if the bottle is corroded. Generally, corrosion happens if you store acidic foods in copper containers. Secondly, pure water is not acidic. Hence, it is safe to drink water from a copper flask.
Is it safe to have copper pipes in our homes?
Copper pipes are safe as long as they are not corroded. Generally, copper pipes do not rust easily. But, constant exposure to water with high TDS levels can corrode the copper pipes and cause excess leaching of copper into the water, leading to copper toxicity.
Is copper water alkaline?
Yes. Copper water is alkaline, and drinking it cools the body considerably. It has a pH level of 7.83. It improves our immune system and reduces the risks of harmful diseases like cancer.
Is copper water suitable for the skin?
Drinking copper water regularly can make the skin soft and youthful. In addition, it can help reduce wrinkles and patchy skin. Thus, copper water has anti-aging properties.
Is copper water good for hair?
Rinsing your hair in copper water is beneficial because copper peptides improve hair and scalp healthy. Thus, it improves the overall quality of the hair follicles and makes the hair look strong and lustrous.
Copper water is good for health but in minute quantities. Usually, our food has sufficient copper to meet our body’s requirements. Nevertheless, drinking copper water is recommended for our overall health maintenance.
Finally, though it is safe to drink water from copper water purifiers, it does not make much difference because the water is not in contact with copper for sufficient periods to offer the benefits of copper water. So, storing water in copper vessels is better than using copper water purifiers.