Mineral waters, like the name suggests is a potable water that has a high mineral that has either added or is naturally occurring. The specific classification of “mineral water” is water having 250 or more ppm (parts per million) of mineral content. The specific mineral deposits will range, some of the common compounds are zinc, magnesium, iron and calcium. Not all mineral waters are suitable for human use.
While mineral waters can be man-made through mineral additives, true mineral waters have occurred naturally overtime, soaking up mineral content from the surrounding rocks and ground it comes in contact with. Through natural processes a mineral water can even be lightly carbonated. Bottled mineral waters are available in regular form, or sparkling. Not all mineral waters are created equal. Some may be great for soaking, but not drinking.
In both modern and ancient times, mineral waters have been associated with health and healing. The Romans particularly prided themselves on their central bathes, many which were filled with hot mineral spring water. Italy and other areas of Roman rule, still boasts many mineral springs that attract visitors every year. And while a good soak in mineral rich waters can soothe the body, ingesting a good drinking mineral water directly can give the body a dose of minerals that processed food and tap water cannot deliver. However in the United States, mineral water cannot be marketed or advertised as having “healing” properties, likely due to quackery associated with false promises.
Although there are some trace minerals found in tap water and in varying levels depending on location, heavily treated tap waters have never been classified as “mineral waters.” The closest form of mineral water provided by a municipal source is in Zurich, Switzerland, whose citizens have free and regular access to a refreshing glass of mineral water every day.