Why You Should Stay Away From Ultra-Pure Water While Breastfeeding

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Babies who rely on breastfeeding as their primary source of nutrition need extra support. You might think that means consuming the best foods and beverages, like ultra-pure water. Before you change what you drink, check out a few reasons you should stay away from ultra-pure water while breastfeeding and alternative beverages that will support your health.

What Is Ultra-Pure Water?

Ultra-pure water is drinking water that undergoes more testing and purification than standard tap water. It only contains two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, also known as the foundational chemical composition of water (H2O).

The water from your kitchen faucet or refrigerator filter has those atoms but also contains essential nutrients that derive from natural water sources, such as:

  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Iron

You may have heard about ultra-pure water from social media posts. It’s a buzzword that sounds appealing to anyone wanting a healthier lifestyle, like breastfeeding parents. However, the differing nutritional values lead to various health effects that aren’t advisable to anyone who’s breastfeeding.

Why You Should Avoid Ultra-Pure Water While Breastfeeding

These are a few reasons why ultra-pure water isn’t great for anyone who’s still breastfeeding. Read these common side effects to learn why alternative beverages are better for you and your child.

1. It Doesn’t Absorb Into Cells as Easily

The bare hydrogen and oxygen atoms in ultra-pure water are the most fundamental way it differs from regular water. Without its essential nutrients, water loses the positive and negative charges that make it a solvent. Solvents are liquids that cells can easily absorb.

Instead, ultra-pure water only has a negative charge meant to draw impurities away from things like computer hardware and manufacturing machinery that need cleaning. It’s a helpful substance for those purposes and others in the medical industry, but it won’t help your body when digested.

Negatively charged water molecules can’t absorb into surrounding cellular membranes. It won’t hydrate your cells as it passes through your body. Even if you drink ultra-pure water all day, your body won’t get any extra water for its cells. Instead, you’ll slowly experience the effects of dehydration, like a decrease in breast milk production that’s crucial while your child depends on it for their nutrition.

2. It Strips Your Body of Nutrients

Although ultra-pure water is a helpful resource for teams developing testing kits for COVID-19 patients and sanitizing power generation boilers, it works against the nutritional interests of anyone who’s breastfeeding.

Ultra-pure water’s negative charge draws inorganic material away from whatever it passes through. Instead of providing your body with hydration or nutrients, it steals nutrients from your cells and any excess water they store.

This property of ultra-pure water is so powerful that it helps collect evidence of crimes. A team of researchers recently used it to collect lingering acid molecules from burn victims’ bodies in India. The study was successful because the ultra-pure water attached to the acid like velcro due to its negative charge.

When you drink something with this property, it pulls away any nutrients in your digestive system. Your baby needs those nutrients to pass through your breast milk instead, so it’s better to drink water that makes your milk nutritionally dense.

3. It Makes You More Susceptible to Disease

Research shows that dehydration makes illness more likely for people who don’t get enough long-term water intake. There are a few reasons for this. If there isn’t enough water in your system to flush bacteria and waste through your body, you could experience conditions like urinary tract infections and kidney failure.

Your immune system also needs nutrients to fortify itself before and during an illness. Water naturally has helpful nutrients, but replacing it with ultra-pure water removes a significant source of health-boosting minerals in your daily diet. Viruses and infections may cause your breastmilk production to slow and reduce how much your child can eat until you recover.

Best Hydrating Beverages to Drink While Breastfeeding

It’s more helpful to sip on beverages that support your overall health and hydration. You can enjoy these drinks while breastfeeding instead of ultra-pure water.

1. Filtered Water

Water filtered through things like Brita containers, fridge filters or stand-alone filtered water bottles is an excellent option for breastfeeding parents. The filters will remove lingering impurities while leaving the much-needed minerals and nutrients in the water.

It’s worth noting that people typically need eight cups of water daily to maintain their health, but breastfeeding parents may drink more than this. Milk production draws more water away from your system. You’ll likely need a few additional cups of water to feel your best and maintain your milk supply. Filtered water bottles make it easy to keep up with your body’s new hydration needs.

2. Fruit-Infused Water

Drinking plain water all the time can get boring. When you feel tempted to reach for dehydrating tea or sugar-loaded sodas, drop sliced fruit into your water bottle or pitcher. As it soaks, the nutrients and flavors release into your beverage to provide a tastier drink.

Increasing your vitamin intake with fruit-infused water also gives your body more vitamins. They’ll become more easily accessible than eating a specialized diet or buying costly vitamin supplements. The extra nutrients can also boost your energy while fortifying the nutritional profile of your breast milk.

3. Coconut Water

Many places now sell coconut water in bottles and boxes. It’s a tasty, all-natural treat if you can find a product you like without artificial sweeteners.

This is an excellent beverage to drink while breastfeeding because coconuts contain cytokinins, which aid cellular repair and regrowth. Your cells will recover from periods of dehydration or less optimal nutrition faster with the soothing help of coconut water.

4. Organic Fruit Juice

Instead of drinking more plain water to soothe your dry skin and stay hydrated, change things up with organic juice. You can make it at home with a juicer or by finding low to no-sugar juices at your local grocery store.

Juice contains water derived from its sourced fruits, plus the extra water that gives it a delicious consistency. Your body will benefit from the vitamins while using the hydration boost to maintain a constant milk supply.

Some juices may even reduce the severity of postpartum symptoms like acid reflux. Low-acidic juices fruits like apples shouldn’t add to your acid reflux intensity. Instead, you’ll enjoy a healthy beverage while the acid pushing through your esophagus finally begins to dissipate. 

5. Sparkling Water

It’s challenging to turn down a soda when you’re craving a bubbly, refreshing beverage on a hot day. When that happens, enjoy sparkling water. There are numerous sparkling water product lines available at grocery stores. Check for natural flavors you like and brands that don’t use artificial ingredients to get the purest water that still quenches your thirst.

Consider Avoiding Ultra-Pure Water if You’re Breastfeeding

Ultra-pure water might sound beneficial to drink while breastfeeding, but it’s not helpful. You’ll avoid a dried and less nutritional milk supply for your baby by choosing beverages like filtered water, organic juice or sparkling water. If you have any questions, call your doctor to discuss your options.

Author picture

Beth, the Managing Editor at Body+Mind, is well-respected in the fitness and nutrition spaces. In her spare time, Beth enjoys going for runs and cooking.

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