Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Minerals?

Find out if reverse osmosis removes minerals, which minerals are removed, and how to remineralize RO water.

By: Maggie Pace

Reverse osmosis is one of the most popular and effective methods of water filtration available, with its powerful ability to remove arsenic, fluoride, radium, and more. But because reverse osmosis is so successful at reducing contaminants from water, it can strip healthy minerals from your water too. 

If you’re considering buying a reverse osmosis filtration system, don’t let this unintended consequence stop you. We’ll discuss which minerals reverse osmosis removes and how you can add them back.

Does reverse osmosis remove minerals from water?

Reverse osmosis filtration works by pushing water through a semi-permeable membrane at a high pressure. As water is pushed through, contaminants get left behind so only filtered water makes it to the other side. Unfortunately, it’s not just contaminants that get removed. Because healthy minerals are also larger than water molecules, they are removed during the process as well which can reduce the health benefits of the water.

What good minerals does reverse osmosis remove?

During reverse osmosis filtration, healthy minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and sodium are removed from the water. Let’s explore some of the health benefits these minerals offer: 

  • Calcium: Essential for bone and teeth development, calcium maintains the taste and hardness of water.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium plays a key role in food to energy conversion and supports weight management.
  • Potassium: Potassium balances body fluid and supports complex internal organs. 
  • Phosphorous: Similar to calcium, phosphorus helps with bone and teeth formation. 
  • Sodium: The presence of sodium in water adds an alkaline taste and balances water and mineral levels in the body 
  • Zinc: Zinc boosts the immune system and helps in blood function.

"Reverse osmosis filtration works by pushing water through a semi-permeable membrane at a high pressure."

Does reverse osmosis water have any minerals?

Reverse osmosis water generally has very low mineral content since the filtration process removes most minerals and contaminants. However, trace amounts of minerals and contaminants may still be present in the water after reverse osmosis.

How to remineralize RO water

With reverse osmosis filtration systems removing various substances from your water, you might be concerned about losing essential minerals. However, there are ways to ensure your tap water remains enriched with healthy minerals. Using a remineralizer, adding mineral drops, or using an alkaline pitcher filter are all effective methods to replenish the water with valuable minerals and maintain its health benefits. Although all of these solutions can help to remineralize water, not all of them are equally convenient or effective, so read carefully to make the right choice.

1. Use a remineralizer

As the name suggests, remineralizers add minerals back to your water after the reverse osmosis filtration process is complete. These useful devices improve the taste, pH balance, and overall quality of the water — and they’re the most convenient and overall best way to remineralize water. Not every reverse osmosis system comes equipped with a remineralizer, so if you already have an RO system, check and see if you can purchase one as an add-on. If you haven’t purchased a system yet, choose an option with a built-in remineralizer, like the SmartFlow™ Reverse Osmosis system.

2. Add mineral drops

Another way to remineralize your water is by using mineral drops. A single bottle of mineral drops can treat up to 200 gallons of water and costs anywhere from $20-50, depending on your mineral blend. These drops are added to reverse osmosis water in small quantities, allowing you to customize the mineral content based on your preferences and specific health needs. While relatively convenient in delivery, using mineral drops can become a hassle, as you’ll need to dose each glass of water you drink with the drops. The cost of mineral drops can also add up to be a hefty annual expense.

3. Add mineral-rich salts

You can also use mineral-rich salts like Himalayan sea salt to reintroduce calcium, iron, and magnesium back into your water. At least, that’s what a social media influencer or salt company might try to convince you. According to the World Health Organization, the amount of salt you’d have to add to your water to reap any health benefit would be “exceedingly high” and definitely more than the recommended daily sodium intake of two grams a day.

4. Use an alkaline pitcher filter

Finally, you can use an alkaline pitcher filter to raise the pH level of your water and add minerals back — which will also improve the taste of your water as well. Alkaline pitcher filters typically contain a blend of mineral balls or cartridges with calcium, magnesium, and potassium, among others. But, as with any pitcher, you must manually refill the pitcher each time it gets low and replace the filter every so often to keep enjoying the benefits you sought in the first place.


SmartFlow™ Reverse Osmosis

High-efficiency reverse osmosis system removes up to 99.99% of 90 contaminants, including fluoride, arsenic, chlorine, and lead.

Improve the quality of your tap water with Aquasana

Experience healthy, great-tasting tap water with our SmartFlow™ Reverse Osmosis system, which includes a remineralizer. With the ability to reduce 90 known contaminants from water and proven to be 5x more effective at removing impurities than competitors, Aquasana can help you enjoy your water with confidence. Take the first step towards a healthier lifestyle and try Aquasana's SmartFlow™ Reverse Osmosis system.