Drinking "Raw Water" Is The Nasty New "All Natural" Trend Making People Sick

Health trends come and go almost as quickly as the seasons of the year. There is always a collection of new dieting fads waiting to come into fashion and the one thing they often have in common is that they are incredibly weird. The raw water trend, which began in 2018, is no different. This bizarre health kick supposedly encourages healthier lives, promoting consumption of water that is not contaminated with synthetic chemicals. Proponents of raw water argue that it is simply drinking water the way that nature intended.

However, like many other dangerous health trends, there is a possibility of serious health complications caused by raw water. There are very good reasons why water is treated and purified before it is pumped into homes all around the world. It ensures that the liquid is completely safe for human consumption. This new fad forgoes these benefits and instead asks people to drink water that may contain a wide variety of harmful agents.

Now is the time to discover what "raw" water is, why people are drinking it, and the reasons why it is such a bad idea.

  • Raw Water Is, Well, Raw

    Raw Water Is, Well, Raw
    Photo: Jonathan Wilkins / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Raw water is essentially water that is taken directly from natural sources such as springs, rivers, or lakes. Unlike tap water, it does not go through any kind of treatment or purification. This means that it has no additional chemicals added to it after it has been collected from its source and before it is sold in stores.

    The raw water is marketed as a natural alternative that has beneficial effects when compared to purified water. Even bottled water goes through treatment that includes the liquid being disinfected by ultraviolet light and ozone.

  • It Isn’t Cheap To Buy Raw Water

    It Isn’t Cheap To Buy Raw Water
    Photo: danorth1 / flickr / CC-BY-ND 2.0

    What makes the raw water trend so bizarre is the sheer cost of buying the untreated water in stores. One popular brand, known as Live Water, sells 2.5 gallon glass containers for $37. They then charge customers $15 to refill their container. That means the water is costing around $6 per gallon.

    That’s significantly more than the standard price of bottled water which comes in at $1.22 per gallon and astronomical when compared to the $0.004 average price for tap water. That makes raw water 1,500 times the cost to pay for water that is pumped directly into your home.

  • Raw Water Marketers Argue That Tap Water Is Full Of Unnecessary Chemicals

    The main selling point of raw water is that it is completely natural. Sellers argue that this frees it from unwanted chemicals that have no benefit to your health and could, in their point of view, actually be harmful.

    Speaking to the New York Times, Live Water founder Mukhande Sing who started the raw water trend explained his beliefs about tap water. “Tap water? You’re drinking toilet water with birth control drugs in them,” he said. “Chloramine, and on top of that they’re putting in fluoride. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but it’s a mind-control drug that has no benefit to our dental health.”

  • There’s Little To No Evidence To Support The Raw Water Industry's Claims

    There’s Little To No Evidence To Support The Raw Water Industry's Claims
    Photo: Séb~commonswiki / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    The claims made by Live Water founder Mukhande Sing are highly controversial. They have no basis in science and the evidence suggests that the exact opposite of what he claims is true. Various studies have shown that fluoride improves the dental health of those who drink tap water.

    Additionally, while there are trace amounts of medication — such as birth control drugs — in water, they are not present in high enough doses to cause any health problems. The presence of things such as estrogen in water is diluted to such an extent that they have no impact.

  • There Are Serious Health Concerns Regarding Raw Water

    There Are Serious Health Concerns Regarding Raw Water
    Photo: Hitesh vip / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    This raw water has the potential to include several agents that most people would not want. These can include harmful substances and materials that have contaminated the source as well as biological pathogens. Bacteria such as E. coli, as well as viruses and parasites could also infect the water and be ingested with the water.

    “Without water treatment, there’s acute and then chronic risks,” Dr Donald Hensrud, director of the Health Living Programme at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota said in an interview with the New York Times. “There’s evidence all over the world of this, and the reason we don’t have those conditions is because of our very efficient water treatment.”

  • Drinking Water Goes Through A Purification Process

    Water that is pumped into homes around the world almost always goes through an arduous process that sees it treated with various different treatments. This purification process ensures that the water is safe for humans consumption and use. It does this by removing materials and chemicals from the liquid that may be toxic or harmful.

    Purifying the water will generally also ensure that waterborne diseases and microbes are destroyed so that they cannot spread through the population.