Paleo water isn’t just H2O

October 10, 2011

Paleolithic water is not just H2O. Natural waters contain H2O of course, but also can contain important mineral contents. Rainwater is fairly close to 100% H2O but river waters, and spring waters contain significant amounts of minerals, and alkali load. I have attached a table below. Our ancestors may have obtained a significant amount of calcium in their “Paleo water” intake.

This can be overlooked as often the amount is quoted per 100g just as food is quoted per 100g. Yet the daily serve of water is more like 1500ml to 2000ml.

Remer and Manz wrote a famous paper on dietary acid base balance and ironically overlooked the mineral water, which in their table, by coincidence was Apollinaris, which is one of the strongest mineral waters in the world. Its PRAL of -1.8 does not look like much as it is per 100ml, but per 1500ml is a whopping -27mEq/day, (-27mmol/day) which is a large percentage of the typical daily acid load neutralised. The composition of hundreds of mineral waters is available at

My main thrust is that the paleo intake of water probably made a significant contribution to the dietary acid load, calcium intake, and perhaps Mg Na K and other electrolytes, and I think is worth consideration, and even formal research. It is also an important reminder of a couple of things:
1. The devil is in the detail
2. Always question your assumptions, relentlessly. Too many mistakes are made by oversights on assumptions. In mathematics, many mistakes are made on the first page, in the assumptions. It is too easy to overlook water, yet it is the second largest substance to enter the body (the largest being air).


All concentrations in milligrams/liter. TDS is total dissolved solids and pH is a measure of the acidity of the water. A pH less than 7 is acidic. A dash (-) indicates that the component was not detected or the water was not analyzed for this constituent. A tilde (~) means “approximately.”

Water composition

Water composition

Key to Analyses: (1) Rainwater from Menlo Park, California; (2) Average rainwater from sites in North Carolina and Virginia; (3) Composition of the Rhine River as it leaves the Alps; (4) Stream draining igneous rocks in the Washington Cascades; (5) Jump-Off Joe Creek, southwestern Oregon, wet season, November, 1990; (6) Jump-Off Joe Creek, southwestern Oregon, dry season, September, 1991; (7) Great Salt Lake, Utah; (8) Average seawater; (9) Groundwater from limestone of the Supai Formation, Grand Canyon; (10) Groundwater from volcanic rocks, New Mexico; (11) Groundwater from a spring, Sierra Nevada Mountains: short residence time; (12) Groundwater from metamorphic rocks in Canada: long residence time.

Read more: Fresh Water, Natural Composition of – seawater, river, sea, freshwater, temperature, salt, types, source, marine, oxygen, human