Very strange situation

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cpro48609

#1: Post by cpro48609 »

So our water isn't horrible but it's a bit on the harder side. I see mineral deposits on shower heads etc, but it tests just slightly over recommended hardness.
I purchased one of those water softener pouches but I noticed a strange thing. With the water softener pouch in the tank, I feel very bloated after drinking my morning coffee. I initially didn't relate it at all but started to thing that was the only difference in my normal routine. When I removed the pouch I returned to 'normal' again. I've done this several times with the same result and only recently (after several months of not using it) inserted it in again. I really wanted to keep my machine free from scale and forgot about the bloated feeling. Well a couple of days of drinking my morning coffee's i'm super bloated again. The coincidence is uncanny. I can reproduce the bloating by just using the pouch so I know it's definitely what's causing it.

Am I alone with this or has anyone else experienced this? I have no idea the science behind the pouch and how it softens water (i'm assuming it binds certain minerals to it?) but I do know that if the pouch is in, within a few days the bloating will start. When removed, it will go away. So it's very strange.

belegnole

#2: Post by belegnole »

The pouch uses sodium to soften the water. Sodium can also cause water retention.
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homeburrero
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#3: Post by homeburrero »

There are two different kinds of in-tank softener pouches, and one of them, as belegnole said, is a conventional softener that replaces the hardness ions in your water with sodium ions. And high dietary sodium can be related to water retention.

But if you do the math, I don't think there is enough sodium here to explain your bloating. Your water there probably has about 110 mg/L total hardness, but for a safe overestimation we can do a calculation based on a total hardness of 200 mg/L (as CaCO3), and also assume that your softening pouch is 100% effective and exchanges every one of those hardness cations with two sodium ions, adding 92 mg/L of sodium ion to your water. In a 40 ml dopio espresso that would be a little less than 4 mg of sodium that the softener adds to your espresso.

A large stalk of celery contains over 10 times that amount of sodium.
Pat
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