Drinking tap water: is it healthy?

Leitungswasser trinken: Ist das gesund?

It's so easy in Germany: You turn on the tap, you can decide whether you want cold or warm water to flow, you touch the glass with it and you can consume it immediately. But is tap water really that healthy for our body or are we just harming it? Is tap water possible in every place or should one pay attention to something?

These questions and others about drinking tap water will be clarified in the course of the article. At the end of the article, we will give you recommendations on how you should consume tap water and for which people the water from the tap makes sense.

the essentials in brief

  • Tap water is one of the foods in Germany that is controlled most frequently and most carefully. Strict regulations apply to the water from the tap, which must be observed.
  • A quality test can always be carried out in the comfort of your own home if you have any concerns. The test kit can be purchased from various providers on the Internet.
  • Daily consumption of tap water is not a problem for people of all ages if you enjoy it in moderation. The place and the quality are decisive if the water can be drunk from the tap.

Drinking tap water: what you should know

The tap water, as the name suggests, comes from the water pipe in the house. The local water works treat the water, it is cleaned and pumped through the pipes to the households. Drinking tap water saves money and doesn't affect the amount of waste by eliminating the need to use a plastic bottle (1).

tap water

Tap water in Germany is harmless to health. You should drink one to two liters of it every day. (Image source: Jonas KIM / Pixabay)

Our bodies are designed to consume water or other liquids on a daily basis, otherwise dehydration can occur in the body. If you don't drink enough, you usually feel it right away because of headaches, dizziness or problems concentrating (2).

How Much Tap Water Should You Consume Daily?

A middle-aged person should drink at least 1.5 liters of water every day. Due to the daily fluid loss of approx. 2.5 liters through urine, stool, skin and breathing, this scale has to be balanced a little every day.

Since you also absorb almost a liter of liquid through food, it is not a problem if you only manage to drink a liter of water in a day. However, if you want to be on the safe side, you can also drink between two and 2.5 liters a day, so the ratio is definitely correct (3) .

group of people liters per day
Children 3 to 11 years 1 liter
Young people from 12 to 17 years 1 to 2.5 liters
Adults aged 18 and over 1.5 to 2.5 liters
Seniors over 65 years 1 to 2 liters

When is it important to drink a lot of tap water?

You should make sure you're drinking enough water every day. We are really talking about pure water, since sugary drinks do not have the same effect. In times when the body has to work a lot, due to illness, heavy physical activity or the like, you should pay more attention to water consumption.

Furthermore, you should also pay attention to the amount of water at high summer temperatures. On such days, the requirement can increase by up to six liters a day because the body needs this liquid. Through constant sweating, the body constantly loses fluid.

How do I know I should be drinking tap water?

If there is no feeling of thirst or you simply forget to drink water, this will quickly become noticeable through various physical complaints. Performance and physical endurance can drop sharply if there is not enough liquid in the body .

Children and older people who do not have constant access to direct tap water due to physical limitations often have to struggle with mental reduction due to lack of water. Staying hydrated is especially important at work and when exercising, as it requires both physical and mental strength (4) .

What diseases can tap water cause?

Excessive water consumption cannot cause direct physical complaints or serious illnesses. However, drinking too much water in a short period of time is not advisable. Care should be taken not to take in much more water than you lose in the same amount of time. This can happen, for example, with extreme athletes who drink an enormous amount of water in a very short time in order to be fit.

Children drink water

Serious illnesses cannot occur through the consumption of tap water. The water is well tolerated by both children and adults. (Image source: Andrea Don / Pixabay)

This can lead to the salt balance in the body being disturbed and thus the sodium content in the blood being greatly diluted. As a result, physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea or drowsiness can occur. In extreme cases, pulmonary and cerebral edema can occur (5) .

What role does the amount of tap water play?

Normal quantities are harmless to health. The amount matters, however, the healthy frame is very large. People over the age of 14 should drink at least one liter of water a day. If too much water is consumed, the opposite effect is achieved and the water harms us. A healthy amount is therefore between one liter and three to four liters per day without having to exert yourself physically.

When and for whom is tap water useful?

It is particularly advisable for people who exert themselves physically at work or in their free time. Water should always be preferred to mixed drinks or very high sugar drinks.

Drinking tap water is always a good idea.

Drinking the tap water should be divided up so that you drink the water throughout the day. It's not healthy to drink three liters of water at eight in the morning and not drink it for the rest of the day.

How do I protect myself from limescale in tap water?

Limescale in tap water is not harmful to people and has no effect on the body. In addition, lime even consists of magnesium and calcium, both of which are important minerals for the body. Therefore, the existing lime can even be transformed into something positive.

However, if there are major concerns, the water can be filtered before it comes out of the tap. The water becomes purer through a filter and contains less lime when drinking (6) .

What should you consider if you drink tap water in another country?

In Germany you can drink the tap water without any problems. Unfortunately, this is not the case in every country. In tropical countries and in some countries in Southeast Asia, drinking tap water can be extremely hazardous to your health. Therefore, before you start your trip, find out about the water situation on site. This can be read at any time in many travel blogs or travel guides. So you shouldn't have any problems in any country due to an intolerance to tap water.

How healthy is tap water for the body?

The tap water in Germany is healthy for our body in many different ways. With a sufficient amount of daily water intake, it is healthy for the body in that the immune system and the circulatory system can remain stable. The blood and important nutrients in the body are transported.

There is lime in tap water in Germany, which often unintentionally and unknowingly supplies our body with minerals such as magnesium and calcium.

Magnesium is particularly good for the bones and muscles. Calcium helps build bones and teeth. Water is therefore not unhealthy for the body, but on the contrary it is healthy for us (7,8).

Is tap water harmful to small children?

However, if there is a change in the living situation, the water should always be checked so that any intolerances that can occur in children can be avoided. However, if at any time concerns arise, the quality of the water should be checked prior to consumption.

No, the tap water in Germany is not harmful to small children or babies.

This can be done by a competent authority or you can test it yourself using a test kit from the Internet. So you have immediate security and you can put your doubts aside (9) .


Tap water is particularly important for humans and animals. Every day, our body loses a large amount of fluid in a variety of ways, such as through urine, breathing or sweating. Therefore, it is particularly important to give the body back the lost liquid by means of the water from the tap. Thus, possible physical complaints such as circulatory problems, dizziness or concentration difficulties can be improved in a few moments.

There is nothing wrong with the tap water, which we can enjoy in Germany at a very low price compared to mineral water. Water is essential for the survival of all living beings and so tap water is extremely important for us humans (10) .


    R Geerts, F Vandermoere, T Van Winckel, D Halet, P Joos, K Van Den Steen, E Van Meenen, R Blust, E Borregán-Ochando, SE Vlaeminck. Bottle or tap? Toward an integrated approach to water type consumption. Water Res. 2020 Apr 15 Source Popkin BM, D'Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, hydration, and health. Nutr Rev. 2010 Aug Source Gesundheit.GV.at: How much liquid does the body need? Source Gesundheit.GV.at: How much liquid does the body need? Source t-online.de: More than three liters of water can harm Source Schullehner J, Hansen B, Thygesen M, Pedersen CB, Sigsgaard T. Nitrates in drinking water and colorectal cancer risk: A nationwide population-based cohort study. Int J Cancer. 2018 Jul 1 Source PU Iyare, The effects of manganese exposure from drinking water on school-age children: A systematic review, NeuroToxicology, Volume 73, 2019, Source Azoulay A, Garzon P, & Eisenberg MJ (2001). Comparison of the mineral content of tap water and bottled waters. Journal of general internal medicine, 16(3) Source netdoktor.de: Dehydration Source Saylor A, Prokopy LS, Amberg S. What's wrong with the tap? Examining perceptions of tap water and bottled water at Purdue University. Environment Manage. 2011 SepSource
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