Just how safe is it to drink out of Copper ~ by Jonathan Beall of Sertodo Copper
Just how safe is it to drink out of copper?
We’d like to set some things straight about drinking your Moscow Mules from pure copper cups amidst some paranoia tweeting through the internet recently.
You are going to poison yourself with liquor long before you drink enough ice cold Moscow Mules from pure copper cups to absorb a toxic level of copper. Copper has long been associated with health and healing, whether it's copper bracelets for arthritis and joint pains, nutritional supplements for joint and connective tissue issues, or the ancient Ayurvedic practice of incorporating copper into your daily routine for improved health, by drinking water that has soaked in a copper vessel overnight. Copper pipes are the best material for running the plumbing in your house.
The main danger with drinking Moscow Mules out of copper cups is over serving yourself because they are so easy to drink. The possibility of getting copper toxicity from drinking an iced beverage out of a copper vessel is practically nil. Empirically, there have been millions and millions of Moscow Mules consumed in copper vessels and no reported cases of copper poisoning from this.
Frosty and MMMmmmm
Google "Ayurveda and copper" to get an idea about the properties people have been attributing to copper for the past couple thousand years. Here you will find more information on this practice.
Here’s a link to an article in Business Insider responding to the stories currently circulating.
The physics of what's going on here:
Yes, low pH does react with copper. When heat is applied to the copper, that reaction speeds up. When the temperature is lowered in that equation, the reaction slows down. You are probably going to absorb more copper into your body wearing a copper bracelet on a hot, sweaty summer day than a solid week of drinking ice cold Moscow Mules in the evening. As a side note for health, copper bracelets are also a good indicator of your body’s PH levels: the more out of balance your body’s pH, the more coloring you will see on your skin.
The only cases actually recorded for copper toxicity involve people cooking acidic foods, such as tomato sauce, in an unlined copper vessel or soda passing through a corroded copper line that dislodged some corroded residue into one’s drink. If you can eat an entire bowl of spaghetti that tastes like you are chewing on copper wires, you probably have some other more serious issues than over consumption of copper. The end result of these cases was a tummy ache, which will pass as long as you don’t keep eating your copper wire spaghetti.
The news is always hungry for something catchy. Moscow Mules are popular. Society enjoys fixating on fear at times, and news that feeds our panic impulse travels further, catches more eyeballs, gathers more advertising, makes more money, repeat ad-nauseum…
"Eggs are bad for you, nuts are bad for you, fats are bad for you. Wait, wait! All that stuff we said - not true, they are in fact good for you…"
Essentially, anything in excess is probably not all that good for you.
Personally, I drink from my copper every day. Never drink anything hot, mainly because copper is conductive (I've burned my lip!). Once I left a Moscow Mule sitting out in the sun for several hours, and I noticed a metallic taste. In that case, it tastes bad and maybe I shouldn't have drunken it, but it was a party and I already had a few drinks. Not even a belly ache arose....
Let us know if you have any more questions. I hope this helps assuage any uneasy preoccupations you might harbor.
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