The pH of pure water is 7, but how does bottled water stack up to pure water when it comes to pH? Here’s what you need to know about the pH of bottled water.
1. The Recommended pH Range for Bottled Water
pH is considered a secondary standard by the EPA when it comes to bottled water, or any water for that matter. Secondary standards are guidelines that regulate contaminants that can cause cosmetic or aesthetic effects on drinking water. This includes contaminants that affect things like the taste, odor, or color of your water. Although this secondary standard is not federally enforceable, the EPA recommends that the pH of drinking water should be between 6.5 and 8.5.
2. Bottled Water with a High pH
Bottled water that has a high pH tends to have more of a slippery feel. It can sometimes have an off taste that has been described like the taste of baking soda. Tap water that has a high pH is commonly labeled as hard water, but this term is not used to describe bottled water. Bottled water with a high pH is often labeled as alkaline water. Proponents of alkaline water claim that it can improve your health. Alkaline water manufacturers state that it is more easily absorbed by your cells leading to faster hydration. It is also touted as a helpful remedy for acid reflux since it has less acid than other waters. Unfortunately, there is little scientific research to back these claims.
3. Bottled Water with a Low pH
Bottled water with a low pH may be more of a cause for concern. If your bottled water has a bitter or metallic taste, this may be a result of low pH. A pH reading for bottled water that falls below the safe pH range of 6.5 may indicate the presence of chemical or heavy metal pollution. The National Resources Defense Council conducted a four-year study of the bottled water industry and found that 22% of the water tested contained contaminants. Knowing the pH of your bottled water can help ensure that the water you are drinking is quality drinking water.
4. How the pH of Bottled Water Affects the Human Body
Most bottled waters have a pH that is within the EPA recommended range of 6.5 and 8.5. Each brand claims that the characteristics of its water make it the best water for you to drink. But does pH really matter when it comes to health? The human body usually maintains differing pH levels in different parts. It is believed that the pH of the bottled water you drink will not affect the pH balance of the body. This is because the hydrochloric acid in the stomach neutralizes the water you drink before it is absorbed into the bloodstream.
5. What pH Says About the Quality of a Bottled Water
The pH of water varies throughout the United States. For example, water from New York is more likely to have a lower pH level than water from the desert of Nevada, which tends to have a high pH. This means that the pH of your bottled water could be a result of where it was sourced. It could also be a result of how the water was treated before it was bottled. There are many filtration and treatment processes that manufacturers use to achieve the unique composition and taste of their bottled water.
Bottled water from a source that has high pH could result in the need for additional purification since high pH reduces the effectiveness of chlorine used for disinfection. Additionally, the pH of bottled water can be affected by things like the composition of the source’s bedrock, the presence of chemical detergents or cleaning agents in the water, and ways that the water is treated before bottling.
6. How to Test the pH of Your Bottled Water
It’s easy and inexpensive to test the pH of your bottled water at home. All you need is a pH meter or pH test strips. A pH meter will give you an electronic reading of pH from 0 to 14 in a matter of seconds. The litmus paper test strips are also an accurate way to measure pH, using a color-coded chart to indicate the pH.
7. pH Results of Our Bottled Water Test
We recently tested the pH of twenty different brands of bottled water. We were not surprised to find that most of them were within the EPA recommended range, although there were a few outliers the fell below and above the range. The highest pH that we recorded was 9 (Evian, Erernal, and Deer Park), while the lowest was 5 (Simple Truth, Le Bleu, Dasani, and Aquafina). The average pH of the twenty waters was 6.8 and the most common pH of bottled water was 7.
|The Mountain Valley||6.5|
When it comes to pH there is no clear winner or loser, it simply depends on what you are looking for in a water. pH may have more of an effect on the taste of the water than it does on your health as long as it is not extremely high or extremely low. So when it comes to choosing the pH of your bottled water, we say pick the one that you like because the best water for your health is the one that you will drink the most.