Updated: Mar 12, 2020
What’s in your water?
You may have heard various health claims about alkaline water. But what exactly is alkaline water, and why all the hype?
Alkaline refers to a water’s pH level, a number that measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is on a scale of 0 to 14. For example, something with a pH of 1 would be very acidic and something with a pH of 13 would be very alkaline.
Normal drinking water generally has a neutral pH of 7. Alkaline water typically has a pH of 8 or 9. Because of this, some advocates of alkaline water believe it can neutralize the acid in your body.
Does it work?
Alkaline water is a little controversial. Some advocates of alkaline water believe it can neutralize the acid in your body because it has a higher pH level than regular drinking water.
However, several health professionals say there isn’t enough research to support the many health claims made by users and sellers. Differences in research findings may be related to the types of alkaline water studies.
According to the Mayo Clinic, regular tap water is best for most people. They state that there is no major scientific evidence that fully verifies the claims made by supporters of alkaline water.
However, there are a few studies that suggest alkaline water might be helpful for certain conditions.
For example, a 2012 study found that drinking naturally carbonated artesian-well alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 may help deactivate pepsin, the main enzyme that causes acid reflux.
Another study suggested drinking alkaline ionized water may have benefits for people who have high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. However, more research is needed beyond these small studies.
Our Taste Test
We gathered a small group of people and had them blindly taste test our chosen waters. We wanted to see if they could guess which water was clearer and higher in pH based on taste alone. We compared various bottled brands like Penta, smartwater, Crystal Geyser, Fiji, JUST Water, and essentia.
Penta Ultra-Purified: Penta Ultra-Purified water ranked high on the groups’ list as one of the testers top two favorites. Tasters commonly described the water as crisp and smooth. Many said the water also had a slight mineral taste to it that nicely balanced out the crispness.
Fiji Artisan Water: Not a fan favorite but not getting a downvote from anyone, Fiji water was largely described as lacking any particular taste and bland. Two tasters even said that it left their mouth feeling dry, chalky, or powdery after drinking it.
Crystal Geyser: Crystal Geyser marginally beat out Penta water for the group’s top choice. All of the testers agreed that Crystal Geyser was freshest tasting and had the most weight to it, making it the most filling water out of the selection.
smartwater: Almost all of the testers described smartwater as tasting like tap water. The tasters who frequently drink tap water described it as smooth and light, while taste testers who frequently drink bottled water said it had a slight mineral taste to it.
JUST Water: Ranking the lowest on the list, JUST Water was often described as feeling dirty, murky, chalky, and grainy by several testers. After all the waters were revealed, many attributed the poor taste to the brands carton-like, paper container.
essentia: Unlike the rest of the waters, where most testers agreed on the taste, essentia was split down the middle. Those who liked it described the water as smooth or clean tasting. Those who didn’t thought it had an acidic bite to it and even described it as salty in taste.