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What You Should Know About Acidic and Alkaline Water

by Dr. Jonathan Doyle - Updated December 06, 2023

pH: What Is It?

The “ potential of hydrogen ” or pH denotes the basicity or acidity of a solution. The pH scale is logarithmic, indicating that a change of one-unit results in a concentration alteration of ten times. For instance, a pH value of 3 is tenfold more acidic compared to a pH value of 4. The range of values spans from 0 to 14, with a neutral value of 7. A pH level of 7 or above is necessary to be considered basic or alkaline, while a pH level below 7 indicates acidity.
In brief, the pH scale is as follows:
  • 0–6: Acidic foods (like vinegar and lemon juice)
  • 7. Neutral (pure water, for example)
  • 8–14: Basic or alkaline (soapy water, baking soda, etc.)
Hydrogen ion (H+) concentration in a solution serves as the foundation for the pH scale. As the concentration of hydrogen ions increases with decreasing pH, the solution becomes more acidic. On the other hand, an alkaline or basic solution has a lower hydrogen ion concentration at a higher pH.
pH test paper
The proper maintenance of pH is essential for the proper functioning of biological systems. Different body parts have pH levels that are ideal for their particular purposes. For instance, the pH range of the stomach (pH of 1-3) is very basic to aid in digestion, while the pH of blood is normally between 7.35 and 7.45.

What Is Acidic Water?

A pH of less than 7 is regarded as acidic water. The pH scale measures the basicity or acidity of water. Although it does not regulate drinking water pH, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises maintaining public water pH between 6.5 and 8.
It’s possible that acidic water is good for skin, hair, and washing produce because it has antimicrobial properties. It may also have many unfavorable and harmful side effects.

Advantages of Water with Acidity

Due to its strong antimicrobial properties, acidic water is useful in treating atopic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease that results in red, itchy rashes. Acidic water can preserve the ideal pH balance in the body to hydrate the skin and guard against inflammatory skin disorders.
lemon water is acidic
Acidic water has many advantages for hair health, including lowering dandruff and preventing hair loss, even though research hasn’t supported these claims. Additionally, cleaning fruits and vegetables with acidic water is advised due to its antimicrobial properties.

Acidic Water’s Health Risks

The health risks of drinking acidic water are obvious but its benefits are less clear. The high concentrations of heavy metals in acidic water are a major cause for concern. Exposure to heavy metals poses a health risk to humans and can result in symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain.
Acidic water consumption can also have an impact on the teeth and bones. Acidic substances have the potential to harm the teeth’s protective hard outer surface. There have been allegations that consuming acidic water can inhibit the absorption of calcium, eventually resulting in bone loss.

What is Alkaline Water?

The pH of alkaline water is higher than that of regular tap water. Thus, according to the proponents, it can counteract the acidity of the bloodstream. There are people who claim that drinking alkaline water can help ward off illnesses like heart disease and cancer. More investigation is necessary to support these assertions, though.

Advantages of Alkaline Water

Antioxidant Qualities

Some brands of alkaline waters claim to have antioxidant qualities that can assist the body in eliminating toxic free radicals. It is believed that antioxidants improve general health and may help prevent certain illnesses.

Alkaline-Acid Equilibrium

Because an excessively acidic environment is thought to be connected to many health problems, proponents contend that the pH levels of body can be balanced by drinking alkaline water. The body, nevertheless, possesses intrinsic mechanisms to regulate pH levels.

Optimal Bone Health

According to certain research, eating an acidic diet may contribute to bone loss. Supporters of alkaline water assert that it could help balance this acidity and improve bone health.
acidic diet may contribute to bone health

Digestive Wellness

Alkaline water may be able to relieve acid reflux symptoms and balance stomach acid. Individual reactions can differ, though, so if you have ongoing digestive problems, it’s best to see a doctor.

Athletic Potential

Alkaline water can enhance hydration and, in turn, exercise performance, according to certain athletes and fitness fanatics. To support these claims, more investigation is necessary.
It’s crucial to remember that although there may be some merit to these proposed advantages, there is frequently insufficient or conflicting scientific evidence to back them up. Furthermore, drinking too much alkaline water can have negative effects, like upsetting the body’s normal pH balance.
alkaline water pH test

How can I find alkaline water?

You can find alkaline water in a lot of health food stores and grocery stores. It’s available online as well. Numerous big-box retailers also carry water ionizers.
At home, you can also make your own. Another method to increase the alkalinity of water is to add baking soda or pH drops.
No evidence suggests a daily limit on the amount of alkaline water that can be consumed if the water is sourced from a quality source, ionized and re-mineralized, or properly filtered to remove contaminants.

Alkaline Water’s Health Risks

Alkaline water may have health benefits, but there are risks and factors to think about when consuming it, even though some people think it might be beneficial. Here are some things to think about:
stomach discomfort

Changes in Stomach Acidity

It is possible to neutralize stomach acid, which is necessary for healthy digestion, by consuming very alkaline water. This may cause digestive problems and obstruct the body’s normal digestive processes.

Imbalance in Electrolytes

Drinking too much alkaline water can cause an imbalance in electrolytes, like potassium and sodium. Electrolyte balance maintenance is essential for many body processes, including nerve and muscle function.

Kidney Function

Long-term consumption of high pH alkaline water may cause additional strain on the kidneys, which preserves the body’s acid-base equilibrium, according to certain research. Individuals who have kidney problems must use extra caution.

Bone Wellness

Although a few people assert that drinking alkaline water improves bone health, there isn’t much scientific data to back up this claim. Excessive alkalinity may occasionally cause problems for the body’s normal metabolism of bones.

Medication Interactions

Certain medications may interact with alkaline water. When making major changes to your water intake, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider if you are taking medication, especially if it affects kidney function or electrolyte balance.
In conclusion, even though some people might benefit from consuming alkaline water in moderation, it’s crucial to treat these claims cautiously. A balanced diet, plenty of water consumption, and seeking the counsel of medical professionals are the best ways to stay hydrated and preserve general health.


The pH of water determines its alkalinity or acidity. Nevertheless, the concentration of contaminants in drinking water is more representative of its quality than its pH. Therefore, it is best to get a reverse osmosis system that provides you with quality and safe drinking water. This blog gives a complete guide on choosing reverse osmosis water filters: Best Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration Systems of 2023.


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