Many people think that water pH and water alkalinity are the same thing, but they’re not! Water’s pH measures the concentration of hydrogen ions in the water. Water alkalinity measures the ability of that water to neutralize acid. The pH of alkaline water and alkaline water’s alkalinity are not the same thing. Alkaline water can have low alkalinity, but a high pH, the reverse is also true.
pH of Water
The pH of water determines whether the water is alkaline, acidic, or neutral (pH of 7). The EPA requires that tap water have a pH of at least 6.5 to prevent corrosion in plumbing and faucets. The EPA recommends that tap water have a pH of no higher than 8.5.
The pH of water affects its taste; acidic water can have a metallic taste, caused by corroded plumbing! Water with a pH of greater than 8.5 can taste bitter. A water ionizer eliminates this bitter taste, and makes higher pH alkaline water that tastes sweet and refreshing.
Alkalinity of water
The alkalinity of water comes from the substances dissolved in it. Tap water is mostly mineral carbonates and bicarbonates, such as calcium and magnesium carbonates. There can also be some mineral hydrates, such as calcium and magnesium hydroxide present.
A water ionizer increases water’s alkalinity by electrochemically converting some of the carbonate and bicarbonate minerals in water into mineral hydrates. The water’s alkalinity increases because mineral hydrates can neutralize more acids than mineral carbonates.
Mineral Hydrates – The secret behind the healthy properties of alkaline water
The effect that a water ionizer has on tap water is to convert mineral carbonates and bicarbonates into mineral hydrates. The first thing you notice when you drink alkaline water is the taste, it is sweet and refreshing. The mineral hydrates in alkaline water – mostly calcium hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide – are recognized by the FDA for their contribution to human nutrition.
The healthy mineral hydrates in alkaline water can be beneficial to health. Mineral deficiencies –magnesium in particular – are a common factor in “critical illness and correlates with a higher mortality and worse clinical outcome in the intensive care unit” (Tong 2005).
“Lesson 2 – Interpreting A Mineral Analysis Information Sheet.” Drinking Water Activity. Montana State University. Web. 8 Jul 2013. <http://animalrangeextension.montana.edu/LoL/Module-3b/3-Mineral2.htm>.
Tong, Garrison, and Robert Rude. “Magnesium Deficiency in Critical Illness.” Journal of Intensive Care Medicine. Sage Journals. (2013): n. page. Web. 8 Jul. 2013. <http://jic.sagepub.com/content/20/1/3.short>.