The Potential Hydrogen (pH) of water is a measure of the relative amount of free hydrogen and hydroxyl ions in water. Water with equal amounts of free hydrogen and hydroxyl ions has a neutral pH of 7. If there are more hydrogen ions than there are hydroxyl ions, the water is acidic, and it will have a pH of less than 7. If water has more hydroxyl ions than hydrogen ions it is alkaline and will have a pH of higher than 7. Another factor that determines the pH of water is the minerals dissolved in it, alkaline water contains alkaline minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Acidic water will contain acidic ions such as sulphate and carbonate.
Effect of pH in alkaline water
There is a lot of confusion about the effect of pH in alkaline water. Many people know that you should drink alkaline water in order to keep your body’s pH in balance, but some naysayers suggest that stomach acid may neutralize the water’s pH. What the naysayers don’t understand is that water is not processed in the stomach! When you drink water on an empty stomach, the water simply passes through it into the small intestine. The intestines require food or water to be alkaline in order to be absorbed efficiently. Because of this, water with an alkaline pH may be easier for the body to absorbt and stay properly hydrated.
pH is not ORP
Another thing many people are confused about is the relationship between pH and Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP). In simple terms ORP is a measurement of electrical power in water, it is measured in millivolts. ORP measures how much antioxidant power the water has. Some ionizers, such as Enagic’s® LevelLuk® use chemical additives to raise the pH of alkaline water, but the additive does not raise the ORP. Other methods of making alkaline water, such as using a “hydrogen stick” or adding baking soda, will also raise the pH of water and have no effect on ORP. An earlier article on this blog explains all about the antioxidant power of ORP.
Click here to learn which ionizers produce the strongest pH and ORP levels, plus get our free ionizer buyers guide.
What does the FDA say about the pH of water?
The FDA requires tap water to have a pH of at least 6.5 or higher. The FDA has no recommendations for how alkaline water can be however. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The preceding information and/or products are for educational purposes only and are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. Please consult your doctor before making any changes or before starting ANY exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using this information or any product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.