The Best pH for Drinking Water, According to a Nutritionist

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Water is essential for our well-being and survival. While we often focus on the source and quality of our drinking water, another critical factor that deserves attention is its pH level.

The pH of water can significantly impact its taste, safety, and potential health benefits. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of pH in drinking water and discuss the ideal pH range for optimal health.

📌 Key Takeaways

  • The recommended pH level of drinking water is between 6.5 and 8.5
  • While the EPA recommends this range, it is not enforced.
  • If you’re concerned about your water’s pH, reach out to your local water municipality.

📏 The pH Scale

The pH scale is probably something that you learned about in grade school. It is essentially a way of measuring the alkalinity or acidity of a solution or substance. The pH scale is a range from 0 to 14.

Acidic solutions have a pH lower than 7. Examples include orange juice or alcohol. Whereas alkaline or basic solutions have a pH of greater than 7.

A completely neutral solution has a pH level of 7 and is not acidic or basic, you guessed it, “neutral”. Pure water is considered a neutral solution.

When we think of the pH of natural water sources can vary due to factors like geological conditions, environmental influences, and human activities.

Liquid ph scale

📉 What pH Level is Safe for Drinking?

In the United States, the Environmental protection agency monitors public drinking water quality.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in charge of monitoring public drinking water quality across the United States.

Even though the agency monitors a variety of parameters including nutrients, metals and pesticides, pH is considered to be “secondary standard”.

Secondary standards are non-enforceable guidelines. This means that even though the EPA recommends that public water systems maintain their water between 6.5 and 8.5 pH range, the EPA does not require systems to comply with this guideline.

📈 Unsafe pH Level

If a pH level is too high or too low this can be a sign of contamination.

Particularly if the pH is less than 6.5, this can indicate acidic water. When acidic the water may be contaminated with pollutants, making it unsafe to drink. If water is too acidic it can also damage metal pipes.

A large portion of municipal water supply companies will test their water pH to monitor for pollutants. This is because pollutants may be indicated by a changing pH.

If pollutants are present in the water, water companies will treat the water in order to make sure it is safe drinking water.

If you suspect your pH levels are outside the recommended range, you can always contact your local municipality. Additionally, if you’re concerned about the pH level of your tap water, you can always install your own water purification system at home as well.

Taking water ph reading with handheld ph meter

🚰 Alkaline Water Trend

In recent years, an alkaline water trend has emerged. So what is alkaline water? It’s generally water with a ph greater than 8.5.

There are many bottled water companies that promote drinking alkaline water. These companies claim alkaline water can reduce symptoms of acid reflux, improve high blood pressure, enhance hydration, have anti-aging properties and more.

However, there is not enough evidence to support these claims. In fact, there is little scientific evidence available and more research is necessary at this time.

Will drinking alkaline water harm you? No, it won’t, however if you’re looking to get well hydrated, plain water does the trick just fine!

To learn more on alkaline water, please visit this article.

🔎 Impact of pH on Drinking Water

  1. Taste and Palatability: The pH levels of water can impact its taste. Water that may be too acidic or alkaline may have poor taste and make it less appealing for the consumer. For example, consuming acidic water may have a metallic or sour taste. The ideal pH for drinking water is generally considered to be between 6.5 and 8.5, as this range is more palatable to most people.
  2. Health Considerations: As mentioned above, the impact of the pH of ingested water on the body’s overall pH balance is a topic of ongoing research.It’s important to note that the body already has effect systems in place to regulate your body’s internal pH, and the type of water we drink has not been shown to affect this process.
  3. Corrosion and Plumbing: Extremely acidic or alkaline water can contribute to corrosion in plumbing systems.For example, hard water can cause damage to piping and appliances. To protect both the plumbing infrastructure and the quality of the water, it’s advisable to maintain a balanced pH level.
Woman drinking water

📑 Conclusion

Ideally, your tap water has a pH between 6.5 and 8.5. Even though the EPA does not enforce these guidelines, it’s clearly important that the water we drink is within this desired pH range.

The pH of our drinking water can significantly influence taste, as well as potential health and safety implications. If you conduct a home test and it’s outside this range, call your local municipality to alert them.

❔ Frequently Asked Questions

Is a pH of 9.5 in Water Good?

A pH of 9.5 would be considered pretty alkaline. Generally, the EPA recommends water with a pH of 6.5-8.5. A pH outside this range could indicate contamination.

What is the Most Hydrating pH of Water?

As mentioned earlier in this article, the desired pH for water is between 6.5-8.5. Regardless of the water’s pH the most important thing is that you drink enough water in general!

Is Water with Higher pH Better?

Alkaline water has become an emerging trend (water with a pH between 8 and 9). Many companies claim that it has a variety of health benefits however there is little evidence to support these claims. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you drink enough water daily!

  • Roxanne Trotter
    MS, RDN

    Registered Dietitian Roxy, fueled by her love for food and wellness, tackles misinformation head-on. Her Master's in Human Nutrition and diverse experience (weight management, hospitals) equip her to translate complex health topics, especially those related to water quality. Through her own practice (Nutremedies LLC) and writing for Water Filter Guru, Roxy empowers readers with accurate, evidence-based information, helping them make informed choices for a healthier life, one sip at a time.

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