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Demystifying the pH of Drinking Water

Demystifying the pH of Drinking Water

Can understanding the significance of the pH of drinking water help you choose better water for you and your family?  In short, yes.  When you’re choosing between bottled, tap, or filtered, understanding the role that water plays in assisting your body in its quest to maintain proper pH at 7.365 is critical.

The pH level of a substance tells you whether it’s an acid, a base, or neutral.  On the pH scale, which is 0-14, things with a pH of 7 are neutral, higher than 7 are basic, and lower than 7 are acidic.  Water is often considered neutral, with the normal range for surface water systems ranging from 6.5-8.5. At the proper pH of 7.365, your body is not only hydrated, but is better able to flush out toxins and waste products.

Water with a pH lower than 6.5 is acidic and “soft.”  While soft water is great for getting soaps and detergents to lather, it can be a sign that your water contains metals such as iron, manganese, copper, lead, and zinc, all of which can be harmful when ingested in large quantities.  Water with a very low pH often tastes metallic and can leave blue-green stains on sinks and drains.

Water that has a pH higher than 8.5 is basic and “hard.”  Hard water generally doesn’t pose the same health risks that soft water can, but it can taste bitter and make it difficult for soaps and detergents to lather.

When considering pH, it is also helpful to consider water’s alkalinity.  Alkalinity is a measure of the capacity of the water to resist a change in pH that would typically make the water more acidic.  This resistance to change is one of alkaline water’s benefits.

Along with the pH level, it also helps to understand the difference between distilled vs. purified water, because things like minerals found in the water can have an effect on its pH.  Technically, distilled water is a form of purified water, but it’s differentiated by the method used to remove impurities.  Distilled water is heated until it boils and turns into a vapor, and then the vapor is cooled until it again reenters a liquid state. During this process, virtually all impurities are left behind when the water turns to vapor.  This creates very pure water, but because it has no additives, it tastes awful, and can actually pull minerals from your body when you drink it, so it shouldn’t be used as drinking water on a regular basis.  Purified water is water that has gone through any form of purification process, often some form of filtration.  Because the methods of purification are varied, the pureness of the water also varies greatly.

To make sure that you’re drinking the best water for your health, consider a purified water system that provides alkaline water for your home. It removes harmful substances from your drinking water, and is a safe and economical solution.

 

What’s the Difference? Distilled vs. Purified Water

What’s the Difference? Distilled vs. Purified Water

With all of the varieties of bottled water and water filtration systems currently available, it can be overwhelming to know which water is the best to use as everyday drinking water.  Understanding the differences between distilled vs. purified water can help clear things up a bit.

In some respects, all water is the same – it all contains two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule.  The differences are in the minerals and chemicals that are also found along with the water.  Sometimes these minerals and chemicals are naturally occurring, while other times they are added for a variety of reasons.  Some of these are harmless, some are helpful, and some are dangerous when consumed in large quantities.

Distilled water is water that has gone through a specific process to remove all minerals and contaminants.  The water is boiled, and then the water vapor is cooled and collected.  Because the minerals and contaminants are heavier than the water vapor, they are left behind as the vapor forms. When the vapor is cooled, the water that remains is pure.  Distilled water is great for using any time minerals in water might cause stains or build-up – for example in your iron for ironing your clothes, or in cleaning products.  Unfortunately, distilled water doesn’t taste good, and may not be very good for you due to its lack of mineral content.  This makes it a less than ideal choice for daily hydration.

The term “purified water” is not as specific as distilled water; in fact, technically speaking, because the distillation process is a form of purification, distilled water would fall into the category of purified water.  Most of the time, purified water refers to water that has undergone some form of purification process, though there are no established standards for the actual process that is used.  It could mean that the water has been forced through a charcoal filter, treated with ultraviolet light, deionized, or ozonated.  Each of these processes removes some of the contaminants found in the water, and can make the water safer for drinking.

Different than distilled or purified water, electrolyzed or ionized water is usually in a category of its own, although it can include the benefits of purified water through the use of a one or two stage filtration process. The advantage of ionized water is the ability to control the water’s pH levels to maintain alkalinity while adding antioxidant properties.

In order to determine which water is best to drink, it’s important to research the type of process used for purification, consider the benefits of ionization and alkalinity, and decide which water is right for you.