When talking about an “aqueous solution” (water in our case), pH is a numeric scale used to describe how acidic or basic the solution is. The scale goes from 0 to 14, with the numbers on the lower end indicating greater acidity and those higher on the scale indicating greater basicity. And if you’re wondering about the acronym… “pH” is short for “potential hydrogen.”
There are many factors that affect water’s pH level. First is the rock and soil that it comes in contact with. That material can move water up or down the pH scale depending on its composition. Also influential is the amount of plant growth and organic material near a water source. Decomposition of plant matter causes the release of carbon dioxide, which increases acidity. Other factors like pollution and contamination play a role in water pH as well.
The Environmental Protection Agency requires that the pH of drinking water be between 6.5 and 8.5. Water that is too acidic has a corrosive quality and can be harmful to consume, in part because it may contain higher than recommended levels of iron, copper, lead, zinc, and other metals. It also is unpleasant to drink, as it has a bitter, metallic taste. What’s more, a diet high in acidity can result in weight gain, slower immune response, and susceptibility to disease.
Water that is more basic (i.e. it has a higher pH) doesn’t pose significant health risks, but it can be unpleasant to consume as well, tasting a bit like baking soda. In addition, it can form what is called “scale,” an unsightly film on plumbing and fixtures, dishes and utensils, etc. Plus, a diet that is too alkaline can lead to inability to metabolize key nutrients.
Pure water is considered to be neutral—right at 7 on the pH scale. Eldorado Natural Spring Water has an average pH level of 7.33, almost a perfect score. Given the importance of water pH on your health and wellness, it’s nice to know that you have a hydration option that gives you just what you need.
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*Content sourced from The Mayo Clinic