What is Alkaline Water?
If you’ve recently perused the water selection at the supermarket or—especially—your local health food store, you’ve probably encountered labels that proudly boast the alkalinity of the water within.
For the uninitiated, though, what is alkaline water? Is it supposed to be good for you? How do you make water alkaline?
Here, we’ll answer all of these questions and then some.
So what is alkaline water?
Alkaline water is water with a pH higher than 7. It can be naturally alkaline via mineralization or artificially through ionization.
Naturally alkaline water is mineralized as a water source and is filtered through layers of rock on its journey to a well. Spring water will generally be slightly more alkaline than tap water, but water from an artesian well—water forced through minerals through natural pressure—will be significantly alkaline compared to regular tap water.
Artificially alkaline water is ionized through a technique called electrolysis, a scientific process that uses added chemical compounds and electricity to separate neutral water molecules into two parts, one negatively charged (alkaline) and one positively charged (acidic). The alkaline result is bottled and sold, and the acidic part becomes a waste product.
What is the significance of pH in water?
pH is a measure of free hydrogen ions versus hydroxide ions present in a solution and is used to determine how acidic or how alkaline that solution is. Solutions with more free hydrogen are considered acidic, and those with more free hydroxide ions are considered basic, or alkaline.
Normal drinking water has a neutral pH of 7, meaning it is neither acidic nor alkaline. While slightly acidic water isn’t dangerous on its own, it can leech metals from pipes, which could cause health problems over time. Higher levels of acidity, such as that found in acid rain, are much more problematic.
Drinkable alkaline water is slightly basic, with a pH of around 8 or 9. Humans shouldn’t consume water with a pH of higher than 10, and pHs closer to 14 can cause severe chemical burns.
Producers and fans of alkaline water claim it has many health benefits. Some popular assertions include:
- Immunity support
- Weight loss
- Skin health
There isn’t quite enough research yet to back up many of these claims, but there have been several small studies that have shown promising results.
A 2012 study demonstrated that alkalized water from an artesian well might help control pepsin, one of the enzymes responsible for causing heartburn.
In 2016, another study showed a significant difference in blood viscosity between those who drank high-pH water after a workout and those that only had regular water. Blood viscosity is a measure of how efficiently blood pumps through the body. In this case, those that had alkaline water had a lower viscosity, which increased oxygen delivery to their muscles.
A 2018 study from Japan found that daily intake of alkaline water was effective at treating gastrointestinal problems.
Who makes alkaline water?
Alkaline water is at the height of its popularity, with new brands hitting the market every day. Here are some of the best alkaline water brands you can find in stores!
One of the few water brands to eschew plastic packaging and adopt a more environmentally friendly, paper-based bottle. You can buy a number of delicious flavors like Strawberry + Rose, Peach + Blueberry, Cucumber + Mint, plus collagen or vitamin-infused varieties.
Waiakea is sustainably sourced from a well at the base of Mauna Loa, a volcano on the island of Hilo, Hawaii. This water gets its alkalinity as it filters through thousands of feet of porous, volcanic rock.
Each run of Tahoe Water is bottled in small batches. Smaller batches of supply mean that when you buy a bottle of this water, you know it hasn’t been sitting in some dusty warehouse for months on end and tastes as fresh as the day it was bottled.
Blk. water gets its striking, ink-black color from an infusion of fulvic acid. Fulvic acid not only makes blk. water alkaline, but also adds electrolytes, antioxidants, 102 different trace minerals, amino acids, and more.
This water is sourced from an artesian well in Fiji. With a pH of 7.8, this naturally alkaline water has a subtle sweetness. Due to the remote location of their well, the company cannot feasibly bottle the water in glass. Instead, they produce their PET bottles with an additive that helps them break down faster (if not recycled).
Distributors for Trending Beverage Brands
Buffalo Market is the top distributor for fast-moving brands that consumers want most, including trending products like alkaline spring water. With direct store delivery (DSD) available as frequently as daily, our team of drivers and merchandising specialists keep shelves fully stocked so that your customers can depend on the consistent availability of their favorite brands.
To learn more about how Buffalo Market’s food and beverage distributors can help your CPG brand or retail store make the most of consumer trends, reach out to one of our experts today!