Drinking Water pH: Does It Really Matter?
If you've ever seen a commercial for a bottleless water cooler service, you may have heard the narrator discuss its ability to balance pH. Traditionally, we don't consider the pH of our foods and liquids to be relevant to our health, but these advertisements can make us wonder if we should. Let's take a closer look at just what pH is and why it does, in fact, matter.
The Science Of pH
pH literally stands for "potential of Hydrogen" and refers to the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. On a less technical level, it measures the acidity or alkalinity of a water-soluble substance: one is highly acidic and 14 is highly alkaline, or basic.
In terms of health, you want to get the pH of your water to be as close as possible to that of your blood, which is around 7.4 -- almost completely neutral. If your water has been contamination with caustic cleaners or acids, its pH will be thrown off and could make you extremely sick. This is precisely why home water dispensers are favored: they ensure that the water coming from your tap has been filtered and cleaned of all potentially dangerous contaminants.
Beyond the health aspects, unbalanced water pH doesn't always taste great; hard water (which 80% of the country experiences) has a pH of around 8.5, making it slightly basic. While there isn't any concrete evidence that this number will harm your body or health, it will almost definitely taste bitter. Unsurprisingly, many people opt for residential water cooler services due to the fact that they don't like the natural taste of their tap water; because water cooler solutions balance pH, homeowners consider the filtered water cooler water to taste better.
At the end of the day, water coolers are designed to make drinking water easier and more enjoyable. Human beings need to drink around 64 ounces of the stuff every day, though many aren't reaching this quota; if your water tastes better and is more accessible, you'll be more inclined to have a glass. After all, no one can deny the satisfyingly refreshing taste of cool, clean water.