A lot of brands of bottled water center their marketing on the pH level of water. As a result, it is pretty hard to believe what kind of water is best for drinking. Read on to unlearn the most common myths about the water’s pH level.
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What is Acidic Drinking Water?
Water has a pH of 7 in its purest form. The particles in the water affect the pH of the water and, therefore, the pH of the drinking water is often between 6.5 and 8.5. Water with a pH value less than 6.5 is acidic, corrosive, and soft. It is also known as electrolyzed water and contains metal ions such as iron, zinc, copper, lead, and manganese. The presence of these metal ions suggests that acidic water has elevated levels of toxic metals.
How Does Drinking Water Become Acidic?
The sediments in the soil, as well as the sedimentary rocks, are natural water filters that neutralize the acidity of the water. This is the reason why water that’s deep underground is pure and suitable for drinking. On the other hand, water from a shallow water body is acidic, since metamorphic and igneous rocks cannot neutralize the pH of acidic water.
Other natural causes of acidic water include acidic rain and emission of CO2 from trees and roots. The rain which is mildly acidic affects the pH level of water. Trees and soil microbes produce carbon dioxide and acids that can also cause the acidic content in water.
The artificial causes of acidic water include be acidic mine drainage and spills or chemical dumps from factories. These human activities lower the water’s pH level further.
Effects of Drinking Acidic Water
Drinking acidic water can be a cause of many health problems including vomiting , diarrhea, nausea, kidney, and liver diseases to name a few. There can be other adverse effects of acidic water in our lives. Let’s find out how drinking acidic can be a problem for your health and lifestyle:
Exposure to Toxic Metals
Drinking acidic water exposes us to heavy metals and toxic compounds in the water. Acidic water often damages the pipes as it can be highly corrosive. With that kind of effect on the pipes, you can imagine the damage it can do to our bodies. Metal ions like iron, copper, zinc, etc. can be toxic for our bodies. Long exposure to these toxic compounds can result in diseases and even poisoning. The metal ions also affect the taste of drinking water. As a result, you might notice unsavory and metallic tasting water.
Prevents the Body from Retaining Calcium
Acidic drinking water lowers the body’s ability to absorb calcium. This effect of drinking acidic water for a long time can lead to rapid bone loss in our bodies. Our body absorbs some of the minerals like calcium more from water than food. So, while alkaline water encourages calcium retention, acidic water prevents it.
Harmful for Children
Acidic drinking water is especially harmful to young children. It contains metals and contaminants that can lead to several health issues. Since the bodies of young children grow and develop very rapidly, they are more at risk than adults. Their body is readily absorbing nutrients from food and water for growth. This also makes their body absorb contaminants at a faster rate as well. The contaminants in acidic water are a major cause of diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, etc. in children. Many health problems that arise a result of drinking acidic water can be fatal or debilitating for children.
Corrosion of Teeth
Our mouth contains many natural acids that help in breaking down food and bacteria in the mouth. So, when you brush your teeth or clean your mouth with acidic water, it only intensifies the effect. This means that the acid in your mouth works harder and, as a result, corrodes your teeth. Drinking acidic water for a long time can lead to the damage of both the teeth and gums.
Causes Gastrointestinal Sickness
The metal ions in acidic drinking water can cause gastrointestinal sickness. The zinc residue from pipes along with the zinc content in acidic water can cause overexposure to zinc. The overexposure leads to an stomach upset and causes nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Overexposure to copper also results in the same health problems.
Other Effects of Acidic Water
Other common effects of using acidic water are corrosion of the plumbing system and damage to aquatic life. The high acidic content in water damages and corrodes the pipes and dissolves the copper from pipes into drinking water. Copper is important for our bodies but overexposure can lead to serious health problems. Kidney and liver damage are the most serious health issues related to overexposure to copper.
If the water’s pH level falls down to 4.5, it can be fatal for fish. The contaminants in acidic water increase the levels of ammonia, bacteria, and parasites. This can be the major cause of fish death in an acidic water body.
Should Drinking Water be Acidic or Alkaline?
It’s no surprise that people today are confused about what the pH of drinking water should actually be. It is important to understand that the most suitable drinking water has a pH between the ranges of 6.5 and 8.5. The drinking water with a pH less than 6.5 is acidic and harmful for health. Similarly, water with a pH greater than 8.5 is alkaline and can also cause other problems.
Most of the public supply of drinking water comes from shallow sources of water. Water from these sources is likely to be acidic, which means most of us have had acidic water at some point in life. It is best to check your pipes for any signs of acidic water. The blue-green stains on copper pipes, red stains on galvanized iron, and corrosion problems all suggest that your water might be acidic. Like alkaline water filters, you can also find acid-neutralizing filters in the market. They help in neutralizing the acid in water to provide pure and healthy drinking water.