What Makes Alkaline Water Taste Better?


Water brands like to promote the fact that their water is ‘artesian’, and that the natural processes that allow the water to be accessed give it a special taste or health benefit. The truth is most artesian bottled water is the same, with the exception of the alkalinity or PH in the water. Water with naturally occurring high PH levels generally taste better because they are less acidic and have more minerals, which humans generally like to taste when they drink a nice cold glass of water. Bottled artesian water with a pH over 7.7 is considered to be alkaline water, while normal tap water has a pH of about 7.

Over the years many health experts have weighed in on the idea that alkaline water with higher levels of naturally occurring pH have certain health benefits. Alkaline water has a higher pH level than regular drinking water, so some advocates of alkaline water think it can neutralize some of the acid in human body, but there is little science to back up that claim. In addition, some brands claim that high alkaline water does a better job hydrating, but again, there isn't much real scientific evidence to support this claim. Finally, there are some studies that contend that acid reflux in certain patients can be mitigated by drinking alkaline water with higher levels of pH, but there are other ways for consumers to control their heartburn. In the end, alkaline water high in naturally occurring pH should be a choice based on taste and in some cases, on price. Some of the other factors impacting taste are the mineral content of the water, the receptacle from which you drink it, and the impurities that remain in the water.


Anyone who remembers their 8th or 9th grade science or chemistry classes may recall that acidic compounds occupy the lower end of the pH measurement scale (1 to 14), while basic compounds have pH levels on the higher end of this scale. And since water fall at a 7, or pH neutral, a pH level of 7.5 or 8.0 in water can make a big difference when it comes to taste, even more so when the higher pH is naturally occurring. This is where artesian aquifers come in. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium bicarbonate that occur naturally in certain parts of the world, act to increase the alkalinity or pH levels in spring water. Generally speaking, this makes it taste better. In the end, personal preferences on pH levels in water generally come down to taste. Whether or not alkaline water tastes better is up to the drinker.


Some people contend that ice cold water from a glass tastes better than, say, a glass of water from a plastic cup. Similarly, others like the metallic bite than can come from drinking water from a metal cup. Anyone who has drank water from an insulated reusable metal water bottle can attest that it tastes different, but whether or not it tastes better is merely a preference. Certain taste receptors in the mouth and on the tongue can briefly trick the brain into thinking they are drinking water with a metallic taste, even though the contents of the liquid haven’t changed just because it is in a metal container.


All drinking water, especially tap water from municipalities, has stuff in it like germs, chemicals, dirt, pathogens and essentially anything that can pass through a filter membrane. This material makes up what is called Total Dissolved Solids, or TDS. Dissolved solids can be measured with an inexpensive device, and the data is reported as a parts per million metric, or PPM. But certain things you definitely don't want in your water may not always show up in a typical TDS measurement, so be wary. Most people who drink naturally pure water with very little total dissolved solids will notice an improvement on how the water tastes. Now try the same, low TDS water with elevated naturally occurring levels of pH and you have some mighty fine, great tasting drinking water. Bottled water companies like FIJI and Hawaiian Springs Water know this. After all, they have been pulling natural alkaline water from pristine aquifers on islands in the Pacific for decades now. Not surprisingly, YouTubers have seized on the opportunity to turn consumer interest in water quality into successful channels that earn them a share of ads dollars from Google. Our favorite is Jon Harchick, whose Jon Drinks Water You Tube Channel boasts over 50,000 engaged, loyal subscribers. Jon takes comments and suggestions from his audience seriously, and is prone to drinking water he shouldn’t, and giving honest and sometimes quite hilarious feedback on the fluids he ingests.

So yes, bottled water with higher levels pH and lower levels of dissolved solids will taste better. When this water comes bottled at the source from an artesian aquifer from Hawaii, it tastes even better.

Photo by Bechir Kaddech on Unsplash

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