What is alkaline water?
Regular water has a pH of 7. Alkaline water, which is regular water with added electrolytes or ions, has a pH of 8, 9 or even 10.
(In case you missed that day of science in high school, let’s review the pH scale! pH levels refer to how acidic or alkaline a substance is—the scale is from 0 to 14. Lemon juice is about a 2 or 3. Water is neutral at 7. Toothpaste is 9.)
Some folks prefer the taste of alkaline water to tap water. That’s because tap water from municipalities sometimes has been treated with chlorine or other chemicals, which gives it a certain taste. Alkaline water, however, starts as purified water and is mostly taste-free.
Other folks like alkaline water because some brands add electrolytes.
A quick note on alkaline water: you can’t test the water with test strips to confirm the alkalinity. That’s because most brands of alkaline water are purified . . . test strips can’t detect pH of purified liquids, based on our research. Hence, you may see complaints from some folks who are frustrated they can’t use a test trip to confirm the pH level of alkaline water.
So what is the best alkaline water?
To find out, we did a taste test. Here are some of the brands we tried:
For the best budget-friendly alkaline water, we crowned Essentia Water as the best bet. Why? It has a smooth, neutral taste . . . with no aftertaste. (Yes, some brands of alkaline water we tested had a slightly aftertaste).
Essentia is priced about 20% less than other brands we tried.
What We Liked
• Clean, crisp taste.
• No aftertaste.
• pH of 9.5.
• BPA-free plastic.
• Water is micro-filtered with reverse osmosis.
What Needs Work
• Metallic taste? We see some reports from folks who think this water has a metallic taste. We didn’t find that in our taste tests, however. And we tasted many brands of alkaline water!