Fighting Pervasive pH Myths: Misinformation from Social Media
You may have seen viral videos of YouTubers,TikTokers or Instagramers dropping pH drops or using litmus papers to measure the pH of wide range of bottled waters. Though visually interesting to watch, the lacking of scientific understanding behind these videos are concerning. The videos often do not come with the explanation of what pH really is and why at home pH testing is usually never accurate. Beyond that, they never offer scientific support behind the suggestion that alkaline is "healthier" than neutral or purified water counterparts.
First thing's first, what is pH?
pH measures the "potential of hydrogen" or "power of hydrogen" and is a widely accepted measure of the concentration of hydrogen ion in any given solution. The pH of pure water is neutral (or 7 on the pH scale). By this definition, it is a benchmark as to how reactive the hydrogen ion is. According to the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, pH is defined in terms of the electromotive force between electrodes in the specific solution, which translates into the conductivity of the solution based on the ions present.
Can I measure pure water with pH meters, probes, strips, drops, papers, etc? The short answer is: no, you will not receive an accurate reading.
According to Bluelab (a pH meter manufacturer), pure water "...removes all ionic and solid components present there should only be water present. The water molecules are made up of equal ratios of Hydrogen (H+) and Hydroxide (OH-) ions and so the pH should be neutral (7). However, as these ions are bound up in a water molecule (H2O) they cannot interact with the pH probe so you will not obtain a reading."
There needs to be a certain level of conductivity in water (which often comes in the form of solids or extra ions) for the pH to be measured by kits, probes or litmus papers, which is why it is difficult to measure water like DIVINIA without the proper equipment or analysis. In fact, DIVINIA was lab tested using 5 different pH meters at the same time and all of them gave a different reading because each probe affected each sample differently.
pH meters, probes, strips, drops, papers and the like were made to measure the presence of ions; when a certain strength or level of ions are not present, there will not be an accurate reading.
So what does this mean for DIVINIA Water?
The pH of DIVINIA was tested at Penn State using very finite and specialized lab testing equipment (mass spectrometry and raman spectroscopy) in which Dr. Roy found DIVINIA to be neutral by chemical analysis. In the same 2007 test (see below) Dr. Roy also discovered that DIVINIA's permanent energetic molecular state meant that DIVINIA was conductive without any additional ions added.
Should I be drinking alkaline water?
People continue to believe that drinking high pH, alkaline water is more healthy or beneficial and misu tests as a reason to somehow bolster their claims, however, even the FDA has prevented alkaline water producers to tout any supposed health benefits because of the lack of sufficient evidence.
As suggested by the Cleveland Clinic the answer is that there is no point.
Beth Czerwony RD with the Cleveland Clinic makes these 3 points:
Your body in general prefers a pH that’s closer to neutral (not more alkaline) — and it has its own ways of achieving it.
There have been no empirical studies showing that alkaline water has health benefits. “If and when there are, they’ll be worth discussing,” Czerwony says
Creating pH extremes in either direction in your system — whether too acidic or too alkaline — can cause health problems.
Unless you have certain conditions such as kidney or respiratory disease, your body maintains a healthy pH balance on its own.
“Our bodies are amazing machines,” she says. “If there’s an imbalance there are many ways your body can correct it. If your blood becomes too acidic for example, you breathe out more carbon dioxide to bring the levels down.”