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Don't Confuse pH With Alkalinity

by Mark Timmons June 08, 2012 71 Comments

Before I start discussing this I need to acknowledge that the information I write about has been the result of conversations with Robert Slovak and listening to lectures on this subject. Robert Slovak is a degreed Mechanical and Astronautical Engineer and a respected scientist. He has over 30 years of experience in the water treatment industry, specializing in membrane separation technology and products. Mr. Slovak has been featured on many health sites and blogs including Dr. Mercola.

I am going to become very unpopular with people who are selling water that is supposed to be of "high alkalinity." The term "alkaline water" means that the water has a pH that is greater than 7.0. That's it. Nothing more! Many companies are selling "Alkaline" filters and using pH meters to demonstrate that the alkalinity has been raised because the pH tests at 8.5, or 9.5 or even 10.5. They are confusing elevated pH with raised alkalinity. The fact is: THERE IS NO CONNECTION! Just raising the pH with an "alkaline filter" does not, in itself, raise the alkalinity. Water with high alkalinity may be beneficial in some circumstances to the body, but raising the pH serves no function whatsoever. IT IS NOT ALKALINE WATER THAT YOU NEED, IT IS WATER WITH ALKALINITY!

So, if you are buying a filter for the purpose of substantially raising the alkalinity of the water you drink, you are most likely being duped by "junk or pseudo science." This is real science that I am speaking about - merely raising the pH does not raise the alkalinity. That's junk science. The pH of water is not the indicator of it's capacity for neutralizing acid. Alkalinity is the indicator of the water's capacity to neutralize acid. Alkalinity measures the ability of a solution to neutralize acids - pH has no relation to that process. A water solution that is alkaline is not necessarily "alkalizing." Do not be duped into thinking "Alkaline pH" means that the water has significant alkalinity. Tests have shown that even the best "alkaline filters" raise the alkalinity only 30 to 35 mg/l which is insignificant. A half-tablespoon of Baking Soda add 1500 mg/l of alkalinity to the water at a pH of 8.4. Spinach juice has an alkalinity of 2250 mg/l but at a pH of 6.7. Like I said earlier, the pH has no correlation to alkalinity. There is a great deal of mis-information out there about water treatment. Most people I have talked to who are promoting alkaline water have little to no understanding of this. If you want to alkalize your water, you don't add an alkaline filter - it is a waste of money and it does nothing. Here are the only ways that you can alkalize your water:

  1. Add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of baking soda to a large glass of water;
  2. Consume foods and beverages rich in mineral alkalinity buffers, especially "green juices;"
  3. Add alkaline powders to the water.

There are a lot of misconceptions in the health-improvement industry about the pH and alkaline correlation. For instance, look at this popular chart:

Deceptive Alkaline Chart

That's a pretty impressive chart, but it's not correct. For example, they say lemon has a pH of 10 - it's really 2.69. They say the same thing about spinach, but it has a pH of 6.69. They also say RO water has a pH of between 4 and 5. In reality, it's usually about 6.5 or 6.6. Be careful of what you believe. Here's what you need to know about alkaline water: if you are buying a filter to alkalize your water, you would be better served giving it to the Tooth Fairy. You can alkalize your water, but it has to be with one of the above methods. Simply raising the pH does not alkalize the water. Reverse osmosis continues to be the most economical and effective way to purify water and if you want to raise the pH and re-mineralize, then an alkaline-type filter is effective. At US Water Systems, we do sell a re-mineralization filter, right HERE, but just not for the reason most companies say they are selling it. The is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.

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July 18, 2019 Mark Timmons

I have no point of reference, but I would bet, the water would be acidic, not alkaline…

October 05, 2019 Aaron Dodson, P. E.

You embarrass yourself among those who know. Understand you are trying to protect this very acid water purification industry that contributes to the overall death of thousands of innocent (unfortunately misled) victims each year. You have no knowledge and probably don’t want to know about electrolyzed reduced hydrogen water that will save America once special interest people like you get out of the way. And remineralizing with fake minerals that can produce arterial plaque is not going to be the solution either. Water must have the appropriate charge as measured by an ORP meter. Water that has not gone through electrolysis or other process has a positive charge which is oxidative solution. As cancer coach I don’t want more oxidation entering people with cancer or myself and family. You need to get educated or at least stop what you’re doing because you’re miss leading many people just like the US food and medicine industry.

October 15, 2019 Mark Timmons

People with P.E. after their names are frequently the dumbest of the dumb.

You have proved that hypothesis again.

What is wrong with you?

April 30, 2020

Nobody here talks about drinking distilled water – in my research is the purest water we can drink. Any comments appreciated, G

May 01, 2020 Mark Timmons

Using just distillation does not deliver the purest water you can drink as some chemicals can be carried into the vapor and distill with the water. Personally, I do not like the taste of distilled water as the oxygen is boiled out. A Reverse Osmosis system takes out a wider spectrum of contaminants and has plenty of dissolved oxygen.

July 03, 2020 Jeanie

Dear US Water System, I have been diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Follicular Lymphoma. My Oncologist says it is from some type of chemical exposure. The doctors also tell me that since I am a type A blood person this genetic condition means I have a blood pH that is naturally acidic. Cancer, and many other diseases, love an acidic environment. So with these facts they have given me I am eating foods that are alkaline once they are have been metabolized in my body, I am drinking 4 oz of water that has 1/2 tsp of baking soda added to it at least 3 times a day. I am trying desperately to understand all of the VERY confusing information about how alkaline water could help me. I think people have sold their souls to the god of making money from people like me who are scared and need help with our health. I am so sad that as humans we no longer want to help people because it is the right thing to do. I just want someone to actually care about real facts. Facts that come from real test that show how raising the bodies environment to a neutral level can help all of us to beat the disease of cancer. I know my blood pH can not be changed, it is what it is, but I am 100% sure changing my my food choices, drinking more water, getting at least 30 min.of exercise a day, doing 20 min.a day of deep breathing and drinking my baking soda “cocktail” is allowing my own immune system to kick in to heal my body. Now I need someone to be 100% honest with me and tell me how to drink water that is healthy. And all the people out there that are lying and hurting people just to make money, you are worse kind of people!!!

July 04, 2020 Mark Timmons

If the pH of your blood is not between 7.35 and 7.45, you will die! It’s as simple as that. However, there is a lot of truth about the type of foods and the water quality you put into your body. After years of study, research and prototyping, this year we released our 100% Made in USA Alkaline Reverse Osmosis System that delivers true alkaline water, which we believe is the best you can get. It uses our new Livation Hydration Technology:

October 21, 2020 Ryan

For folks with high risk of kidney and bladder stones, are there any advantages in installing a whole house softener/carbon filter system over a RO drinking water system? Obviously the RO will more thoroughly filter and purify the water, but do they serve the same purpose in lowering calcium oxalate & struvite content?

November 12, 2020 Mark Timmons

Reverse osmosis takes out a much wider spectrum of contaminants. PERIOD! There is no comparison.

January 09, 2021 Lin

There’s a place in AZ named Variaty H2O and ice cream, or says that they’re water is RO, re-mineralized and alkaline. I’d like to know if it’s safe or beneficial for someone with an autoimmune disease like lupus, Crohn’s or even Iupus??

January 09, 2021 Mark Timmons

I am not a medical doctor, but it would seem like alkaline water should be beneficial. Re-mineralized is not really important, but in the process of creating true alkaline water, you have to add some minerals. The thing is, water is not a significant source of minerals, but I believe that alkaline water is very beneficial. Our Alkaline system uses Livation Hydration Technology: It does the following: 1. Uses far-infrared balls to emit minerals 2. Increases the pH of the filtered water typically to between 8.5 – 10.0 3. Changes the oxidation-reduction potential of the water (ORP) to between -100mV and -200mV 4. Reduces the sizes of the clusters of water molecules (re-structures) so that the water is easily absorbed in the body 5. It also puts beneficial alkaline minerals into the water, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium. 6. Adds molecular hydrogen with antioxidant potential But, since I am not a medical doctor (I am just a water doctor), I suggest you consult your doctor.

April 11, 2021 Josh

What makes your alkaline Livation Hydration Technology filter better than, say the alkaline filter in this system?

April 12, 2021 Mark Timmons

ANSWER: 1. 100% Made in China with 100% Chinese Parts. Ours is 100% Made in the USA. 2. Phones answered 7 days a week – 8 AM to 11 PM 3. Legendary Technical Support

January 20, 2023 George Minarich

Funny there are no answers to people’s posts and you can’t find anything in reply are you hiding something

January 21, 2023 Mark Timmons

Of course, there are answers. I have no clue what you are talking about.

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