What Is Alkaline Water and How is it Different?

Written by Megan Martin
Published: November 17, 2022
© iStock.com/Yury Karamanenko
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If you were to walk into the grocery store right now, you may notice that there is an entire aisle dedicated to different types of water. Not only are there several different brand names, but there is also a variety of water that promotes itself as different than the typical bottle. One of the most common types of water falling into this category is alkaline water. However, what is alkaline water?

If you find yourself asking this question, don’t worry: you’re not alone. Although it has become popular in recent years, there is still much mystery surrounding this type of water. As a result, we’ve created this guide to walk you through everything you need to know to answer the question “what is alkaline water”. Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in!

About Alkaline Water

Water, Distillation, Alcohol - Drink, Scientific Experiment, Examining
For water to be alkaline, it has to have a higher pH.


Alkaline water is a type of water in which the pH is higher than typical clean water. You see, pH is a scale ranging from 0 to 14. Lower numbers represent acidic substances, while higher numbers represent alkaline, or basic, substances. Pure water is completely neutral, which is why it sits at around 7. Sometimes, this may vary by a few degrees, but this is the average.

In order for water to be alkaline, it has to have a higher pH. Safe alkaline water usually falls around 8 or 9 on the pH scale. 

What Causes Water to Be Alkaline?

Alkaline water can actually occur naturally. Typically, this is because moving water is passing over rocks, which allows for the water to pick up some of the nutrients. This then raises the pH of the water in order to create what is alkaline water. 

However, when you buy alkaline water at the grocery store, it’s rarely made naturally. This is because mass-producing natural alkaline water can be difficult, if not impossible, for many people. Instead, this type of alkaline water is produced through a process known as electrolysis. This process splits the atoms of water at a molecular level to change certain characteristics about the water, including pH. 

Is Alkaline Water Better for You?

glass of sparkling water
Studies are still ongoing to determine if alkaline water offers more than neutral water.

©Danila Shtantsov/Shutterstock.com

There is a lot of mystery surrounding whether or not alkaline water is better for you, even as of today. However, researchers are steadily working to help us better understand what exactly our bodies need, including when it comes to studies about alkaline water

As of now, alkaline water doesn’t appear to be much better than neutral water when it comes to hydration and its effects overall. However, this isn’t to say that there aren’t some benefits to drinking more alkaline water. 

Is Alkaline Water Clean?

One of the biggest concerns for those not familiar with alkaline water is based on whether or not this is clean water that is safe to drink. After all, if you’ve learned about different types of water filtration methods, then you may know that water has many types of contaminants and minerals filtered out. This can lead to questioning about whether the contaminants are being filtered out if the minerals aren’t.

However, you’ll be glad to learn that alkaline water is considered clean and safe to drink. Those focusing on this type of water have learned how to safely filter the water for anything that could be harmful or make you sick, all while not needing to remove those pH-raising minerals that give the water its flavor. 

Benefits Of Alkaline Water

There are two main benefits of alkaline water compared to neutral tap water.

First, although the minerals occur in often trace amounts, alkaline water can help contribute to daily mineral intakes. This includes important minerals like calcium. This also lends itself to another benefit: flavor. The main source of flavor in water is its minerals. As a result, alkaline water may have a better flavor than regular water, which can make staying hydrated easier. 

Where To Find Alkaline Water Naturally

Mount Katahdin from the Abol bridge
You can find alkaline water in the mountains.

©iStock.com/Dylan Brett

As mentioned above, alkaline water can be created and found in nature without the help of humans. However, because of the exact environment needed to create this type of water, it can be rare.

Typically, if you’re wondering where to find alkaline water naturally, you’ll need to look to the mountains. Here, streams run down the mountainside, eroding away the porous rock that makes up the mountain itself. As this happens, the water picks up some of the minerals found here. Then, as water collects into mountain springs, the total number of minerals in the water increases, which works to elevate pH. 

Some of the main naturally occurring minerals that result in alkaline water can include:

  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Bicarbonate

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Drinking Water, Contamination, Pollution, Lead, Drinking Glass
Alkaline water has a higher pH.
© iStock.com/Yury Karamanenko

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About the Author

I'm a writer with almost five years of experience. I recently graduated from Wingate University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a double minor in biology and professional and technical writing. I love everything animals and nature related! The American kestrel is my favorite animal, but I also like sharks and alligators. In my free time, I like to watch documentaries and explore nature.

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  1. U.S Department of Energy, Available here: https://www.energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/hydrogen-production-electrolysis#:~:text=Electrolysis%20is%20the%20process%20of,a%20unit%20called%20an%20electrolyzer