Is Your Drinking Water Acidic? A Comparison of the Varied pH of Popular Bottled Waters

J Dent Hyg. 2015 Jun;89 Suppl 2:6-12.


Purpose: Dental professionals continually educate patients on the dangers of consuming acidic foods and beverages due to their potential to contribute to dental erosion and tooth decay. Excess acid in the diet can also lead to acidosis, which causes negative systemic side effects. However, water is not typically categorized as acidic. The purpose of this in-vitro study was to investigate the pH levels of several popular brands of bottled water and compare them to various other acidic beverages. Two different brands of marketed alkaline water (with a pH of 8.8 or higher) were also studied, tested for acidity and described.

Methods: A pilot in-vitro study was conducted to determine the pH levels of a convenience sample of popular brands of bottled water, tap water and other known acidic beverages in comparison with the pH values reported on the respective manufacturers' website. Each beverage was tested in a laboratory using a calibrated Corning pH meter model 240, and waters were compared to the corresponding company's testified pH value. Waters were also compared and contrasted based on their process of purification. The data was then compiled and analyzed descriptively.

Results: The pH values for the tested beverages and bottled waters were found to be predominantly acidic. Ten out of the 14 beverages tested were acidic (pH<7), 2 municipal (or "tap") waters were neutral (pH=7) and 2 bottled waters were alkaline (pH>7). The majority of waters tested had a more acidic pH when tested in the lab than the value listed in their water quality reports.

Conclusion: It is beneficial for the health care provider to be aware of the potential acidity of popular bottled drinking waters and educate patients accordingly.

Keywords: acidosis; alkaline (mineral) water; alkaline ionized water; dental erosion; drinking water; electrolysis; streptococcus mutans; water purification.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Dental Caries / etiology
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control
  • Drinking Water / adverse effects
  • Drinking Water / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pilot Projects


  • Drinking Water