Did you know that millions and millions of dollars are spent each week on advertising campaigns to give us the perception that bottled water comes from some pristine mountain spring or magical underground aquifer, assuring purity and quality? So I decided to put a couple of our local delivery services to the test and… it seems like the two services available in San Jose area like Alhambra and Arrowhead Water are not all what they are cracked up to be.
This time I was only concerned with the PH levels of the water and not the impurities or the taste. There is a growing awareness that our bodies are way too acidic because of our life style, pollutants in the environment and our diets. Human body’s normal PH levels are about 7.4 and we have a “perfect” PH balance when we’re born. But after we’re able to visit the potty room on our own and independently reach into the cookie cupboard we start exploring foods that are much less friendly than our moms would put in our mouths when we were babies. We then start eating what “tastes good” instead of what really is “good” for us. Then come the pizzas, fried foods, coca colas, burgers, steaks, beer, and of course… fried calamari. Combine all this with an acid pumping stress day at work and we are now bathing our cells in acid bath. The body’s natural defence system kicks in and it does everything it possibly can to compensate for the acid by introducing alkalinity back into the blood stream and try to pump the acid out with liquids – water. But where does the body store the alkaline substances to compensate for this acid influx of acid? Well, most proponents of this theory say that it comes from our cell tissue and our bones. Our body borrows it from our flesh and bones. And what happens when it can no longer do that? – diseases and sky rocketing number of osteoporosis and arthritis cases in our part of the world. To be fair, I claim no authority in this matter; this is simply what I’ve read in various health magazines, some books and heard from personal development coaches like Tony Robins.
To make a long story short, we want to put “live” alkaline food in our system (veggies and fruits) and water to help the body deal with the acids by flushing them out of our system. Our tap water is actually OK when it comes to PH because it is heavily regulated. The big brother “watching” our health actually makes sure there are enough chemicals in it to test slightly alkaline – about 7.4. But that’s not what I was looking for. I wanted the Alpine fresh, mineral water what our local companies like Alhambra and Arrow Head claim to deliver. So this is what sent me on my quest to find a service that can provide the good citizens of San Jose the alkaline water to our door step. Why not pay a few buks if its good stuff right?
Here’s what Alhambra and Arrowhead claim their SPRING water alkalinity levels to be on their websites:
So the only thing left to do was to arm myself with some PH strips (Litmus paper) readily available online and have some fun.
And here is what I discovered:
Alhambra tested at around: 5.8
Arrowhead tested at around: 6.5
(Arrowhead bottled water at the store by the way is higher in PH – around 7.
Both very disappointing results. It looks like even the water we get “straight from the source” is more acidic than our body’s natural PH. The problem is these companies filter the water which effectively strips the water of its many minerals that can be used up by our bodies to nourish the cells. I called both of the companies and shared my findings but received a very dispassionate response from both of them – “We will make a note of this and pass it to our customer service.” In fact, when I called Alhambra to cancel my service (because I found Arrowhead more alkaline) they informed me that I was now locked in their annual agreement but they would be happy to cancel it for a $100 fee. Nice going Alhambra, way to spread the good word around. 🙂
So it really looks like beyond the questionable purity of the bottled delivery water, the PH levels are not much of an advantage to go for the delivery service. In fact, according the Bottled Water Blues website – the federal regulations that govern bottled water require it to be only as good as tap water, not better. There are no regulations or requirements that bottled water be any higher in quality than tap water, and according to some recent studies, it may often be of lower quality. In fact, The FDA, which claim to regulate the bottled water, states that “Companies that market bottled water as being safer than tap water are defrauding the American public.” “We can do it [regulate bottled water]. However, we have a very large regulatory portfolio. It’s been well acknowledged in recent years that we struggle with the whole staff and funding aspect of it.” — F.D.A. spokeswoman Siobhan DeLancey.
Bottled water is a charged issue these days and surely both sides are coming up with their own facts to prove their case as fast as my basil is sprouting in the new organic herb pot. While the question whether the bottled water is more “pure” or not remains to be answered but one fact remains: tap water is much more alkaline.