AUSTIN - About every six weeks a video like this is shared on Facebook or Twitter. There have been many different versions but they all show the same thing - a water bottle pH test.
The idea is simple, take the water bottles most commonly seen every day and use a pH test to see if they are acidic or alkaline (basic).
For reference, pH stands for potential Hydrogen, and the scale measures a liquid or substances acidity or alkalinity.
Seven on the scale is considered neutral. Above that is alkaline and below that is acidic.
So do these tests show the truth? Are water bottles mostly acidic or alkaline? Well, yes. KVUE's Jason Puckett did his own independent test and was able to verify that five different water bottles did have acidic pH, one had an alkaline pH and two others were almost neutral.
But does that actually mean anything?
In many of the online videos, the creators would claim the test shows that some bottles of water are better than others or even potentially safer than others.
According to Dr. Kate Biberdorf, a Chemistry Professor at the University of Texas, that's all wrong.
"Every single drop of water out there, every bottle of water has to be approved," she said. The FDA approves every bottle so they're perfectly fine to drink."
Dr. Biberdorf said she'd seen these videos often and while she likes the idea of folks exploring scientific topics at home, she said the research behind these videos is lacking.
The human body, she said, is incredibly good at regulating its own pH level. That means it would take abnormal amounts of different pH water to even slightly impact a person.
The main difference people might notice between acidic and basic water? The taste.
"It's just personal preference," she said while pointing out that she actually preferred the taste of slightly acidic water and her husband preferred slightly alkaline water. "When it comes to the actual chemical elements of it - you're fine."
With Dr. Biberdorf's expert opinion, we can verify that the claims that certain pH balances in approved water bottles are beneficial, is False.
To see the experiment and hear from Dr. Biberdorf, watch the attached video.
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