Water is really good for you, no one is arguing that. But are certain waters better for you than others? Depends on who you ask. While plenty of people are content to drink plain old H2O, there’s a robust community of folks who swear by functional waters—basically, good old H2O with added special ingredients (like herbs, vitamins and antioxidants) that claim to bring health benefits.
One of the most prominent functional waters is alkaline water. Here’s a quick science lesson: Every food and drink has a pH level, from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very basic, or alkaline). Normal drinking water, for its part, usually has a pH of 7. Alkaline water typically has a pH between 7.5 and 9. Proponents of eating and drinking more alkaline things believe that doing so will help keep your blood pH level as alkaline as possible. In turn, having more alkaline levels is thought to reduce your risk of developing a number of diseases, including cancer and arthritis, as well as increase energy levels, reduce inflammation and a host of other health benefits. Alkaline water may come from springs or artesian wells in areas where there is a large amount of dissolved minerals, but you can also make it yourself.
Whether or not you believe the hype, drinking more water is never a bad thing. If you’re interested in trying the whole alkaline water thing, there are ways to make your own instead of shelling out money for plastic bottles of the stuff. Here are four popular methods.