What is Acidic Water?
There are many causes of acidic water, one being acidic rain. Soil microbes, tree roots, some rock formation can generate acids, causing the nearby water to become acidic.
Water can also become acidic due to industrial pollution, chemical dumps, power plants, and landfills.(2)
Acidic water is claimed to have antimicrobial effects that make it beneficial for skin, hair, and washing produce.
Benefits of Acidic Water
Drinking acidic water is not recommended, but it can be used for topical uses.
Treats Inflammatory Skin Conditions
Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory skin condition that can lead to red and itchy rashes. Acidic water can help reduce the redness and itching associated with atopic dermatitis.(6)
The surface of the skin is slightly acidic. Therefore increase in pH has been found to have a dehydrating and irritating effect on the skin. Research shows a rise in pH associated with skin conditions such as eczema.(7,8)
Acidic water maintains the desirable pH and protects it against inflammatory skin conditions and keeps the skin hydrated.(8)
A study done on 10 healthy women found that applying acidic water and oil emulsion after washing with tap water and soap helped in maintaining the desirable pH on the surface. (9)
Maintains pH of Hair and Scalp
Acidic water helps treat dandruff as it is known for its antimicrobial effects.
Shampoo with a pH greater than 5.5 is known to cause friction and hair breakage.(10) The role of acidic water in preventing breakage or hair loss lacks research.
Other Benefits of Acidic Water
Due to the antimicrobial effects, acidic water is often recommended for washing fruits and vegetables.
Acidic water is also known to be effective for better growth of plants as well as protect them against bugs and pests.
A study on tomato plants found, spraying seeds with acidic electrolyzed water reduced the number of bacterial pathogens and also did not affect the growth of tomato seeds.(11) This makes acidic water effective to protect the plants against pathogens, but more research is needed on the same.
Before using acidic water for plants it is important to research the optimal pH of that particular plant.
Side Effects Of Acidic Water
Drinking acidic water is not recommended, as the high acidity levels can have several negative health consequences.
Contains Heavy Metals
It can be high in arsenic copper, zinc, nickel, cadmium, and chromium.(15)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Organ damage
- Shortness of breath
- Suppression of the immune system
Children, in particular, show severe side effects from heavy metal exposure that include increased risk of developing developmental delays, respiratory issues, certain forms of cancer, and heart diseases.(18,19)
Acidic Water May Be Bad For Teeth
Dental health is affected by the pH of foods and beverages especially tooth enamel.(20)
Tooth enamel is the outer hard surface of teeth that protects the teeth from decay. Beverages with a pH of less than 4.5 are shown to increase the risk of tooth decay.
Regularly drinking acidic water may erode the tooth enamel and cause cavities.(21)
Affects Bone Health Adversely
Consuming acidic water prevents calcium absorption over time.
There is no research that significantly shows the pH of the diet significantly affects the risk of bone loss.
Exposure to certain heavy metals including lead, cadmium, arsenic, and chromium has been linked to a negative effect on bone health.(22)
Acidic water with heavy metal may have a negative effect on bone health over time.
Damages Plumbing In The House
Due to the high acidity content of water with low pH, the metal pipes start dissolving over time. This causes leaks and further increases the presence of heavy metals in the drinking supply.(23)
This lead to blue-green stains on the faucets or in the sink, a metallic taste in the water, and pinhole leaks in the plumbing.(23)
Acidic water is a result of industrial and chemical contamination and can have a natural reason as well. It has some potential benefits of topical uses. If concerned about the pH of the drinking water, make sure to buy a home testing kit or buy a filtering system.