Alkaline water, which is water that has been treated to have a higher pH level than the 6.5-7.5 pH range of most tap and bottled water, is experiencing a surge of popularity. Beyoncé helped kickstart the trend in 2013 when reports surfaced that she included alkaline water on a rider for her Mrs Carter Show world tour. Tom Brady is another celebrity who has professed his love for the stuff. According to data from the Beverage Marketing Corporation, a research and consultancy group, the alkaline water market has grown from being a $47m business in 2014 to a $427m business in 2017. It’s projected to be worth $687m by the end of 2018.
Water always contains some amount of dissolved solids (inorganic salts like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, for example), which influences its pH. According to Nicole M. Hancock, executive director of the Safe Drinking Water Foundation, the higher the total dissolved solids, the more alkaline the water tends to be. The pH of tap water is close to 7, while water with more alkaline compounds in it typically has a pH of 8 or 9.