Recently I was sent a box of Essentia Water. My family laughed when they saw it. My husband said, “Super hydrating water? Uh… duh.” My mom came to visit and asked, “If you put it in a sponge does it get wetter than regular water on a sponge?” And I admit, the phrase “super hydrating water” sounds kind of dumb!
So, here’s the product claim: It has a “proprietary electrolyte formula and higher pH of 9.5″ which can help facilitate “maintaining normal blood pressure, restful sleep, concentration and focus, proper cardiac rhythm, muscle strength, endocrine balance, intestinal function and more” and even balance your body’s pH levels, all while tasting great!
Yes, it tastes good… like nice, clean, clear water. Really tasty, clean, clear water. It’s refreshing!
Most bottled water has a basic pH of 7.0 or below. That means it doesn’t absorb into your body as easily, and therefore, doesn’t provide the superior hydration you get with Essentia.
So… I have no idea how to actually test all this stuff on my own. Perhaps if I was friends with Bill Nye the Science Guy he would have given me a host of tests I could use, but I did the best that I could on my own. I used pH testing strips I purchased from Swanson’s Vitamins.*
I filled 3 glasses with some water; one with Essentia, one with filtered water from my fridge dispenser and one filled with tap water.
Then I tore off little strips of the pH testing tape and dipped it in the water for the required 3 seconds. Now, the pH testing tape says it’s for use with bodily fluids… like saliva and/or urine. So that could make a difference.
The strip on the bottom is my own saliva next to the tape dispenser which has a little color guide to show the results.
Now according to those results, the Essentia has a lower pH than all of the other “types” of water. However, since the tape says it is for testing bodily fluids, I’m willing to admit that it might not be the most scientific way to gauge the pH of these waters. (I would need a special meter that costs over $100.) But it definitely shows there is a difference in pH levels when compared to the water that comes straight from the Las Vegas water district, filtered or not.
An interesting claim from Essentia comes in regard to drinking it vs. sports drink:
Essentia provides a blend of dissolved minerals that emulate the ratio of the body’s own mixture and concentration – providing the correct proportion of electrolytes without all the sugars and other additives you typically find in sports and energy drinks.
Some people count on the sugars/carbohydrates from sports drinks as part of their fueling process. But for those who prefer to get their calories from other sources, it’s kind of an interesting thought… to use an electrolyte-enhanced water. You can buy it online via Amazon or look for an Essentia retailer near you. If you purchase a 24-case of 20 oz bottles on Amazon, you’re looking at a cost of about $1.29 per bottle, so it’s not terribly out of line with many other bottled waters.
So I may try putting it in my handheld water bottle over the next few weeks and see if I feel a difference. I know as it warms up here in Vegas, I have to replace electrolytes and I usually come home from a run and chug a bottle of nuun. Maybe this will be a difference?
* 05/08/2013 Update: So… as it turns out, my guess was right that using the pH testing strips isn’t effective.
“Litmus papers or test strips will not provide accurate results for pure waters because the indicator or strip material actually changes the pH of the sample, especially in low ionic-strength waters. This means that small or trace amounts of acidic components are present, which, in low ionic-strength waters, manifests and actually lowers the sample pH. ” (from Essentia’s PR Agency)
So while my test in no way can accurately reflect the true pH of the water, I do think it illustrates that Essentia is somehow vastly different from the other water sources!