-- Alkaline water is a new hydration trend that some say is superior to regular water.
Proponents believe that maintaining a bodily pH of 7.4 is the key to perfect health. Drinking alkaline water, which is less acidic that tap water, can help the body stay better hydrated and disease free, they said.
PH is measured on a scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is considered neutral. Values below 7 are considered acidic, while those above 7 are alkaline -– or basic.
One brand of alkaline water was advertised as having a pH of 9.5.
Barbara Broadwater of Los Angeles drinks alkaline water and says she believes the benefits.
“I feel more hydrated. I feel more energetic, and I don't feel tired during the day,” she said.
Broadwater said alkaline water helped her wrinkles disappear. Her joints have also stopped hurting, she said, adding that she bought an ionizer -- the machine that adds the alkalinity to normal water -- for her kitchen. She uses alkaline water in everything, including for cooking and making coffee.
“It has really changed my life and I feel so much better inside,” she said.
Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News’ chief health and medical editor, offered his take.
“Our bodies need water - it's absolutely essential. But … the idea that drinking alkaline water will affect the PH of your blood is absolute nonsense,” he said.
Critics say that while alkaline water won’t help, it also probably won’t hurt.
Despite the critics, Broadwater, who is in her 50s, says she will continue to drink alkaline water.
“For the naysayers -- I know that it has helped me because I know that my knees don't hurt, my joints are very mobile and I can run and jump like much younger people,” she said.