Core Nutrition, LLC claims that its Core Hydration water products provide superior hydration because their pH level is the same as “your body’s natural pH balance.” Is this possible? The complaint for this class action claims that it is not, and that science does not back up the products’ claims.
Two classes have been proposed for this action. The first is consumers in all states who bought the products with actionable representations during the statutes of limitations. The second is all those in the first group in the state of New York.
The front panel of the water products says, “Nutrient Enhanced Perfect pH* Water with Electrolytes & Minerals.” The asterisk after “Perfect pH” refers to “Perfect pH: 7.4*—your body’s natural pH balance,” the complaint says. Another panel says, “The pH that naturally occurs in your body happens to be perfect, so it should come as no surprise that we mirrored our water after it. [C]ore® Hydration is ultra purified for a clean, crisp taste and has just the right amount of electrolytes & minerals to match your body’s natural pH of 7.4 … or simply put—the perfect pH!”
The complaint says that the idea behind the water products is that “foods which contain acid-producing elements will generally lead the body to become acidic, with consequent negative outcomes.” This theory claims that, since the blood has a pH of 7.4, a person should eat foods with a similar pH level—that is, slightly alkaline.
However, the complaint claims that this idea is not upheld by science. It explains that food or drink travels first to the stomach, which is highly acidic, with a pH of about 3.0. This acid level, the complaint claims, is necessary to break food down and sterilize it of bacteria. After this, the complaint claims, the food or drink goes to the intestines, where it is neutralized and slightly alkalized by pancreatic solutions.
The most a food or drink can do, the complaint says, is to minimally and transiently change the blood pH. The acceptable range is not large. If the blood pH changes more than is desirable, the body takes steps to restore the correct level. A large change would be a serious medical problem, requiring hospitalization, the complaint says.
The complaint thus says that the water’s fine-tuned pH level is meaningless and provides no benefit. “The only impact … would be to alter the pH of the excreted urine to be more or less alkaline, depending on whether one’s dietary habits tend to be more acidic or alkaline. … However, urine is not blood…”
The complaint claims violations of New York’s General Business Law, negligent misrepresentation, breach of warranties, and fraud, among other things.