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Why Does My Water Taste Sweet?

By: Craig Smith
Last Updated:
Why Does My Water Taste Sweet?

One of our most delicate senses is our sense of taste. That’s why when you drink water that has impurities in it, you may be immediately alerted by your sense of taste that something is wrong with it.

One taste that water picks up that is more common than you might expect, is for the water that you drink to start to taste sweet.

If you experience this for yourself after taking a drink of water, it would not be unusual for you to ask yourself ‘Why does my water taste sweet?’. 

That is a question I am fully prepared to help you answer.

Here I will go over the various reasons as to why your water may suddenly seem like it has a sweeter taste, if this is a cause for concern, and how to get your water back to tasting normal again.

Most of the time, just by adding a simple water filtration device you can easily get your water to taste crisp, clear, and pleasant again when it contacts your taste buds.

What Factors May Be Causing My Water to Taste Sweet?

There are many more possibilities than you would probably expect as to why your water tastes sweet to you. Some of those are related to the water coming into your home or plumbing issues and others have nothing to do at all with the water quality that comes out of your faucet.

Here are the most common reasons as to why when you drink water it leaves a sweet taste in the mouth: 

Water & Plumbing-Related Issues

  1. High Mineral Content
High Mineral Content

Whether the source of your water comes from a city water supply or a well, it’s not uncommon for your water to be full of minerals.

Some of these, in particular calcium, lead to your water having a sweet taster when found in higher concentrations in it.

In addition to your water having a sweet taste, you may also notice other signs such as limescale buildup on kitchen and bathroom fixtures, your soap or shampoos inability to lather as you use them, and unsightly water spots appearing on dishes & glasses after you wash them.

  1. pH Imbalance
ph-scale-chart

Normal water pH level (causes a neutral taste) is considered to be 7 on the pH scale which goes from 1 to 14. Water that tests out to have a pH less than seven is considered to be acidic-leaning and water that has a pH level greater than seven is considered to be alkaline.

Water with a pH in the acidic range can often taste bitter and water that tests out in the alkaline range can cause water that tastes sweet in some instances.  

  1. Limescale Buildup in Plumbing
Limescale Buildup in Plumbing

Here is another water condition that develops when too many hard water-causing minerals such as calcium and magnesium are found to be in high levels in your incoming household water.

This is more likely to happen if you have a well as opposed to having city water.

The same limescale that you see on your bathroom and kitchen fixtures may also be lining the inside of your water pipes.

Since limescale is made up mostly of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and we already have learned that calcium compounds can cause water to have a sweet taste.

When these calcium compounds break free from the sides of plumbing pipes in high enough amounts, they can also cause a sweet water taste.

Other Issues that May Cause Water to Taste Sweet

  1. Recent Foods & Beverages that Were Consumed
Food and Beverages

Sometimes when you eat sweet foods or drink sweetened beverages, that can leave some residual sugar lining your taste buds or in your saliva.

This is especially true with foods such as ice cream and chocolate which are heavy in sugars and also tend to coat your tongue and mouth thoroughly as you consume them.

When you wash down a food that tastes sweet with a drink of water, this may cause a sweet taste with your taste buds. This is not something that should persist for long, so if your water tastes sweet for a long time, then this is most likely not the cause of that.

  1. Health-Related Issues  

Just as I may have surprised you with how many factors can make your water appear to taste sweet, it will probably also surprise you as to how many medical conditions are responsible for making water taste sweet. 

Before you read this list of health-related reasons as to why water tastes sweet and immediately run to your doctor for a checkup, you should be aware that water impurities and plumbing-related issues are by far the most common causes as to why your water suddenly starts to get a sweet aftertaste.

But I want you to be informed as much as possible on this topic so I owe it to you to be very thorough with the information that I present to you on this subject.

Diabetes is one health issue that can be strongly related to the water that you drink seemingly having a sweeter taste. 

This condition is caused by the body’s inability to properly metabolize carbohydrates which leads to higher-than-normal levels of glucose (a commonly found molecular sugar in your body) in the blood and urine.

blood-sugar-levels

When blood sugar levels are elevated this can do such things as lead you to believe that your tap water has a sweeter taste to it. 

This can be especially concerning if your diabetes is causing a serious health condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis, of which sweet and fruity smells and tastes are a warning sign.

It’s also a health condition that requires emergency medical attention when combined with other related symptoms.

Other health-related reasons that may make water taste sweet are pregnancy, low carb dieting, neurological disorders, saliva produced chemicals, infections, the use of some prescription drugs, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and in very rare instances lung cancer.

Should I Be Concerned with Sweet Tasting Water?

For the most part, water and plumbing connected issues that cause sweet tastes in water are not a big health concern. That’s because minerals such as calcium are good for the body in small amounts and not very toxic to the body even when found in higher amounts of water.

What is a concern is if the sweet taste in your water makes you want to drink less of it. That can lead to other health issues such as dehydration which can cause a ripple effect of other health problems to start to happen across your entire body.   

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, then your water appearing to taste sweet should be more of a concern to you that should be followed up immediately just to be safe.

You should also take a closer look at health symptoms being the root cause of your water tasting sweeter if you are the only one in your family experiencing this or testing your home’s water reveals no such conditions as a high calcium level or it has a pH level in the alkaline range.     

How to Tell What Is Causing Sweet Tasting Water

Since it’s more likely that your sweet tasting water problem is being caused by impurities in your tap water, it’s normally best to attempt to resolve this problem by testing your home’s water. There are several quality test kits available in which you can do this yourself.     

test-strips

Make sure you choose a test kit such as the JNW Direct Drinking Water Test Strips 15 in 1 that will test for total hardness (this detects the presence of CALCIUM and other limescale causing compounds) and pH.

tap-score

If you don’t trust the results of testing your home’s water yourself, companies such as Tap Score offer professional lab testing kits where you take samples of your water and send them in to get highly accurate professional water analysis.

Once again, total hardness and pH must be tested for with the kit that you choose to do this.  

How to Improve the Quality of Your Drinking Water?

You have several choices when it comes to eliminating the sweetness causing impurities in your drinking water.  

If you have found by testing your water that it has a high total hardness level, then that means it most likely contains high amounts of minerals such as calcium that are known to cause it to taste sweeter.

These hard water compounds can cause water to taste poor in other ways too.

Fleck5600SXTWaterSoftenerWholeHouseSystem

The best device for removing calcium and other hard water-causing compounds is a water softener. These can easily be added to your incoming water line.

The ion-exchange process that water softeners utilize is excellent for removing calcium and other minerals that often impact the taste of your water.   

iSpring Water Systems Under Sink

Advanced carbon filtration will also help eliminate many contaminants in water that can cause it to taste bad. This type of filter media is typically found in the best under-sink water filters, countertop water filters, and even less expensive water pitchers.

AquaOx-Water-System

My favorite way to significantly improve the water taste and overall quality in any home is to combine a water softener with a good whole-house filtration system that has one or more activated carbon filtration stages.

Being Proactive When It Comes to Your Drinking Water is Always a Good Idea

As I mentioned, the regular consumption of water is too important to your overall health for you to ever want any condition such as your water tasting sweet to convince you to drink less of it.

This never has to be a choice either since there are many quality water filtration devices available that will remove calcium and other compounds that can cause your water to have an unpleasant taste.

Many of these water filtration solutions are very affordable and will also remove other tap water impurities that are much more of a health concern than those that cause your water to take on a sweet taste.    

That’s why whenever I move into a new house or notice a change in my water quality, the first thing that I do is test my water for harmful contaminants and purchase a water filtration system that removes the ones that concern me most.

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AUTHOR
Craig Smith
Craig got his start in water working in the swimming pool and spa industry. Water treatment would grow into his main career but he ended up working in the pool industry for over 26 years where much of his time was spent balancing the water in customer's swimming pools and installing water filtration equipment. Craig offers an abundance of water treatment knowledge after helping homeowners get pure water for 26 years.

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