Is alkaline water the next new sports drink?

Alkaline water is becoming increasingly popular among people and even with athletes.  It is being used for the number of body depends on it.  Whether you’re an elite athlete or a weekend warrior, drinking water during exercise is essential.  Good benefits related to health.  But what is the connection with fitness?  We all know water is the key to life. Every system in our hydration means getting the right amount of water before, during or after exercise.  If you’re not hydrated, your body can not perform at its highest level. But is all water created equal and what benefit can alkaline water have on your body?  Is alkaline water the next sports drink?

First, what is alkaline water? Alkaline water has a higher pH thus less acidic than most tap water (tap water may have contaminants and impurities) and higher in alkaline compounds (minerals).  And with regards to most brands of bottled water on the market are just that: bottled water.

Our body has an amazing system to maintain our life.  Our body maintains very constant conditions and even with this an incredibly sophisticated machinery (our body is a machine) to keep the pH levels where they should be throughout the body, there are causes of pH imbalance those include: improper diet, alcoholic beverages, medications, stress, pollution and exercise.

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With our focus on exercise one may say, “The harder you exercise, the quicker your muscles become acidic leading to tiredness and reduced performance.”

Studies show that alkaline water and an alkaline diet can raise the body’s pH balance preceding exercise and create an environment more beneficial for performance. These studies have shown the greatest advantages of this alkaline-induced saturation in heavy anaerobic activities such as sprinting and weightlifting.

“Endurance and elite sports athletes should be concerned about maintaining a healthy pH balance,” says Robert Burns, a PhD. He notes that lactic acid build-up or hydrogen ion excess is of most concern. As the body metabolizes food, acid waste is created which must be removed or neutralized through the lungs, kidneys (urine) and skin. “pH balance and acid buffering are crucial to human health and slowing the aging process,” he explains. Athletes, coaches and practitioners of holistic and traditional medicine are paying more attention to this area. “We may be able to buffer or slow the negative effects that acidosis has on athletes as well as the many disparate maladies that share acidosis as a common thread,” he concludes.

Most people, including most athletes do not consume enough alkaline rich foods, such as nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Instead their diets contain high amounts of acid forming foods, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy. Because of this dietary imbalance, they may be at risk for increased acidosis that affects overall health and sports performance.

In conclusion by drinking alkaline water throughout the day regardless of training demands bodies will be hydrated and balanced before, during and after strenuous workouts. Just like the rest of the body, muscles perform best within a narrow pH range. It may reduce incidents of muscle soreness, have shortened recovery times and don’t experience the “crash” often associated with many sports drinks.  Alkaline water may just be the next 0 sugar sports drink?

Marisa Teiner- Nutritionist and Spokesperson