Why Alkaline water you ask?
If you are conscientious about what you put in your body, you may be wondering if the type of water that you drink matters. I can assure you that it does! However, probably not in the way you are thinking.
Water is one of the most important substances for maintaining good health and optimum body function. According to most sources online, an adult human body is comprised of up to 70% water. It’s no surprise then that the type of water you drink can have a direct impact on how you look, feel, and function on any given day.
Your body is naturally slightly alkaline, meaning that your pH is slightly higher than neutral. The typical pH value of the human body human ranges from 7.35 to 7.45; this is essential for living organisms as well as for cellular functionality. When drinking water (or anything else for that matter) your body must work hard to neutralize the acids and bases in order to keep your pH within this range.
When it comes to drinking water, most people in the developed world have many options to choose from. The local convenience store will likely have anywhere from 10 to 30 choices when it comes to bottled water. These beverages vary just as much in quality as they do in taste.
The latest trend to hit the bottled water scene is alkaline water. Bottled alkaline water comes both in processed forms (ionized water) and from natural springs located in select locations of the world (such as Iceland). This trend is a definitely healthier and option than “standard” bottled water. Let’s take a look.
What is Alkaline Water?
Aside from ensuring that the water you consume is clean & pure, the alkalinity, or pH, is another key measure that many people often overlook. The pH value of any substances ranges from 0 (Very Acidic) to 14 (Very Alkaline) with 7 being completely neutral.
Pure distilled water would have a pH value of 7 whereas rainwater would typically be slightly acidic due to the absorption of Carbon Dioxide from the air. One way to think about this is that an alkaline substance is the opposite of an acidic substance. If you were to mix the two together, they would neutralize each other.
Most water that people drink will be nearly neutral or even slightly acidic in pH. However, alkaline water is now available in most convenience and grocery stores as it has become popular in recent years.
Benefits of Alkaline Water
Businesses and drink manufacturers will say just about anything to market their latest drink to you. Some claims may have some merit while others are completely bogus. There is no study or scientific research that shows a clear, direct benefit to drinking alkaline water. However, some studies have shown measurable changes or benefits in certain specific cases.
One question that is often asked about alkaline water is if it can help with acid reflux or GERD. One 2012 study showed that drinking alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 instantly neutralized stomach pepsin and helped to buffer the effects of acid reflux. The study concluded that alkaline water may have healing benefits for people suffering with acid reflux disease or GERD. Please consult your doctor before attempting to treat your acid reflux symptoms with alkaline water.
A small 2017 study of 36 male soccer players in Biology of Sport investigated the effects of drinking different types of water on hydration and post-exercise lactate use after strenuous exercise. Lactate, also known as lactic acid, is a byproduct produced by the body during exercise. When it builds up, it can cause a “burning” sensation that is often associated with strenuous exercise. Researchers found that alkaline water with no added minerals was associated with better hydration and improved lactate utilization. Larger, more comprehensive clinical trials are still needed to further support these findings.
Also, a small 2009 study in the journal Bone examined the effects of both calcium-rich acidic mineral water and bicarbonate- and calcium-rich alkaline mineral water on bone health among 30 female participants. Those who were randomly placed in the alkaline water consumption group showed fewer markers of bone resorption than women assigned to the acidic mineral water group. A more recent 2021 study demonstrated that of 100 postmenopausal women, participants who drank alkaline water demonstrated enhanced bone density markers, suggesting that further studies are warranted to explore the impact alkaline water may have on treating osteoporosis.
Also, in 2016, scientists studied the effects of high-pH water on blood viscosity in healthy adults to see if there were any measurable benefits to consuming alkaline water. The study evaluated blood viscosity for adults after a strenuous workout for two groups, one that drank water with a neutral pH and one that drank alkaline water. The study concluded that drinking high-pH water was shown to reduce systolic blood viscosity significantly more than drinking neutral water following exercise-induced dehydration. Lower blood viscosity is linked with more efficient blood flow which results in increased oxygen delivery and improved carbon dioxide removal.
In conclusion, it’s pretty clear that drinking alkaline water has no risk, but has many potential health benefits. There are many people out there with testimonies who swear by these benefits. If you haven’t been drinking alkaline water, try it out and see what happens. When life gives you lemon, make alkaline water with it.