Alkaline water might not be a new word to you if you are in the health and fitness industry. This has been trending for sometimes now among health-conscious individuals.
The word “alkaline” is simply referring to the pH of the water. This is a number scale that helps you measure how acidic or alkaline food or a substance is. The scale runs from 0 to 14.
A pH of 1 is very acidic and that of 14 is very alkaline. The number 7 is neutral and the pH of the human body is between 7.2 and 7.4. This is slightly on an alkaline side because an acidic body makes you prone to all kinds of diseases.
One of the ways to maintain the normal alkalinity of your body is to eliminate acidic foods from your diet and add alkaline water to your diet. An active lifestyle will also help your body maintain its mild alkalinity.
Understanding Alkaline Water
Your normal drinking water has a pH of 7 while alkaline water has a pH higher than that. It can be around 8 to 9. Water is important to every cell, tissue, organ, and system in your body.
This is why it is wise to be well hydrated to prevent the health consequences of dehydration. Water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen. That is why the formula of water is H2O.
Alkaline water has a higher pH than 7 and it also has a negative oxidation-reduction potential. In alkaline water, there are more oxygen and fewer hydrogen ions while acidic water has more hydrogen ions and fewer oxygen ions.
No disease can thrive in an alkaline state. This is an undisputable fact. Drinking alkaline water will bring your body back to its alkaline or basic state.
Your body gets acidic due to sedentary living and eating bad foods such as refined sugars, excess sodium, hydrogenated oils, chemical additives, high-fructose corn syrup, synthetic hormones, pesticides, and ultra-processed foods.
All these leads to the overproduction of acid in the blood, it contributes to low-grade acidosis and this will create a thriving environment for pathogens and diseases.
Due to this many health benefits of an alkaline state, there are lots of claims that alkaline water is the best water to drink. Are these claims actually true or they are just a way to target health-conscious people and get money from them?
I will try my best possible to make this understandable. This will help you know the truth.
The Truth About Commercial Alkaline Water
Commercial alkaline water is chemically manipulated to have the properties of alkaline water such as a high pH and negative oxidation potential (ORP). This gives the water the ability to act as a pro- or antioxidant.
Some manufacturers use special devices to change the chemical makeup of the water. They can even add nutrients to change the pH of the water.
Some of the nutrients added are magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium. These are also known as alkaline minerals they make sure the body is healthy and running. They also play other important roles in the body.
Calcium supports your circulatory system and strengthens your bones. Potassium aids muscle functions, elimination of fluids, and digestion.
Sodium balances your blood pressure, influences muscle movement, and balance fluids in the body. Magnesium helps convert the foods you eat into energy. It also maintains the functions of vital organs in your body.
Your body works hard to keep the blood in an alkaline state and when in an acidic state, your body will draw these minerals from the reserves such as the teeth and bones to serve as a buffer.
The process of making alkaline water is quite questionable. These procedures are believed to change the chemical nature of the water. Is this water truly healthy or just a marketing gimmick?
The Debate on Alkaline Water
First, from what I have written above, you can see that alkaline water might not be safe as it is promoted. The chemical structure and nature have been changed.
Secondly, those minerals added are mostly inorganic and the body cannot use them in that state. They have to be converted into organic minerals before the body can utilize them.
Thirdly, there is no sufficient evidence from studies and peer review to prove these claims are actually true. Many companies are just making unsubstantiated claims just to sell their products or the ionizing machines used in making alkaline water.
Well, this is not to discourage you from going alkaline but to make you careful of the products you buy. There are few studies that support the health benefits of alkaline water but not the one you know of.
The best and only alkaline water in nature is spring water. This wasn’t made by any kind of manipulation but was prepared by nature itself.
Natural alkaline water is made when water runs over rocks and picks up organic minerals from springs. This is the best and safest alkaline water.
If you want to benefit from alkaline water, go for spring water and not manufactured ones. Also, it is good you know that continued consumption of alkaline water can also affect your pH balance and this can cause problems.
But this is not a problem because we are surrounded by toxins everywhere. From the wrong diet to sedentary living, and even exposure to radiation, all these make one toxic.
If you are exposed to all these and engage in unhealthy eating, then you need to take in alkaline water regularly.
Now that we’ve cleared the confusion around this, let is look at the health benefits of spring water, the alkaline water manufactured by nature herself.
Health Benefits of Natural Spring Alkaline Water
Natural spring water has a lot of health benefits and it is the best and safest alkaline water we have. The common benefits supported by studies are:
Boosts blood circulation
Natural alkaline water gotten from natural springs helps in boosting circulation. It aids the flow of oxygenated blood and also supplies important nutrients to your body.
Spring water reduces the thickness/viscosity of your blood, this will aid the smooth flow of blood through your blood vessels.
Detoxifies the body
An alkaline environment leads to the effective removal of toxins and waste products from the body.
Helps diabetes patients
Alkaline water reduces the levels of glucose in your blood. It also treats high levels of cholesterol which is present in diabetes patients. It improves the viscosity of the blood in diabetes patients.
Treats dry eyes
Though I have not seen a study to back up this claim, users of spring water believes it treats dry eyes. It is applied directly to dry eyes. It won’t harm your eyes so you can go ahead and give this a try.
Promotes bone health
A highly acidic diet and body reduce your bone mass. Your body will pull alkalizing minerals from your bone to alkalize your body. An alkaline diet which includes alkaline water will prevent this.
Alkaline water is even believed to keep bones strong by influencing certain hormones that have an effect on bone metabolism. One of these is the parathyroid hormone.
It makes the bones to release calcium into the bloodstream. Alkaline water stops this process and it also reduces the levels of biomarkers used to trigger the rate of bone turnover.
Relieves symptoms of fibromyalgia
This is a chronic disease characterized by severe fatigue and muscoskeletal pains. Alkaline water increases energy levels and also reduces pains according to anecdotal evidence.
It is also believed to help lubricate the muscles.
Regulates blood pressure
Some studies have also shown that alkaline water helps control blood pressure. This effect can be caused by the alkaline minerals in the water.
Treats ovarian cysts
Anecdotal evidence shows that drinking alkaline water dissolves ovarian cysts. This helps in treating this condition. It also relieves the imbalances caused by PCOS and improves fertility.
Protects from digestive disorders
Spring/alkaline water protects you against digestive disorders. The most common of these is acid reflux also known as GERD. In this condition, acid flows from the stomach into the esophagus.
This causes problems like nausea, bloating, and belching. The enzyme pepsin has been implicated in this condition. It is responsible for breaking down proteins.
It plays an important role in GERD and triggers its symptoms. Alkaline water neutralizes pepsin and relieves the symptoms of GERD.
However, this is not the real cure to GERD, it just offers a temporal relief. You have to get to the root cause and eliminate it to get your total healing.
Treats skin diseases
The intake of alkaline water helps treat eczema, psoriasis, and other skin diseases. It also helps with acne. Even bathing with the water has also shown effectiveness. It nourishes your skin and offers anti-aging benefits.
There are little studies to support this but it won’t cause any harm if you try it.
Boosts weight loss
In a study, rats were given alkaline water and it leads to lower body weight. The rat with the lowest body weight was given the most alkaline water of pH 8.
Boosts hair growth
Though there is no concrete research to back this up, it is known that alkaline water boosts the circulation of blood. This, in turn, would enhance hair health and promote the growth of healthy hair.
Regulates blood sugar
A high level of sugar in your bloodstream is detrimental. It causes frequent thirsts, headaches, and fatigue. If it is not treated in time, it can lead to nerve damage and impaired vision.
Some preliminary research has shown that alkaline water helps balance blood sugar thus helping you maintain healthy levels of blood sugar in your bloodstream.
Boosts cancer treatment
Cancer thrives in an acidic environment. Alkaline water aids cancer treatment since it reduces acidity. You have to add an alkaline diet to this to see amazing effects.
An alkaline environment also lessens the dangerous side effects of chemotherapy drugs. It also reduces inflammation which is one of the root causes of cancer.
A study has shown that alkaline water enhances hydration better than plain water. It also increases alkalinity in the blood and urine. It increases your hydration status better than regular drinking water.
Boosts a healthy pregnancy
Alkaline water can help pregnant women have a smooth pregnancy. It promotes a healthy and smooth delivery and even increases lactation. Some have also reported reduced cases of jaundice.
Alkaline water also has a substantial effect on postnatal growth. The minerals in the water are responsible for this. Research on this is still ongoing.
Alternatives To Natural Spring Alkaline Water
If you don’t have access to natural spring water, you can make yours at home using lemons or baking soda. If you are making use of baking soda, you have to be careful here.
People on a low sodium diet should not use baking soda because it is high in sodium. Add 1/8 tablespoon of baking soda to 8 oz. of water. Mix thoroughly and drink. people with kidney problems should avoid alkaline water.
If you are making use of lemons, slices one lemon and soak the slices in water. Don’t squeeze them, just put them in the water and cover it for 8 to 12 hours at room temperature.
You can add a teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt. Your body will react with the anionic properties present in lemons to make the water alkaline as your body digests it.
You can also go for alkaline water made by water companies. However, you should note that all are not the same. Make your research and go for the one of the highest quality.
If you are taking bottled spring water, you don’t have to take it daily, just a few times a week is okay so that you won’t alter the natural mild alkalinity of your bloodstream.
Some people advised buying pH drops from pharmacies and adding to your water. These drops are said to contain alkaline minerals but you have to be careful with this. Don’t take them often.
Does Alkaline water have Side Effects?
Yeah, there have been few reported side effects from consuming commercial alkaline water excessively. Some of them are:
- Itchy skins
- Runny nose
- Softer and darker stools
- Lowering the acidity of the stomach
- Excess alkalinity which also has its own disastrous side effects such as metabolic alkalosis. This can cause hand tremors, nausea, vomiting, muscle twitching, confusion, and tingling in hands and feet.
Although these side effects can subside once your body gets used to alkaline water. This should take a couple of days to 2 or 3 weeks.
However, always remember that natural alkaline water which is spring water is better than artificial water. Water that has gone through electrolysis using an ionizer to increase its pH might not be highly effective as natural spring water.
This is why doctors and most scientists have mixed reactions to the consumption of artificial alkaline water.
Many believe the benefits of alkaline water is a myth, well from few studies above and from my personal experience in natural healing, natural spring water is beneficial.
- Alkaline water and blood pressure; TJU, BMC, CNKI
- Alkaline water and diabetes; NCBI, NCBI, CNKI
- Alkaline water and GERD; NCBI, NCBI
- Alkaline water and bone health; NCBI, NCBI, NCBI, NCBI, SD
- Alkaline water and PCOS; NCBI
- Alkaline water and mineral content; WHO
- Alkaline water; hype or real?; CC
- Alkalinity and cancer; PHLBI, BMJ
- Alkaline water, hydration and Longevity; NCBI, NCBI, NCBI, NCBI
- Side effects of alkaline water; NCBI