What is alkaline water?
You may have heard numerous health benefits associated with alkaline water. According to some, it can help delay the aging process, balance your body’s pH level, and prevent chronic diseases such as cancer. But what exactly is alkaline water, and why is it so popular?
The term “alkaline” refers to the pH level of the water. On a scale of 0 to 14, the pH level measures how acidic or alkaline a particular material is. Something with a pH of 1 is highly acidic, whereas something with a pH of 13 is very alkaline.
The pH level of alkaline water is greater than that of ordinary drinking water. As a result, some proponents of alkaline water think it can neutralize the acid in your body.
Normal drinking water has a pH of 7, which is considered neutral. The pH of alkaline water is usually 8 or 9. However, pH alone is insufficient to impart significant alkalinity to water.
Alkaline water must also have alkaline minerals and the ability to reduce oxidation (ORP). ORP refers to water’s capacity to behave as a pro- or antioxidant. The lower the ORP value, the more antioxidizing the substance.
Does it work?
Alkaline water is a bit contentious. Many health specialists believe there is insufficient evidence to back the numerous health claims claimed by users and dealers. Differences in research outcomes might be attributed to the different types of alkaline water investigations.
Regular water, according to the Mayo Clinic, is optimal for the majority of individuals. They say that there is no scientific proof to back up the claims made by proponents of alkaline water.
Several studies, however, show that alkaline water may be beneficial for certain diseases.
Drinking naturally carbonated artesian-well alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 may help deactivate pepsin, the primary enzyme that causes acid reflux, according to a 2012 study trusted Source.
Another research found that consuming alkaline ionized water may help patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
A more recent study with 100 participants discovered a substantial difference in whole blood viscosity after ingesting high-pH water versus ordinary water after vigorous activity. Viscosity is a direct measure of how well blood flows through vessels.
Those who drank high-pH water reduced viscosity by 6.3 percent, compared to 3.36 percent for those who drank normal filtered drinking water. This indicates that alkaline water improved blood flow. This has the potential to improve oxygen supply throughout the body.
However, further study beyond these short trials is required. More study is needed, in particular, to explain additional claims made by proponents of alkaline water.
Despite the absence of conclusive scientific evidence, proponents of alkaline water continue to believe in its purported health advantages. These are some examples:
- properties that fight aging (via liquid antioxidants that absorb more quickly into the human body)
- cleaning qualities for the colon
- Hydration of the immune system, skin health, and other detoxifying qualities
- cancer resistance weight loss
They further claim that soft drinks, which are famously acidic, have extremely positive ORPs, causing a slew of health issues, whereas properly ionized and alkalinized water has extremely negative ORPs. Green tea has a slightly negative ORP and is high in antioxidants.
Possible side effects and risks of alkaline water
Although alkaline drinking water is thought to be harmless, it can have severe side effects.
Some of the bad side effects include a decrease in natural stomach acidity, which aids in the killing of germs and the expulsion of other unwanted organisms from your circulation.
Furthermore, an overall excess of alkalinity in the body can lead to gastrointestinal problems and skin irritations. Too much alkalinity can also disrupt the body’s natural pH, resulting in metabolic alkalosis, which can cause the following symptoms: hand tremors, muscular twitching, tingling in the limbs, or facial perplexity
Alkalosis can also result in a reduction in free calcium in the body, which can have an impact on bone health. The most prevalent cause of hypocalcemia, however, is an underactive parathyroid gland, not drinking alkaline water.
The concern with alkaline water that many health experts have is not its safety, but rather the health claims that are made about it.
There is insufficient scientific evidence to support the use of alkaline water to treat any health problem. Medical professionals advise against trusting all marketing promises.
Natural alkaline water is typically deemed safe to drink since it includes natural minerals.
However, you should exercise caution while using manufactured alkaline water, which has fewer beneficial minerals than its high pH would suggest and may include pollutants. Keep in mind that consuming too much alkaline water might cause mineral deficiency.