What is Alkaline Water? Benefits and Risks
Water plays an integral role in ensuring every cell, organ, and tissue in your body remains healthy. Think about the last time you were dehydrated. You probably felt tired, sluggish, and generally “unwell.”
No one likes feeling that way.
But does drinking regular water keep you hydrated and as healthy as possible?
Did you know that dehydration is the stem of many health conditions? Studies reveal that up to 75% of adult Americans are chronically dehydrated. These statistics also indicate that between 17 and 28% of older Americans suffer from dehydration.
What’s the solution?
Some claim that alkaline water is the best and exceeds the hydration properties and health benefits of regular tap water. Is this all hype, or is there scientific evidence backing up these claims?
What is Alkaline Water
Has someone told you that alkaline water is better than regular tap water? If so, that might lead you to wonder, “what is alkaline water,” and if you should drink it or not.
You might have seen celebrities like Tom Brady and Beyonce talking about the benefits of drinking alkaline water. This kind of water is growing in popularity and is expected to grow into a $1 billion industry this year.
But what is alkaline water?
Alkaline water is water that features more hydrogen ions than regular drinking water with a pH level above 7.
You can determine the amount of hydrogen alkaline water contains by measuring its pH level. The standard pH level is from 0 to 14 where 0 is very acidic and 14 is very alkaline.
Alkaline water typically has a pH of 8 or 9 and regular drinking water usually has a neutral pH around 7.
Alkaline water also contains alkaline minerals and a negative ORP or oxidation reduction potential, which helps the water act as an antioxidant. Minerals such as magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium help to increase the alkalinity.
Is Alkaline Water Good For You?
While some believe that alkaline water is better for you than tap water, it’s essential to look at the benefits and possible adverse effects it might have. That way, you can develop a clear picture of whether or not it’s the best choice for your health goals.
There are several reasons why people believe alkaline water is good for them, including:
May Help Restore the Body’s Natural pH Levels
The first thing you’re going to notice about alkaline water is that it contains higher pH levels than standard bottled water. Those higher pH levels may contribute to the reduction of acidity levels throughout your body.
We learn from the U.S. Geological Survey that pH measures the acidity and alkalinity of water. Water’s pH ranges between zero and 14, with seven being neutral. If the number is low, the water is more acidic. Regular tap water features a pH level of seven, whereas alkaline water ranges between eight and nine.
May Help Increase the Body’s Energy
Feeling run-down, sluggish, and tired all the time is frustrating, especially when you carry a demanding schedule. Instead of depending on caffeine or an energy drink for an energy boost, many turn to alkaline water.
Robert O. Young, the co-author of The pH Miracle, discusses this energy reduction in a Newsmax health review. He indicates that when the body contains too much acid, it can cause increased fatigue, drowsiness, and energy loss.
Benefits of Alkaline water
Even though alkaline water isn’t a miracle cure for medical conditions, there are possible benefits to drinking it compared to regular tap water.
Keep in mind that when you drink alkaline water, it doesn’t change your body systems’ pH. You have chemical systems throughout your body that do that for you.
For example, the majority of this work occurs in your pancreas and stomach acid.
Many believe that there are health benefits to drinking alkaline water. The basis of this belief stems from believing that the body and blood’s acidic properties cause disease and poor health. Alkaline water contains four minerals many believe contribute to exceptional health benefits. They include:
- Calcium: Supports heart, muscle, and nerve health while simultaneously benefitting bone health.
- Magnesium: This mineral is essential for converting food into energy and is also necessary for more than 300 of the body’s biochemical reactions.
- Potassium: Not only does this electrolyte promote healthy digestion, but it also is essential for muscle functions.
- Sodium: This mineral supports nerve and muscle function while simultaneously regulating blood pressure and volume.
You’ll also find that many believe that alkaline water is beneficial to your health because it supports your immune system, aids in weight loss, and helps treat cancer. If you’re wondering whether or not there’s scientific evidence backing the health benefits of drinking alkaline water, see the reports below.
Here are some scientifically-backed alkaline water benefits:
The Biology of Sport published a study indicating positive hydration effects when drinking alkaline water following biking, jumping rope, sprinting, and other anaerobic exercises. Consuming alkaline water also shows positive effects on an individual’s urine pH during anaerobic exercises and following high-intensity interval exercise.
Improving bone health
You’ll find some research pointing to drinking alkaline water and its positive effects on bone health. For example, when you read a study published in the scientific journal, Bone, it shows us that there are positive effects on bone resorption when people consume alkaline water containing high bicarbonate levels.
Reducing high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol
Researchers in Shanghai conducted a study during 2016, indicating that patients saw lower measures when they previously had high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol after drinking alkaline water for between three and six months. Researchers conclude that alkaline water containing high-pH electrolyte can reduce blood viscosity in 100 adults after they exercise in a separate study.
Slowing the aging process
During 2016, there’s a study involving 150 mice that were studied over three years regarding the effects of drinking alkaline water. The study’s results reveal that the mice drinking alkaline water showed signs of aging less and living longer. Researchers conducted tests on the mice’ brains, hearts, intestines, kidneys, and livers to determine if there was a correlation to drinking alkaline water and disease. These studies show that no significant damages are occurring from drinking alkaline water.
Soothing symptoms of acid reflux
We learn from a study that the Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology released that when people drink alkaline water featuring at least 8.8 pH, it can help soothe acid reflux. That happens because high pH levels can kill pepsin, an enzyme that’s the leading cause of acid reflux. After all, it breaks down food proteins.
Possible Negative Effects of Alkaline Water
Even though alkaline water is safe for you to consume, that doesn’t mean it isn’t without its adverse effects. For example, alkaline water might lower your stomach’s natural acidity. That acidity helps discharge objectionable pathogens and kill bacteria that might enter your body’s bloodstream.
Also, if you drink too much alkaline water, that could lead to skin irritations and gastrointestinal issues. You might also agitate your body’s natural pH if you drink too much of this water. That could lead to metabolic alkalosis. That condition could result in the following symptoms:
- Extremity or facial tingling
- Hand tremors
- Muscle twitching
Metabolic alkalosis is also the cause of decreases in your body’s free calcium. Free calcium is crucial to bone health. That negative effect is rare because hypocalcemia typically occurs when you have an underactive parathyroid gland.
Is Alkaline Water Safe Overall?
Now that you know the benefits and possible adverse effects of alkaline water, you might be wondering if it’s safe to drink overall. That’s a valid question considering many health professionals argue over whether it’s a good idea to drink this water.
Health professionals don’t have an issue with alkaline water’s safety, but rather the many health claims floating around about this water. For example, many health professionals don’t believe that there’s enough scientific evidence supporting it as beneficial for health conditions.
Because it contains natural minerals, many consider drinking alkaline water as safe. However, it’s a good idea to use caution when drinking artificially-produced alkaline water. The main reason is that it typically contains fewer beneficial minerals than it leads you to believe.
Where Do You Get Alkaline water?
There are many ways to get alkaline water, including online and at health food or grocery stores in bottles. You can also find the best water ionizers on our review page to make it easily at home with your own machine. If you don’t want to make your own then buying it at the store is a good option.
Are you worried about the safety of buying alkaline water over the counter? The good news is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates bottled water sold as alkaline. Alkaline water brands sometimes add nutrients to water when trying to achieve an alkaline pH.
Alkaline water is available through several brands, including examples like Essential Ionized Alkaline Water, Icelandic Glacial Natural Spring Water, LIFEWTR pH-Balanced Purified Water, and Evamor Natural Alkaline Artesian Water.
Many products are also available for creating alkaline water right from your tap. Examples of these products include the Ultra Premium Alkaline Water Pitcher, Alkaline Water Filter Stick, Alkaline Water Filter Pouch, and the DYLN Living Alkaline Water Bottle.
How to Make Alkaline Water
If you prefer not to buy alkaline water or use a water ionizer, you can make this kind of water in your home from scratch. By adding one or two squeezes of lemon or lime, you can increase the alkalinity of water as your body digests it.
Even though these juices are acidic, they contain the minerals necessary for creating alkaline byproducts once your body digests and metabolizes them. Another way of making alkaline water is by adding baking soda or pH drops.
Here’s a recipe you’ll love for making alkaline water at home using ingredients you probably already have in your pantry!
- 0.264 gallons (one-liter) of filtered water
- One lemon
- 1 1/8 TBSP of Himalayan pink or traditional sea salt
- Fill a pitcher with the filtered water
- Cut the lemon in half
- Squeeze half the lemon directly into the water
- Cut the other half of the lemon into thin slices and add them to the water
- Add the sea salt and mix the ingredients thoroughly
- Let the mixture sit at least eight to nine hours or overnight before serving
Even though drinking alkaline water has many health benefits and is safe for consumption, you should be aware that the scientific evidence isn’t 100% clear. At the least, it does provide extra minerals to your body and different professional athletes claim that it’s beneficial. If you’re looking to include alkaline water in your health routine and want an awesome machine to make it at home, check out our water ionizer review here. If you want a machine that specifically makes extra hydrogen check out our hydrogen water machine review.