Alkaline Water: Why Should You Consider Drinking It?

Water is a big deal, especially if you consider that human bodies are primarily made of the element. No other stuff is so vital to our health.

If there is a way to make water better, therefore, it would attract support from fitness enthusiasts and celebrities, just like alkaline water has done.

Alkaline water has been linked to a host of benefits, including clearing skin, fighting cancer, and weight loss. Put simply, alkaline water contains a higher pH than plain water.

Claims about the water’s health advantages have boosted the popularity of machines than turn plain water alkaline and alkaline diets.

What is Alkaline Water?

alkaline-water
Alkaline Water

Alkaline water describes water that is less acidic when compared to regular tap water. It is rich in such alkalizing compounds as potassium, silica, bicarbonate, calcium, and magnesium.

Plain tap water will typically have a neutral pH of 7, while rainwater will be slightly below neutral since the carbon dioxide in the air makes it more acidic. Alkaline water, on the other hand, has a pH level of 8 or 9. pH alone cannot be used to afford significant alkalinity to water.

Alkaline water should also have alkaline minerals in addition to negative oxidation potential (ORP). ORP is the capability of water to serve as a pro- or antioxidant. Water will be more oxidizing is it has a negative ORP.

Alkaline water has recent origins. In Japan, the potential benefits of the beverage were first researched in the 1960s, and it relied on earlier work done in Russia.

The Japanese research centered on utilizing electronic devices to separate water into acidic and alkaline streams. The manufacture of water ionizers increased with an increased appreciation of alkaline ionized water.

The machines were subsequently approved in the nation and are now used in clinics.

Korea is currently the primary manufacturer of the devices. Alkaline ionized water is now popular in the two countries, in addition to other Oriental nations.

In the US, the popularity of alkaline water has been steadily increasing. Throughout the 1990s, an alternative medical practitioner named Robert O. Young and his wife, Shelley advertised products a multilevel marketing firm called Innerlight, Inc.

Their products included supplements, shampoo, and water machines. Robert would later launch a clinic, where he prescribed and gave IV infusions, which included baking soda. He proposed that an alkaline diet would address most health woes, including cancer.

Robert was, however, jailed for three years in 2017 for practicing medicine while unlicensed. More and more brands are currently treading in the uncertain waters of alkalinity with products like bottled alkaline water.

Natural alkaline water mainly occurs when water absorbs minerals from places like springs or rocks. Companies in this industry will manufacture the beverage and stock it in grocery stores or online platforms.

Some brands will either sell the beverage exclusively or include it among a broader product line-up. Simple ingredients like baking soda and lemon juice can also be used to make water alkaline.

Health Benefits of Alkaline Water

Anecdotal evidence on alkaline water suggests that water PH could be relevant to health, but there is not a lot of reliable data. The benefits of alkaline water can be attributed to the minerals contained in it.

Data indicates that drinking water can raise the body’s overall alkalinity. This situation is not always an advantage, however, as high alkalinity can result in adverse side effects in people with kidney problems.

Some of the benefits linked to alkaline water include:

Hydration

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts can benefit from consuming alkaline water. The beverage may enable drinkers to retain fluid in their cardiovascular systems while reducing their blood osmolality and urine output.

This is particularly important since high plasma osmolality is linked to an increased risk of death by stroke.

The research, however, suggests that these effects will be gradual rather than instantaneous. Alkaline water will, therefore, boost hydration in active people over time.

Bone Health and Osteoporosis

Some research has focused on the effect of alkaline water on bones. One study identified an impact on bone resorption, which describes the process of old bones breaking down to be replaced down by new ones.

More mineral density and less bone resorption result in better bone strength. The effect was, however, small and the scientists welcomed more research to determine if it was long-term.

A study included in the Nutritional Journal sought to discover the effect of an acidic diet on osteoporosis. The disease is associated with brittle and weak bones.

The background of the study quoted the many claims on the web that linked the consumption of alkaline diets with the counteraction of acidity in the body.

The study relied on high-quality evidence in the conclusion that the acid present in the modern-day diet does not lead to osteoporosis. It further concluded that alkaline supplements or an alkaline diet do not prevent osteoporosis.

Toxins

Tap water is disinfected to guard people against bacteria and toxins. Disinfectant by-products, however, form once the disinfectant interacts with the organic matter present in the tap water. These by-products can result in both health and environmental problems.

Alkaline water can break down some of the by-products and neutralize their harmful effects. Alkaline urine is also able to remove some environmental toxins and pharmaceuticals from the human body, which adds to the benefits of alkaline water.

Other by-products, however, appear to thrive in alkaline environments. Alkaline water, when compared to regular water, may not be better at protecting people from toxins.

Cancer

One review of the impact of alkalis on cancer was made public by Dr. Tanis Fenton and associates in the journal BMJ Open. It evaluated thousands of studies, but the team only uncovered a single randomized evaluation of cancer in the urinary bladder and acid in the diet.

No study on alkaline water and cancer in human bodies was found. The researchers noted that the use of alkaline water for cancer could be traced to salespeople of commercial alkaline products.

There was no research to either support or disapprove the application of alkaline products for cancer. One study has, however, put forward that an alkaline diet can enhance the function of some chemotherapy drugs.

Blood Pressure and Diabetes

Scientists based in Shanghai used alkaline water in people with high blood lipids, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar for 3 to 6 months. It was found that the people had lower measures of each after the period.

In 2016, scientists discovered that water with a high-pH electrolyte reduced viscosity in a total of 100 adults after exercising. This reduction may help decrease cardiovascular strain attributed to dehydration.

The scientists, however, noted that the participants recorded varying measures of whole blood viscosity at the start, which might have affected the results. The research was sponsored by Essentia Water, who delivered the alkaline water used.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux occurs when the acidic content of the stomach splash back up a person’s food pipe. If this situation happens over a long time, it will result in damage, and cause gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

One study noted that alkaline water might be worth extensive research as a supplement to prescriptions for acid reflux. Alkaline water of pH 8.8 was found to inhibit an enzyme linked to reflux disease.

The water was additionally recognized for being able to reduce the acidity of the stomach’s contents. It can, therefore, be used to address such gastrointestinal tract disorders as diarrhea and hyperacidity.

Other Benefits of Alkaline Water

In patients dealing with last-stage renal disease, the water has been shown to decrease the severe effects of hemodialysis, including excessive free radical generation.

Alkaline water also relieves urinary bladder stone, where it boosts the excretion of melamine and discourages its accumulation the bladder. These actions improve the pathological effects linked with bladder stone.

Consumption of the beverage has been linked to beneficial effects on longevity. A 2016 study observed the impact of drinking the water on 15 mice across a period of three years.

Results suggested that the mice that drank the beverage exhibited signs of more longevity, that is they lived longer and aged less.

No substantial differences were observed in the brain, heart, intestine, kidneys, or liver of the groups, and no harm occurred. The differences were in how the mice, as well as their organs, aged.

Alkaline water also seems to affect glycation. Glycation occurs when simple sugar molecules like glucose and fructose become attached to lipid fats and proteins without the mediation of an enzyme.

The result of this reaction is the formation of rogue molecules named advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs). These molecules are linked with health risks like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Ionized water seems to cause decreased glycation levels as well as reduce damage in rats isolated for poor blood sugar control.

Alkaline water can also be used by people dealing with psoriasis. This condition results in patches on the legs, face, and neck, and other areas. The reddish, inflamed appearance will be relieved by applying alkaline water.

Can Alkaline Water Help with Water Loss?

Weight loss can be a puzzle, especially for frustrated dieters. Here is how alkaline water can boost hydration and lead to weight loss:

Boosts Metabolism

Losing weight passively is an excellent strategy to lose weight. By increasing your metabolism, your body will expend fats and calories at a higher rate. A healthy and fast metabolism will burn calories even when you sleep.

Supplement exercise with consumption of cold alkaline water. Your body will utilize more energy to heat the cold, alkaline water to body temperature. Aim to consume between eight to ten glasses of the beverage.

Hydration

Exercise and a proper diet are true and tried measures when it comes to losing weight. You may, however, feel sluggish and tired if you are on a low-calorie diet. In addition to energy-boosting foods, alkaline water will also make you more energetic.

You only need to lose a mere 1% of your body’s water to feel fatigued and dehydrated. Rehydration when exercising is a sure way to keep going for longer.

Alkaline water will additionally rehydrate your body faster. Most fitness enthusiasts turn to sugar-concentrated drinks when they need hydration.

The more effective way to source for dehydration on a lose-weight program is zero-calorie alkaline water. Alkaline water has been touted as being better at rehydration when compared to regular water.

Boosts Muscle Function

Dehydration is linked to tight joints. If your exercise program is going to be effective, you should not have to deal with joint pain or inflammation.

Hydrating with alkaline water will loosen and lubricate your joints so that your body can be flexible and free from sores. Hydration will additionally maximize muscle function because you will last longer during exercises.

Supports the Digestive Tract

A dry colon will result in bloating and constipation. A healthy digestive tract is, therefore, among the ways to get a flat toned stomach. Consuming alkaline water will lubricate the colon and enable it to function optimally.

A healthy colon will, in turn, expel chemicals and toxins that affect the health of the digestive tract.

Balance pH Levels

Acid levels in a body will increase because of factors like stress and diet. Alkaline water is beneficial in neutralizing this acidity.

When it comes to weight loss, fat is acidic, and it has to be directed into the bloodstream and converted into energy if you are going to lose weight.

How to Turn Tap Water into Alkaline Water

You can transform your tap water into alkaline water by using simple ingredients like baking soda and lemon.

Baking soda is alkaline, and it will raise the alkaline levels of your tap water. You can also source for pH drops which come highly concentrated in alkaline content.

Water ionizers are effective at turning your water alkaline. You can simply attach them to the faucet, and they will ionize the water by running it over negative and positive electrodes.

The result will be a separation of acidic and alkaline water. The latter will make up about 70% of the output, and it can be distributed for drinking.

Ionizing water filters are cheaper than electric ionizers, and they are more portable.

Conclusion

Alkaline water has been associated with numerous health claims, especially on the internet. Most health professionals have an issue with these quite popular claims, many of which are unproven.

Alkaline water is generally safe for consumption since it is packed with natural minerals.

Artificial alkaline water does not, however, contain as many beneficial minerals as compared to naturally-occurring alkaline water.

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This is George, the Aquaman, editor at AquaMantra. I'm a water quality analyst by profession, and used to work at one of the largest water bottler company.
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