Water is essential for human life and is crucial to our overall health. It is the main component of our blood and helps every tissue, cell, and organ in our body to function properly. Water also transports nutrients and oxygen throughout our bodies, and it helps us eliminate waste. So how does alkaline water play in?
Today, the general population is aware of how important it is to stay hydrated and understands that filtered water is one of the best sources of hydration. However, there is still some debate on which kind of water is best. This begs the question, is all water created equal?
pH balanced water has become a popular health trend in the past couple of years due to its various health claims. So what exactly is it? What makes it different from ordinary filtered water? Furthermore, does it really offer any health benefits? The following article will explore the science of alkaline water and answer these commonly asked questions.
Understanding the pH Scale of Water
All water, regardless of its source, has a pH level. The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is on a scale from 0-14. A pH below 7 is considered acidic, while anything above 7 is alkaline.
Depending on where you live in the United States, the alkaline level of your tap water can vary. While EPA guidelines state that the standard pH for tap water should be between 6.5 and 8.5, many American households have water that falls outside of these guidelines in the 4.3 to 5.3 range.
What is Alkaline Water?
Water is considered alkaline with a pH level above 7. However, the leading brands typically have a pH of at least 8, with some reaching as high as 9.5. For it to be truly beneficial, pH alone is not enough. For optimal effectiveness, alkaline water must also contain alkaline minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and bicarbonate.
How is it Made?
There are various ways to make alkaline water. In nature, water becomes naturally alkaline as it passes over rocks, picking up minerals as it flows in streams.
The most common method, however, is a chemical process called electrolysis. The technique is called ionization and uses electricity to increase the pH of the water and then filters out the more acidic water molecules. This process is often done after the water has already gone through reverse osmosis to ensure that it has been purified.
How Does it Work?
According to advocates, it works with your body in several ways.
First, drinking alkaline water can help neutralize acids that are formed as a result of stress, pollution, and poor eating habits. These acids can overload the body’s system and lead to health problems over time.
Second, it is said to help the body maintain a healthy pH balance. A balanced pH is essential for optimal health as it allows your body to function at its best.
Third, alkaline water contains alkaline minerals, which help detoxify and cleanse the body of waste and toxins.
Fourth, it can act as a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect the body from harmful toxins and free radicals that can damage cells and lead to disease.
What are the benefits of Alkaline water?
Scientific research on it is still lacking. However, proponents of alkaline water claim that it offers numerous health benefits, including:
- weight loss and improved metabolism
- improved hydration
- clearer complexion
- better digestion
- colon-cleansing and detoxifying properties
- anti-aging benefits
- immune system support
- cancer resistance
- reduced bone loss
- increased energy
Can pH balanced water really do all of this?
As alkaline water has only recently become a popular health trend, there isn’t enough concrete scientific evidence to definitively prove each of these claims. However, several studies have been done using it, and the results are impressive.
In 2012, a study found that naturally carbonated artesian-well alkaline water with an 8.8 pH level was very helpful in deactivating the enzyme pepsin, known to cause acid reflux.
Another study conducted in 2016 found that electrolyzed high-ph alkaline water was able to improve blood viscosity after exercise-induced dehydration. This can be seen as an improvement to athletic recovery after a strenuous workout as blood and oxygen were able to flow throughout the body with greater efficiency.
This final study out of Shanghai found that drinking alkaline water could benefit those struggling with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. They concluded it could serve as an accessory to existing treatment methods for diabetes mellitus and hypertension.
Are there any side effects?
While it is considered entirely safe, alkaline water may produce some adverse side effects that differ from person to person.
High levels of alkalinity in the body can cause skin irritation or GI issues for people with a more sensitive stomach. There is also the possibility of metabolic alkalosis, a condition that develops when the body’s alkalinity gets too high. While relatively uncommon, it may produce one or several of the following symptoms:
- muscle spasms
- tingling sensations in the hands or face
However, unless you are suffering from a form of kidney disease, alkaline water is generally considered safe, and there are no long-term studies that show any serious side effects.
How to find the best alkaline water
While alkaline water can easily be purchased at grocery stores or health food markets, it’s important to know what you’re buying. You’ll want to look for alkaline water with a pH of at least 8-8.5 that hasn’t been treated using any harsh chemicals.
If you’re hesitant to try it, there are flavored alkaline waters on the market as well. Make sure to avoid products that have been artificially sweetened with sugars or chemicals like Aspartame.
If you’re looking for a more affordable, eco-friendly, and convenient option, Weo’s products will have a built-in conditioning system to help enhance your filtered water at home down to the molecule. You can fill your bottle straight from your water filter and enjoy some refreshing, electrolyzed water while eliminating the need to buy cases of water and send thousands of plastic bottles to the landfill.
Alkaline water does have several benefits that have been proven to help with athletic recovery and improve digestion. However, it should not be considered a cure-all and works best in conjunction with a healthy and active lifestyle.
Want to know more benefits of drinking water? Read The Benefits of Drinking More Water: Top 5 Reasons.