What is alkaline water? Is alkaline water more beneficial than plain water? I bet you too might have wondered about the same and still have doubts growing. No worries! In today’s article, I’m going to elaborate more on the above topic and ascertain if alkaline water can be your next step towards healthy living. So, let’s kickstart today’s discussion without further ado.
What is alkaline water?
Well, the term “alkaline” in alkaline water signifies its pH level. In case you don’t know, a pH is a number that denotes the nature of a substance i.e. acidic, neutral, and alkaline. The exact value of pH is determined through a pH scale where you’ll find a number scale from 0-14 as shown below.
As you can see, starting from the leftmost number i.e. 0 to 6, the substance falls in the acidic category. The value 7 is considered as the neutral value and your typical tap water has a pH of 7. Going towards the right, from 7-14, the substance falls in the category of alkaline. The umpteenth research conducted so far promotes that alkaline water is any water having a pH of at least 8 or 9. However, merely this pH isn’t the only reason behind water being sold as alkaline water.
For alkalinity, the water must contain alkaline minerals and higher negative oxidation-reduction potential (ORP). For your information, ORP is a measure of the ability of a substance to oxidize or reduce another substance. It’s either positive (oxidize) or negative (reduce). Hence, by saying that alkaline water must have a higher ORP, it translates to that water must be highly antioxidant or have better acid-reducing/neutralizing capabilities in the body.
Is alkaline water worth appreciation?
The fact that whether alkaline water is worthy enough of replacing the regular water or not is still under scrutiny. This is because not much research has successfully verified the positives of consuming alkaline water instead of plain water as claimed by the sellers or users. Instead, the typical plain water is tagged as the best form of water one can/should consume by Mayo Clinic. However, some earlier studies talk in favor of alkaline water, but only under certain conditions.
For instance, this study found that naturally carbonated alkaline water having a pH of 8.8 is active against deactivating pepsin which is the chief acid reflux causing enzyme. Also, if you’re suffering from diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, drinking ionized alkaline water can do wonders. This study also established that alkaline water has a decent impact on the whole body blood viscosity by decreasing it by 6.3% against 3.36% by regular pH water. Hence, a better blood flow throughout the body is achievable by consuming alkaline water.
In a nutshell, all the above studies have implanted some trust among the users in the context of alkaline water, still, more research is inevitable in this regard.
So, what are the key benefits of alkaline water to mankind?
Keeping aside the controversy involving alkaline water and the truthness of the claims made “in favor” of it, below are the key benefits of alkaline water.
- Alkaline water is known to promote bone restoration and prevent osteoporosis (a major bone-related problem that arises due to brittle and weak bones).
- Likewise, alkaline water tends to be active against deactivating pepsin which is the chief acid reflux causing enzyme and subsequently, prevents the person from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GRD).
- Alkaline water can work towards curbing high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels if consumed daily for around 3-6 months.
- It also reduces the speed of aging due to its claimed anti-aging properties.
- This higher pH water builds the immune system.
- If consumed daily, you can notice better skin health and hydration.
- Alkaline water is also branded to assist in weight loss, but this isn’t completely true.
So, as you can see, alkaline water can be a beneficial addition to your diet if you wish to lead a healthy life. But are there any side effects related to this alkaline water? Let’s find out.
Alkaline water and its possible side effects
Since alkaline water is controversial and its following side effects further add fuel to the already burning fire.
- Lower natural stomach acidity,
- Skin irritation (if consumed in excess),
- Frequent hand tremors,
- Lower calcium amount, etc
So, what is the recommended safe intake of alkaline water?
Though there is no fixed and safe intake value for alkaline water if you’re just starting to include alkaline water into your diet, start with a low intake and increase gradually if nothing like the above side effects occur.
Natural or artificial alkaline water?
As per medics, if you’re consuming alkaline water, the more natural it is, the better. Natural alkaline water is one that picks up minerals when it passes over the rocks like springs. This way, its alkaline level gets a boost. However, alkaline water is also industry-made. That is, the water that comes packaged in bottles is one such example. A packaged alkaline water goes through a process that separates the alkaline and acidic molecules. Then, the latter is funneled out leaving behind only alkaline molecules. This process is called electrolysis.
Where to get alkaline water?
These days, alkaline water is easily available at all major grocery stores or online. As technology is advancing, alkaline water bottles like this is also a good option to consider.
So, you can see that alkaline water, though being controversial, can lend the above-listed health benefits if not consumed like regular water i.e. if consumed in smaller amounts. Besides, the more natural alkaline water you consume, the better it gets. Still, alkaline water bottles are a good choice in case you can’t visit the mountains to bring natural alkaline water daily.