Good or Bad? The Truth behind Alkaline Water Benefits
The Internet is full of bold claims about alkaline water benefits. The claims range from everything from its ability to help your body metabolise nutrients to removing more toxins.
There are also many forms of anecdotal evidence that support these claims. However, I have failed to find any strong unequivocal evidence for this in my research.
So what exactly is the truth?
Is alkaline water far superior to tap water and therefore justified in its high cost? Is it a total waste of money? Or worse, does it actually cause you harm? This article is going to help you find out the truth behind alkaline water. Contents
What is Alkaline Water?
To put it in the simplest terms, alkaline water is less acidic than normal everyday tap water. The result of this is water that is rich in a number of alkalizing compounds. For instance, compounds like magnesium, potassium, calcium, bicarbonate and silica.
Why Might You Need Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water came into popularity as a result of many people being concerned over the quality of tap water. Sadly this concern has come about for good reason.
There are a number of shocking studies, which show there is a high amount of contaminants and pollutants in tap water. The high amount of contaminants that can be found in tap water changes and influences its pH level. Even if the water is certified as “pure water”, it will still have a pH level that is closer to the 7 mark. While alkaline water, on the other hand has a pH that is above 7.
Alkaline Water Benefits
- Helps with ‘chronic low-grade acidosis’.
- Reduces acidity in your body.
- Increases the overall alkalinity in your body.
1. Helps with ‘chronic low-grade acidosis’.
Alkaline Water Benefits 1. Helps with ‘chronic low-grade acidosis’.
There are many claims that the typical British, Australian and North American diet makes a big contribution to something called “chronic low-grade acidosis”. This condition is closely related to possible poor health outcomes. Outcomes that include altered hormonal status, heart problems as well as the loss of bone or muscle.
2. Reduces acidity in your body.
Alkaline Water Benefits 2. Reduces acidity in your body.
However, fans of alkaline water believe that its neutralising effects could help combat this. Specifically its ability to neutralise the acidity of your blood stream. The claim is that this will help your body to more effectively metabolise nutrients. Therefore lead to better health outcomes.
There are also mountains of anecdotal evidence that suggest that the pH of water could have plenty of big health benefits but there is no strong scientific evidence to back this up.
3. Increases the overall alkalinity in your body.
Alkaline Water Benefits 3. Increases the overall alkalinity in your body.
However, the data does support the idea that alkaline water can increase the overall alkalinity in your body. All though it sounds like a benefit, it might not be. For instance, a person with a kidney condition, or someone that is taking medication that alters kidney function could be adversely affected by the minerals in alkaline water.
Although those very minerals could be beneficial to people who may need those exact minerals.
Hence, focusing on the pH level of water per se might be missing the point. Because if alkaline water is helpful, it is most likely down to the minerals it contains rather than anything else.
Alkaline Water Side Effects
First of all, you do know that your body already maintains pH levels, right?
Now here is the big issue with alkaline water. Our bodies already do a very good job of maintaining pH levels within its desired range. It is also important to note that “chronic low-grade acidosis” is not something that will ever show up on your lab report.
However, the fans of alkaline water would argue that these types of reports might not show the whole truth. They would argue that even if your pH levels look fine, your body could be drawing on reserves from muscle and bone to maintain pH. “Stealing” pH from elsewhere to maintain your ideal pH range is not good.
Why does this matter?
The human body is complex and the argument that everybody simply needs to “alkalize” seems to be a gross over-simplification. Aside from the fact that we are all unique, each organ in your body is unique also. Each organ needs a different pH balance independent of each other.
If your pH is not in a good place then it is far more important to discover the root cause then simply trying to get a quick fix with something like alkaline water. Doing this could cause more harm than good if it allows you to not address a fundamental health issue at the earliest possible stage.
Alkaline Water Cancer?
There is no evidence that alkaline water can in any way prevent or cure cancer. The most important takeaway from this section is that there is currently no evidence for this.
There is a theory that alkaline water could potentially help counteract the high levels of acidity found in your blood. The idea is that drinking high pH water could increase your metabolism thereby improving your ability to absorb important nutrients.
Others suggest that drinking alkaline water will starve cancer cells that occur in your body. This is because cancer cells thrive in acidic environments. Hence, logic follows that making your body a low acid environment could slow down or stop the chances of cancer growth.
Despite all these theories it is important to remember the point made at the start of this section. There is NO strong scientific evidence to support the idea that alkaline water can prevent or cure cancer.
Where To Buy Alkaline Water?
Some supermarkets sell alkaline bottled water you can also buy it online from places like water machine. However, by far the best way to get alkaline water is to make it at home or install a water machine.
How To Make Alkaline Water?
If the tap water supplied to your home is very acidic then alkaline water could be a way to fix that. By far the easiest way to do this is to buy and install an alkaline machine. They are called “water ionizers” and they will create alkaline water through a process called ionization.
However, if you want to make alkaline water by your self then follow one of these three methods.
- Use baking soda by adding 600 mg (1/8 table spoon) to a glass of 0.237 liter (8 oz) water.
- You can use lemons. Lemons are naturally anionic. This means that by adding lemon to your water, it alkalises your body. This is because your body reacts with the anionic properties of the lemon reducing any acidity.
- Add drops of pH to water in order to turn it to alkaline water.
Does Bottled Water Give You Alkaline Water?
The good news is that the typical bottled mineral water that you buy is most likely also alkaline. But this has to be “mineral” water.
If it does not say “mineral water”, then chances are that it is not alkaline water.
The following list are some of the biggest brands that produce bottled water. For each, I have checked to see how much alkaline they contain.
- Aquafina water ranges between 5.5-7.0 (less alkaline or neutral).
- Essentia guarantees a pH level of 9.5 (more alkaline).
- Evian has a 7.2 pH (more alkaline).
- Smartwater has around a 7.0 pH (neutral).
- Dasani pH range is between 5.0-7.0 (less alkaline or neutral).
- Evian has a pH level of 7.2 (more alkaline).
Alkaline Water Machine
Very simply, an alkaline water machine transforms normal everyday tap water into alkaline water by reducing its level of acidity.
If you are interested, amazon have some good choices along with customer reviews.
Alkaline Water Benefits? My Conclusion
Sadly the scientific consensus does NOT support any of these claims despite anecdotal evidence.
The good news is that there is no strong evidence of bodily harm either.
Drinking alkaline water won’t hurt you. (So long as you’re not suffering from kidney problems etc).