As we start getting involved in our health, we try our best to discover different ways to improve our diets and lifestyles. And one of the things that are no doubt essential for good health is clean drinking water. But did you know that there are different kinds of water that you can drink?
Our drinking water does not only have to be free of contaminants like chemicals and parasites. You can also drink certain kinds of water to reap health benefits from them. One of them is alkaline water.
Now, you have probably heard of alkaline water before. But if not, you can read more about it below if it is best for you.
What is Alkaline Water?
Just the term “alkaline water” alone can deter anyone from trying it because it sounds unnatural, especially for drinking. But alkaline water, from the name itself, is simply the opposite of acidic water. If you still didn’t get it, think of ordinary water with a neutral pH around 7. Therefore, alkaline water is water with a higher pH level than 7. On the other hand, acidic water is water with a pH level below 7.
However, according to Diligent Chef, alkaline water is not just simply water with a pH level of 8 or 9. To impart alkalinity to the water, it should also contain alkaline minerals. And because of their health benefits, there is a hype on alkaline water along with the increasing popularity of alkaline diets
Because of its higher pH level, many believe that it helps neutralize the acid in your body. And since it also has negative oxidation-reduction potential (ORP,) alkaline water also acts as an antioxidant. This is because the more negative the ORP value is, the more it’s capable of antioxidizing.
Sources of Alkaline Water
Naturally, you can find alkaline water in springs. Because water passes over the rocks, it also picks up minerals, which in turn increases the water’s alkalinity. You can buy these natural alkaline water bottled in the groceries or online.
But since alkaline water is getting more popular in households, manufacturers started putting out machines to turn your tap water into alkaline. One of these apparatus is an ionizing machine that larger stores typically use to make their own alkaline water.
However, you don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars over an ionizing machine. Nowadays, it’s much more accessible and affordable to make alkaline water at home using the best alkaline water pitcher available in the market.
Other than pitchers, you can even use a lemon or lime to make your water more alkaline. Yes, the juices of those fruits are acidic. However, the minerals they contain creates alkaline byproducts once your body metabolizes them. You can also add baking soda or pH drops to make alkaline water at home.
Benefits of Drinking Alkaline Water
Relieves Acid Reflux
The most well-known reason why people are interested in drinking alkaline water is if they are suffering from hyperacidity and acid reflux. This is because studies have shown that alkaline water can help deactivate pepsin.
Pepsin is the enzyme in the stomach that is responsible for causing acid reflux. This condition is very uncomfortable because the acidic contents of the stomach come back up the esophagus. Therefore, deactivating pepsin can help reduce the acidity of the stomach contents.
While using alkaline water for the sole purpose of relieving and treating acid reflux still needs more scientific research, people with such conditions found relief in drinking alkaline water. Some users that have GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease have also been using alkaline water to relieve the discomfort.
Lowered Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, and Blood Lipid
A study in Shanghai has found out that alkaline water can be beneficial for people with high blood pressure, as well as to those with high blood sugar and high blood lipids. According to the study, drinking alkaline water can help lower those levels.
At the same time, water with high pH levels can help people recover easier after a strenuous workout. This is because drinking alkaline water can help reduce the blood viscosity for more efficient blood flow throughout the vessels. In turn, you can reduce the cardiovascular strain after working out if you drink alkaline water to prevent dehydration.
Another popular benefit of drinking alkaline water is its positive effects on bone health. This is because alkaline can lessen bone resorption. What is bone resorption? This is your body’s way of breaking down the old bone cells to create new ones. Therefore, less bone resorption means higher mineral density for stronger bones.
At the same time, some studies found out about the possibility of expelling less calcium in the urine on those with an alkaline diet. However, they still need more evidence if this would be beneficial for preventing conditions like osteoporosis.
Is Alkaline Water Safe to Drink?
The short answer to this is yes. However, like with anything you consume, too much of it can cause adverse effects. And while there are health benefits from drinking it, you still need to consult your doctor if you’re going to add alkaline water to your regimen or treatment. There is still a long way to go for scientific research to support the health claims, especially those aiming to use alkaline as a treatment for health conditions such as cancer.
Are There Risks in Drinking Alkaline Water?
Like we mentioned previously, too much consumption of anything is not healthy. And the same goes for water that has too high or too low pH level. Always make sure that the alkaline water that you’re drinking is at a safe level since the World Health Organization (WHO) has mentioned that too much alkali is as corrosive as a highly acidic substance.
Alkaline water can also cause some side effects, including gastrointestinal issues. This happens when your body is not at the normal pH level. For example, lowering the stomach acidity too much can disrupt the stomach’s ability to kill the pathogens that enter your bloodstream. Another consideration is also metabolic alkalosis, which can cause vomiting, nausea, muscle twitching, and hand tremors.
Overall, always consult with your doctor if you are planning on drinking alkaline water, especially if you have an existing health condition.