In terms of health, water is a very big deal. No other substance, in fact, is more important than water for our bodies. Therefore, if you are drinking water consistently, you are doing something very good for your health already.
However, you might have heard the fact that alkaline water – which is water that is not as acidic as tap water is – is better. Let’s examine this to determine whether it is or not, and if it really is true that alkalized water is better for fitness and health.
There are rich amounts of alkalizing compounds in alkaline water, including bicarbonate, magnesium, potassium, silica and calcium.
There are some people who say that having a more alkaline diet- which includes using alkaline water – may assist your body with buffering acidity. This results in better fitness and health. The claims are even supported by a couple of research reviews. However, when it comes to specifically drinking alkaline water, the jury is still out. Then there are other people who are still quite skeptical.
Is it worth it to purchase specialty water in order to receive the so-called benefits? Or is drinking alkaline water merely another questionable diet trend like coffee hacking and juice detoxes?
Keep reading to find out whether it is worth drinking alkaline water or not.
Is it necessary to “alkalize”?
In health circles “alkaline” has practically become a buzzword. However, the concept that everybody needs to “alkalize” is an oversimplification at best.
This is the idea of alkaline water: Different dissolved elements are contained in tap water that influence the water’s pH level. The pH level of pure water is close to 7. The pH of alkaline water is over 7. The idea is that in order to create a balance within your body that is more alkaline, you need to drink water that has higher pH level.
However, this concept has a couple of problems with it.
First off, every organ system has its own unique pH range. Our bodies do a great job naturally of maintaining blood pH in each of the respective ranges.
Second when your pH gets out of balance, it is very important to find what the underlying cause is. When you don’t know what the cause is, you are unable to determine whether or not alkaline water is really able to help you.
In addition, when you focus on your water’s pH level is beside the point really. That is because if alkaline water actually is helpful, it might be due to its minerals instead of the actual pH level.
You also need to remember that body alkalinity overall isn’t necessary always good. For instance, if you are currently taking a medication where your kidney function is altered, or you have some kind of kidney condition, some of the minerals contained in alkaline water might start accumulating in your water. So high alkalinity in this case may result in negative side effects.
As always, when a health concern is being troubleshooted, it’s very important getting to the bottom of what the core issue is, and then ensuring that the real cause is being targeted instead of the symptom.
Potential alkaline water benefits
So let’s explore what the potential benefits are to alkaline water before dismissing the concept the way that many skeptics have a tendency to do.
Some alkalized water proponents state that it might make improvements to your gut health. There is a negative oxidation-reduction potential that ionized water possesses. This means it may provide extra disinfectant properties, which can help provide you with protection against dangerous microorganisms.
Diabetes, Alzheimers, and Glycation
Ionized water appears to lead to reduced liver damage and lowered glycation levels in rats that have poor control of their blood sugar. What is that important? Here is a brief science lesson.
Glycation is a kind of reaction that occurs whenever simple sugar molecules, like glucose or fructose, become attached to lipid fats or proteins without an enzyme moderating it. That results in rogue molecules being formed which are referred to as advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Advanced glycation end products are associated with certain health risks like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Rats are not the same thing as humans, so it can tricky trying to directly extrapolate from animal studies for human health. More data is needed to know whether or not there are any legs to this concept.
Athletes And Alkalized Water
One group can benefit greatly from drinking alkaline water, and that is physically active individuals. So why is that? It is due to the fact that the muscles are spurred by intense exercise to produce a higher amount of hydrogen ions than can be removed efficiently. Therefore, acidity is increased and fatigue starts to set in.
Drinking alkaline water may enhance the buffering capacity of the body and temper its acidity, and therefore improve performance.
It should be noted that mineral supplements (potassium, magnesium, calcium) decrease blood lactate response and decrease cardio-respiratory stress, while at the same time improving power output for endurance athletes. That is the reason why long-distance runners at times use sodium bicarbonate as a supplement. Alkaline water might work in a similar way.
The final point is that alkalized water’s mineral content over time may help active individuals retain more fluid within their cardiovascular systems. That might help to improve their overall fluid reserves and hydration status.
Where can alkaline water be found?
If you would like to try out alkaline water, it may be confusing to determine which water really are more alkaline.
The following is a brief overview:
- Evian has a 7.2 pH (more alkaline)
- Smartwater has a 7.0 pH (neutral)
- Aquafina has a 5.5-7.0 pH (neutral to more acidic)
- Dasani has a 5.0-7.0 pH (neutral to more acidic)
- Esential guarantees a 95 pH (more alkaline)
Bottled mineral waters have a tendency to be alkaline. It is unlikely that non-mineral bottled waters will be alkaline. When mineral powders are added to plain tap water it can make it more alkaline. You can make your own alkaline drinking water easily.
Rather than supplementing with minerals or buying bottled water, an alkaline water machine can be purchased. The process of ionization makes alkaline water. You can find the best alkaline water machine here.
Alkaline water may provide some benefits, for some individuals in certain situations. However, until we are able to obtain more information, I recommend that you hold onto your money. Stick with tap water a majority of the time, and if you happen to have concerns regarding your base/acid balance, alkaline mineral supplements, and plant-based dietary supplements appear to have more research support.