You must have heard the intensive publicity or promotion of alkaline water. Let’s explore the facts, reality, science, and evidence.
What is Alkaline Water? Understanding the pH Level
Alkaline water, as the name suggests, contains dominating alkaline properties. Described scientifically and simply, there is something called pH level. It is a number expressing how acidic or alkaline a substance is. The range of pH level is from 0 to 14. Water is usually neutral, having a pH level of 7. If the number gets below 7 and towards 0, the acidity of water gets higher. On the other hand, if the number goes up (towards 14) that expresses a higher alkaline state of the substance.
Alkaline water usually has an 8-10 pH level.
What is the Hype About Alkaline Water?
It seems that alkaline water is everywhere, and a lot of companies are claiming that it has got multiple health benefits. They say that alkaline water can balance the pH level of your body. Many people also think that they have to balance the pH level because it helps protect them from certain diseases or reduce inflammation. Some of them go as far as saying it protects you from heart diseases and obesity.
What’s the Truth?
Actually, there has been more popularity, hype, and marketing than scientific studies which, after years of clinical research, conclude that there is evidence of benefits of alkaline water (which we’ll be listing shortly afterward), but it acts just as an influential substance and not a complete solution to those complexities or directly active agent for the benefits.
Alkalizing your water or food is neither mentioned by the researchers to be an alternative to any regular healthy diet nor has it been proved to be slowing your aging process which has got most of the popularity.
How is Alkaline Water Manufactured?
Natural water contains a lot of minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium bicarbonate, iron, and zinc which give it some healthy properties. Despite containing all those minerals, natural water is more or less neutral— neither acidic nor alkaline.
To make it have alkaline properties and nature, some chemical substances like calcium chloride [CaCl2], magnesium sulfate [MgSO4], Potassium [K], and sodium bicarbonate [NaHCO3] are added.
First, the potable water is purified through filtration and some other processes. Selected alkaline substances are infused in the purified water. Then the mineralized water is electrolyzed (otherwise called ‘ionized’, though there is a bit difference between the two) to produce two streams of water— one acidic and another alkaline, the latter having a bit higher pH level than neutral.
Why Not Create it at Home?
You can make your drinking water alkaline at home as well. Here are the easiest three processes you can try at home:
Using Baking Soda
Sodium bicarbonate makes the water alkaline. It is generally known as baking soda. If you mix only half a teaspoonful of baking soda in four liters of drinking water, it becomes alkaline.
Health alert: baking soda may instantly relieve you of some kind of acidity problems, but long-term or overuse of baking soda might even lead to worsening of kidney disease and heart failure.
Surprisingly, lemon itself is acidic, but mixing it in your water gives it a rather alkaline property and nature. A glass of lemon water in the morning keeps us fresh and free from many digestive problems.
There is not much serious indication as to what amount should be mixed with water. You just mix it as per your taste and experience.
This is yet another process that is gaining popularity. Water ionizers are sort of home appliances used to increase the pH level of water through an electro-chemical process called electrolysis. Just like the industrial process, it divides the incoming water stream into acidic and alkaline components.
There are some best water ionizers available in the market that you can try.
Health benefits of Alkaline Water
The best and most confirmed of all benefits of alkaline water is that it reduces acidity. The basic scientific theory is that alkalis (or bases) chemically neutralize acids. Those who suffer from frequent acidity, therefore, can have great relief by drinking alkaline water.
Reducing acidity from our digestive system further contributes to the following benefits:
When our digestion gets relieved of acidity problems, the foods are digested with great ease and the defecation is regularized, ensuring an increased amount of energy production in your body.
Due to proper and healthy digestion, the process of metabolism speeds up. This ensures clearing the body of toxins, improving blood circulation, elevating mood (an impressive mental effect, isn’t it?), raising natural immunity, and giving forth more energy.
These are the benefits that people generally relate to drinking alkaline water directly.
Easing of Symptoms Caused by Acidity
When you have reduced acidity in your stomach, you get rid of the following disturbing symptoms:
- Bloody or black stools or bloody vomiting
- Hiccups that don’t let up
- Dysphagia— the sensation of food being stuck in your throat
- Weight loss for no known reason
- Wheezing, dry cough, hoarseness, or chronic sore throat
An Emerging Health Practice
Whatever the defiers try to prove, the trend of taking alkaline food is becoming an alternating health practice named ‘alkaline diets,’ which means you take alkaline foods to avail their health benefits. For example, foods like avocados and potatoes are naturally alkaline. People are getting more and more inclined to consuming such foods.
So, what do I Do, Finally?
There have been many long and contradictory studies, but none could claim to be completely undeniable.
But one thing is for sure: drinking a limited amount of alkaline water will either raise the pH level in your body and provide you with some of its benefits, or do nothing. So it’s a win-win chance.
Since this is directly a health issue, and there is your physician who is a specialist and knows your physical condition better than anyone else, you’d better consult them before starting to take alkaline water. They might decide better if you need alkaline water at all, how much of it you need, what could be your routine of taking it, and so forth.