Alkaline Water Benefits and Risks
Alkaline water has attracted a lot of interest as a possible hydrating health elixir. Alkaline water is water with a higher pH level than regular water. Regular water typically has a pH of 7, which is neutral, while alkaline water has a pH of around 8 to 9 or higher. This higher pH provides several health benefits, including the ability to balance out the body’s excess acidity and offer better hydration.
Is Alkaline Water Good for Health?
Alkaline water’s potential benefits have generated attention and debate, but it’s important to remember that the scientific data underlying many of these claims is sometimes limited or ambiguous.
Hydration is vital for several body processes, such as digestion, blood flow, and temperature control. Alkaline water helps hydrate the body more effectively than regular water due to its higher pH level. However, alkaline water is not a complete replacement for regular water. That is because the purported health benefits of alkaline water, such as better hydration and balancing the body’s pH levels, are not supported by substantial scientific evidence.
The high pH of alkaline water helps counteract excess acidity (low pH) in the body, potentially reducing the risk of conditions associated with acidosis. However, the body’s pH is tightly regulated, and the impact of alkaline water on overall pH balance is generally limited and temporary.
Alkaline water may have antioxidant potential, mainly attributed to its negative oxidation-reduction potential (ORP). Water’s ORP refers to its pro- or antioxidant properties. The degree of anti-oxidation increases with a negative ORP value. Antioxidants help combat harmful free radicals, potentially reducing oxidative stress and supporting overall health.
Some intake alkaline water to aid in digestion by treating acid reflux and heartburn, although scientific evidence supporting these claims is limited. Also, drinking alkaline electrolysed water may have a minor positive impact on stool in people, according to a small 2018 Japanese study.
Boost Energy Levels
Some athletes prefer drinking alkaline water for increased energy levels and reducing muscle fatigue. After vigorous activity, drinking high-pH water altered whole blood viscosity significantly more than drinking ordinary water, according to a 2016 study involving 100 participants. The direct indicator of how well blood flows through your veins is called viscosity. However, the mechanisms behind this are not well-understood and require further research.
Boost Mineral Intake
Alkaline water, especially when naturally sourced, can contain essential alkaline minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, or iron. These minerals are beneficial for overall well-being.
Alkaline water helps hydrate the body. However, alkaline water is not a complete replacement for regular water. Alkaline water, especially when naturally sourced, can contain essential alkaline minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, or iron. Some athletes prefer drinking alkaline water for increased energy levels and reducing muscle fatigue. Alkaline water may also have antioxidant potential owing to its negative oxidation-reduction potential. The high pH of alkaline water helps counteract excess acidity (low pH) in the body, potentially helping with heartburn and acidity.
How to Add Alkaline Water to Daily Diet?
Here are some ways to drink alkaline water and make it a part of your daily routine:
Purchase Alkaline Water: You can buy bottled alkaline water from stores, which often comes in various pH levels. Look for options with a pH of 8 or above.
Use an Alkaline Water Filter: Taps can have alkaline water filters, which work by raising the pH of the regular tap water, making it more alkaline.
Alkaline Water Ionizer Machines: These devices allow you to adjust the pH level of your water, giving you control over its alkalinity.
Homemade Alkaline Water: Make your alkaline water by adding ingredients like lemon or lime slices, baking soda, or pH drops to regular water. These additives can raise the pH level and provide a slightly alkaline effect.
Start Your Day with a Glass of Alkaline Water: Drink a glass of alkaline water in the morning to help kickstart your hydration for the day. Some people prefer alkaline water and use it as a gentle detox drink.
Hydrate Throughout the Day: Carry a reusable alkaline water bottle with you to ensure you have access to alkaline water wherever you go.
Use Alkaline Water for Cooking: Consider using alkaline water when preparing meals or beverages. Use it for making tea and coffee or even as a base for soups and stews.
Adding alkaline water to the daily diet and routine can be done in several ways. You can buy alkaline water from stores, use alkaline water filters or ioniser machines, or even make your own by adding alkaline ingredients to regular water. Begin your day with a glass of alkaline water, carry a reusable alkaline water bottle to stay hydrated, and use it in cooking, from making beverages to soups and stews. However, consult a healthcare provider before making significant dietary changes. While incorporating alkaline water can be a part of a healthy lifestyle, it should not be the sole focus of your overall well-being strategy.
Potential Side Effects of Alkaline Water
Alkaline water, often marketed as a healthy beverage, can have some side effects when one overconsumes it. Moderation is essential, and consulting with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your water consumption is advisable, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
Here are some potential side effects of alkaline water:
Drinking highly alkaline water, typically with a pH level above 9, can disrupt the natural acidity levels in the stomach, potentially leading to digestive problems. The stomach’s acidic environment is essential for breaking down food and killing harmful bacteria. Consuming too much alkaline water may reduce the stomach’s ability to do so, resulting in indigestion and gastrointestinal infections.
Alkaline water contains calcium, potassium, and magnesium. While these minerals are beneficial for health, excessive amounts can lead to mineral imbalances in the body.
May Cause Overhydration
People may drink more alkaline water than necessary, thinking it’s a healthier option. Overhydration, or excessive water intake, can lead to a condition called water intoxication or hyponatremia. It leads to electrolyte imbalance in the body with symptoms like nausea, headache, confusion, and, in extreme cases, seizures and coma.
Alkaline water often has a higher price than regular bottled water. Therefore, it is not a cost-effective option.
Lack of Scientific Research
While some studies suggest potential benefits, the majority of research finds no significant advantages compared to regular water.
Alkaline water, with its higher pH level, carries potential side effects and risks. Consuming highly alkaline water can disrupt stomach acidity, leading to digestive issues. Excessive mineral intake from alkaline water can also result in mineral imbalances. Overhydration is a concern, as people might drink more than necessary, potentially causing water intoxication and electrolyte imbalances. Moreover, the high cost of alkaline water and its questionable health benefits, which lack scientific research, raise concerns about its value. Therefore, moderation, consultation with a healthcare professional, and consideration of cost are essential when deciding whether to incorporate alkaline water into one’s daily diet.
I do not prefer alkaline water as much. I believe that, in nature, we can find better alternatives.
Making Alkaline Water with Lemon:
1. Fill a glass with clean, filtered water.
2. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the glass.
3. Stir well and let it sit for a minute.
4. Your homemade alkaline water with lemon is ready to drink.
The taste may come as acidic but your body acts to lemon water as alkaline.
For the rest of the minerals present in alkaline water, we have a wide range of other food items we just need to be more conscious about our food choices.
The Final Word
There are ongoing claims about how alkaline water can aid in various health aspects, from reducing acid reflux and heartburn to enhancing overall well-being. Some even suggest it can boost energy levels and provide antioxidant benefits due to its negative oxidation-reduction potential (ORP). However, keep in mind that the benefits and risks of alkaline water are still a topic of ongoing research, and individual responses may vary.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information, please contact our certified nutritionists Here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is alkaline water, and how is it different from regular water?
A: Alkaline water is water with a higher pH level than regular water. Regular water typically has a pH of 7, which is neutral, while alkaline water has a pH of around 8 to 9 or higher.
Q: Are there potential health benefits associated with drinking alkaline water?
A: Alkaline water can provide hydration, reduce acid in the body, and boost energy levels, but scientific evidence supporting these claims is limited.
Q: Can alkaline water help with acid reflux or heartburn?
A: Alkaline water lowers the stomach’s acidity and denatures any pepsin that may be present. However, there’s no solid scientific evidence to suggest that alkaline water effectively treats acid reflux or heartburn.
Q: Are there specific minerals added to make water more alkaline?
A: Water can be made alkaline by adding minerals like calcium, magnesium, or potassium.
Q: Does alkaline water have antioxidant properties?
A: Some studies suggest that alkaline water may have antioxidant potential due to its negative oxidation-reduction potential (ORP). However, more research is needed to confirm these effects.
Q: Can alkaline water improve hydration compared to regular water?
A: Alkaline water can help hydrate the body more effectively. However, hydration primarily depends on the water’s quality and quantity consumed.
Q: Are there potential risks or side effects of consuming alkaline water?
A: Alkaline water is generally safe for most people. However, excessively high pH levels can disrupt the body’s natural acid-base balance.
Q: Is alkaline water suitable for everyone, or are there contraindications?
A: Alkaline water is generally safe for everyone. However, those with kidney issues or certain medical conditions may show some side effects.
Q: Can alkaline water help with weight loss or metabolism?
A: There’s no scientific evidence to support claims that alkaline water directly helps with weight loss or metabolism.
Q: What impact does alkaline water have on the body’s pH levels?
A: Drinking alkaline water may temporarily raise the pH of urine. Still, the impact is limited and short-lived on the body’s overall pH, as the body continuously regulates pH levels.
Q: Are there potential benefits of alkaline water for athletes or active individuals?
A: Some athletes take alkaline water to reduce muscle fatigue and improve performance. After vigorous activity, drinking high-pH water altered whole blood viscosity significantly more than drinking ordinary water, according to a 2016 study involving 100 participants. The direct indicator of how well blood flows through your veins is called viscosity. However, the mechanisms behind this are not well-understood and require further research.
Q: Can alkaline water alleviate certain medical conditions or symptoms?
A: Alkaline water is not a proven treatment for specific medical conditions, and its efficacy in this regard is not well-established.
Q: Are there studies or scientific evidence supporting alkaline water claims?
A: Scientific research on alkaline water is limited and often inconclusive. Many health claims remain anecdotal. But, according to a small 2018 Japanese study, drinking alkaline electrolysed water may have a minor positive impact on stool in people.
Q: How does alkaline water compare to natural alkaline sources like spring water?
A: Natural alkaline spring water contains minerals that contribute to its alkalinity. Alkaline water produced by machines may lack these naturally occurring minerals. One can add these minerals artificially.
Q: What are the long-term effects of regularly consuming alkaline water on health?
A: Consistently consuming large volumes of alkaline water can cause stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting. It is unlikely that this effect will occur, though.