Drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water daily is good for the health. But if you are thinking of much healthier choices, drinking alkaline water would be a great idea to consider. But is alkaline water healthier? What are the health benefits of drinking alkaline water?
I first heard about alkaline water from my colleague when we went to the supermarket together. We were at the bottled water section when she mentioned how alkaline water is healthier than any other ordinary bottled water. I got really curious so I decided to look into it.
What is alkaline water?
Before deciding if alkaline water is healthier, it would be logical to know what it’s all about. So what is alkaline water?
The term alkaline refers to the pH (potential hydrogen) level of any substance or solution; pH measures the concentration of free hydrogen ions in a solution. A solution that has a lot of hydrogen ions is very acidic and has a low pH. On the other hand, solutions with very few hydrogen ions are alkaline and have a high pH.
In simpler terms, the pH measures the acidity or alkalinity of a substance or solution on a scale of 0 to 14. Something with a pH of 0 is considered completely acidic while something with a pH of 14 is completely alkaline.
Alkaline water (also called ionized water) is water that has a pH greater than 7 – higher than regular water. As a result, some advocates believe it helps to neutralize acid in the body, making it less prone to diseases.
How is alkaline water made?
There are two ways by which alkaline water is made.
1. First is through the process of electrolysis or ionization.
In this method, an ionizer is used to separate the H2O compound of water into hydrogen and oxygen molecules. By doing so, some of the acidifying hydrogen molecules are removed causing the water’s pH to increase.
2. Another method is through the addition of minerals and other alkaline ingredients.
Water that passes over rocks will pick up traces of minerals such as potassium and calcium is naturally alkaline. As an alternative, alkaline ingredients such as bicarbonate can be added.
*** So, alkaline water is made either by adding electrolytes such as potassium and calcium or by passing it through water ionizer.
But you can also easily make alkaline water yourself in three different ways.
a) Baking soda – baking soda is highly alkaline. Just mix 1/8 of a tablespoon of baking soda with an 8-ounce glass of water.
b) You can also add freshly squeezed lime juice or lemon juice to make your water alkaline.
c) pH drops or alkaline mineral maybe used as well to alkalize your water.
What difference does it make if the water’s pH is alkaline instead of acidic?
Wait a minute; does it really matter if the water’s pH is acidic or alkaline? Proponents of alkaline water believe it works by making our bodies less acidic. Since the blood is slightly alkaline with a pH of approximately 7.4, it is essential for our bodies to maintain a pH within a tight range.
Some alternative medicine proponents also believe that our bodies need to be strictly maintained at a pH of 7.4 in order to achieve and maintain optimal health and to fight cancer. Interestingly, there have been several studies showing that alkaline water benefits are not only limited to just keeping us healthy, but there are actually reported cases where it may contribute to the cure of many diseases.
What are the health benefits of drinking alkaline water?
Below are some of the health benefits of drinking alkaline water.
1. As mentioned earlier, alkaline water helps alkalize an acidic body.
If you consume diets that are rich in acidic foods such as dairy, sugar, red meat and processed foods, drinking alkaline water is highly recommended for you.
Some research even suggests you can live longer by drinking alkaline water. A study conducted in Okinawa, Japan found that people who regularly consumed alkaline water with a pH of 10 have lived to 100 years old.
2. Alkaline water helps improve bone health.
Alkaline water contains a good supply of dietary calcium and magnesium. By consuming alkaline water, you are getting the additional health benefits of added calcium and magnesium which helps to maintain strong bones.
Multiple studies have shown that drinking alkaline water not only lowers markers of bone loss but it also encourages the growth of healthy new bones.
3. Alkaline water is good for the heart.
It was concluded in a recent study that people who drank alkaline water had a significantly lower risk of developing heart disease than those who drank regular water.
So if you are struggling with heart disease, you should consider drinking alkaline water in order to keep your heart healthy, instead of turning to expensive medications and health supplements.
In a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, alkaline water is said to be better than plain water for hydration. Did you know that a glass of water an hour before bed can prevent a heart attack or stroke?
Proper hydration will help prevent your blood from becoming too thick, making it easier for your heart to pump.
4. Alkaline water provides antioxidant benefits.
Alkaline water contains many active hydrogen molecules which act as powerful antioxidants that can neutralize harmful radicals in the body. So you can help protect your body from many diseases by just drinking alkaline water.
5. Alkaline water aids in weight loss.
Did you know that alkaline water actually helps with weight loss? One research study conducted found that obese individuals who consumed two liters of alkaline water daily lost an average of twelve pounds over a period of two months.
If you need to lose weight, you may want to consider drinking alkaline water instead of regular water. You may be eating right and getting the right exercise but it is also important for your body to have a balanced pH.
A balanced pH will aid in the release of the acid stuck in your fat cells so you can lose more weight.
Is alkaline water healthier than regular or ordinary water? The basic principle behind alkaline water is to create a high alkaline pH to deal with the body’s acidity and toxicity, especially the hyperacidity of the gastrointestinal system.
Although the medical community is skeptical about alkaline water and there have been some concerns with continually drinking it as your source of water, it may be considered healthier than ordinary water because it acts to neutralize the acidity of your stomach, which is necessary to break down the food you eat and to properly absorb nutrients.
Some health-conscious people would want to try anything that claims to make them healthier, including alkaline water, which claims to provide a range of health benefits such as those that I mentioned above.
While I think drinking alkaline water is healthy, I personally believe that balance is a key ingredient to being healthy. And when it comes to maintaining the body’s proper pH balance, always keep in mind that having a healthy, balanced nutrition-rich lifestyle with plenty of whole fresh foods is the best way to do it.
I recommend drinking alkaline water but no matter how much of it you take, it can never replace the essential vitamins and mineral your body needs from food.
And if you want to try alkaline water yourself, I do not recommend buying those expensive ionizers just yet. You can always prepare your own alkaline water by following what I have outlined above.
Should you have any questions or anything you want to add, please feel free to leave your comments below.