A quick search online for “best healthy water” is likely to return millions of results, one of which is sure to be alkaline water. Maybe you’ve heard that it helps your digestion or that it can improve muscle recovery. Some even claim that it prevents aging and can reduce blood pressure, prevent cancer, and help with weight loss. These days it’s hard to tell the difference between marketing hype and scientific facts. So what is alkaline water and is it something you should be drinking?
What Does Alkaline Mean?
Alkaline refers to the pH of the water. The pH level measures the acidity and alkalinity of a substance. The scale for pH has a range from 0 to 14. Low pH readings indicate an acid, while 7 is neutral and higher numbers are basic or alkaline. To put it into perspective, here is a chart with pH readings for common substances.
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Pure water is neutral and has a pH of 7, but the pH of drinking water varies depending on the minerals it contains. Many bottled waters are slightly acidic due to the reverse osmosis process that is used to purify the water. Some companies will actually add minerals back into the water to make it less acidic. Alkaline water goes a step further past the nuetral pH of 7 to the other end of the scale. Alkaline water may contain minerals such as calcium, silica, potassium, magnesium, and bicarbonate. This helps to give it a pH between 8 and 9, making it less acidic than normal water, and slightly more basic.
Benefits of Alkaline Water
The theory behind alkaline water is that it can impact the pH of the body. Your body regulates your blood to a pH of 7.4, slightly above neutral. The stomach, however, has a much lower pH, around 1.5 to 3.5. The stomach is highly acidic to help with digestion.
Proponents of alkaline water believe that it is important to keep the pH levels in your body from becoming too acidic. They feel that by drinking alkaline water, you can neutralize the acids in your system. This supposedly can lead to a tremendous amount of health benefits. Many claim that it can improve hydration because it is easier for the body to absorb less acidic substances. Others tout alkaline water as a way to treat acid reflux by reducing acid in the stomach.
Unfortunately, these claims are simply that, claims. There is very little scientific research to support the supposed benefits of drinking alkaline water. There are a few small studies that show some potential benefits, but none that have been repeated on a large scale. Most of the claims are refuted by doctors and scientists who believe that the body’s pH levels are not impacted by what we eat or drink.
Can Alkaline Water Be Harmful?
One concern is whether or not drinking alkaline water may actually be harmful. While drinking plenty of water is important for good health, people with certain health conditions, such as kidney disease, may want to avoid alkaline water. Drinking too much alkaline water can interfere with digestion by reducing the high acid levels in your stomach that are required to break down food and prevent food poisoning. It can also cause a condition known as alkalosis which can lead to vomiting, nausea, tremors, and confusion.
The best advice when it comes to alkaline water is to drink it in moderation. There is not enough conclusive research to prove that it is either beneficial or harmful. If you’re curious about how it tastes you can find alkaline water in your local grocery store. There are also special filters you can buy that will alkalize your water. If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of person you can even make your own alkaline water.
Drink Safe, Quality Water for Good Health
No matter what kind of water you choose to drink, you should make sure that you the water you are drinking is safe and free from contaminants. TestAssured offers a home testing kit that will allow you to quickly test the quality of your water at home, giving you most results in a matter of minutes. Whether you are drinking tap water, city water, well water, bottled water, alkaline water, or pure water the best thing you can do for your health is make sure that you are drinking clean, safe water.