Water is important to every tissue, cell, and organ in your system. And this is why it’s recommended that you drink 8 glasses of water daily to stay hydrated and to allow your body to function optimally. As studies suggest [https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/why-is-water-important#toxins] , staying hydrated can help boost your mood, cognitive function, energy levels, clarity as well as productivity.
But did you know that there is a certain type of water that is touted to not only hydrate your body relatively fast and for an extended period, but also improve your bone, blood, and organ health? Chances are you have probably heard something about alkaline water. But do you know what alkaline water is? Don’t fret, your wellness experts are here to tell you everything you may want to know about this magic water!
So, what is alkaline water?
Alkaline water is the complete opposite of acidic water. It has a relatively higher pH level than neutral water. In chemical terms though, alkaline water boasts a higher hydrogen potential compared to plain water.
In case you didn’t know, the pH level is determined based on the number of hydrogen ions present in a given solution. In this respect, a high concentration of hydrogen ions yields a low pH or an acidic substance. On the other hand, low levels of hydrogen ions result in a high pH, or simply a basic substance.
The pH scale typically ranges from zero (0) to 14. Any substance with a pH ranging from 0 to 6.9 is acidic whereas anything above 7 is basic. In this regard, coffee, which has a pH of 5, is slightly acidic. Lemon juice and tomato juice are highly acidic thanks to their relatively high pH values of 2 and 4 respectively.
On the other hand, baking soda, with a pH of 8, is slightly basic. Bleach (pH =13) and soap (pH=12) are very basic.
It is worth noting that regular drinking water has a pH value of 7, so it’s neutral. Alkaline water generally has a pH ranging between 8 and 9. But pH alone isn’t sufficient to influence water’s alkalinity.
Alkaline water must also feature alkaline minerals such as salts and metals. Usually, water contains a certain amount of dissolved solids, including minerals such as potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium. However, alkaline water has been proven to have a relatively high amount of total dissolved solids, which gives its pH a boost.
So, what are the potential benefits of alkaline water?
First and foremost, it is imperative to note that the idea that alkaline water boasts curative and medicinal properties is based on the sole reason that acidic properties in your blood and system are the root cause of ill health and disease and thus should be neutralized. With a more alkaline body, you’ll ultimately benefit from improved health.
Scientifically, alkaline water features four important minerals that contribute to its incredible potential health benefits, including:
* Potassium: This is an essential mineral necessary for the normal functioning of every cell in your system. It does not only control heartbeat, and ensures optimal functioning of your nerves and muscles, but is equally vital for metabolizing carbohydrates and synthesizing protein.
* Magnesium: Helps turn food into energy and plays a role in more than 300 biochemical bodily reactions. Regular intake of magnesium has been linked to improvements in mood, and blood pressure as well as a lower risk of developing cardiovascular health issues such as heart disease.
* Calcium: Calcium is crucial for bone health. What’s more, your muscles, nerves, and heart require calcium to work optimally.
* Sodium: It regulates blood pressure and volume and also promotes muscle and nerve function.
Even though there is still a lack of conclusive research, numerous proponents of alkaline water believe that alkaline water may offer the following potential benefits:
It may alleviate acid reflux:
According to this particular study [https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22844861/] , it was established that drinking alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 can help alleviate acid reflux. This is because the relatively high pH kills pepsin, the enzyme that breaks down food proteins and the major culprit for acid reflux.
Acid reflux occurs when stomach contents, which are predominantly acidic, flow back up the food pipe. Chronic acid reflux can potentially cause damage and a disease referred to as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
Boosts hydration levels:
Alkaline water boasts ultra-hydrating properties as compared to its regular water counterpart. This can be highly beneficial for workout enthusiasts who always need more amount of water in their bodies. Important to note is that the water molecules in alkaline water are comparatively smaller and are, therefore, more readily absorbed by tissues, which allows your system to rehydrate faster.
Improve blood sugar, high blood pressure, and cholesterol:
A few years ago, some researchers [http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-SHYI200112005.htm] in China established that three to six months after taking alkaline water, hypertension patients, those with diabetes as well as those with high cholesterol had lower measures in all these three aspects. What’s more, these scientists established that alkaline water minimized blood viscosity, stickiness, and thickness of blood, among a hundred adults after a workout routine. And this may help combat cardiovascular strain caused by dehydration.
May help boosts bone health:
As already explained, alkaline water has been shown to feature several crucial minerals such as magnesium and calcium, both of which play a significant role in improving and maintaining bone health.
According to a study [http://www.thebonejournal.com/article/S8756-3282(08)00781-3/abstract] , researchers found an effect of alkaline water on bone resorption. In case you didn’t know, bone resorption refers to the process whereby old bone cells break down and are replaced by newer ones. Increased mineral density coupled with decreased bone resorption leads to improved bone health.
May boost longevity:
Alkaline water also boasts very powerful antioxidants that combat the growth of cell-damaging free radicals in your body, which can further hasten the aging process. A study conducted in 2016 examined the impact of alkaline water on mice over 3 years. The results revealed that those that drank the water displayed signs of greater longevity. Simply put, they were increasingly likely to live longer!
Where can you find alkaline water?
It is worth noting that alkaline water is available in most food and grocery stores. You can equally purchase it online. Water ionizers can also be found in many established chain stores.
Most importantly, you can almost effortlessly create your own at home. After all, you only need to add a few pH drops or baking soda to your regular water and make it more alkaline.
What are the dangers associated with alkaline water?
One of the major concerns of alkaline water is that while it may alkalize your body, there is a possibility that it may ruin your body’s natural acids, killing good bacteria in the process. And this may further result in problems with your skin as well as gastrointestinal health.
However, it has also been proven that your body will continue to naturally adjust physiologically. This implies that it will continue to produce hydrochloric acid to control your belly’s pH levels to achieve a state of stability. So, from a scientific standpoint, alkaline water is safe!
The Bottom line:
You have every reason to incorporate alkaline water into your wellness regimen. Thanks to its rich mineral content, alkaline water can improve your health in several ways. While more research is required, experts strongly believe that it is generally safe. With that in mind, always consult your local healthcare provider when buying artificial alkaline water. They will help you gauge whether a particular product has the recommended amounts of good minerals and is free from any potential contaminants!