More people are swearing by the benefits of alkaline water than ever before. This water has a slightly higher pH compared to regular drinking water. Many claims associate this water with a slower aging process and cancer prevention. But how true are these claims? Are there any other benefits alkaline water can offer? Learn more about alkaline water here.
In This Article
What Is Alkaline Water? Is It Good For You?
Normal drinking water has a pH of 7, which is neutral. Alkaline water can have a pH of 8 or 9. And talking about its goodness, let’s take a look at some studies.
One 2012 study revealed that drinking alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 could deactivate pepsin, which is one of the culprits behind acid reflux (1). Another study found that alkaline water could benefit patients with high blood pressure or diabetes (2). Another recent study showed how alkaline water could improve blood flow (3).
Alkaline water contains calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium – all of which might offer certain benefits.
What Are The Benefits Of Alkaline Water?
Since it is more alkaline than normal water, it can counter the excess acidity in our body. Alkaline water might also aid in the treatment of diabetes and cancer and boost bone health as well. Bathing in alkaline water might have beneficial effects on the skin.
1. Might Aid Diabetes Treatment
Another study states that alkaline water might improve blood viscosity in diabetes patients, which, in turn, can enhance their overall health (5).
Other sources also claim how alkaline water can help lower blood sugar levels.
2. Can Boost Bone Health
Having elevated acid levels can weaken the bones over time, increasing the risk of fractures. Since alkaline water can reduce acid levels, it might help prevent this (6).
Some studies found that alkalinity, as a whole (and not alkaline water alone), could benefit bone health. The study looked at the overall diet of the population and concluded that a more alkaline diet could protect the bones (7).
Subjects who consumed alkaline water were found to experience less bone breakdown and a significant reduction in bone loss through urine. However, there is less research on alkaline water being good for arthritis or gout.
3. Might Regulate Blood Pressure
Some studies suggest that drinking alkaline water might have positive effects on blood pressure. This may have to do with the minerals in the water. But we need more studies to come to a conclusion. Until then, we recommend you take your doctor’s advice.
4. Can Aid Weight Loss
In one animal study, rats that consumed alkaline water were found to have lower body weights in the end. In fact, the rat with the lowest body weight was the one exposed to the highest pH value (the most alkaline) (8).
Other studies also state that alkaline water supplementation can exert positive effects on the body weight of the individual (9). One reason for this, as certain experts say, is enhanced metabolism. .
[ Read: How To Lose Weight Fast At Home ]
5. Might Aid Cancer Treatment
Some sources say that cancer cells thrive in acidic environments – and since alkaline water can neutralize acidity, it might help in cancer treatment. Some experts recommend following an alkaline diet, which includes alkaline water.
A few studies have also found that an alkaline environment can make certain chemotherapy drugs more effective and less harmful (10). Other sources say that an alkaline diet can help reduce inflammation, which is one of the major causes of cancer (11).
6. Might Treat Acid Reflux
Alkaline water might neutralize stomach acid and relieve the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. It can have a buffering effect against hydrochloric acid, the stomach acid that aids digestion, and the excess of which can cause acid reflux.
However, according to doctors, more research is needed before we begin to use alkaline water as an effective treatment for acid reflux and related ailments like GERD.
7. Can Be Good During Pregnancy
Sources suggest that pregnant women consuming alkaline water can experience smooth delivery and increased lactation. There are also reduced cases of jaundice.
Another study suggests that taking alkaline water has substantial biological effects on postnatal growth (12). This might have to do with the minerals in the water. There is not a lot of research on alkaline water yet – it is ongoing.
8. Aids Detoxification
Though there are no studies that directly state the benefits of alkaline water in aiding detoxification, one study speaks of the importance of an alkaline environment for the same. The study states that the adjustment of tissue alkalinity can lead to more effective excretion of toxins from the body (13).
9. Might Treat Dry Eyes
Though we don’t have substantial research, some sources say that alkaline water (especially when applied to dry eyes) can help treat the condition. Though the water may not harm the eyes, there is no concrete evidence that says it would be helpful either. Hence, consult your doctor for more information.
10. Might Treat Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by severe musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. Anecdotal evidence suggests that drinking alkaline water can reduce pain and improve energy levels. It can also make the muscles feel well lubricated.
But, as we said, it’s just anecdotal research. Consult a doctor for more information.
11. Can Help Treat Ovarian Cysts
Some anecdotal evidence suggests that drinking alkaline water can dissolve the cysts and treat the condition. Another study suggests that alkaline water can improve the bodily imbalances caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and, as a result, even improve the fertility of the patients (14).
12. Might Help Treat Skin Diseases
Drinking alkaline water might aid the treatment of skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis. It can also help with acne. Even bathing with the water (that might be an expensive affair, by the way) can nourish the skin and offer anti-aging benefits.
But there is very little evidence that suggests this. Using alkaline water for this purpose would cause no harm, though.
13. Might Boost Hair Growth
There is no concrete research. But just like normal water, alkaline water can boost blood circulation – which, in turn, can enhance hair health and promote growth.
These are the purported (and some researched) benefits of alkaline water. But worry not – you don’t have to always purchase it. There are simple ways you can prepare alkaline water right at home.
How To Prepare Alkaline Water At Home
Firstly, you must understand the pH levels of your water. There is a way to test it. Get a pH kit (that comes with pH strips and a color chart). Dip a strip in the water that you want to alkalize, let it sit for a moment, and then compare it against the color chart. Water above a pH of 7 is basic, and below 7 is acidic. You ideally want it to be anywhere between 7 and 9.
There are three ways you can prepare alkaline water at home.
- Using Baking Soda
Add 1/8 tablespoon of baking soda to 8 oz. of water. The soda has a high alkaline content. And when mixed with water, it increases its alkaline properties. But ensure you don’t use baking soda if you are on a low-sodium diet – as it is high in sodium.
- Using Lemons
Take 64 oz. of water. Slice one lemon into 8 wedges and place them in the water – don’t squeeze them. Keep the water covered for about 8 to 12 hours at room temperature. You can also add a tablespoon of pink Himalayan sea salt if you want. Lemons are anionic, and when you drink lemon water, your body reacts with their anionic properties and makes the water alkaline as your body digests it.
- Using pH Drops
You can get a pH bottle from the nearest pharmacy or health food store (you can get it online too). Follow the instructions as to how many drops you can add to water. The drops contain alkaline minerals that can alkalize your water.
All good. But what’s the big deal with alkaline water? And most importantly, is the alkaline water that you get in the market really natural?
Is Your Alkaline Water Natural Or Artificial?
Naturally alkaline water occurs when it passes over rocks and picks minerals that make it alkaline. This usually happens in natural springs.
But most people consume alkaline water that has been through electrolysis, which uses an ionizer to increase the pH of the water. However, there have been mixed reactions amongst doctors and scientists with respect to the consumption of artificially alkalized water.
Talking in exact terms, the naturally alkaline water is simply called alkaline water. But the artificial alkaline water is called alkaline ionized water.
Let us also talk about alkaline diet here. The purpose of alkaline water is to correct or reverse the excessively acidic state we have put our bodies into (because of unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits). An alkaline diet serves the same purpose. It consists more of fresh fruits and vegetables that come loaded with nutrients (even supplements can help – just consult your nutritionist once).
Now, we get to the most important question.
Is It Safe?
Is the alkaline water you buy from the market safe?
To put it clearly, the issue most health experts have with alkaline water is not safety, but the health claims. There is a dearth of research on many of the health claims made about alkaline water, and how it can possibly treat just about any health ailment. In reality, it may not.
The concern with artificial alkaline water is it might be demineralized during the process of alkalization, which could be bad news in the long run (15).
Substantial research says your body is already built to provide the required balance (16). Alkaline water might just be a marketing hype. But hey, if you know someone who has genuinely benefited from alkaline water, you might as well listen to them (after talking to an expert, obviously).
Try to get to the facts. Don’t simply go by what your friends say or what the trend is.
Alright. But where do you get it?
Where To Buy Alkaline Water
You can get your alkaline water from any grocery or health food store. Or you can even buy it online.
All good. But does alkaline water have any specific dangers?
What Are The Side Effects Of Alkaline Water?
When you start drinking alkaline water, the normal side effects include headaches, fatigue, runny nose, and darker and softer stools. These can be caused by the lowering of stomach acidity, which helps kill bacteria and expels other undesirable pathogens. These side effects will subside once your body gets accustomed to alkaline water – which can take anywhere between a couple of days to 2 to 3 weeks. If you have any concerns, please consult your doctor.
Other than those, one serious side effect is excessive alkalinity. Too much of alkaline water can disrupt your body’s normal pH and lead to a condition called metabolic alkalosis – this causes confusion, nausea, vomiting, hand tremors, and tingling in the hands and feet.
Alkaline water has a higher pH (8 or 9) than regular water. It contains many essential minerals that help treat many ailments. It may counter the acidity in your body and may aid in diabetes treatment, boost bone health, regulate blood pressure, reduce body weight, act against cancer cells, and treat acid reflux. In addition, it may help treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis and promote hair growth. You can prepare alkaline water easily at home. However, it may initially cause headaches, runny rose, and fatigue – though these usually subside once your body gets accustomed to it. But note that excess consumption of alkaline water may cause confusion, vomiting, and nausea. Hence, limit its intake to enjoy its benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much alkaline water can you drink in a day?
You can start with 3 to 4 glasses and gradually increase to 8 to 12 glasses
What is the best alkaline water to drink?
Natural works best as that is the only way you can get all the minerals. But since we don’t stay up in the mountains, the only way is to go with trusted brands. Some of them include Evian, Fiji, Real Water, and Essentia.
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