When it comes to your body, there is no other substance more important than water. If you drink lots of water on a regular basis, you know you’re doing something very beneficial for your health, but have you heard about alkaline water?
Alkaline water is less acidic than tap water. “Alkaline” refers to water’s pH level, the number that measures how acid or alkaline something is on a scale of 0 to 14. Something that has a pH of 1, for example, would be extremely acidic, while something with a pH of 13 is considered to be very alkaline.
The thinking behind alkaline water and optimum health is that maintaining a bodily pH level of 7.4 is key. As so many foods in the modern diet are considered acidic, drinking water with a higher pH than normal is believed help your body stay alkaline and disease-free, improving all aspects of health.
If you’ve ever had an aquarium, you probably know that the water the fish swim in must be at the correct pH for them to survive. Plants also flourish when soil is at the correct pH level, so it only makes sense that humans thrive better when their pH is at an optimal level, right?
While there have only been a handful of scientific studies to prove the benefits of alkaline water to date, fans say the proof is in their improved health and the way they feel– and, research published in the Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology in 2012, found that alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 was able to soothe acid reflux as the high pH level kills pepsin, the enzyme involved in breaking down food proteins, and a major cause of acid reflux.
A study out of Shanghai suggested that drinking alkaline water may be helpful for those who suffer from diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension.
As alkaline water has a higher pH level than your regular drinking water, some experts believe it helps to neutralize the acid in your body, which offers numerous benefits – in fact, some go as far as saying that if you change the type of water, you drink, you might just change your life.
7 Benefits of Drinking Alkaline Water
Drinking alkaline water may:
1. Boost your immune system. As alkaline water is loaded with antioxidants, drinking it can help boost your immune system so that you’ll be less likely to catch the flu or a cold, and even lessen the odds of developing more serious conditions like cancer, helping your body to fight off disease and heal itself. The water can neutralize damaging free radicals and convert them into oxygen to be used for tissue oxygenation and energy production.
2. Promote better digestion. Acidity interferes with the normal digestive process. When an overproduction of stomach acids results from spicy foods, alcohol, overeating, stress and other factors, the acids often go back into the esophagus, resulting in acid reflux which causes heartburn. Frequent episodes can even permanently damage the walls of the esophagus, or worse, trigger cancers. Acidity is often accompanied by other problems like bloating, nausea, indigestion or vomiting. By including alkalizing water in your diet, along with more alkalizing foods, it can help neutralize the effects of acid, supporting better digestion.
3. Improve your energy levels. Drinking lots of water is well-known to improve energy levels, as a dehydrated body is a fatigued body. Alkaline water can take that a step further, as it helps deliver nutrients to the body more efficiently than traditional tap water, providing you with more energy throughout the day.
4. Slows the aging process. As alkaline water is negatively charged and an “antioxidant,” it can battle free radicals. That not only helps prevent disease; but it can also slow the aging process, including signs like sagging skin and wrinkles, by reducing cellular and DNA damage caused by free radicals. Getting older by itself doesn’t cause aging – aging is the result of damage to body tissues.
5. Give you a more beautiful complexion. Drinking alkaline water not only helps keep the skin hydrated like regular water, but because it also can fight those aging free radicals, it more effectively improves skin health, keeping your appearance younger. No matter what your age, drinking alkaline water is a good way to enjoy a more beautiful, glowing complexion.
6. Lower your risk of osteoporosis. As most people’s diets are too acidic, that can lead to a loss of bone mineral density, and possibly osteoporosis. The consequences of osteoporosis can affect someone for life. If it isn’t prevented in the early stages or is left untreated, it can progress without one knowing, until a bone breaks. Although the hips, wrists and spine are the most common places for an osteoporosis-related bone fracture, almost any bone can be susceptible.
7. Support weight loss. One of the reasons for being overweight or obese is that toxins have accumulated in the body, and are stored away in fat tissue. Excessive acidity in the body’s tissues can cause serious problems. When there is too much acid, that acid can’t be easily processed and excreted, so the body holds onto fat as an adaptive mechanism, resulting in weight gain. Reducing acidity in the body can, therefore, help prevent the storage of fat, which is why those who drink alkaline water, and follow a more alkalizing diet in general, often experience noticeable weight loss.
Where To Buy Alkaline Water
These days, with the word spread about the benefits of alkaline water, it’s fairly easy to find. You can purchase bottles of Essentia 9.5 pH Drinking Water from this page on Amazon, and there are also companies that sell products like ionizers, which they claim have the ability to make regular water alkaline through a chemical process called electrolysis. Makers of these ionizers say that the electricity used to separate molecules in the water, make it more acidic or more alkaline, though their effectiveness is still debatable because of the significant amount of time and power involved. The amount of hydroxide that could be generated in a fast moving stream of water, like a running tap, would be minimal at best.
How To Make Your Own Alkaline Water
It’s easy to make your alkaline water at home. Before you get started, be sure that you have distilled or filtered water, or water that’s been purified through reverse osmosis. You don’t want to use straight tap water, because it usually has chemicals added during the purification process. You also need to have a pH kit to test your water, which can be purchased from this page on Amazon. It should come with a pH color chart and pH strips. If you plan to alkalize your water using pH drops (other options are listed below) be sure and purchase those too – they’re available from this page.
Once you’ve got everything you need, you’ll need to test your water’s pH level (both before and after alkalizing). This will determine how much of an adjustment you’ll need to make. As water is naturally a seven on the pH scale, impurities in water tend to make it more acidic, which means it’s likely under a 7. The ideal pH level for pure drinking water is said to be around 8-9, which can be achieved by alkalizing it.
To test your water, dip a pH strip into it. Let it sit for a moment, and then compare its color with the colors on the pH chart. Make a note of your water’s pH level, and then move on to the next process: alkalizing your water.
There are two preferred methods for alkalization of water:
1. Add pH drops. pH drops are highly concentrated and contain potent alkaline minerals. If you’ve purchased them (such as these), just follow the directions on the bottle to determine how many drops to put into your water. This is an excellent method to utilize, as pH drops can easily be carried around in a purse or bag, and added to your water during the day when you’re out and about.
Once again, keep in mind that pH drops only increase water’s alkalinity and don’t filter things like fluoride, chlorine or other chemicals often in tap water, which is why only filtered, distilled or purified water should be used.
2. Alkalizing with baking soda. You can also alkalize your water with baking soda. If you follow a low-sodium diet, be aware that baking soda is high in sodium, so this method is probably not for you.
Add a 1/8 tablespoon of baking soda to eight ounces of purified, distilled or filtered water. Don’t add more than the suggested amount of baking soda to your water as it can make you ill.
As baking soda has a high alkaline content, when it’s mixed into the water, it increases its alkaline properties. Be sure to blend vigorously so that the baking soda is thoroughly mixed into the water.
After you’ve completed either process, test your water to determine its pH level. Remember, 8-9 is ideal.