A lkaline water has become more and more popular lately, and not so much for the almost miraculous results it promises but more for the controversy that has formed around it. You hear that it is an excellent source of hydration, that it can detox your body, and some enthusiasts will even tell you that it can strengthen your bones, cure the problems with your stomach, or help with cancer. The skeptical team, on the other hand, will remember you that the proofs are rather slim and that, in many cases, the research that was conducted didn’t truly follow academic rules.
So, what’s the truth here? Is it worth investing $2 to $5 in a bottle of alkaline water? Or tap water will have similar results? Does alkaline water truly do what its supporters claim? It’s time to clear this once and for all.
What Is Alkaline Water?
In order to understand what’s the deal with this type of water, let’s first explain how pH works. With values ranging from 0 to 14, the pH of a substance can be either acidic, neutral, or basic. For a substance to be neutral, it should have a pH of 7, and this is the value normal, clean water has. If the pH level is under 7 and down to 0, the substance will be acidic, and, in some cases harmful. For example, sulfuric acid has a pH closer to zero and can cause chemical burns if touched. On the other hand, if the pH ranges from 7+ to 14, we are dealing with a basic or alkaline solution. In many cases, these substances are harmless, but exceptions do exist, and it is good to know that bleach is a basic substance.
Now, narrowing things down to alkaline water, you will see that it is nothing more than regular tap water that went through an ionization process, which altered its pH, making it more basic, with values of 8 to 10. Usually, the newly obtain water is enriched with alkaline minerals like calcium or magnesium. In some cases, the bottled high-pH water you buy is spring water, which is already filled with minerals and has a slightly more basic pH.
Check out our selection of pH strips and test if your tap water is acidic, neutral, or basic. Each box contains a large number of tests, and the results are accurate and delivered within minutes.
What Are the Claims and How Much Truth Is in Them?
Beyonce made this water famous in 2013, and, since then, you have heard lots of celebrities and influencers talking about its benefits. They pray the energizing effect and include this type of water in their alkaline diet, which is also a trend. Basically, they claim that if you eat a lot of vegetables and drink water with a basic pH, you will manage to affect your body’ s pH. Is this true? Here are the myths and the facts.
Alkaline water will make your body’s pH more basic
This is the first myth and the easiest to destroy. First of all, as specialists explain, our body isn’t formed of a single organ, so it can’t have the same pH wherever you would test it. The pH in your stomach cannot be the same with the pH in your blood or your urine, otherwise, your body wouldn’t be able to function properly. Therefore, alkaline water cannot affect the pH of your body. And even if it did, it wouldn’t take long until things would go back to normal, as the human organism has a strong auto-regulation system.
Some studies have shown that, in some cases, water with a pH between 8 and 10, if drank regularly, can, in a small way, change the pH of urine and make it a bit more basic, but this won’t bring you any benefit. In fact, all you will be doing is to pay a lot on water and then just flush it down the toilet.
It can help you lose weight
The claim here is that acidic food tends to deposit more and form fat deposits, so, in fact, by drinking water and eating food with a basic pH, you replace fats and sweets that tend to have pH levels under 7. While it is true that greens and vegetables, which are known to have low acidity, will help you eat healthier, and lose weight, a direct link between alkaline water and losing weight hasn’t yet been proven. You can just as well eat healthy, exercise, and drink tap water, and get the same results.
Another claim is that it reduces tissue swelling and can help with water retention. But the truth is that the best way to prevent water retention is to offer your body the correct amount of water when it needs it, so it doesn’t have to make provisions. If this doesn’t solve your problem, then you may be dealing with a more serious health issue, so you should check with your doctor.
It alleviates the symptoms of laryngopharyngeal reflux
Some studies performed in this direction proved that combining alkaline water with a plant-based diet can help you reduce the symptoms of this medical problem, which implies the stomach acid traveling on the upper digestive system up to the throat. The water can reduce acidity and help patients feel more comfortable without ingesting anti-acidic pills. Nevertheless, a change in the diet is compulsory as only by changing bad eating habits and replacing high acidity in sodas, meat, and sweets with vegetables and fruit, the problem can be solved. And this needs to be a lifetime commitment. In time, as the symptoms disappear due to diet change, the high-pH water will no longer be necessary.
See our in-depth review of Kangen Leveluk SD501 and discover a smart ionizer that can produce up to 7.6 liters of basic water per minute. This device can be your help in fighting the effects of acid reflux.
It provides the necessary of minerals for strong, healthy bones
There’s no myth here. Alkaline water is rich in calcium and can help you fill the gaps if your body is missing it. Nevertheless, you could help this process by eating food that is rich in calcium like milk or cheese. If the problem persists, drinking mineral-enriched water may not be enough. In this case, a specialist can prescribe you supplements to keep your bones healthy.
It can help you fight cancer
Some studies have shown that cancerous cells thrive in acidic environments and die in basic environments. Nevertheless, no experiments were conducted on people or animals so the research is still in an incipient study. On the other hand, this happens not only with cancerous cells but with any cells, so if you would manage to alter your body’s pH, you may actually expose it to a serious threat that can lead to nerve cell injury. Fortunately, as we have explained, alkaline water doesn’t have any effect on your body’s acidity, so basically it won’t harm your cells, but won’t cure cancer either.
It can help with exercise recovery
It indeed helps the body stay hydrated, and this helps athletes perform better. It boosts the level of energy by providing a good amount of minerals and can help reduce muscular pain and eliminate lactic acid from the blood. At the same time, good hydration leads to better sleep, and restful nights lead to successful training. So, yes, alkaline water can be a good energy source, but only if it is combined with a healthy lifestyle, which implies normal sleep hours and a diet that includes all the necessary nutrients.
It lowers blood pressure
A study in 2016, which was performed on 100 adults, showed that high-pH water can reduce blood viscosity and, thus, lower blood pressure after exercising by ensuring proper hydration. Nevertheless, the results weren’t further analyzed, and the study wasn’t developed so more pertinent results could be considered. And it may be important to mention that the study was sponsored by Essentia, a high-pH water making company, which delivered the water as well.
Is It Safe to Drink?
No health issues have been linked with drinking water with a basic pH, and you can consume it daily as long as your doctor doesn’t advise otherwise as a response to an illness that can interact with the water. Nevertheless, you should make sure that the pH stays around 8 or 9, as drinking too basic water can, in time, affect your stomach and reduce its ability to fight bad bacteria and germs.
A study performed on rats in 2001, showed that the specimens that drank water with a pH of 11.2 to 12 for a year lost weight or didn’t develop as they should. Female rats presented thin and rare fur and skin discoloration.
Nevertheless, most bottled water has a pH under 10, and if you decide to make your own water, you can select a lower basic pH and stay safe.
Find out more about the effects alkaline water can have on your body here. Our article will explain the essentials so you can consume only safe water that will keep your organism healthy.
Make Your Own Alkaline Water
Ranging from the cheapest and simplest to more expensive and advanced, the methods of altering water pH are at hand for everyone. One thing you should take into account though before picking your method: how often will you be drinking the water. If you are going to include it into your daily diet, a machine that can make it for you and deliver large quantities every day would make a wise choice.
Here are 4 ways to obtain it:
- Baking Soda – It is already known that baking soda can reduce the effects of acid reflux and this is because it reduces acidity. By combining ½ tsp of baking soda with 4 fl.oz. of purified water you will obtain a solution with a pH of 9. Nevertheless, if consumed in large quantities, baking soda is known to have secondary effects, affecting especially people that are allergic to sodium or are trying to cut down on salt.
- pH Drops – They have a high concentration of minerals and electrolytes and can be added to water to increase the pH. They come in liquid form, and one bottle will turn hundreds of glasses of water into alkaline water. They are preferred due to their portability, as you can carry the little bottle in your purse and use the drops at work or while dining in a restaurant. Alkaline water sticks are a good alterative as well.
- Water Filtering Systems – Their main purpose is to filter the water of contaminants and odors, but some of them can come with mineral balls designed to make the water alkaline. You will most likely find this option in under sink or whole-house systems, and the good news is that you can easily obtain large quantities of high-pH water.
- Water Ionizers – This is the most popular option and, in time, it will prove to be the cheapest, as it doesn’t need to introduce any substance to change the water’s pH. Plus, these machines allow you to select the level of alkalinity, and some of them even allow you to make acidic water, which can be used for cleaning and sanitation around the house.
See our top-rated water ionizers and find a model that can deliver alkaline water at the rate you need. Note that some of them come with sanitation technology to kill bacteria and germs and make the water safe to drink.
The Bottom Line
As shown, high-pH water isn’t a magic potion that will make you healthy overnight. It cannot cure cancer, and its effects on blood viscosity are still to be explored. But what’s certain about it is that it hydrates the body and, thus, increases energy levels. It can help you with acid reflux and will release a supplement of minerals in your body. So, as long as you don’t expect it to completely change your life, you can try it and enjoy the benefits of faster hydration. It is safe to drink and you can make your own at home.