S taying hydrated is of maximum importance all year round, but in the summer, you should pay more attention to this aspect, as high heat combined with physical effort will make you lose more water through sweat. You can choose to drink a lot of water or alter water intake with cool soups, tea, lemonade, and other water-based drinks. These will pump water into your cells and keep you energetic and healthy all day long.
But what if you need to increase hydration faster? For example, if you work in a highly soliciting environment or you do a lot of heavy physical work. In this case, drinking lots of water will require you to go to the bathroom more often and your schedule may not allow it. Is there a way to keep yourself hydrated but maintain a lower water intake?
The truth is that the pH of the water can influence the way it hydrates your body. Alkaline water is known for its faster effects, although you shouldn’t expect miracles. It is better to try and understand how the pH changes the water and how to use this to your advantage.
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What Is pH?
The term pH stands for ‘potential of Hydrogen’ and is used to specify the basicity or acidity of a water-based solution. The pH indicates the concentration of Hydrogen ions in the solution. The scale goes from 0 to 14, with 7 being the reference point. Any solution that has the value 7 is considered neutral. Pure water has this characteristic. On the other hand, if the pH is under 7, you are dealing with an acidic solution and if it is higher than 7, the solution is called basic or alkaline.
Although acid sounds dangerous, not all acidic substances are harmful. For example, vinegar is one of them, but we still use it to aromatize our salads. At the same time, not all basic solutions are as harmless as they sound. Alkaline water is safe to drink and can help you feel more energetic, but note that bleach is a basic solution as well but not a mild one.
Therefore, the pH of the aliments you ingest and of the water you drink can, in time, affect your health. It won’t change your body’s pH, as some claim, but can irritate your digestive system and make certain organs respond differently.
Test your water’s pH and find out how healthy it really is. You can find a great pH test strip set among our selection to help you accurately determine the acidity or basicity of your water.
How Does pH Affect Water?
As already stated, pure water has a neutral pH, and it usually comes in the form of distilled water. However, tap and bottled water have their pH affected by all sorts of contaminants they gather in their way to your glass. In some cases, minerals may be the ones altering the pH, and this is actually the best-case scenario. If magnesium and calcium are the ones playing with your water’s balance, they will make it more alkaline, which is great, as alkaline water is a great source of hydration. The downside here is that they will, in time, deposit on your pipes and the inside of appliances that use water and wreck them. In this case, it is said that you are dealing with hard water, and special filters can be a good way to keep calcar away.
On the other hand, you could deal with dangerous contaminants and pollutants, which can influence pH either way. Tap water is treated before being delivered, and chlorine will definitely mess with the pH balance, especially if it isn’t used correctly. Moreover, if the water source is polluted, dangerous substances will usually turn the water acidic. They will not only gradually poison you, but they will make your pipes corrode and rust in time.
Acidic water will make you experience problems with your stomach and, in some cases, acid reflux, so you should avoid it at all costs. The safest way is to make sure that the water you drink has a pH of 7 or higher.
You’ve decided to drink alkaline water. But how alkaline is it truly? Check out our best alkaline water testers and make sure your water’s pH level remains under 10. Otherwise, you may experience health issues in the future.
Does Alkaline Water Hydrate Better than Neutral-pH Water?
Our bodies eliminate water through sweat and urine, and this is an excellent flushing system, as most of the toxins and useless substances are filtered and eliminated, and they don’t end up in our bloodstream. At the same time, an important part of the water we consume is absorbed into cells, keeping them hydrated and able to do their job. But this means that we must constantly deliver the necessary amount of water for our body to work optimally. The water should be clean and have a safe pH, otherwise, if it is contaminated, the body will need to work harder to filter the toxins and, in some severe cases, it may not even be able to do it.
Nevertheless, the question here is if any type of water will hydrate the same way. Some studies have proven that alkaline water can be a better option than regular water. One of the studies, performed in 2016, implied the testing of the blood viscosity of 100 adults who were exposed to effort. Half of the group was given regular water at the end of the exercises while the other half received alkaline water. The tests showed that in the second group the blood viscosity dropped by about 6.3% while the individuals in the first group only experienced a drop of 3.36%.
In order for you to understand how important the difference is, we should clear out that blood viscosity is directly proportional to cell hydration, therefore the group that drank high-pH water got hydrated faster and better.
Take a look at our top-rated alkaline water pitchers and discover a cheap and easy method to obtain a pH higher than 7. They also offer water filtering, so you can rest assured that you won’t ingest harmful contaminants.
Why Is Staying Hydrated Important?
The short answer is quite simple, but if you take it the long way, many affections can be connected to improper hydration. Water is necessary for all the organs in our body to function. If delivers nutrients to cells and keeps joints lubricated. At the same time, it helps prevent infections in many ways. For example, if you don’t drink enough water, you will urinate less often and offer the bacteria in your urinary tract the chance to multiply. Or the lack of moisture in your skin can lead to cracks that can easily get infected. Last but not least, good hydration helps you regulate your body temperature and makes you more energetic. The sleep is better as well when you get enough water.
How Much Water Should You Drink Daily?
You have probably heard already the recommendation of drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day. It is excellent advice, and you should follow it, especially if your body often forgets to remind you to hydrate. But if your organism is good at telling you what it needs and when it needs it, you should listen to it. You may be one of those people who feel good with under 8 glasses of water every day or you may need more than that. Usually, more water means more hydration and won’t make you any harm. But if you are feeling constantly thirsty, even after drinking a lot of water, it may be a good idea to consult a specialist as this may indicate a metabolism problem or maybe diabetes.
How Can You Tell if You Are Dehydrated?
Some people are more prone to become dehydrated, and this category includes athletes who go through tough training, people suffering from kidney diseases, or temporary sicknesses that include vomiting and fever, pregnant women, elderly people, and people who are trying to lose weight. The symptoms can vary depending on the level of dehydration, but most common include:
- No urine or brown urine
- Dry mouth and the sensation of thirst
- Difficulty to Concentrate
Tips to Staying Hydrated
If you often find yourself dehydrated but you find it difficult to remember drinking water through the day, here is some advice that we hope will be of use:
- Buy a reusable water bottle – Pick a nice design that will make you proud to display your new acquisition. Thus, you won’t forget to include it in your bag and you will carry it to work.
- Make a schedule – You can set moments of the day for drinking water. For example, you can drink a glass when you wake up, one when you take your morning snack, one before lunch, one before afternoon snack, and one before dinner. Redistribute the last three according to other events in your daily schedule.
- When you are feeling hungry, drink some water first – Sometimes your body can mistake thirst for hunger so it is best to check. This can help you keep your weight balanced as well.
- Add some lemon – Make your water an enjoyable drink by squeezing some lemon juice in it. Nevertheless, do not add sugar or honey as these can easily unbalance your diet with a few hundreds of calories every day.
The Bottom Line
By maintaining your body hydrated, you will be able to concentrate better and perform both physical and intellectual works at a higher level. And there’s no better way to do it than by drinking water. Plain water is just perfect for this task. It is cheap and at hand. But if you are looking for faster hydration, adding alkaline water to your diet may be a good idea. It is indeed more expensive and, if you decide to buy it bottled, you will send a lot of plastic out for nature to struggle with it, but alternatives do exist. You could invest in an under-sink ionizer and get high-pH water to your taste or use alkaline water sticks and transform tap water into alkaline water on the spot.