Alkaline water is the next big fitness and health hype and we hear that it can prevent cancer or cardiovascular disease or treat heartburn. The theory goes that consuming water with a higher pH will balance the pH of your body, negating the effects or acidifying diets that lead to variety of health problems.
The pH scale from 1-14 where 7 is neutral, below is acidic and above is alkaline. Liquids with a pH of 1 are very acidic, and liquids with a pH of 13 are very alkaline. Pure water is in the middle with a pH that is close to 7. Alkaline water, also called ionized water, has a higher pH than regular water – generally between 7 and 9.5. There are two types of alkaline water: 1. “artificial” alkaline water which is generally tap water run through an ionizer to make the pH more alkaline and 2. bottled spring or mineral water. Natural spring water passes through rocks picking up various minerals, which affect it’s pH – such as calcium, silica, potassium, magnesium, and bicarbonate. Spring water with naturally occurring minerals seems to be the healthiest type of alkaline water source – it usually has a pH of 8 to 8.5
The stomach should contain plenty of acid in order to do its job effectively ( digest protein) but otherwise a slightly alkaline environment allows the body’s metabolic, enzymatic, immunologic and repair mechanisms to function at their best. Our bodies strive to maintain a normal pH balance of about 7 to 7.4. When the pH of our bodily fluids, digestive system and tissues is pushed out of that comfortable neutral zone, health problems can be the result. Excess body acidity is common today because of poor diet, excess consumption of sugar, animal proteins, alcohol, insufficient exercise or over-exercising and chronic stress. All these if persistent do lead to excess acid building up in our body. When our body becomes acidic, minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium may be stolen from our vital organs and bones to combat or buffer the acid.
Whilst is possible that alkaline water may provide some health benefits, to some people, in certain circumstances., such as acid reflux, there’s no way of knowing 100 percent whether drinking alkaline water is truly going to benefit your health. Most people do not drink enough water so once they start consuming 8 ounces of alkalised water a day they do feel much better as a result. The studies haven’t produced any hard evidence yet about the water itself being able to bring the pH back to normal. However, alkaline water promoters usually recommend consuming more fruits vegetables and eating less meat. So while alkaline water may not have the wide range of health effects it is supposed to according to the marketers, adding more raw fruit and veg is a always good thing.
My final conclusion is : eat less animal protein, drink spring water whenever you can, aim for 2-3 litres of water a day to stay hydrated, stay relaxed and exercise, move outdoors, love your body and eat lots and lots of raw plants to aid your body’s natural abilities to balance pH.