What Is Alkaline Water?
A crucial part of any healthy diet is ensuring you get enough water to help keep you hydrated.
In the body, water helps lubricate joints, regulate body temperature, protect the spinal cord and encourages the body to get rid of extra waste, such as urine or perspiration.3
But in recent years, more attention has focused on the quality of regular tap water and if the type of water we drink can make a difference in how healthy we really are.
As one of the latest developments in the health industry, alkaline water is water that has had alkalizing compounds such as calcium, potassium, magnesium or bicarbonate added to it. As a result, alkaline water pH levels are higher than regular tap water, making it less acidic.1
Alkaline Water Benefits
For those wondering ‘is alkaline water good for you’, preliminary evidence suggests that alkaline water may provide soothing relief for irritating symptoms of reflux disease.2
As of 2012, at least 40% of Americans suffer from some form of reflux, which can cause an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest or throat.2,3
Since 1976, reflux disease has been increasing at a rate of 4% each year. During this same period, esophageal adenocarcinoma (a form of esophageal cancer) has increased by an alarming 850%.2
In laboratory studies, acidic environments have been shown to promote cancer cell and tumor growth.6 Some researchers suggest that the American diet, which contains large amounts of acid, may be associated with these trends.2
But why should you drink alkaline water? Consuming food and water with higher pH levels has been theorized to neutralize acid levels within the body. While canned foods and drinks must legally have a pH level lower than 4.6, water has not been regulated by the same legislation.2
In a recent vitro study, alkaline water neutralized human pepsin, which can be activated during reflux episodes and cause damage to esophagus tissue. It also had a significant acid-buffering capacity, which may provide quick-acting relief for those suffering from reflux diseases.2
For elite athletes, supplementing with alkaline water may act as an ergogenic (performance-enhancing) aid and possibly help reduce the effects of lactic acid buildup. One study noted that after 7 days of supplementation, athletes experienced notable changes in upper body power output and reduced cardiorespiratory stress.4
Additional benefits of alkaline water may support bone health, a healthy metabolism and immune functions. However, further studies are required to determine these effects.1
Alkaline Water Side Effects
As alkaline water is a more recent focus in health and nutrition, preliminary research is investigating any possible side effects of drinking alkaline water.
In one study, minimal side effects such as gas or upset stomach were reported after 7 days of supplementation.4
In a separate animal study, researchers posed the question is alkaline water safe to drink for extended period of time?
After one year, researchers noted significant weight loss and some hair thinning, indicating a possible negative reaction.5 It should be noted that levels used in this experiment are considerably higher than those used in commercial alkaline water products.
For those on a low sodium diet, baking soda is a form of sodium that may interfere with dietary restrictions. While alkaline water dangers may be possible for those with certain health conditions, limited human studies have been conducted so far.
Alkaline Water Machine
To bring the benefits of alkaline water home, alkaline water machines can make consuming alkaline water a convenient and affordable option for families or frequent consumers.
Alkaline water machines are designed to change the pH levels of tap water. This is done through an electrochemical process that separates alkaline and acidic components of the water.
Alkaline water machines can be hooked up to the water line or faucet and many offer an internal filtration system designed to clean water. These products often include their own pH monitor to ensure water is optimized for drinking, and some claim to add antioxidants to help detoxify the body.
An alkaline water filter acts similar to a Brita filter, and feature a filtration system built into a countertop container. Water is filtered through various materials such as activated carbon, mineral balls and ion exchange resin which is marketed to remove chlorine and fluoride and add important minerals.
How to Make Alkaline Water
For one gallon of water, simply add ½ Tsp. of baking soda and one lemon, cut into eighths. Combine the alkaline water ingredients and let sit overnight. Test the water in the morning with an alkaline water test kit or pH strip to ensure it is between a pH level of 8 or 9.
Always make sure to test homemade alkaline water before consuming.
While this method is an affordable option, there are various different recipes for alkaline water that cite different ingredients in a range of doses. For a fast, no-mess solution, experts often recommend using an alkaline filter, drops, tablets or purchasing alkaline water bottles.
Alkaline Water Brands
As each body is different, it may take some experimentation to find the best alkaline water for you. Some of the most popular brands of alkaline water in stores today include:
- Kangen Alkaline Water
- Eternal Naturally Alkaline Spring Water
- Black Alkaline Water
- Eternal Alkaline Water
- Evamor Natural Alkaline Artesian Water
- Essentia Alkaline Water
- PhURE Alkaline Water
- Alkaline88 Alkaline Water
- Neo Alkaline Purified Water
Where Can I Buy Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water is easily found at chain stores like Wal Mart, Whole Foods and Walgreens. Kits to make your own alkaline water are easily found online on Amazon.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Zeratsky, K. (2015, April 4). Is alkaline water better for you than plain water? Retrieved August 15, 2017 from – View Reference
- Koufman, J. A., & Johnston, N. (2012). Potential Benefits of pH 8.8 Alkaline Drinking Water as an Adjunct in the Treatment of Reflux Disease.Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology, 121(7), 431-434. doi:1177/000348941212100702
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, October 5). Water & Nutrition. Retrieved August 16, 2017 from – View Reference
- Heil, D. P., Jacobson, E. A., & Howe, S. M. (2012). Influence of an alkalizing supplement on markers of endurance performance using a double-blind placebo-controlled design. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1), 8. doi:1186/1550-2783-9-8
- Merne, M. E., Syrjanen, K. J., & Syrjanen, S. M. (2001). Systemic and local effects of long-term exposure to alkaline drinking water in rats.International Journal of Experimental Pathology, 82(4), 213-219. doi: 1111/j.1365-2613.2001.iep0082-0213-x
- McCarty, M. F. & Whitaker, J. (2010). Manipulating tumor acidification as a cancer treatment strategy. Alternative Medicine Review, 15(3), 264-272. Retrieved from http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/15/3/264.pdf