There’s a greater chance you’ve heard of alkaline water. It has seen several proponents that claim to have various health benefits. According to Statista, this and other factors have led to an increase in world consumption of alkaline water.
These proponents argue that alkaline water can balance the body’s pH, stave off diseases and boost energy. But are these claims valid? This article will aim to answer the following questions:
- What is alkaline water?
- What are the uses and effects on the health of alkaline water?
Read on to find out the answers to these and more of such questions.
What is alkaline water?
Simply put, alkaline water comes with higher potential hydrogen than regular drinking water. The pH level ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 being highly acidic, seven is neutral, and 14 as highly alkaline.
Alkaline water has high amounts of total dissolved solids that increase its pH level. Regular drinking water is usually neutral at the pH level of 7, while alkaline water is essential, having a pH level of about 8 or 9.
What’s the source of alkaline water?
Alkaline water occurs when water naturally passes through rocks, such as springs, and picks up minerals that increase its alkalinity.
However, most of the alkaline water people buy has been through an alkaline water filter that makes it alkaline through a chemical process known as electrolysis. It’s a technique that is used by water ionizers, that raises the pH of regular water.
What are the uses and effects of alkaline water?
There’s a widespread belief that alkaline water may have several uses that people may find beneficial to their health. This belief stem from the fact that alkaline water has four major minerals that contribute to the remarkable health benefits, including:
It aids in converting food into energy and is also essential for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body.
It’s an essential mineral that helps bone health and nerve function, muscle, and heart health.
An essential type of electrolyte that promotes healthy digestion and muscle function.
It helps in regulating blood pressure and volume and supports muscle or nerve function.
Drinking alkaline water can deliver many benefits, including improving the immune system, reducing weight, and preventing cancer. Despite their prominence, these claims lack scientific evidence. Despite this, there are various scientific proofs that drinking alkaline water has several fantastic health benefits.
- Improving Bone Health
Several studies aim to show the effects of alkaline intake on bones. According to a study published in the scientific journal Bone, people who consumed alkaline water rich in bicarbonate saw a positive impact on bone resorption.
As old bone cells break down, new ones replace them. This process is called bone resorption. By reducing bone resorption and increasing mineral density, you can improve bone strength. Using alkaline mineral water with calcium and bicarbonate properties decreased bone resorption better than calcium-rich acidic mineral water, according to the authors of the study.
- Reducing blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure
They have shown alkaline water to lower blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels and inhibit free radical production in mice with metabolic disorders when administered orally. The antioxidant compounds prevent pancreatic beta cells from becoming damaged by oxidative agents. Alkaline water also helps obese mice lose weight by regulating cholesterol levels.
- Helpful in renal diseases
Using alkaline water reduces the adverse effects of hemodialysis – a procedure involving the artificial cleaning of the kidneys in patients with end-stage renal disease, such as excessive oxidative stress. Furthermore, it is helpful in the treatment of urinary bladder stones since it speeds up melamine excretion and prevents accumulation in the bladder, which improves other pathological conditions associated with bladder stones.
- Soothes acid reflux
Because of its high pH, alkaline water is an excellent way to treat digestive disorders, such as stomach hyperacidity, diarrhea, etc. The acid in the stomach can irreversibly inactivate pepsin. It’s an enzyme responsible for chronic reflux disease in laryngopharyngeal and gastroesophageal reflux diseases. Alkaline water neutralizes acid in the stomach.
- Increasing longevity
Interestingly to note, there’s an association between the consumption of alkaline with a longer lifespan. When given alkaline water, mice have a higher survival rate than those given regular water, according to a 2016 published study.
Past examination of mice’s kidneys, hearts, livers, brain, and intestines showed no significant damage to these organs, but there was an emergence of an aging change.
- May help with skin problems
Drinking alkaline water might offer health benefits, but bathing in it might also ease skin problems.
By balancing pro-and anti-inflammatory cytokines, researchers have shown that alkaline water can reduce skin damage caused by UV radiation in mice.
Can too much alkaline water cause harmful side effects?
Drinking too much alkaline water may have some adverse effects. Some of these side effects are likely if you consume high quantities daily. These harmful side effects of alkaline water include:
- Nausea and vomiting – Minerals help to detoxify the body, so you are consuming them. The chemical removal process could lead to an adverse reaction if you do it too quickly.
- Slight tremors and twitching – Muscle spasms shouldn’t alarm you if you experience them. Your body detoxifies and absorbs minerals during this time.
- Cramping – Even though alkaline water benefits your digestive tract, in the long run, some initial cramping is inevitable as your body acclimates to the minerals present in the water.
The side effects, whether positive or negative, should dissipate if you resume drinking regular quantities of alkaline water, not over 64 ounces a day.
Calcium, magnesium, and potassium are among the alkaline minerals present in alkaline water. There is little scientific evidence that alkaline water has health benefits since our bodies do an excellent job of managing themselves naturally.