Alkaline water helps prevent cancer

Alkaline water: benefits and risks of alkaline water

By Holger Hansen ✓ Last updated on November 4, 2020

Alkaline water and its benefits are one of the more recent trends that have made their way into the already overcrowded world of wellness and healthy eating.

Alkaline waterDrinking, or alkaline water, is said to offer several health benefits. It helps to slow down the aging process, regulate the pH of the body and prevent various chronic diseases.

Alkaline water refers to neutralizing the acid level in the body, which normal water cannot do. This controversial health practice has been debated extensively by many health professionals. Let's find out what is alkaline and basic water is and whether it's worth the hype.

Table of Contents

What is alkaline / basic water?

You may have heard various health claims about alkaline water. Some say it can help slow the aging process, regulate your body's pH, and prevent chronic diseases like cancer.

But what exactly is alkaline water, and why all the hype?

The “alkaline” in basic water relates to its pH. PH is a number that measures on a scale from 0 to 14 how acidic or alkaline a substance is. For example, something with a pH of 1 would be very acidic and something with a pH of 13 would be very alkaline.

Alkaline water has a higher pH than normal drinking water. Because of this, some proponents of alkaline water believe that it can neutralize the acid in your body.

Normal drinking water generally has a neutral pH of 7, while alkaline water usually has a pH of 8 or 9. However, pH alone is not enough to give the water substantial alkalinity.

Alkaline water must also contain alkaline minerals and a negative oxidation-reduction potential (ORP). ORP is the ability of water to act as a pro or antioxidant. The more negative the ORP, the more powerful it is as an antioxidant.

What Makes Alkaline Water So Special?

Water is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen. That is why it is also called H2O.

The pH of the water determines how acidic it is and ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is considered neutral. The number “7” is considered neutral or balanced between acidic and basic. If water is below 7 on the pH scale, it is "acidic". If it is higher than 7, it is “alkaline” or “basic”.

The drinking water ordinance in Germany specifies a pH value between 6.5 and 9.5 as a guideline. Tap water in Germany generally has a neutral to slightly alkaline pH value between 7.0 and 8.5.

Bottled water falls under different standards depending on whether it claims to be alkaline. Bottled alkaline water has a pH above 7. In some cases, manufacturers use special equipment to alter the chemical composition of the water. In other cases, they add nutrients to the water to change its pH.

For comparison: orange juice has a pH value of 3.3 and black coffee around 5, pure water has a neutral pH value of 7.

Is Alkaline Water Really That Healthy?

Alkaline, basic water is somewhat controversial.

Many health professionals say that there aren't enough studies to support the many health-related claims made by users and manufacturers. Differences in research results may be related to the nature of the studies on alkaline water.

According to the Mayo Clinic, plain water is best for most people. She states that there is no scientific evidence to fully corroborate the claims made by proponents of alkaline water.

However, there are some studies that suggest that alkaline water might be helpful for certain conditions.

According to a 2012 study published in the Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology, drinking naturally carbonated, artesian, alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 may help relieve acid reflux, because the higher pH kills pepsin, an enzyme that is involved in breaking down dietary proteins and is a major cause of acid reflux.

According to a study published in the Shanghai Journal of Preventive Medicine, drinking alkaline ionized water can be beneficial for people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

A recent study of 100 people found a significant difference in the viscosity of whole blood after consuming high pH water compared to normal water after a strenuous exercise. Viscosity is the direct measure of how efficiently blood flows through the vessels.

Those who consumed water with a high pH value lowered its viscosity by 6.3 percent compared to 3.36 percent for normal, purified drinking water. This means that with alkaline water, the blood flowed more efficiently. This can increase the supply of oxygen to the entire body.

However, beyond these small studies, more research is needed. In particular, research is needed to answer other claims made by proponents of alkaline water.

Despite the lack of proven scientific research, proponents of alkaline water still believe in the proposed health benefits.

This includes:

  • Anti-aging properties (due to liquid antioxidants that are absorbed into the human body more quickly)
  • Colon Cleansing Properties
  • Support the immune system
  • Hydration, skin health, and other detoxifying properties
  • Weight loss
  • Cancer resistance

They also argue that soft drinks that are notoriously acidic have very positive ORP values ​​that lead to many health problems, while properly ionized and alkalized waters have highly negative ORP values.

Green tea is rich in antioxidants and has a slightly negative ORP.

Health Benefits of Alkaline Water

While there is still a lack of proven scientific research, various alkaline water proponents claim to believe in the following benefits of alkaline water:

  • Alkaline water has ultra-hydrating properties compared to normal water. It can be a beneficial drink for people who exercise daily and need more water in their body.
  • Scientifically speaking, the water molecules in alkaline water are smaller and more easily absorbed by your cells, which helps your body rehydrate quickly.
  • The benefits of alkaline water include boosting immunity. Your immune system can help neutralize the acidity in your body caused by improper diet, stress, and environmental toxins.
  • Various minerals such as magnesium and calcium are attributed to the alkaline water, both of which are important for the maintenance of healthy bones.
  • Alkaline water contains many powerful antioxidants that help prevent cell-damaging free radicals from growing in the body, which can further accelerate the aging process.
  • One of the main benefits of alkaline water is that it neutralizes acidity in our body by reducing the excess acidity in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract.

Possible side effects and risks of alkaline water

Although alkaline and alkaline drinking water is considered safe, it can have negative side effects.

Some examples of side effects include lowering levels of natural stomach acid, which helps kill bacteria and expel other unwanted pathogens from your bloodstream.

In addition, a total excess of alkalinity in the body can cause gastrointestinal problems and skin irritation. Excessive alkalinity can also upset the body's normal pH and lead to metabolic alkalosis, a condition that can cause the following symptoms:

  • nausea
  • Vomit
  • Hand tremors
  • Muscle twitching
  • Tingling in the extremities or face
  • confusion

Alkalosis can also cause a decrease in free calcium in the body, which can affect bone health. However, the most common cause of hypocalcemia is not drinking alkaline water, but rather underactive parathyroid gland.

Is alkaline water natural or artificial?

Water, which is naturally alkaline and basic, is created when water flows over rocks and in the process absorbs minerals that increase its alkali content.

However, many people who drink alkaline water buy alkaline water that has a chemical process called it electrolysis has gone through.

This technique uses a device called an ionizer to raise the pH of normal water. Water ionizer manufacturers say electricity is used to separate molecules in water that are more acidic or more alkaline. The acidic water is then discharged via a funnel.

Still, some doctors and researchers say these claims are not backed up by high quality research. The water quality of the original source prior to ionization is critical to ensure that there are no contaminants in the drinking water.

Some scientists advise Reverse osmosis systemsto adequately purify the water before plugging in an alkaline ionizer which can raise the pH and add minerals.

A study published by the World Health Organization warns against drinking water with low mineral content, which is regularly produced by reverse osmosis, distillation, and other methods (without additional mineralization).

Where do you get alkaline water from?

Alkaline water can be purchased from many grocery stores or health food stores. It can also be found online.

Water ionizers are also sold in many large chain stores. Here is a comparison of the best water ionizers for Alkaline Water.

You can also make it yourself at home. Although lemon and lime juices are acidic, they contain minerals that can form alkaline by-products once digested and metabolized.

Adding a splash of lemon or lime to a glass of water can make your water more alkaline as your body digests it. Adding pH drops or baking soda is another way to make water more alkaline.

If the water is properly filtered to remove contaminants, ionized and re-mineralized, or sourced from a quality source, there is no evidence of limiting daily alkaline water intake.

How to make alkaline water

  • Make alkaline water with baking soda
    To make alkaline water, use baking soda, which is alkaline in nature and has a pH of 9. Mix in half a tablespoon of baking soda for about four liters of water. Shake the water until it is completely dissolved. Once it has dissolved you can drink a glass of the alkaline and basic water.
  • Make alkaline water with lemon
    A lemon is naturally acidic but has a pH below 7. When added to water, consumed and fully metabolized, it has an alkalizing effect and therefore increases the pH in the body above 7, which is alkaline. This is usually why we are advised to start the morning with a glass of lemon water.

Is alkaline water safe and harmless?

The problem many health care professionals have with alkaline water is not its safety, but rather the health claims that are made about it.

There is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of alkaline water as a treatment for any health condition. Medical experts warn against believing all marketing statements.

Drinking natural alkaline water is generally considered safe because it contains natural minerals.

However, caution should be exercised with man-made alkaline water, which is likely to contain less good minerals than its high pH suggests and which may contain contaminants.

Also, keep in mind that drinking too much alkaline water can cause you to become mineral deficient.

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