Alkaline water is the buzzing word in every nook and corner of the health and wellness industry, as people believe that this water expels waste and other toxins from your body. Many beverage companies are also touting the product and claiming the health benefits of alkaline water in preventing many diseases like blood pressure, obesity, and cancer. It is no wonder that people are enticed by the promised alkaline benefits for the body, and often purchase some bottles of this water.
But is alkaline water good for health? Here, we are going to unravel some of the facts about this water, explore the advantages of drinking alkaline water, and shed light on the overall health benefits of drinking alkaline water. Let’s separate the hype from reality and discover the truth about alkaline water.
What is Alkaline Water?
The term ‘alkaline’ in alkaline water pertains to its pH (potential hydrogen) level, which is a numerical measurement indicating the acidity or alkalinity of a substance on a scale of 0 to 14.
It signifies the concentration of alkaline minerals present in the water, including potassium, magnesium, calcium, or iron, which ultimately determine its pH value.
Substances with a pH of 1 are highly acidic, while those with a pH of 13 are highly alkaline.
Regular Water Vs. Alkaline Water
Alkaline water is a type of water that contains a higher pH than normal water. Regular water has a pH of 7 (neutral), but alkaline water comes up with a pH of 8 or 9. Alkaline water has many other pivotal components that make it popular among customers. Alkaline water contains many alkaline minerals and negative oxidation-reduction potential (ORP). ORP makes water act as a pro- or antioxidant. Water that has more negative ORP value comes up with more antioxidizing content.
What is Kangen Water?
Kangen water is ionized water that is made by Enagic’s Kangen water machine. This machine converts normal tap water into alkaline water.
Benefits of Kangen Water or Black Water
Wondering what is the benefit of drinking alkaline water? While the truth is alkaline water is a debated topic as many health experts believe that there is not adequate research that can establish health claims made by customers and sellers.
Let’s take a look at some of the studies that might be beneficial in establishing some claims.
- Deactivates Pepsin: A study was conducted in 2012 and it has been found that drinking naturally alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 will deactivate pepsin. This is the enzyme which is responsible for acid reflux. But more studies are required to establish this claim.
- Improves Stool: Another study was conducted by researchers in Japan in 2018 and it has been suggested that drinking alkaline electrolyzed water marginally improved stool in 60 contestants.
- Better Viscosity: Another study in 2016 on 100 participants established that there was a slight difference in whole blood viscosity after drinking high-pH water as compared to normal water after a vigorous workout. Viscosity determines how effectively blood flows through the vessels.
Participants who consumed high pH water had lessened viscosity by 6.3 per cent as compared to those (only 3.36 per cent) who consumed normal drinking water. This implies blood flowed more proficiently with alkaline water. This may improve oxygen delivery throughout the body.
But better-designed studies are required beyond these small studies.
Black alkaline water benefits are numerous despite inadequate scientific research. Alkaline water contains four minerals (calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium).
8 Amazing Health Benefits of Drinking Alkaline Water
However, there are 8 incredible health benefits to drinking alkaline water that have been scientifically proven and we are here to share them with you as mentioned below:-
- Good for Bones: Alkaline water has been promoted for its potential health benefits, including its impact on bone health.
Alkaline water improves bone health as it is rich in bicarbonate. By consuming alkaline water rich in bicarbonate, proponents argue that it can help balance excess acidity in the body, creating a highly alkaline environment. This, in turn, may help prevent or slow down bone resorption, promoting better bone health.
- Cures Acid Reflux: The disease od acid reflux occurs when acidic stomach contents bounce back into the food pipe. Long-term acid reflux can cause damage and contribute to a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Drinking alkaline water minimizes acid reflux as it has a pH between 8 and 9, which may be able to inhibit an enzyme associated with acid reflux at that pH.(1)
- Good for Colon: Alkaline water is crammed with pro-ageing and colon-cleansing properties.
- Boosts Immune System: Supports your immune system support in a natural way.
- Regulates Diabetes, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol: Drinking alkaline water reduces blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol.
A study conducted in 2016 found that individuals with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes experienced improvements in these factors after drinking alkaline water for 3 to 6 months. However, further research is needed to confirm these findings and understand how alkaline water may affect these health conditions.(3)
- Makes Your Skin Glow: Due to its detoxifying properties, it adds sheen to your skin.
- Aids in Weight Loss: Alkaline water is beneficial in weight loss.
A study on rats found that consuming alkaline water was associated with lower body weights. The rat exposed to the highest pH value, indicating the most alkaline water, had the lowest body weight. However, it’s important to remember that animal studies may not directly apply to humans, and further research is necessary to understand the potential effects of alkaline water on human body weight.
- Keeps Cancer at Bay: Drinking alkaline water prevents the risk of cancer with its cancer resistance properties. However, it is important to approach these claims with caution, as there is limited scientific evidence to support them.
Normal carbonated drinks, and other soft drinks are extremely acidic and have very positive ORPs. That’s why these beverages may cause a lot of health problems. On the other hand, ionized and alkalinized water contains negative ORP.
Other Potential Benefits of Drinking Alkaline Water
When it comes to promoting health and wellness, alkaline water has been a topic of interest in recent years. Studies have explored the effects of alkaline water consumption and uncovered some potential benefits. Let’s take a closer look at what the research has found:
- May increase longevity
In 2016, a study conducted on 150 mice investigated the impact of consuming alkaline water over a span of 3 years in terms of longevity.
The findings indicated that mice who consumed alkaline water exhibited signs of increased longevity, implying that they experienced reduced ageing effects and had a higher likelihood of living longer.
Although no notable variations were observed in the heart, liver, kidneys, brain, or intestines of the studied groups and no damage occurred, there were notable distinctions in the ageing process of the mice and their organs.
- May help with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
NAFLD is a condition characterised by the accumulation of fat in the liver. In a significant 2018 study on mice, researchers explored the potential of alkaline water in reducing the symptoms of NAFLD, suggesting that alkaline water consumption may have a positive impact on alleviating NAFLD symptoms; nevertheless, further research is needed to validate these results in humans.
- May improve bone density in post-menopausal women with osteoporosis
A 2021 study focused on postmenopausal women with osteoporosis and investigated the effects of alkaline water on bone density. The study revealed that consuming alkaline water led to improvements in bone density compared with regular water consumption.
These findings indicate the potential of alkaline water as a complementary intervention for enhancing bone health in postmenopausal women, although more research is required to better understand the underlying mechanisms and confirm the results.
- May help in the treatment of ovarian cysts
There is limited evidence suggesting that consuming alkaline water might contribute to the dissolution of ovarian cysts and serve as a potential treatment for the condition. Furthermore, a separate study indicates that alkaline water may help restore the bodily imbalances associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and potentially enhance fertility in affected individuals. However, more extensive research is required to validate these claims.
As exciting as these findings may be, it is important to note that further research is necessary to fully understand the mechanisms behind these effects and to validate the results in larger and controlled studies. Nevertheless, incorporating alkaline water into your daily routine could be a step toward supporting your overall wellbeing.
Some of the scientifically unbacked claims on the benefits of drinking alkaline water are:
- Help in detoxification
While there is no direct scientific evidence supporting the specific benefits of alkaline water in aiding detoxification, there is some evidence that does emphasise the significance of maintaining an alkaline environment for the detoxification process.
- Aid in treating dry eyes
Alkaline water, when used for dry eyes, may have potential benefits for treating the condition. However, it is important to note that while alkaline water is unlikely to cause harm to the eyes, there is currently no conclusive evidence supporting its effectiveness.
- Help in treating fibromyalgia
Alkaline water may have potential benefits for treating fibromyalgia by reducing pain, improving energy levels, and providing a sense of well-lubricated muscles.
Alkaline water: Artificial or Natural?
Water naturally becomes alkaline when it flows over rocks, such as springs, and absorbs minerals, which elevate its alkaline level.
On the other hand, some individuals opt for alkaline water that has undergone electrolysis, a chemical procedure. This technique employs an ioniser to increase the pH of normal water by separating acidic and alkaline molecules through electricity.
However, some experts caution that the claims made by ioniser manufacturers lack substantial research support. To ensure the absence of contaminants, assessing the quality of the water source prior to ionisation is vital.
Some scientists recommend utilising reverse osmosis for water purification before using an alkaline ioniser, this can help increase pH and add minerals.
Safety concerns associated with drinking ionised alkaline water include an increased risk of developing hyperkalaemia, especially if the water’s pH exceeds 9.8.
Other potential issues include potential growth hindrance, depletion of essential minerals and vitamins, interference with nutrient absorption, harm to the mucosal lining, and excessive thirst.
How to get Alkaline Water?
You can conveniently purchase alkaline water from health food stores or departmental stores. You can also purchase it online. Alternatively, you may make your own alkaline water at home.
Ways to prepare Alkaline Water at Home
- Baking soda use
Soda contains a significant amount of alkaline content, which gets enhanced when mixed with water. Add a few pH drops or baking soda to make water more alkaline. You need to properly filter the contaminants from water to make it drinkable. However, it is important to note that if you follow a low-sodium diet, it’s advisable to avoid using baking soda due to its high sodium content.
- Lemon Use
To create alkaline water using lemons, you can follow these steps: Begin with 64 oz. of water. Take one lemon and slice it into 8 wedges, placing them in the water without squeezing them. Cover the water and let it sit at room temperature for approximately 8 to 12 hours. Optionally, you may add a tablespoon of pink Himalayan Sea salt. Lemons have anionic properties, and when you consume lemon water, your body responds to these properties, resulting in the water becoming alkaline as it is digested by your body.
- pH drops use
To alkalize water, you can use pH drops available at pharmacies or health food stores. These drops contain alkaline minerals that raise the water’s alkalinity when added according to instructions. Alkaline water has gained attention due to its potential health benefits and pH regulation. However, it’s important to question the naturalness of commercially available alkaline water and consider the specific brand and production methods to determine its authenticity.
Side-Effects of Alkaline Water
Alkaline drinking water is safe and can be consumed without any worry. No evidence suggests the negative effects of the water. Though alkaline water has a different pH than normal water, your body will make physiological changes to control the pH of the stomach levels and achieve homeostasis.
Alkaline water is safe, as it contains many natural minerals. But healthcare experts warn against all claims that are made by marketing companies.
However, while drinking artificial alkaline water, you should take precautions as this water contains fewer good minerals.
Recommended Daily Consumption
Since the health benefits of alkaline water are not supported by scientific evidence, there is no specific recommended daily intake that can be suggested to improve health.
However, if you decide to incorporate alkaline water into your routine, it is generally advised to start with a low intake and gradually increase it. This approach can help minimise any potential negative effects that may arise from consuming highly alkaline water, as it may have corrosive properties. By starting with a lower intake and monitoring how your body responds, you can make adjustments accordingly.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, while alkaline water can be consumed by individuals, it is important to note that more scientific studies are needed to fully establish its health claims. Moderate consumption is recommended, as excessive alkalinity may potentially lead to issues in your GI tract and skin. Although the advantages of drinking alkaline water and the potential benefits for the body have been discussed, it is crucial to approach these claims with caution and rely on further research for a better understanding of the health benefits of alkaline water.