A typical bottle of water generally has a neutral pH of 7, a healthy pH level for our body. In chemistry, pH (potential of hydrogen) is the measure of the alkalinity or acidity of a substance.
In regards to our body, pH balance refers to how many hydrogen ions are present in our cells. Fewer hydrogen ions will lead to more oxygen available for the cells and make our body’s pH levels more alkaline.
When our body contains more hydrogen ions, the lack of oxygen in our cells leads to an increased pH level that is acidic.
Acidic vs. Alkaline
Scientifically, pH levels are measured on a spectrum from 1 – 14, with 1 being the most acidic and 13 being extremely alkaline.
- Acidic: Substances such as vinegar have a pH level below 7. Vinegar has a pH of 3 and makes it more acidic in nature.
- Alkaline: Substances with a pH high than 7 and closer to 14 are more alkaline in nature. Milk has a pH between 10 and 11.
A healthy pH where the acid and alkaline levels are balanced prevents the body from developing certain cancers and maintains a healthy immune system.
Alkaline Water 101
Alkaline water, also known as ionized water, comes with a pH level between 7 and 10, making it more alkaline than the regular water that you drink.
Some proponents of the alkaline diet argue that if we are not careful, the food we eat can cause a rise in acid levels and leave us with acidity or other problems due to a lack of oxygen in the cells. Our stomachs have a pH between 1.5 – 3.5, which is needed for digestion, but any lower could lead to an increase in gastric acid.
Those who support the alkaline diet believe that alkaline foods and drinks work towards neutralizing the acidity in our body to keep us healthy. After all, alkaline contains essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium that regulate body functions and maintains overall health.
Whether food and drink can affect the acidity or alkalinity of our body is controversial, just as alkaline water has been. There has been a lot of hype surrounding alkaline water, with some people believing in its anti-aging effects and others believing in its cleansing capabilities.
Those who drink alkaline water believe that consuming alkaline water can help keep the body at neutral pH levels and prevent acid reflux that could occur during digestion. As always, everything should be enjoyed in moderation. Even though alkaline water can potentially prevent acidity and gastric issues, there can also be unwanted problems from consuming too much alkaline water.
One such condition is known as metabolic alkalosis, which leads to symptoms of nausea, vomiting, twitching, and tingling in the feet, hands or face. Another side effect of alkalosis is a reduction in free calcium, which can negatively affect bone health.
Besides alkalosis, increasing your alkaline intake could possibly inhibit the production of acid that is necessary for maintaining regular body functions, including digestion.
It seems that alkaline water can come with benefits that promote your health and prevent issues that occur with acidity, however, a balanced diet and balanced consumption of alkaline water is ultimately the key to good health.
Boldt, E. (2017, June 26). Alkaline Water: Beneficial or All Hype? Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://draxe.com/alkaline-water/
Barron, J. (2018, January 25). Is Alkaline Water Extra Healthy or a Hoax? Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://www.livestrong.com/article/498701-what-are-the-benefits-of-drinking-alkaline-water/
Alkaline Water: Benefits, Side Effects, and Dangers. (n.d.). Retrieved April 06, 2018, from https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/alkaline-water-benefits-risks#risk-factors