Alkaline water is somewhat of a controversial health trend.
Meeting the daily recommended 2 L of regular water is sufficient for most people. However, certain people can stand to benefit from drinking alkaline water.
Alkaline refers to the pH level of a substance. The pH is a number that represents how acidic or alkaline it is on a scale of 0–14.
Regular drinking water is neutral at around a pH level of 7. Alkaline water has a pH closer to 8.
Is drinking alkaline water good for you? And if so, what are the benefits? We’ll dive into some recent scientific studies on the health benefits, so you can make an informed decision on the matter.
Natural Vs. Artificial Alkaline Water
Most bottled alkaline water sold on grocery store shelves is produced artificially through a process called electrolysis through an ionizer. This involves electricity to separate the molecules in water to filter out the acidic water.
You can also buy ionizer machines to transform your regular tap water into alkaline water. However, there isn’t enough quality research to suggest that chemically ionized water produces many health benefits.
What seems to be more important is the natural quality of the water before it undergoes electrolysis as ionizing does not remove or kill any pollutants or bacteria in the water.
Many bottled water manufacturers use reverse-osmosis filtered water before ionizing it, which removes harmful impurities. The problem with this is that it filters out some of the good stuff we need in water too, like essential minerals that act as natural electrolytes that help us absorb nutrients and regulate metabolic function.
To reap alkaline water benefits, it must also contain essential minerals and negative oxidation-reduction potential (ORP).
Because the water’s pH is related to the atoms’ electromagnetic charges, some at-home devices and bottled water are alkaline from chemically treating the water to increase the pH, but it lacks essential minerals the body needs to perform its best.
That being said, there are sources of natural alkaline water that’s also rich in minerals proven to be beneficial to our health.
Natural alkaline water sources come from water that’s naturally filtered over rocks and springs, picking up essential minerals along the way that increase its pH level.
The result is a clean and fresh tasting water, rich in the nutrients our body needs to perform optimally.
Myths Surrounding Alkaline Water
One of the biggest reasons alkaline water seems to stay on the fringe of conventional health advice is due to an old belief called the “acid-ash hypothesis.” This hypothesis says that a more acidic body leads to cancer and osteoporosis, so a more alkaline body is healthier.
The problem with this hypothesis is that there isn’t one bodily pH.
Each liquid in our body has different pH levels, and it’s not easy to change the pH levels of your blood or muscles by what you eat or drink.
For example, human blood has a pH of around 7.4, while the muscles have a pH of about 6.1.
The range of your pH for optimum cell function is exceptionally narrow. Big swings in either direction can damage organs and can even be fatal. Luckily, our body has several mechanisms to maintain homeostasis (balance), keeping the pH levels consistent.
The kidneys do most of the heavy lifting here to maintain healthy pH levels. The kidneys filter our blood and expel it into our urine, which is why urine pH levels can fluctuate based on what you eat or drink.
With that being said, there are still some unique benefits of drinking alkaline water backed with recent scientific studies.
The Benefits of Natural Alkaline Water
Err on the side of caution when you see brands claiming to cure diseases. These marketing tactics aren’t medically substantiated.
Although drinking alkaline water is proven to be safe, it’s not intended to cure diseases. Alongside other healthy lifestyle changes, drinking alkaline water can help to improve your overall health.
Drinking Alkaline Water May Reduce Acid Reflux Activity
The things we eat and drink can temporarily affect our stomach’s pH because what we ingest can neutralize some of the stomach acids.
Acid reflux, heartburn, or acid indigestion happens when some of the stomach acids travel up the esophagus, which can cause a sore throat and leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
Acidic stomach juices activate a digestive enzyme called pepsin. If there’s too much pepsin, or if it sloshes up the esophagus, the enzyme binds to tissues causing that burning sensation.
Drinking alkaline water before or after a meal can deactivate pepsin, unlike regular drinking water .
There are other over-the-counter medications you can take to neutralize stomach acids and prevent uncomfortable and sometimes painful acid reflux systems. However, drinking alkaline water is the most gentle and natural way to do it.
If you’re someone prone to acid reflux, it may help drink alkaline water before and after your meal to prevent discomfort.
Alkaline Water Supports Healthy Digestion
In Japan, alkaline electrolyzed water devices have been approved as medical devices, thanks to studies investigating their role in supporting healthy digestive function .
People who suffer from gastrointestinal symptoms, including stomach discomfort, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation, had improved their systems from alkaline water’s antioxidant action.
Alkaline water is considered an antioxidant because of its negative oxidation-reduction potential (ORP).
In a nutshell, ORP is a measurement in millivolts of the degree a substance can oxidize another substance. A negative ORP suggests it has powerful antioxidant benefits that help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, leading to painful inflammation.
Alkaline Water May Support Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Nordeneau water comes from a village in Germany that was reported to have healing properties.
When studying the properties of this miracle water, researchers found the Nordeneau water was naturally alkaline due to the minerals in the surrounding area. A study in Japan investigated Nodeneau water’s effects in type 2 diabetic patients and found that blood glucose levels decreased after drinking this water for six days .
Researchers found that naturally sourced alkaline water promotes sugar reuptake by increasing insulin efficiency in mice, which could be the same mechanism in humans that helped regulate blood sugar levels.
Alkaline Water May Improve Athletic Performance
Strenuous exercise naturally induces dehydration. Perspiration that results in 2% of body mass loss is linked to impaired cognitive and athletic performance .
Alkaline water has an increased hydrating effect through blood viscosity over regular drinking water.
In the case study summarized by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, participants were given water to drink after their workout. Half drank alkaline water, and the other drank regular purified water.
Those who drank alkaline water had a blood viscosity reduced to about 6.3%, nearly double compared to the participants who consumed regular water at 3.36% . This shows us that alkaline water is better suited to replenishing hydration levels quicker, allowing blood to travel easier through the vessels to nourish cells.
Rehydration plays a critical role in physical performance and recovery as water regulates body temperature, delivers nutrients to cells, and maintains organs’ function.
Alkaline Water Tastes Better
Many people enjoy the taste of alkaline water to regular water.
This may be a simple feature of alkaline water. Still, if better-tasting water encourages you to drink more, then that’s definitely a bonus worth mentioning.
Health experts recommend drinking 2 liters or half a gallon of water every day to improve energy levels, increase mental focus, promote healthy digestive function, and improve your skin complexion.
Is Alkaline Water Safe?
Alkaline water is considered safe and well-tolerated. The most important factor in determining the water’s safety is its source. Make sure the water comes from a healthy water supply that’s not contaminated by pollutants or completely devoid of minerals.
We recommend steering clear from artificially produced alkaline water because it’s not likely to contain the beneficial minerals found in natural alkaline water sources from its environmental, geographical location.
Natural alkaline water sources come from water that’s naturally filtered over rocks and springs, picking up essential minerals along the way that increase its pH level. These minerals act as natural electrolytes to improve our absorption of nutrients and metabolic function.
Trace Alkaline Water
Trace Alkaline Water is responsibly sourced from British Columbia’s pristine spring water in Bridesville, BC.
The slow filtration of rain and glacial snow through layers of rock produces a naturally alkaline pH of 8.5 with dissolved traces of essential minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, silicon, and sodium.
(use image of mineralized bottle on fence outside plant)
Our mineralized water is also enhanced with fulvic and humic minerals studied to improve endurance, increase nutrient absorption, hormone function, and gut health .
This is water that not only tastes great and comes from a clean and sustainable source, but it’s chock-full of the minerals we need to perform our best.
The Takeaway: Benefits of Alkaline Water
If you’re looking for water that keeps up with your active lifestyle, naturally alkaline mineral water is your best bet.
Don’t settle for artificially created alkaline water. It may help support an upset stomach, but you’re missing a large component that contributes to a long list of health benefits — the minerals.
Naturally sourced alkaline water, on the other hand, contains more than just H2O. The minerals that alter the water’s pH are the same minerals our body needs to perform vital functions.
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- NLMTanaka Y, Saihara Y, Izumotani K, Nakamura H. Daily ingestion of alkaline electrolyzed water containing hydrogen influences human health, including gastrointestinal symptoms. Med Gas Res. 2019 Jan 9;8(4):160-166. DOI: 10.4103/2045-9912.248267. PMID: 30713669; PMCID: PMC6352572.
- Sanetaka Shirahata, Takeki Hamasaki, Kiichiro Teruya, Advanced research on the health benefit of reduced water, Trends in Food Science & Technology, Volume 23, Issue 2, 2012, Pages 124-131, ISSN 0924-2244
- Weidman, J., Holsworth, R.E., Brossman, B. et al. Effect of electrolyzed high-pH alkaline water on blood viscosity in healthy adults. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 13, 45 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-016-0153-8
- Man D, Pisarek I, Braczkowski M, Pytel B, Olchawa R. The impact of humic and fulvic acids on the dynamic properties of liposome membranes: the ESR method. J Liposome Res. 2014 Jun;24(2):106-12. doi: 10.3109/08982104.2013.839998. Epub 2013 Oct 21. PMID: 24144352.