Nutrition

Alkaline Water Benefits: To Drink or Not?

Before we get to the benefits of alkaline water, I want to ask you a simple question: did you know that water could be naturally alkaline or artificially alkaline? Well, if you didn’t know, it’s true.

Water can be naturally alkaline when it has a chemical makeup that’s very different from artificial alkaline water. People love alkaline water. In the past few years, alkaline water has become more popular as lemon water (or pineapple water, for that matter). Some of its biggest supporters are celebrities like Miranda Kerr  and Mark Wahlberg.

What is alkaline water?

The question many people have is whether alkaline water is worth the hype? Or is it just a way to stay hydrated? To answer those questions, we need to take a look at what alkaline water is.

The difference between tap water and alkaline water is the pH value. And now we go to chemistry. All liquids have a measure of acidity, determined by the pH scale. The scale goes from 0 to 14, and anything under seven is acidic. Everything above seven is alkaline, while seven is the neutral zone. Alkaline water has a pH value above seven, meaning it has a lower concentration of hydrogen ions.

Natural alkaline water is water that passes over rocks, and by doing so, it picks up some minerals that increase the alkaline level of the water. But you can rarely find naturally alkaline water (unless, of course, you live in the mountains). Companies today sell products like ionizers that make your water alkaline. You can also buy bottles of alkaline water. And one way to make alkaline water at home is to add a squeeze of lemon to the water, adding minerals to the mix and actually alkalizing it. There is a slight difference between lemon water and alkaline water, but for now, let’s get to the benefits of alkaline water.

Detox your body

Since alkaline water has a higher pH value, it’s only logical that it removes acidic waste products. All these acidic toxins and wastes accumulate in your body on a daily basis. Prescription drugs, unhealthy and processed foods, toxins in the environment—they all accumulate in your body, and alkaline water helps to remove them from your system. (In case you’re wondering, those toxins can cause serious health concerns.)

Hydration

The basic reason people drink water is to hydrate their body. Nothing wrong there. I explained the difference between tap water and alkaline water. Thanks to the extra amount of minerals, alkaline water is even better for hydration. All the micro nutrients are more easily absorbed by your body, which essentially means better hydration.

Antioxidants

Alkaline water acts as an antioxidant in your system. That means it fights off those scary free radicals. By providing your body with electrons, alkaline water effectively neutralizes damage done by free radicals. The water seeks the radicals and converts them into oxygen. And your body needs oxygen for energy production and many other chemical processes.

Lose weight

For those of you who follow diets and know a little bit more about losing weight, you’re already guessing how alkaline water helps. It all comes down to the toxin waste. Even those who follow a strict, healthy diet can get some toxins in between. And you can’t stop the pollution. The air is full of toxins that convert into fat in our body. And by flushing out toxins, alkaline water helps us lose weight. Now, don’t think that you can lose 10 pounds in two weeks just by drinking alkaline water. But it sure helps.

Prevents diabetes

Some medical experts have suggested that drinking alkaline water helps your body avoid diabetes. There is a reasoning and explanation behind that, and it all comes down to the pancreas, an underrated, but very important, organ. The pancreas is highly dependent on an alkaline diet. The pancreas regulates the levels of blood sugar in your body, and it needs an alkaline diet to do that.

Alkalize your body

This one comes as no surprise, since it is alkaline water, after all. But what exactly does alkalizing your body mean? Well, your body has a rather acidic value thanks to a high acid food diet. Stress and exposure to environmental toxins also increase the acidic value of your body. And all of the diseases and illnesses, like cancer, thrive in an acidic environment. By alkalizing your body, you essentially create an environment that illnesses can’t live in. The normal state of a healthy person is alkaline, and you can achieve that by drinking alkaline water. A proper alkaline level boosts your energy level as well.

Boost your immune system

By creating an alkaline environment, alkaline water also improves your immune system. And let’s not forget: the water is rich in minerals. All those minerals enhance your immune system and improve your body’s ability to fight off diseases.

Side effects and frequently asked questions

Some medical experts believe plain tap water is actually better than alkaline water, and studies have been conducted on the subject. And like everything else in life, there are two sides to the story. I won’t go as far as saying with certainty that alkaline water is better.

But let’s see some of the side effects. The main problem, as with many things, is that people overdo it. They drink alkaline water way too much. That creates new problems, as your small intestine becomes overly alkaline. That’s when side effects like erratic heart behavior, anxiety, urinary tract infection, bladder infection, side pains, and hypertension begin to appear.

In the first 30 days of drinking alkaline water, people notice benefits. That’s because it increases your hydration and brings more antioxidants to your body. However, if you drink alkaline water on a daily basis, and do that for more than 30 days, your body changes. Your body is now stressed by the artificial alkalinity, and you start noticing the side effects.

Conclusion

So, should you drink alkaline water daily? The recommended dosage is two liters, or eight ounces per day. Well, the simple answer is no. The longer answer is that you should measure your body’s pH value. This way, you can see whether you need to drink alkaline water or not. If you’re drinking naturally alkaline water, you can’t become overly alkaline. But the problem starts when you consume artificially alkalized water.

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