Your Essential Guide to Alkaline Water Benefits
Whether the water you drink is acidic or alkaline depends mainly with the source. Natural water sourced from a spring is most likely acidic in nature and this applies equally for the water running out of the tap, even after municipal treatment. But what exactly is meant by the pH level of water and are the alkaline water benefits worth all the hype? We will deal with that shortly…
PH Level of Water: What it Means…
The PH scale is a progressive chart used by chemists and other scientists to classify how acidic or alkaline a substance is. A substance with a pH level of 1 is very acidic while another one with a pH level of 14 (which is on the opposite side of the scale) is a very strong alkali. Pure water which is neutral has a PH reading of 7. Substances which are weakly acidic have pH levels just below 7 while weak alkalis are rated at slightly higher than 7 on the pH scale.
About 60% of the human body is solely made of water so the question of the composition and substance of the water you take in daily is crucial to your body’s health. While some body organs and organ systems such as the gut are slightly acidic, there is medical evidence that the ideal pH level for the bloodstream is slightly alkaline at around 7.4, making the case for drinking alkaline water (forgive the pun)pretty watertight .
How Alkaline Water is Made
If all you wanted was to make tap water alkaline, all you would have to do is add an alkali to the water and that would be it. A common alkali in the home such as baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) can therefore arguably be used to make water alkaline though this may not be to the optimum pH level. The more practical solution for producing alkaline water at home is to install either an alkaline filter or a water ionizer.
Alkaline Water Filters
Also known as natural alkaline filters, these are simple devices which convert your water to a slightly alkaline solution by adding drops of alkali to it. In a manner of speaking, using a natural alkaline filter to raise the pH level of your water is not very much different from adding baking soda to it. Of course with the filter you are assured of a controlled rise in the pH level.
Water ionizers use the process of electrolysis to ionize water at the molecular level, guaranteeing ideal pH level without the need to add any minerals. Water ionizers are state of the art devices which offer the most foolproof way of raising the pH level of water to the recommended scale. Water alkalinized this way is often referred to as ‘alkaline ionized water’ (AIW) or ‘electrolyzed reduced water’ (ERW) to distinguish it from alkaline water obtained by the process of adding minerals.
What Makes Alkaline Water Special?
A number of properties inherent in alkaline water, specifically alkaline iodized water serves to make it especially beneficial to your health. The two most important properties are:
1. Negative Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP)
ORP is a nutritional measure used to indicate how much high a concentration of antioxidant hydroxyl ions are contained in food. These antioxidant hydroxyl ions are crucial in fighting the concentration of free radicals in the body. Alkaline water contains a high -ORP potential especially if the pH value has been raised through a process of ionization. -ORP can also be found in fresh fruits and vegetables and the factor is the main reason why you are advised to take your fruit and vegetable juices as soon as they are made.
2. Micro-Clustering of Water Molecules
After electrolysis, water molecules collect together in clusters known as micro-clusters. These are said to help with enhancing the natural organic-solvent qualities of water. This has important implications in digestion as well as in other metabolic processes in the body.
The Health Benefits of Alkaline Water
Alkaline water has many health benefits though research in this area is ongoing. There is widespread anecdotal evidence that taking alkaline water is good for your body. But some of the benefits have also been proven scientifically and current research may add even more clarity to this rapidly expanding area of health and nutrition.
1. Scavenges and neutralizes free radicals
One of the most potent and visible benefits of consuming alkaline water is that it counteracts the damage caused due to free radicals, including premature aging, decline in the health of various physiological systems and cognitive degradation. Because the antioxidants are available in the liquid form, they are highly bioavailable and are quickly absorbed in the system.
2. Anti Aging Properties of Alkaline Water
In the same way that free radicals circulating in your bloodstream can cause cancer, they have a devastating effect on your skin. They cause the skin, especially around the face, to age at an accelerated pace by developing fine lines, wrinkles and spots. Taking alkaline water regularly will see your skin become more radiant, youthful and smooth.
3. Alkaline Water Gives you Healthier and Stronger Bones
Strengthening your bones is one of the most well researched alkaline water benefits today. Regular intake of alkaline water for instance has been established as a factor in reducing bone loss. This may be tied to other research which has shown that eating food with high pH levels including bread and vegetables helps keep your bones and muscles stronger. Currently, research is underway to establish if this bone strengthening ability of alkaline water is maintained on the long term.
4. Alkaline Water and Detoxification
Alkaline water helps with cleaning your digestive tract too. When waste mater accumulates over time in certain sections of the digestive tract such as the colon, they not only lead to discomfiture but at certain levels can be potentially lethal. Alkaline water is even more effective in getting rid of this sort of waste than ordinary water, perhaps owing to its superior micro-clustering ability. The overall effect is that you are even less likelier to develop digestive problems such as constipation.
Alkaline water not only helps to neutralize acidic components but also cleanses internal organs, particularly the colon. Overtime, acidic waste builds up in the lowest part of the large intestine and becomes toxic as it harbors microorganisms. Water that is alkaline helps in the breakdown of the buildup of fecal debris and aids in purging it out of the system. This not only prevents constipation, flatulence and other gastric problems but also it helps you to get more out of your nutritional intake.
5. Keep Injuries at Bay
Alkaline water helps to keep your joints and muscles well lubricated, making motion and physical exercise much easier. With regular intake of this water, you will find your running, skipping and pedaling even more graceful. Sprains will become even less likely and you will enjoy performing exerting exercises better than ever. For the same property, people suffering from arthritis will find alkaline water a timely antidote.
6. Improves skin health
Keeping the pH of your body in check is extremely important in the maintenance of skin health. Alkaline water keeps the cells of the largest organ in the body well hydrated. This in turn contributes to the elasticity and rejuvenation of skin tissue, thus keeping the skin looking firm and supple. Detoxification of the skin also leads to fewer acne breakouts. In addition, when you use topical application, the healthier skin cells better absorb these products.
7. Alkaline Water helps with weight loss
Another significant benefit of water that is alkaline in nature is its contribution in the breakdown of fatty acids in the food. Since it also aids in digestion, it works as a natural appetite suppressant and it has no calories. So, drinking this water is a great way to feel refreshed without the intake of calories.
8. Better absorption
Alkaline ionized water has micro clusters of water molecules which are more readily absorbed at the cellular level. So, you get super hydration from every glass of water that you drink.
Alkaline Benefits in the Prevention and Treatment of Ailments
Acidosis not only puts strain on the lungs and the renal system of the body which are responsible for removing the acids from the body, but also it leeches essential minerals away from the cells, including magnesium, potassium and calcium among other. This can lead to a host of chronic health conditions. Not to mention that acidity is known to create an environment that is conducive to the growth of cancer cells.
So, even if you may not immediately experience the health ramification of acidosis, in the long run, the consequences can be nothing short of disastrous. This is one of the reasons why alkaline water is often used to address the symptoms of several chronic ailments and in treating the disease itself. Some of the common health concerns that alkaline water helps in treating include:
Because it helps in preventing the loss of calcium through acidosis, alkaline water is considered the best way to handle joint and skeletal pain and bone injuries. In fact, people who suffer from arthritis or frequent sprains find it extremely helpful in controlling both the pain and the inflammation.
Better heart health
Since alkaline water offers overall health benefits and aids in keeping the various physiological systems running smoothly, it eliminates the strain exerted on the heart. Cleaner organs that work properly do not lead to additional energy expenses on the body while the nutrition and oxygen supplied by the blood is better absorbed by healthy cells.
Helps destroy malignant cells
One of the most profound benefits of alkaline water is that it inhibits the growth of malignant tissue and destroys cancerous cells that already exist in the system. A number of studies have been conducted to understand how leukemia cells react to alkaline water and it was found that when exposed to alkalinity, these cells die. In addition to this, there is also some evidence that alkaline water slows the growth of blood vessels that feed tumors in the body, thus slowing down the spread of cancer. A recent study also showed that it actually helps in retarding the multiplication of cancer cells.
Another body of research has been dedicated to understanding how alkaline water impacts glucose levels and diabetes. Overall, the observation has been that water which is alkaline can actually help in the prevention and even the reversal of diabetes. Through one study conducted on rodents with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, it was found that alkaline water helps in enhancing glucose tolerance and improving glucose levels.
Two research studies showed that alkaline water helps to prevent pancreatic damage that eventually leads to the development of diabetes. In a fourth study, it was found that alkaline water not only has a bearing on the glucose levels in the body but also has a direct impact on total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which would explain its benefits in maintaining cardio vascular health.
In general, alkaline water helps to keep ailments that are degenerative in nature and are a result of free radical damage at bay. So, it can help in the prevention and treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, degenerative eye ailments, ulcers and arteriosclerosis.
Is alkaline water better for you than plain water?
What Are the Benefits of Drinking Alkaline Water?
Science Behind the Health Benefits of Alkaline Water
Alkaline Water on Wikipedia
Scavenging effect against reactive oxygen species – Study
Water ionizer benefits