The Benefits of Alkaline Water

Have you heard of Alkaline Water?  The benefits of Alkaline water appear to be  widely debated in the alternative and mainstream health community.

Many say it’s simply the best water to drink. But others are not as convinced.

As part of an effective dry eye solution, hydration is a must. 

What Is Alkaline?

Alkalinity commonly refers to the pH balance of water. Not just water of course. Many other beverages, foods and substances are either acidic or alkaline in nature. Think sodas, alcoholic, coffee and so on. These beverages are considered acidic.

Below a pH number of 7 is considered acidic.

Lemon juice and vinegar are between 2 and 3 pH.

Conversely, a pH of 9-13 is highly alkaline.  Natural water sources range from 6.5 – 9, depending on the surrounding soils, vegetation and seasonal changes.

For this reason the pH level of many bottled waters differ to a certain degree based on where they are sourced.

There are many companies marketing alkaline water machines and filters, including ionizers. It pays to look closely at what you are and are not getting with some of these devices.

What they add? What they filter or don’t filter?

Body of Evidence

According to the website, Energise For Life, some of the top Alkaline foods include Spinach, Kale, Broccoli, Cucumber and Avocado. 

You could not argue that eating plentiful amounts of whole foods like this is beneficial. It just so happens they are more alkaline than acidic.

The Benefits of Alkaline water are said to include:

  • Protecting against oxidative stress
  • Protecting against damage to DNA
  • Helping lower blood pressure, promote immune health and reduce diabetes effects
  • Protecting you against cancers
  • Aiding healthy detoxification and providing for increased energy
  • Promoting quality hydration that is typically rich in minerals like magnesium and calcium.

Your body has some sophisticated mechanisms to regulate pH balance within your cells. If a steady blood pH of 7.3 – 7.4  is not maintained your health can suffer.

Over time, the general acidity of your body can increase through the consumption of acidic foods and beverages. 

If  your diet is heavy with processed foods, soft drinks and fast food, the level of acidity this causes may start to cause health issues.

When your blood  becomes too acidic this is often referred to acidosis. Large amounts of calcium are drawn out of your teeth and bones to combat this acidity, attempting  continuous regulation of your pH level.

The more acidic the body becomes the harder this process of balancing has to work, effectively needing to draw on large amounts of mineral reserves you may not  have spare depending on your day- to- day diet and mineral intake. 

Keeping your body in a neutral- to- alkaline state through eating whole foods and healthy water is clearly beneficial to your longevity while aiding the balance of your blood pH.

Is Some Acidity Good For You?

Research is clear that highly-alkaline water is detrimental to plants and animals.

If you have ever owned fish, you’ll definitely understand how sensitive they are to pH levels in their water.  The correct balance is key.

However, studies appear a little mixed when it comes to humans.

pH levels have an influence on the health of your cell’s mitochondria. The mitochondria are the cell’s energy producers. Some research suggests that high alkalinity within the cell can adversely alter the mitochondria and actually cause cell death.

A number of studies have also argued against alkalinity in combating cancer, concluding that strongly acidic anti-cancer agents are more effective than their alkaline alternatives when it comes to killing tumour cells.

The agents do this by specifically interfering with the pH regulation within the cells.

A 2005 study, which has been performed several times before with the same results, shows that ascorbic acid at large therapeutic doses is highly toxic to cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed. Here is an example of a highly acidic substance effectively protecting against disease. 

Does this mean that sodas, sports drinks and other highly-acidic substances swirling through your body are protecting you against cancer as we speak. I think not. There is no ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) in coke last time I checked.

The health concerns surrounding soft drinks are well documented.

Should You Drink Alkaline Water?

On the whole, it appears yes. However balance and common sense is key. Dehydration in the population is a real and serious problem.

We simply don’t drink enough water – even if some amount of hydration can be attained through our food including fruits and vegetables.

Alkaline water is not a magic bullet answer to amazing health.  But it is clean, fresh, great tasting water.

Clean, pure water is a cornerstone of good health. Your body is mostly water, so the ongoing intake of water is essential to your every function. Today, too many people are choosing soda instead of pure water as their primary beverage and the health of an entire culture is at risk.

What you want is pure water – water that is clean, balanced, and healthful, neither too alkaline nor too acidic. Ideally, the pH of your water should be close to 7, which is neutral.

– Dr Joseph Mercola

The real takeaway here is, drink plenty of the cleanest water you can get your hands on. If it’s between a range of 6-8 pH, that’s great. So some bottled waters are a little lower than 7 at around 5-6 pH. That’s ok.

As mentioned, this varies due to how it is sourced. However, you may want to investigate some alternatives.

Checkout this easy pH reference for bottled waters.

What I like about alkaline water and the filtered water I drink is that,

a) all contaminates, fluoride and heavy metals are removed.

And

b) it retains an alkalinity level of around 8 pH and tastes great! ( This depends partly on the quality of your tap water to begin with)

To add to this, alkalised water more often retains its mineral content, meaning good levels of magnesium and calcium are present but the nasties are removed. I find this the best water to drink.

The healthier your levels of calcium and other minerals, the better off you are at defending against effects of acidosis and keeping the body pH in balance.

There are some clear benefits of alkaline water.  If you are eating as healthily as possible and drinking good, clean, well-balanced water, you go a long way to maintaining great health.

Along with exercise, much anecdotal and clinical evidence shows hydration is key to relief of mild dry eye symptoms.   This could be for the simple reason that both exercise and water promote detoxification. 

What are your thoughts on Alkaline Water?

References:

Dr. J Mercola on Alkaline Water – Sept 2010

 

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