Water is incredibly essential for the human body. In fact, the average adult body is made up of 50% to 65% water. Water is used in the organs, tissues, and cells of the body to help regulate temperature and maintain necessary body functions, such as eliminating waste and transporting nutrients.
In other words, water is a carrier—it distributes vitamins, minerals, and glucose to nourish your cells. It also helps remove toxins from the body through the urine and feces.
I make it a priority to drink a lot of water every day. The general recommended daily intake of water is eight to 10, eight-ounce glasses of water per day. That’s around 64 to 80 ounces a day. However, the Institute of Medicine recommends men consume an average of 125 ounces of water daily, and women drink approximately 91 ounces each day. Don’t forget that you can also consume water through food, such as vegetables and fruit.
There is often debate about what type of water is best for your health. Is filtered water the best for you? How about reverse osmosis filtered water? What about water straight from the spring? Can you simply drink tap water? Whatever water you drink, many believe your water should be alkaline-filtered.
What Is Alkaline Water?
Alkalinity and acidity are both measurements on the pH scale of 1 to 14. Neutral is considered 7.0, and anything below that point is considered acidic. Alkaline water typically has a pH between 7.0 and 10.0 on the scale.
Another common name for alkaline water is ionized water. It is thought that natural spring water is the best source of alkaline water, with a pH around 8.0 to 9.0. Alkaline water also has a higher pH level than tap water. Regular tap water usually has a pH level of 6.0 to 7.0.
Natural alkaline water occurs when water travels over rocks. For instance, spring water will obtain minerals and increase in alkalinity during this process. Basically, spring water is naturally alkalinized.
However, there are products called alkaline ionizers that alkalinize the water during electrolysis. It is a chemical process that separates water into more acidic or alkaline molecules. Alkaline water and water ionizers are typically found in many health foods stores or grocery stores.
Health Benefits of Alkaline Water
Alkaline water helps alkalize an acidic body. This is especially important for people who consume diets that are rich in acidic foods, such as processed foods, dairy, sugar, and red meat. Some research suggests you can live longer drinking alkaline water. One study called the Okinawa Centenarian Project found that people from Okinawa, Japan, regularly live to 100 years old—they drink alkaline water with a pH of 10.0!
Evidence also suggests a handful of other alkaline water benefits:
1. Helpful for Detoxification
Detoxification is important for removing the accumulation of harmful toxins in the body. Toxic overload can lead to chronic fatigue, low energy, bloating, mental confusion, inflammation, and food sensitivities. Drinking alkaline water can help detox the body of heavy metals, such as mercury. In a 2003 study published in the journal Ambio, researchers found that alkaline water had a protective effect against mercury in 43 women who lived in an alkaline-rich area in Sweden.
2. Alkaline Water Weight Loss Plan
It may be beneficial to try an alkaline water weight loss plan. In a 2011 preliminary study published in the journal Original Internist, researchers found that obese individuals who drank two liters of alkaline water daily lost an average of 12 pounds over two months. In a 52-week study published in the International Journal of Experimental Pathology in 2001, rats that drank water with the highest pH level lost the most weight.
3. Reduces Acid Reflux
Acid reflux will typically create a burning feeling in the lower chest, typically after a person has eaten. It is a condition where stomach acid flows into the esophagus. It is also commonly known as acid indigestion and heartburn. People are often diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), where acid reflux is experienced at least twice a week.
Research shows that alkaline water can be a beneficial therapeutic treatment for patients with acid reflux disease. In a 2012 laboratory study published in the journal The Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology, researchers discovered that drinking alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 results in beneficial acid-buffering activity. Alkaline water also inactivates pepsin, an enzyme that plays a role in acid reflux.
4. Helps Improve Bone Health
Alkaline water could also improve bone health. A 2014 observational study published in the journal BMJ associated a high milk intake with a higher risk of fractures amongst women. It is thought that alkaline water is a safer dietary source of calcium than milk or dairy. In a 2009 study published in the journal Bone, researchers discovered that alkaline water significantly reduced two markers associated with bone loss—PTH and S-CTX—in 30 female dieticians.
5. Provides Antioxidant Benefits
Alkaline water is a natural antioxidant that can neutralize harmful radicals in the body. Laboratory studies have also tested the antioxidant potential of alkaline water. In a 2006 study published in the journal Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, alkaline water showed potent antioxidant activity when mixed with vitamin C.
6. Essential for Heart Health
Drinking alkaline water can reduce certain risk factors associated with heart disease. In a study published in the Shanghai Journal of Preventative Medicine, researchers found that alkaline water consumption for three to six months could significantly reduce blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
It was concluded that alkaline ionized water could improve the symptoms associated with diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. Heart disease and hypertension are risk factors for diabetes. In a 2004 study published in the journal BMC Public Health, researchers suggested that alkalized mineral water could lower blood pressure in people with low calcium and magnesium levels.
Drinking alkaline water may also help hydrate your body, improve mental clarity, and boost your overall immune system.
How to Alkalize Your Water
You can also easily make alkaline water yourself. Simply follow these steps:
- Check your current water pH: Check your water’s current pH level with a pH test paper kit before you alkalize the water. A pH kit can be found at most health food stores. It will come with a pH color chart and pH strips. Dip the strip into your water and let it stand. Next, combine your strip with the pH color chart, and take note of your water’s pH level. Your water will likely be around 7.0 on the pH scale; if it is below 7.0, your water is currently acidic.
- Alkalize your water: There are a few ways you can alkalize your water. One alkalizing method is to mix 1/8 of a tablespoon of baking soda with an eight-ounce glass of water—baking soda is highly alkaline. You can also add freshly-squeezed lemon juice or lime juice to alkalize your water. Some people may also add pH drops or alkaline minerals to water.
- Confirm your water is alkaline: Test your water again with another pH strip. It should be around 8.0 to 9.0 after you alkalize your water.
Drinking alkaline water is a good idea—but many people should be drinking more water in general. Check your urine color to determine if your body is well-hydrated. A deep yellow color is a sign of dehydration; if your urine is clear or light yellow, then you are likely getting enough water.
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