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Water is an essential part of life. Staying hydrated is one of the best and easiest ways to stay healthy and relieve symptoms of various illnesses and ailments. However, tap water is polluted with chemical contaminants that must be filtered out before safely drinking. If you’re interested in more on this topic, you can read my post on tap water contaminants and the best water filters.
Still, with the rise in concern for the viability of our water, people have been turning to trendy plain water alternatives like alkaline water. The many advertised benefits of alkaline water do make it appealing for health-conscious consumers. But is it really better for you? I will answer that question and provide you with the available information on alkaline water and its properties, so you can decide for yourself.
Is Alkaline Water Better For You?
Despite what the trends say, in my opinion, alkaline water is not better for you than regular filtered water. In general, I do not have an issue with people drinking natural alkaline water in certain circumstances. However, it is important to note that there aren’t conclusive studies to demonstrate drinking alkaline water has any real benefit. In fact, its properties and the manner in which most people drink it could have adverse effects, instead of the proposed health benefits. I will explain below why I have formed this opinion.
What Is Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water is simply water with a higher pH level than regular drinking water (which has a neutral pH level of 7). Sometimes, there are additional nutrients added to the alkaline water, depending on the type. There are both natural alkaline water and artificial alkaline water.
Naturally, alkaline water occurs when plain water picks up beneficial minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium while flowing through streams. The minerals increase the pH levels and make the water alkaline. However, water can be artificially alkalized by means of expensive machines. And this is where most bottled alkaline water comes from.
This artificial alkaline water rarely maintains its alkaline state since the molecules from ionization are weakly bonded together. Additionally, the mechanical process does not remove the toxic chemicals that are already in the tap water. The inclusion of harmful contaminants and the ineffective ionizing process reduces the possibility of potential health benefits.
Why Do People Drink Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water is advertised as a beneficial plain water alternative that relieves a variety of health concerns and conditions (source). People believe that while it helps with staying hydrated, it also neutralizes the acidity in the body to improve biological function. Alkaline water is packaged and marketed as a better bottled water choice that can lower your risk of illness, improve gut health, assist with weight loss, and more (source).
Possible Benefits of Drinking Alkaline Water
- Lowers the risk of cancer
- Relieves G.I. problems (stomachaches, heartburn, bloating, etc.)
- Improves immune function
- Increases blood oxygen levels
- Promotes weight loss
- Slows the aging process
- Relieves acid reflux (source)
- Reduce inflammation
- Relieves joint pain
- Boosts mood
- Increases energy levels
- Improves bone density and muscle mass (source)
- Detoxifies the body
- Lowers the risk of heart disease and other chronic illness
- Reduces blood glucose levels
Is Alkaline Water Safe To Drink?
Alkaline water doesn’t hold any serious health risks for most people. However, the water should be properly filtered so it’s free of common pollutants and PFAS contamination. And it should not be above 8 on the pH scale.
Is Alkaline Water Good To Drink?
Though there are a number of claims about alkaline water, there’s not enough research to prove it carries any significant health benefits. The idea is that drinking it makes your body less acidic, which has positive effects on your overall health. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Though some research has shown that alkaline water could hold some benefits, the studies are not conclusive enough to say it is good for you. In fact, medical doctors explain that the human body maintains a tight pH range of 7.35 to 7.45. And any extreme changes in pH can be dangerous. Furthermore, some benefits have been debunked through recent research, like the claim that alkaline water is beneficial in reducing the risk of cancer (source).
Side Effects of Drinking Alkaline Water
There is some evidence that the high pH of alkaline water negatively alters body chemistry. And could actually cause some negative side effects. Foremost, alkaline water may interfere with the stomach’s natural acidity and undermine digestion and absorption of nutrients. Other negative side effects of alkaline water may include reduced kidney function, dry skin, and cardiovascular problems due to alkaline water’s potential effect on electrolytes (source).
In one case, a child was given alkaline water with a pH level between 8-10 regularly as an alternative to plain water. As a result, the child developed milk-alkalis syndrome with hypercalcaemia, metabolic alkalosis, and a significant kidney injury (source). This study seems to reinforce the concern with alkaline water and its possible negative effects.
Alkaline Water Typically Comes in Single Use Plastic Bottles
Among other drawbacks, alkaline water is usually sold in plastic bottles or cans, which significantly contribute to landfill waste. Studies have shown that even when we place a plastic bottle in a recycle container, that only about 5% of them will be repurposed, and the rest will end up in landfill.
Who Should Not Drink Alkaline Water?
There are general risks associated with consuming alkaline water. However, some members of the population are more vulnerable to changes in the body’s pH levels than others. Children, individuals with kidney disease, and people over 60 years of age should not drink alkaline water. Regardless of your health status, you should consult your doctor before regularly consuming it.
What Is The Best Type of Water To Drink?
Instead of opting for drinking water alternatives that seem too good to be true, just get a high-quality water filter installed in your home. I recommend the Clean Water Revival water filtration system. The CWR team will go over your local water quality report free of charge. And help you decide which of their systems you need based on the contaminants in your city’s water.
Depending on where you live, Clean Water Revival will even assist in finding a licensed plumber to install the system once it arrives. They have everything from countertop filters to reverse osmosis multi-stage systems to suit your needs and budget. If you do not want to go through the complicated process of addressing your specific water filtration requirements on your own, Clean Water Revival is the best choice.
Conclusion: Alkaline water poses little risk but few benefits for drinkers
Alkaline water companies boast many benefits. Unfortunately, there is little research to back up these claims. Though consumers should avoid drinking unfiltered tap water, and should instead opt for a high-quality filtration system, bottled or even natural alkaline water is likely not the solution to all of your problems as advertisers claim. There are some risks of drinking alkaline water too that we should all be aware of.
All things considered, be cautious about your beverage choice and do your research on the properties of alkaline water. For more information on product ingredients and consumer health risks, visit my blog. There, I read labels so you can make informed decisions with ease. You’ll get honest, research-backed information on anything you will find on the market.
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