What is Alkaline Water? Alkaline Water Benefits and Side Effects

Updated on & Medically Reviewed by Dr Lalitha
What is Alkaline Water? Alkaline Water Benefits and Side Effects

In recent years, there has been a rise in interest in the health and wellness industry surrounding alkaline water. This type of water is purported to offer numerous benefits such as regulating pH balance and having anti-aging properties. However, it is important to understand what alkaline water is and whether it truly lives up to the hype.

In this blog, we’ll explore alkaline water, and its potential benefits.

What is Alkaline Water?

Alkaline water, as the name suggests, refers to water with a higher pH level compared to regular drinking water. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Anything below 7 is considered acidic, while anything above 7 is alkaline. Alkaline water typically boasts a pH level of 8 or 9, because of the presence of alkaline minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, or iron.

Difference Between Regular Water and Alkaline Water

Alkaline water, with a higher pH level than regular drinking water, is believed to neutralize body acid. While regular drinking water usually has a neutral pH of 7, alkaline water typically has a pH of 8 or 9. But just having a higher pH is not enough to make water more alkaline. To be considered alkaline, the water must also contain alkaline minerals and have a negative oxidation-reduction potential (ORP). ORP is a measure of the water's ability to act as an antioxidant or pro-oxidant. The more negative the ORP value, the more antioxidant properties the water has.

Here are some potential benefits of alkaline water, let’s see.

What are the Potential Benefits of Alkaline Water:

Studies show that alkaline water consumption has numerous health benefits. Oral consumption of ionized water reduces blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, improves metabolic functioning by suppressing free radical production, protects pancreatic beta cells from oxidative damage, and reduces weight gain in obese mice by regulating cholesterol balance. Let’s see other potential benefits of alkaline water.

1. Improved Hydration:

Enthusiasts of alkaline water believe that its unique composition provides better hydration. Its smaller molecular clusters and enhanced solubility supposedly allow for better absorption at the cellular level, which can lead to optimal hydration and replenishment.

Some proponents suggest that alkaline water may hydrate the body more effectively than regular water, leading to increased energy levels and better overall well-being.

2. Potential Anti-Aging Properties:

Although further research is required to confirm these findings in humans, preliminary studies on mice have suggested that alkaline water may help improve DNA ageing signs. (Reference)

3. Support for Bone Health:

Studies suggest that alkaline water might play a role in improving bone density, particularly in postmenopausal individuals with osteoporosis. (Reference)

In Recent studies on alkaline water rich in bicarbonate positively affect bone resorption, a process where old bone cells are broken down and replaced by new ones. The study concluded that bicarbonate- and calcium-rich alkali mineral water decreased bone resorption more than calcium-rich acidic mineral water. This results in better bone strength. (Reference)

4. Possible Relief from Digestive Issues:

Limited studies have indicated that alkaline water may help to improve stool consistency and reduce symptoms of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. However, more research is required to validate these claims in larger human populations. (Ref. 1, Ref. 2)

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5. Enhanced Workout Recovery:

A study involving 100 individuals found that consuming high-pH water after a strenuous workout resulted in a significant difference in whole blood viscosity compared to regular water, suggesting potential benefits for workout recovery. (Reference)

Are there any Side Effects from Alkaline Water?

Drinking water that is alkaline is seen as safe. Alkaline water offers numerous benefits, but proper quality control is crucial to maintain its pH within an acceptable range. Water with a pH greater than 9 causes skin and eye irritation in mice and rabbits, while in humans, water with a pH higher than 10 can cause skin, eye, mucus membrane, and gastrointestinal irritation in sensitive individuals. Additionally, water electrolysis may generate highly reactive platinum nanoparticles, potentially causing toxic effects.

As of right now, there is no proof of any negative effects. Even though alkaline water has a different pH than ordinary water, your body will nevertheless create hydrochloric acid to maintain homeostasis, stability, and control the pH levels in the stomach.

Bottom Line:

While alkaline water presents potential benefits such as improved hydration, support for bone health, and possible relief from digestive issues, it's not mandatory or a necessity. It is also essential to maintain proper quality control to prevent adverse effects. Though research is ongoing, always consult with your doctor before making any significant changes to your water intake or diet.

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FAQs

1) How to Make Alkaline Water at Home?

A) Here are some ways to enhance the pH of your water and improve its quality:

  • Add ½ to 1 teaspoon (3-6 grams) of baking soda to 8 ounces (237 milliliters) of water. This simple step can effectively raise the pH level.
  • Alternatively, infuse your water with slices of lemon or cucumber. Not only does this add flavor, but it also contributes to alkalizing the water.
  • Invest in an alkaline water filter pitcher. These pitchers not only elevate the pH of your water but also help eliminate impurities, providing cleaner and healthier hydration.

These methods offer convenient and effective ways to ensure your water is alkaline and free from contaminants.

2) Why Alkaline Water is Not Good for the Kidney?

A) While some studies suggest alkaline water may reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, excessive consumption can strain the kidneys, potentially worsening their function and causing harm. Thus, moderation is key when considering alkaline water intake to maintain kidney health.

3) Which Fruit is Alkaline?

A) Here are some of the fruits that are alkaline in nature - Lemon, grapes, mango, papaya, cranberries, plum, prunes, cantaloupe and sour cherries.

4) How Much Alkaline Water can I Drink a Day?

A) For improved digestion, it's recommended to drink two glasses of alkaline water about 30 to 60 minutes before meals. You can consume 2-3 liters of alkaline water daily for better results.

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a healthcare professional.

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