Alkaline water: it is the most coveted “high end” product being sold in our neighboring mineral water station. If you normally pay P20 to P40 for a 5-gallon container of regular purified or mineral water, you’ll have to pay extra for alkaline water - ranging from P50 to P80 per 5-gallon container!
What makes it so special and why do I have to pay more for it? This has gotten me so intrigued that I just had to take home a brochure and read more about it. One thing I noticed from the brochure is that this special water seems to solve a myriad of health problems just by its consumption….but how true are the claims?
Alkaline refers to the “pH level” – a measurement of how acidic or alkaline a substance is. The levels can be measured based on a scale of zero to 14. Substances that fall below ph level 7 are acidic, above 7 are alkaline, while those that are at ph level 7 are neutral
Examples of substances that are acidic would include battery acid, lemon juice, and vinegar. On the other end of the scale, examples of alkaline substances would include baking soda, ammonia and lye. Your basic drinking water is pretty close, if not exactly, at level 7.
Natural or artificial?
There are natural and artificial ways to produce drinking water that has a higher pH level than the normal ph level 7 drinking water we’ve been used to. Water that is naturally alkaline is produced when water passes over rocks and picks up some nice calcium and magnesium minerals that naturally increase the water’s alkaline level to about an 8 or 9.
The artificial type are commercially produced water ionizers that claim to turn regular drinking water into alkaline water through a chemical process known as “electrolysis”. These manufacturers claim that their ionizers can separate acidic water molecules from the alkaline ones, producing alkaline water on demand. Though it sounds great on paper, alkaline water produced from this artificial method has not been thoroughly tested and backed up by quality research yet. Because of this, many medical experts say you should take in each marketing claim about artificially produced alkaline water with a grain of salt.
Health benefits… according to the water station brochure
- Anti-aging, anti-cancer – it is said that alkaline water contains antioxidant properties that help counteract harmful free radicals. These free radicals have been attributed to be the cause of pre-mature aging and cancer. And because the antioxidants found in alkaline water are in liquid form, it’s easier for the body to absorb.
- Colon cleansing – it is said that alkaline water clears up to years of toxic buildup in the colon and other organs of the body. This allows your body to effectively process out waste materials, helping decrease recurrence of constipation and other digestive problems. It is also said to strengthen your immune system to keep colds, flu and viruses at bay.
- Clearer skin – alkaline water is said to effectively hydrate and rejuvenate the skin, allowing faster replacement of dead tissues. It also keeps you look more youthful because it helps maintain skin elasticity. Alkaline water is said to aid in detoxification as well, keeping your skin clear from pimples and breakouts.
- Weight loss – it is said that alkaline water aids weight loss by helping break down fatty essentials of food. It is also a natural appetite suppressant, leaving you satisfied with each glass.
- Lower instances of injuries – since alkaline water is said to lubricate joints and muscles better, it helps prevent muscle and joint-related injuries such as sprains.
How true are the claims?
Although some studies have found promising results about alkaline water, it’s still not enough to make a solid case for now. One of the promising findings have come from a 2012 US study (published at the National Center for Biotechnology Information website) suggesting that alkaline water intake may be helpful for certain conditions such as acid reflux because it can deactivate the enzyme (i.e. pepsin) that causes reflux. Another study published at the Shanghai Journal of Preventive Medicine suggested that drinking alkaline water may also provide benefits for those who suffer from high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Drinking natural alkaline water is considered safe in general since it contains minerals that occur in nature. However, medical experts warn against buying artificial alkaline water sold in dubious water stations. Even if considered potable, artificially prepared alkaline water likely contains less essential minerals and overconsumption may leave you deficient of these essential minerals.
Should I buy alkaline water?
One can argue that it’s only a matter of time before the scientific community can catch up and eventually recognize the health benefits of alkaline water. If you want to try it out for yourself, make sure you only buy from reputable water stations to be sure it’s safe to drink. Double check the seal to ensure container has not been tampered or contaminated.
If you don’t trust your local water station, you can still actually make your own alkaline water from ingredients found in your kitchen. Just add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice into a glass of regular distilled drinking water and viola... you have alkaline water! Wondering how this happens? Well, despite its acidic juice, adding lemon or lime juice to water adds minerals and changes the composition of water, making it more alkaline.
Ultimately, drinking ample potable water every day – regardless if it’s alkaline or not - is essential in maintaining good health. So go ahead and drink away!