The consumption of alkaline water has gained significant attention in recent years due to its purported health benefits. Proponents claim that it provides numerous advantages, from improving hydration to acting as an antioxidant. However, critics argue that these claims are often overstated and lack solid scientific backing. In this article, we aim to provide an extensive analysis of the pros and cons of alkaline water, incorporating six key points into the discussion. Our goal is to offer you a thorough understanding of the topic, so you can make an informed decision about incorporating alkaline water into your daily routine.
What is Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water has a pH level higher than 7.0, making it less acidic than standard tap water. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with liquids between 0-7 considered acidic and those between 7-14 considered alkaline. The World Health Organization (WHO) states there is "no health-based guideline value proposed for pH." However, it is widely considered that the optimum pH level for drinking water is between 7.5 and 9.5.
Now that we understand what alkaline water is, let's break down the pros and cons.
Pros of Alkaline Water
Alkaline water boasts excellent antioxidant properties, thanks to its decreased Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP) levels, which help combat free radicals. Free radicals are oxidizing agents, so alkaline water's increased level of reducing agents makes it effective at tackling those rogue cells compared to regular drinking water. A five-stage activated carbon process can give water this powerful capacity.
Scientific backing: Strong (3896 research papers referring to the claim according to PubMed)
Alkaline water can offer better hydration than standard mineral water. A study by Daniel P. Heli (2010) in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that drinking alkaline water with an increased pH level of 10.0 improved hydration status compared to "placebo water" consumption. The group given the alkalized supplement also experienced increased levels of cardiorespiratory capacity and upper body power levels.
Scientific backing: Medium (2755 research papers referring to the claim according to PubMed)
Soothing Acid Reflux
Drinking alkaline water can help reduce acid reflux or heartburn. Another study by Daniel P. Heli found improved acid-base balance when drinking alkaline water compared to tap water.
Scientific backing: Weak (418 research papers referring to the claim according to PubMed)
Some proponents of alkaline water believe it may help the body detoxify by flushing out acidic waste products and toxins more efficiently. The higher pH of alkaline water could potentially support the body's natural detoxification processes and promote overall health.
Scientific backing: Weak (490 research papers referring to the claim according to PubMed)
There is some evidence suggesting that alkaline water may help support bone health. A study published in the journal "Bone" showed that consuming alkaline water may help counteract the acidity of the Western diet, reducing bone resorption and improving markers of bone health. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
Improved Energy Levels
Drinking alkaline water may contribute to increased energy levels. A balanced acid-base environment within the body is necessary for optimal cellular function, which can, in turn, impact energy production. Alkaline water may help support this balance and, as a result, improve overall energy levels.
Cons of Alkaline Water
Limited Impact on Stomach pH
While alkaline water may temporarily alter the pH of your stomach, it cannot do so permanently or to a significant degree. The stomach's pH levels typically range from 1.5 to 3.5, which is necessary for proper digestion. Although alkaline water can neutralize excess stomach acid accumulated through diet, it does not permanently elevate the stomach's pH.
Scientific backing: Medium (1195 research papers referring to the claim according to PubMed)
A common criticism of alkaline water is its cost, especially when considering large ionizer tanks that range from £750 to £2,000. However, it's important to note that not all alkaline water is expensive. You can achieve many of the same benefits with a countertop alkaline water filter, which costs only a fraction of the price of an ionizer machine and can provide revitalizing alkaline water for just 2.5p per litre. This is a 30th of the price of standard bottled water.
Your blood maintains a steady, slightly alkaline level of around 7.35. Much like your stomach, your body has several mechanisms to maintain the pH level of your blood. Drinking alkaline water cannot alter this, and it's vital for human health that this pH level remains steady.
Excessive consumption of alkaline water could potentially lead to a condition called alkalosis. This condition occurs when the body's pH becomes too alkaline, causing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, muscle twitching, and confusion. While rare, it's essential to maintain a balanced pH within the body for optimal health.
Scientific backing: Strong (13823 research papers referring to the claim according to PubMed)
One potential downside to consuming large amounts of alkaline water is the possibility of developing a mineral imbalance within the body. Some alkaline water sources may have a reduced mineral content, and over-reliance on this water could potentially lead to a deficiency in essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Scientific backing: Weak (129 research papers referring to the claim according to PubMed)
Interference with Medications
Alkaline water could potentially interfere with the absorption and efficacy of certain medications. For example, some medications require an acidic environment for proper absorption. Consuming alkaline water may alter the stomach's pH and interfere with the medication's effectiveness. It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional if you are taking medications and considering incorporating alkaline water into your routine.
Scientific backing: Weak (458 research papers referring to the claim according to PubMed)
When considering the consumption of alkaline water, it's crucial to recognize that not all water purification systems are created equal. While some may provide the benefits of alkaline water, they could also have potential drawbacks such as cost considerations and mineral imbalances. Sküma's countertop reverse osmosis system offers a superior alternative that addresses these concerns, providing purified water and infusing it with essential vitamins and minerals to create the healthiest water possible without compromising on taste or sustainability.
By choosing Sküma, you are investing in a water purification system that not only delivers clean, healthy alkaline water but also aligns with your commitment to making environmentally responsible choices. Experience the difference for yourself, and enjoy the benefits of Sküma's innovative, health-conscious, and eco-friendly approach to water purification.