Healthy Effects and Benefits of Alkaline Water Consumption

Last Updated on December 31, 2023 by Richard

Here are just some of the benefits of alkaline water:

Prevention and treating of:

  • Premature aging
  • All types of cancer
  • Acid reflux (GERD)
  • Gout
  • Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s
  • Diabetes
  • Blood pressure
  • Kidney stones

Article written by Dr. Helcio Ferreira. Comments (in green) by Richard Quick.

Alkaline water is an ionized liquid with many health benefits, mainly to help the body correct the acid-base balance of the body, allowing it to maintain a physiological pH balance.

Alkaline water is a type of ionized water that acts as a potent and natural antioxidant, with the ability to help the body eliminate acid waste produced by the natural process of digestion.

This type of water has a negative oxidation-reduction potential. Which means that it is a very potent antioxidant thanks to the production of hydroxyl ions.

Hydroxyl ions favor the production of oxygen, helping to fight free radicals, correcting the balance of acid/alkaline of the body, regenerating cells and fighting different signs of aging. [1]

Composition and Importance of Alkaline Water

The human body is composed of more than 70% water, distributed in the blood, lymphatic system, interstitial fluids, and intracellular medium.

Also, it is the main component of other organic fluids, such as tears, saliva, gastric juices, urine, semen, etc.

Chemically pure water has a neutral pH (pH = 7), which means that it is neither acidic nor alkaline.

The pH is defined as the “logarithm of the concentration of hydrogen ions (H +)” in a liquid and varies between 1 (case of strong acids) to 14 (strongly alkaline liquids).

Some natural spring waters or plain tap water may contain carbon dioxide (CO2) in solution, which gives it a weakly acidic character.

The pH balance is extremely important; the pH of the human organism ranges between 7.35 and 7.45, which is approximately the pH of the blood.

But there are other fluids, such as gastric juices that are strongly acidic (pH = 2) and that must be neutralized before entering the small intestine, where the pH = 8.

Richard says: This is where alkaline water prevents GERD, and starts to maintain the proper blood pH balance.

Saliva has a pH of 6.9 but may vary slightly depending on the foods that have been eaten.

Gallbladder bile has a pH that ranges between 5.5 and 7; liver secretions are alkaline (7.1-8.5).

If the pH of these systems is not within the optimal operating range. Therefore, the digestive enzymes and metabolic substances of these systems will not work properly, and possibly a reduction in health status will occur.

As blood must be maintained at a pH between 7.35 and 7.45, the body has priority in maintaining homeostasis of blood pH at 7.4. [2]

Without alkaline water to provide the minerals needed to raise the pH of the blood from acidic to alkaline, the body steals the minerals from your bones and anywhere else it can, to neutralize the acids.

These alkaline water pitchers not only filter out toxins, but add minerals, to alkalize the water:

Natural or Commercialized Alkaline Water

Water can be naturally alkaline if it passes through rocks or minerals that can transfer some basic elements to the water.

For example, the natural water of Munchique, a city located in Portugal (Algarve), is considered the most alkaline drinking water in the world with a pH of 9.5.

Although alkaline water from some springs is marketed, other procedures range from adding a small amount of sodium or potassium bicarbonate to tap water. Or by the use of electrolysis devices that produce hydrogen H +, and hydroxyl ions, OH-, considered as powerful antioxidants.

What is pH, and What Is Its Importance In The Body?

To understand the properties and benefits of alkaline water, we must first understand what pH is; it is a unit of measurement used in any type of solution.

With this measure, you can determine when a substance is alkaline, neutral, or acidic.

The acronym of pH indicates that what is measured is the hydrogen potential of things. Thus, the ion concentration of a specific substance is obtained.

Which is the basis for how ionization alkaline water filter systems work.

It is said that when the pH is less than 7, the substance is considered acidic. While when it exceeds the range of 7, it is alkaline.

Therefore, the pH of alkaline water is above 7. Usually, the pH of commercial alkaline water or obtained from springs is around 8.4.

This type of water can bring great benefits to the people who ingest it. Since the change in pH causes it to have other kinds of qualities and generates other effects.

Oxidative Stress and Body Aging

Oxidative stress is the process that occurs in the brain and in different organs of the body.

Which occurs as a result of excessive consumption of oxygen and other substances vulnerable to the oxidation and degeneration process.

Such as lipids, and by cells, having as a consequence, a biochemical process called oxidation.

Oxidation results in generating compounds called free radicals. [3]

The production of free radicals is known as the main consequence of oxidative stress.

These free radicals are “missing” atoms or with unstable electrical charges, which increases their reactivity. These atoms travel throughout the body, looking for other molecules to be able to stabilize electrochemically.

This process of chemical reactivity has important consequences because these atoms called “free radicals” can bind to healthy cells by stimulating neoplastic processes (abnormal cell growth). Or causing damage to important tissues, such as vital organs.

The brain is highly vulnerable to oxidative stress due to high oxygen consumption. Oxidative stress can induce stress in brain cells, which is harmful to central nervous system functions.

The damaging effect of oxidative stress and free radicals may increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s.

Various investigations support the fact that homeostatic equilibrium can decrease the production of free radicals, reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. [4]

Is Oxygen Harmful To Health?

Oxygen, as well as water, is absolutely indispensable for life.

The oxygen passes through the nostrils to the lungs, then is stored and transported by the red blood cells, thanks to the hemoglobin protein, to all the tissues of the organs.

All cells receive their portion of the oxygen to carry out important biochemical processes, such as energy production.

Oxidation is a natural chemical process and is also essential for life; this same process is responsible for producing the energy necessary for the functioning of the cells.

So, both oxidation and oxygen are not harmful to the body in the strict sense, but the process of oxidative stress, and the lack of antioxidant consumption that can counteract these effects IS harmful.

Effects of Oxidative Stress and Free Radical Production

Internal or external factors can cause oxidative stress. One of the main reasons for oxidative stress is the malfunction of cell metabolism.

Cellular metabolism is responsible for producing energy and other important biochemical compounds. When the metabolism does not occur properly; it begins to produce free radicals.

Some factors accentuate the process of oxidative stress, such as nicotine, excessive alcohol consumption, refined foods, high consumption of unhealthy fats, drug use, pregnancy, lack of physical exercise, among other factors.

These processes can impact on cellular metabolism having essential consequences. [5]

Alkaline water can have important health effects because it acts as a natural antacid that would help neutralize acidity levels in the body.

Good eating habits, sleeping correctly, avoiding stress, and staying away from pollution would help reduce the production of free radicals.

Alkaline water can also provide adequate conditions to reduce the effect of oxidative stress and its harmful effects on health.

Alkaline Water vs. Common Water: The Harmful Effect Of Chlorine

Chlorine is a chemical element present in nature, commonly used for the treatment and disinfection of water in water treatment plants.

The problem is that once the water is cleaned of bacteria, the chlorine is still there, and it is a very toxic and harmful element to our health.

The fact that chlorine is capable of eliminating bacteria from the water gives us a clue that it will also be able to eliminate bacteria in our body. Many of which are good and necessary for the proper functioning of the human body and immune system.

When we drink chlorinated water or shower, it destroys the beneficial intestinal bacteria, causing poor digestion and the health problems that this entails.

We are in contact with chlorine daily, from drinking tap water to washing our hands, showering, bathing, and already in higher quantities when we bathe in swimming pools.

It is already known that breathing small amounts of chlorine for short periods has negative health consequences, from cough and chest pain to water retention in the lungs.

It is especially harmful to our skin, throat, and eyes, causing dryness and irritation and, in particular, for the respiratory system.

Children exposed to large amounts of chlorine (as is often the case in swimming pools) have a higher risk of asthma.

As studies on the effects of chlorine increase, we find that chlorine is increasingly associated with a wide range of ailments. Ranging from cancer, respiratory problems, reproductive problems, immune system problems, and even heart attacks.

The contact of chlorine with organic matter generates trihalomethanes; these are a byproduct of chlorine and are potentially carcinogenic. One of the most predominant trihalomethanes in water is chloroform. [6]

Trihalomethanes are very dangerous for everyone, but especially for pregnant women. It has been shown that there is an increased risk of abortion in women exposed to this chlorine byproduct.

Numerous studies relate the consumption of chlorinated tap water to the risk of suffering from different types of cancer, from the bladder to kidney, and colon.

A study carried out in the U.S. by the Environmental Quality Council of this country, has shown: That the risk of cancer in people who drink chlorinated water is 93% higher than those who drink chlorine-free water.

The latest research talks about the possibility that chlorine destroys specific proteins in the human body, causing irreversible skin and hair problems.

In fact, numerous skin pathologies such as acne, seborrhea, eczema, etc., improve when you stop drinking water with chlorine.

The harmful effects on health depend on the concentration of this substance in the water, as well as the duration and frequency of exposure.

Children are more vulnerable to its effects, usually, because they spend more time bathing in pools. Also, because their skin is more sensitive, chlorine can be very reactive with their skin cells.

On the market there are several devices to remove chlorine, heavy metals and impurities.

The problem is that they use white balls that contain calcium sulfite (E226), an additive toxic that is also used in meat products, wine, etc. [10]

The law requires food and beverage producers to name it on their label, but this is not the case with shower filters.

It indeed eliminates chlorine, but our skin absorbs this toxic substance. The more chlorine the water contains, the more calcium sulfite is released into it.

Alkaline Water and Diabetes: A Hopeful Therapy According To Recent Research

In 2006, several studies were conducted to verify the efficacy of alkaline water. The study was conducted in a group of genetically modified diabetic rats. These rats were treated with alkaline water or normal water for 32 weeks. [7]

After 12 weeks, the levels of glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides in the group treated with alkaline water, was significantly lower than the group treated with normal water during the experimental time.

The results of these investigations suggest that alkaline water could reduce glucose, triglyceride, and total cholesterol levels in the blood.

Several studies support the results obtained by these investigations. The explanations are based on the effect of alkaline water to optimize the homeostasis process. Thus, reducing the damaging impact of oxidative stress.

Modern diets produce acidification of the body and can generate adverse conditions to develop chronic diseases.

Studies that have found positive results of alkaline water, suggest that the alkalizing effect can prevent the conditions that cause diabetes and hypertension.

What Are the Benefits of Drinking Alkaline Water?

Improves Digestive Health

In addition to contributing to the elimination of accumulated toxins through the urine, alkaline water could help to have good digestions. This would be possible because, by balancing body pH, it would maintain stomach health.

The acidity of gastric juices is related to the quality of the food we eat. Bad eating habits can cause stomach problems. The most common being a pain during digestion.

The consumption of alkaline water helps regulate the acidity levels of gastric stomach juices. It would also help reduce episodes of gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), protecting the mucosa of the digestive system.

Prevents Diseases

As it would help maintain proper hydration, alkaline water could help prevent kidney disease and urinary infections.

Several studies support the possible benefits of alkaline water to prevent diseases. Especially digestive diseases and degenerative diseases, due to the regulation of gastric juice pH and to reduce the effect of oxidative stress.

Delays the Aging Process

The accumulation of toxins would not only harm health, but cause premature skin aging. Therefore, it is believed that by drinking alkaline water, these toxins could be eliminated and prevent premature aging.

To maintain a young and smooth skin, we must perform proper external and internal hydration.

Alkaline water reaches the cells of our body directly, helping them to achieve their vital functions and eliminating the waste products that are produced. This internal work will translate directly into a young skin without imperfections.

Fight Fluid Retention

Like normal water, alkaline water could help hydrate and combat fluid retention. And by helping to eliminate waste through urine, it would help restore body balance.

It is believed that, by balancing the pH, the cells would not need to retain fluids to fight acidity. Also, metabolism would be launched upwards.

Prevents Osteoporosis

Drinking alkaline water would favor the removal of solid waste, such as uric acid and nephroliths, through the urine. Thereby helping to prevent osteoporosis.

Alkaline water would help release the calcium that was trapped in these wastes, returning the alkaline pH to the blood.

Uric acid accumulation causes Gout and leads to Nephroliths which are known as kidney stones.

The Best Ally For Athletes

In addition to being perfect water to drink during meals, it is also for the performance of sports activities. That’s because it allows us to regulate the lactic acid that occurs in the muscles during intense exercise.

Thus reduces levels of fatigue, tiredness, and the sensation of having muscle cramps.

Gain Extra Energy With Alkaline Water

The lack of energy is caused by aging, bad eating habits. Unfavorable lifestyles also contribute to the decrease in vital energy.

Excessive consumption of highly processed foods can cause an imbalance in the pH of the body, and can cause digestive problems and an imbalance in the blood pH.

Balance Your Diet With Alkaline Water

Although you try to eat well and work hard in your health, you may have to incorporate a small percentage of processed foods.

Currently, it is a very difficult task not to find any preservatives in food. Although the FDA approves them, and their consumption is safe in controlled quantities, these can have a slightly harmful effect on health. Especially if you consume preservatives regularly.

Learning to maintain a proper balance in the diet means eating correctly, and an easy way to obtain the balance is by consuming alkaline water. Which is due to the positive effects for pH regulation and homeostasis optimization.

Benefits of Alkaline Water For Healthy Skin

An acidic body is a place where diseases can quickly develop.

Drinking plenty of alkaline water will neutralize the excess acids in our body. Preventing our immune system from malfunctioning or weakening and helping to develop and keep it strong and healthy.

Alkaline water also contributes to a younger appearance.

Aging is a process that can change many things. Especially skin development and cell growth, which can be protected with alkaline water.

Keep Your Body Hydrated

Drinking lots of alkaline water helps keep our bodies hydrated. Alkaline water molecules are smaller than those normally found in bottled water.

Our bodies can easily and quickly absorb these small molecules of water and keep it well hydrated.

It also helps the skin replace tissues and contributes to its elasticity and overall skin health.

Detoxifying and Purifying Effect

The antioxidant effect provided by alkaline water contributes to the detoxification of the body.

Antioxidants in the body reduce chronic fatigue, promote health improvements, and stimulate longevity, delaying the aging process.

Acid compounds that accumulate in the body can cause chronic diseases. Drinking alkaline water daily can neutralize acidity and eliminate acidic waste products from cells and tissues.

The alkaline effect can help reduce inflammatory processes; some research argues that alkaline conditions would help reduce the production of proinflammatory components, especially in chronic disease processes.

Effects of Alkaline Water To Prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that affects millions of people; this condition affects the bones until they become fragile.

The prevention of osteoporosis begins by maintaining a good diet, especially at the beginning of adulthood, after 18 years.

Risk Of Osteoporosis

Calcium is one of the most important minerals for homeostatic balance in the body. This means that calcium helps regulate the body’s pH, and this happens in every minute of our lives.

Foods with acidic characteristics, such as processed foods, refined flours, red meats, and even some dairy products, can contribute to the conditions necessary for the development of osteoporosis.

But the solution is not to consume more calcium, because what is happening is that calcium is not absorbed correctly.

The body struggles every moment to maintain the body’s pH balance, using calcium stores for this purpose. Thus, decreasing the calcium absorption necessary to maintain bone density.

The pH of the blood must be strictly maintained in the range of 7.35 and 7.4. The lungs and kidneys are constantly forced to work to maintain this balance. They do so by using calcium and other mineral deposits to maintain homeostasis.

The solution begins first by taking care of the diet, having a proper diet and lifestyle would reduce the effect of acidity on the body. That is in addition to supplementing the diet with alkaline water to provide the antioxidant effect necessary to maintain the pH balance.

The imbalance of calcium and other minerals due to the constant effort of the body to maintain the physiological pH can also decrease the percentage of muscle mass, and possibly cause kidney damage.

Alkaline Water Is A Great Acid Neutralizer:

The body always moves towards a balance or homeostasis, and once the right substances are provided, it quickly corrects any imbalance.

The problem is that we suffer from an alkaline deficiency, and to balance it, it is advisable to consume alkaline water. [8]

This type of water will help increase the body’s pH levels and also contains minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which improve the health of our bones. It is a double dose of positive bone health benefits!

Alkaline Water To Neutralize The Acid

The body needs to use mineral reserves to regulate body pH constantly. This is an entirely natural physiological process.

However, the abuse of foods with acidic characteristics, together with other factors such as stress and environmental pollution, can cause conditions similar to osteoporosis, due to the imbalance of minerals in the body. [8]

For this reason, experts recommend the consumption of alkaline water to help regulate the physiological pH of the blood and other body fluids, such as gastric secretions.

Science Clearly Shows That Alkaline Water Works

The biological effect of drinking alkaline water has been widely discussed. Why should alkaline water be better than common water?

There is much research in the US, Japan, and Korea, interested in knowing its benefits and its therapeutic application in various diseases.

Various studies have proven the many health benefits of alkaline water.

The “Nordenau phenomenon.”

A study was conducted on 411 diabetic patients who drank alkaline water obtained from a spring where the water had been naturally ionized.

The report showed that 45% of the 411 patients with type 2 diabetes (mean age 71.5 years) who drank 2 liters of alkaline water per day achieved significant reductions in their blood sugar in just 6 days.

These levels decreased further after drinking the water for a long period of time, blood cholesterol (LDL) and creatine levels also decreased significantly.

These studies suggest that the consumption of alkaline water for an extended period could have considerable beneficial effects on diabetic patients. [9]

Alkaline Water Neutralizes Heartburn (Pepsin)

Alkaline water has therapeutic benefits for patients with reflux disease (heartburn).

Research on the effect of alkaline water concluded that “unlike common drinking water, alkaline water of pH 8.8 was able to neutralize the acidity caused by pepsin.”

Conclusion: Alkaline Water Benefits The Whole Body

Heartburn and various digestive diseases are associated with stress, which is detrimental to health. Stress can also trigger factors that increase the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Many studies demonstrate the harmful effect of cortisol released during stress. Especially in promoting an acidic environment in the body that can increase the risk of the development of various diseases.

The alkaline water benefits are attributed to its effect on reducing oxidative stress.

The excess of hydrogen ions propitiates the acidity; this excess of hydrogen ions provides less oxygen to the cells and tissues of the body.

Thus, this alkaline state contributes to balance the oxygen uptake, increasing tissue oxygenation.

The Benefits Of Alkaline Water Are Significant

  • Hydrates body cells 5 to 6 times more efficiently than tap water
  • Provides an internal alkaline environment, reducing the negative effects of acidity
  • Detoxifies the body at the cellular level
  • Prevents the accumulation of acid in tissues and bones
  • Offers ionized minerals for the body

Alkaline water due to its therapeutic effect can silently delay the aging process because large amounts of antioxidants that neutralize free radicals are added.

There are several types of commercially available [amazon link=”B09HL4CGTD” title=”bottled alkaline water.” /]

Many of those that undergo an ionization process (for which there are multiple brands of filters). Or those that are naturally more alkaline as they emerge from the mountains and pass through the rocks that feed them with minerals.

Generally, commercial alkaline waters have a pH in a range of 8.7 to 9.

Alkaline water consumption is ideal for athletes because it can help hydrate and reduce fatigue from strenuous workouts thanks to its higher concentration of electrolytes.

However, it is recommended to study further to determine the real benefits for athletes compared to other beverages specifically designed for this group.

An adequate diet based on fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains, helps to maintain health from all the nutrients it provides, in addition to helping to regulate the pH.

Thus, your diet contributes to the physiological processes of the organism with the consumption of alkaline water.

The first studies on alkaline water began in Japan, where its beneficial effects were confirmed in the prevention of chronic diseases and the rapid relief of gastroesophageal ailments.

The relief of the effects of gastroesophageal reflux disease is the main benefit of alkaline water, due to the rapid relief provided by this drink.

Alkaline water helps counteract heartburn, preventing the activation of gastric enzymes that can damage the digestive tract. It also helps regulate the secretion of gastric juices.

Currently, many investigations are still ongoing to know the science behind all the benefits of alkaline water and its possible therapeutic effects in the relief of chronic pain due to its anti-inflammatory effect.

How To Make Alkaline Water At Home

Baking Soda vs. Potassium Bicarbonate

The simplest way to make alkaline water at home, is to put about 1/4 teaspoonful of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) into your glass of tap water. However, that won’t taste very good.

Additionally, baking soda adds more sodium (salt) to your diet. The amount of sodium is quite low per glassful. However, if you are drinking 2-3 quarts of water per day, like you should, then the amount of sodium adds up.

The alternative to baking soda is [amazon link=”B07GGKKBPH” title=”potassium bicarbonate” /]. It doesn’t taste much better than the baking soda, but it won’t add any sodium to your diet.

Also, you need the potassium from the potassium bicarbonate, not just as an alkalizer, but for the numerous processes your body uses it for.

Lemon or Lime Water? Really?

Lemon juice is quite acidic. So, how can it be alkaline?

Well, foods are determined to be acidic or alkaline by their ion content. Which is determined after they burn the food into ashes, which is then tested.

Turns out that lemons have enough minerals in them for the ashes to be alkaline.

Here’s the problem with lemon juice as an alkalizer: Most people just can’t drink enough lemon juice to be of much benefit. Although, it is better than nothing. Call it part of your good alkalizing foods.

Lime water isn’t any better or worse than lemon water.

The Easy Way To Make Alkaline Water

Well, now you have lots of options.

First, there are “[amazon link=”B07RBCL59K” title=”alkaline water sticks” /]” that you can put into a water bottle, which is a great idea. However, I am not sure how effective they are. The alternatives are “[amazon link=”B0732XG79Z” title=”alkaline water drops” /]“.

Second, there are numerous pitchers that filter and alklize water. You can read my reviews of the EHM Alkaline Water Pitcher and the Biocera Alkaline Water Filter Jug.

Third, the best option for most people, and particularly apartment renters, are the countertop alkaline water filters.

Fourth, are the under sink water filters and alkalizers. Which is an excellent choice for home owners who don’t have well water issues to deal with, and even some who do.

Under sink water alkalizers might also be a reverse osmosis system. Although many reverse osmosis systems do not alkalize the water.

Fifth, we have the reverse osmosis systems that also alkalizes the water, by adding minerals.

Sixth, are whole house systems. This includes well water and city water.

Usually, whole house systems are needed, because there are multiple contaminants in the water. Or just one or two toxins that are not safe to shower or bathe with.

Making alkaline water at home with whole house systems usually start with a sediment trapping filter, and then a water softener. Finally, it goes to a reverse osmosis system (like the ones above) with an additional mineral cartridge to replace the lost minerals.

Replacing the the minerals after water goes through a reverse osmosis system in necessary to change the water from being acidic to being alkaline.

The benefits of alkaline water are vitally important, and you simply can’t wait until you are obviously sick to start drinking alkaline water.

References

  1. Alkaline Water and Longevity: A Murine Study

2. Blood gases

3. Oxidative stress, aging, and diseases

4. Oxidative Stress and the Central Nervous System

5. The role of free radicals, oxidative stress and antioxidant systems in diabetic vascular disease.

6. Chlorination byproducts, their toxicodynamics and removal from drinking water.

7. Anti-diabetic effect of alkaline-reduced water on OLETF rats.

8. A physiologist’s view of homeostasis

9. “Nordenau Phenomenon” – Application of Natural Reduced Water to Therapy

10. Sulfites inhibit the growth of four species of beneficial gut bacteria at concentrations regarded as safe for food

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