What is Alkaline Water?
Alkaline Water is one of the most recent health crazes to hit the market. When someone calls something Alkaline, they are referring to the pH balance of the substance. The same is true of alkaline water. Most brands of alkaline water will have a number above 7 listed on their product, because 7 is the number used to represent neutral, regular water.
What is pH Balance?
The pH scale is used for a variety of different substances, most notably for testing pool water. You can get pH test strips at your local pool supply store, but you shouldn’t need them when shopping for alkaline water. These test strips use a color changing chemical to determine the ratio of hydrogen ions(which make a substance more acidic) to hydroxide ions(which make a substance more basic or alkaline).
What Are the Benefits of Alkaline Water?
Unfortunately, research performed on alkaline water has come up with inconclusive results. While research on the subject continues, there have been some positive effects noticed in the use of alkaline water among certain individuals
Assisting with Acid Reflux
Put simply, acid reflux is caused by an overproduction or over-concentration of stomach acids in the patient’s body. You may remember from chemistry class that when an acid reacts with a base, the substance becomes neutral. For this reason, many supporters of alkaline water insist that the stuff will help with people who suffer from acid reflux. Although there haven’t been consistent research results, there is also a chance that it could decrease the production of pepsin, the hormone that encourages acid production. We encourage patients who suffer from acid reflux to try alkaline water with caution, alongside any prescription or over-the-counter medications they currently take for acid reflux.
Heart and Lung Benefits
For those who suffer from heart disease, some research has suggested that those drinking high pH water had an experienced a positive effect on their blood viscosity. Heart conditions like hypertension or even strokes and heart attacks happen as a result of high cholesterol(thus high blood viscosity). If alkaline water has a blood viscosity lowering effect, it means that your blood will flow more efficiently and increase the flow of oxygen to your body.
What Are the Risks?
Proponents of alkaline water often claim that there are anti-aging effects to drinking it, but these claims have not been verified through credible research. Often, there is also discussion of the colon cleansing properties of the water, although these are—once again—without reputable scientific support. If you choose to drink alkaline water, we suggest you do so in moderation, and with the consent of a licensed medical professional.
Some of the most serious side effects that can come from consuming Alkaline Water include:
- Hand Tremors
- Muscle Spasms/Twitching
- Tingling in the Extremities/Face
As with anything, if you experience any of these serious side effects after drinking alkaline water, stop immediately and contact a trusted medical care professional.
Where Can I Get it?
Thanks to increased information about alkaline water, more and more stores have been carrying it. Almost every grocery store now carries some concentration of alkaline water, as the big bottled water companies have been getting in on this share of the market. However, health food stores and organic food stores are most likely to carry alkaline water in different concentration levels.