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Is Alkaline Water Good for You?

There are many types of water marketed today. Some are promoted for the beneficial minerals they provide, while some for the added health benefits

In recent years, you might have heard of the terms alkaline water and reverse osmosis. But is reverse osmosis water alkaline? The short answer would be no. These two aren’t the same thing. 

Alkaline water is known to help with acid reflux, the appearance of your skin, detoxification, hydration, and much more. On the other hand, reverse osmosis water system is a filtration method that treats and removes harmful contaminants from water. 

Read on as we dive deeper into the differences between alkaline water and reverse osmosis .

What is Alkaline Water?

Alkaline water is water that has a higher pH level than normal drinking water. The pH scale is used to assess how acidic or basic a substance is. pH values go from 0 to 14 and is a measurement of a substance’s hydrogen ion concentration.

Substances with a pH value of 0 are very acidic, while substances with a pH of 14 are very alkaline or basic. Alkaline substances are the opposite of their more acidic counterparts on the pH scale. Lemon juice is fairly acidic with a pH of 2, while ammonia is a moderately basic substance with a pH of around 11. Pure water is considered neutral and has a pH of 7 which is exactly in the center of the pH scale. The ph of tap water will be close to 7 but may be slightly higher depending on the presence of minerals. Many water suppliers also adjust the pH of the water to avoid corrosion in their distribution system.

The alkaline water you find on the shelves in your local health food store will typically have a pH of around 8-9. But did you know that some types of water are naturally alkaline. Natural alkalinity occurs due to high levels of alkaline minerals in the water. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and salts are more basic and affect the water’s pH levels.

Alkaline water can also be manufactured through a process known as electrolysis. In electrolysis, an electrical current is put through the water in order to produce ions that are positively and negatively charged. Positively charged ions are more acidic, so they are removed from the water to produce water with a higher pH. Additional essential minerals and salts can be added to the acidic water to further increase the alkalinity of the water, as well as add some taste.

Some people also choose to make alkaline ionized water in their own homes. This is done by adding baking soda or mineral salts to the water. Performance athletes may also do this to prevent dehydration while doing activities that require a large amount of effort, similar to how sports drinks works. Drinking alkaline water is said to have greater benefits compared to drinking regular water.

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What are the Health Benefits You can Get with Alkaline Water?

Alkaline water has been a preferred hydration choice of many individual’s for years.  It’s benefits have been well-know for a very long time. This article from February 19th, 1884 in the San Diego Union and Daily Bee recounts research suggests that alkaline water helps with a “torpid liver” or congested liver. But for this to be an effective treatment for gallstones, the Practical Health Tip from the Chico Record in 1916 states that you will need to drink three glasses of alkaline water each day and in between meals.

Modern marketing for alkaline water remains focused on the perceived health benefits that it provides. Alkaline water is now marketed as offering superior hydration, more energy, reduced acid reflux, better long-term bone health, weight loss, and even protection against certain types of cancer

Alkaline water has been known for offering superior hydration, beneficial minerals, more energy, reduced acid reflux, better long-term bone health, weight loss, and even protection against certain types of cancer. This is because cancer grows faster in an acidic environment and the alkalinity in the water you are consuming will counteract any acidity in your blood. However, a meta-analysis of research studies on the anti-cancer effects of a diet high in alkaline failed to find any research to support this assertion.

Another benefit alkaline water is that it might help reduce acid because the alkalinity in water will counteract the acidity in foods, thereby easing the digestion tract and reducing acid reflux. One research study found that when alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 was added to the digestive enzyme pepsin it deactivated it. However, there’s not enough evidence that it will have the same effect on our bodies. Further research would need to be done on human subjects to determine the extent to which, if any, alkaline water actually reduced acid reflux.

Alkaline water has been known to help regulate our pH levels. But, did you know that our bodies can also regulate our internal pH levels primarily through our lungs and kidneys? In fact, healthy individuals with functioning lungs and kidneys maintain a blood pH of 7.35 to 7.45. When we eat foods or beverages that are more acidic or alkaline than our bodies, the acids in our stomach or the secretions of alkaline from our pancreas work to create a balanced pH. Put another way, our bodies automatically neutralize acidic or alkaline foods and beverages when they are consumed.

Is Alkaline Water Bad for You?

While alkaline water may not deliver on all the promised health benefits immediately, it isn’t necessarily bad for you. The alkalinity in the water you consume will be neutralized when it is consumed. Natural alkaline water also contains beneficial minerals and salts, that might help with any nutrient deficiency in your body. However, it is also important to remember that not all alkaline water contains minerals. Ionized alkaline water may not contain any minerals at all depending on how it has been processed. 

One potential risk with alkaline water is that it isn’t necessarily filtered. This can pose a very real risk by exposing you to unwanted contaminants. So, before you purchase a bottle of alkaline water, be sure to check the mineral content and the manufacturer first. To avoid consuming potentially harmful contaminants, consider seeking out drinking water sources that have undergone filtration such as reverse osmosis (RO) filtered water. 

A great number of people wonder, is reverse osmosis water alkaline? It isn’t. To be safe, it’s important to consume water from a water filtration system

What to Drink Instead of Alkaline Water

If you’re concerned about the health impact of the water you drink there are other great options available. The best option is to filter your own water with a reverse osmosis filtration system

Reverse osmosis is the process of forcing water through a semipermeable barrier that contains very small pores. These pores allow water molecules to pass through, but keep out any larger contaminants.RO water treatment systems produce some of the most consistently clean, filtered drinking water while still remaining accessible and affordable for use in a home or business. Here are a few of the core benefits of an RO system when compared to alkaline or other bottled water:

  • Lower Cost – Filtering your own water will significantly reduce how much you are spending on drinking water. Bottled water is sold at prices 200 – 10,000 times that of tap water, and it is often just filtered tap water. Alkaline water is sold a premium that is even higher than normal tap water because of its perceived health benefits. RO systems allow you to filter any remaining contaminants out of your tap water. Your tap water is very, very cheap when compared to bottled water, and RO systems require an initial investment but low ongoing expenses. This allows you to reduce how much you are spending on drinking water, while still having access to tens of gallons of great-tasting, filtered drinking water.
  • Less Waste Alkaline water is typically sold in plastic bottles, which leads to massive amounts of waste entering the environment every year. One of the most effective ways to reduce the environmental impact of your drinking water is to filter your own tap water at home and use reusable bottles when you leave the house.
  • Fewer ContaminantsIf you want consistently fewer contaminants in your drinking water there’s no better option than a reverse osmosis filtration system in your home. RO systems are excellent for removing a wide range of contaminants from drinking water, including microbes such as protozoa, viruses, bacteria, as well as contaminants like arsenic, sulfates, nitrates, and other chemical contaminants. Alongside these unwanted substances, RO systems typically include activated carbon pre-and post-filters, which remove disinfectants like chlorine in water and other substances or chemicals which alter the taste of your drinking water. San diego tap water contains disinfection byproducts like bromate and chlorite, which can also be removed using a home water filtration system.

Closing Thoughts

Though alkaline water has been highly touted for its health effects for over a century now, further research will be needed to determine how much and how long you will need to drink alkaline water to enjoy the health benefits. There are some drawbacks you should also consider. Other than the significant cost of purchasing bottles of alkaline water, as well as the waste that accompanies drinking bottled water, you may be exposed to unwanted contaminants since alkaline water isn’t necessarily purified.

If you are concerned about the health impact of your regular drinking water and you want to make sure that what you are drinking is safe, seek out sources of water that have been filtered for contaminants. One of the most effective ways to save money on your drinking water while protecting yourself and your family from contaminants in your drinking water is to install a reverse osmosis filtration system in your home. Reverse osmosis systems are highly effective at producing tens of gallons of clean, filtered drinking water each day. Compared with bottled water, filtering your own water will reduce your ongoing expenses as well as your environmental impact.

If you’re interested in learning more about installing an RO system in your home, contact Rayne Water today.

Sources:

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/is-alkaline-water-really-better-for-you/2019/08/27/8c646d26-c462-11e9-b72f-b31dfaa77212_story.html
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/27/well/eat/alkaline-water-health-benefits.html
  3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ninashapiro/2019/08/25/seven-reasons-why-alkaline-water-is-basically-a-waste-of-money/#596a0d6d54b2
  4. https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/29/health/alkaline-water-benefits-explainer/index.html
  5. https://www.fda.gov/food/food-labeling-nutrition/health-claims-letter-denial-alkaline-and-earth-alkaline-citrates-minimizing-risk-osteoporosis