HEALTH BENEFITS OF ALKALINE WATER

Updated: Jul 3

It is believed that alkaline water is set to be effective in patients who has gastrointestinal problems, immune system issues and supports the body's resistance to caner . However, earlier there wasn't enough research on the topic to support its recommendation for its health benefits as many health professionals found these claims dubious. Many studies are carried out over the years to explore the effects of alkaline water on human health. Although alkaline water cannot specifically be used as a cure for any disease, it surely has many valuable health benefits.

According to the results of a study published in the Biology of sports Journal, improved ph levels in the body is the direct result of alkaline water if consumed regularly. Results of the study also indicated that regular consumption of alkaline water may be a significant nutritional factor that affects the PH balance. Whereas consumption of tap water does not have any noteworthy affect on acid-base levels in healthy adults.

Before getting insight into the health benefits of alkaline water, you should know what alkaline water is.


What is Alkaline Water?

Alkaline water, is a water that has higher alkalinity levels, as indicated by pH factor which must be above 7. Naturally the water becomes alkaline when it passes through rocks and on the way collects minerals that affect its pH factor. Bottled alkaline water available in markets is referred to as alkaline ionized water or alkaline electrolyzed water (AEW) obtained through electrolysis of normal drinking water. As a result of electrolysis, hydroxide ions are produced which are alkaline in nature.

The pH factor of regular drinking water is usually 7 which makes it neutral, whereas, alkaline water has a pH of either 8 or 9 which makes it alkaline. The pH factor is a value that reflects the acidic or alkaline nature of any substance ranging from 0 to 14. Any substance with pH below 7 will be acidic as 1 being very acidic and with pH above 7 will be alkaline, 13 being highly alkaline.

Due to high pH factor, alkaline water is believed to be capable of neutralizing acidity levels. But to achieve reasonable alkalinity levels, it must also contain minerals that are alkaline in nature and other anti oxidizing substances.


Health Benefits of Alkaline Water

Lately, there are numerous studies and researches on animals and humans that support and recognize the positive impacts of alkaline water consumption on human health. The health benefits explored so far are stated here.


Muscle Recovery, Hydration and Electrolyte Balance


Whether you are a sports' person or you exercise daily to maintain your health and body, you must be familiar of dehydration caused by excessive perspiration following the workout. Athletes and people having tough workout often experience muscle injuries. As a result of intense workout, insufficient amount of oxygen in the body causes production of Lactate or Lactic acid. This Lactate can make your muscles sore and leads to pain. Hydration state and electrolyte balance is disturbed often during or after the exercise which also needs to be replenished.

Consumption of alkaline water is great source of increased efficiency and better stamina during your workout routine. Human body muscles normally have pH of 6.9, however, during conditions posing stress to our muscles like exercise and gym work outs, acid produced by muscles cause lowered pH. When pH becomes as low as 6.5, the body muscles can no longer tolerate the stress of workout or exercise. But having a glass of alkaline water before your workout can maintain the pH and eventually make you perform better. Balancing body pH using alkaline water begets to deeply hydrated muscles with no dry joints. Well hydrated bones and joints can significantly avoid any possibility of damage by exercise. The presence of minerals like magnesium and calcium in alkaline water makes it an effective drink to maintain bone health.

Results of various studies conducted on athletes and cyclists were published in Biology of Sports Journal. It was aimed to gauge effects of different kinds of water for hydration and electrolytes balance in the body. The studies showed that use of alkaline water exhibits a significant potential for hydration. It balances the fluid-electrolyte disturbances and also speeds up the rate of lactate utilization after intensive exercises or workout routines. Your muscles start recovering as soon as the excess amount of lactate released during exercise is consumed.


Gastrointestinal issues and Acid Reflux


In Japan, apparatus to produce alkaline water has been approved as a medical device on the basis of findings from a study. The study was conducted on patients with stomach discomfort, bloating, diarrhea and heartburn. The patients were given alkaline water for 4 weeks. According to results of this study, Medical Gas Research Journal stated that for patients with gastrointestinal problems, use of alkaline water as a substitute of normal drinking water is found effective in relieving the symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders.

Another research paper from Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology acknowledged the therapeutic benefits of alkaline water adjunct with a low acid diet for treatment of reflux disease. The symptoms of acid reflux include heartburn or nausea caused by excess of stomach acid. Alkaline water is highly effective to reduce acidic content in the intestinal tract and stomach. Maintaining a healthy pH in stomach and intestine reduces heart burn and improved functioning of digestive system.


Body Weight  and Sleep Improvement


The positive effects of alkaline water for weight improvement in children are supported by studies. Its intake instigates enhanced metabolic activity and improves development process in children. It also helps patients with insomnia as few studies supported ingestion of Alkaline water as antioxidant substance to improve sleep quality and quantity. Regular and proper sleep ensures reduced stress and fatigue levels, thus impacting the overall health of individual.


Immunity Booster

Amidst the stagnant life-style and eating habits that are perpetually contributing to weaken immune systems, the alkaline water is a lifesaving thing. This ionized water reduces acidity in body caused by acidic food, stress and environmental toxins. When body acidity is neutralized by alkaline water, its immunity gets incredibly better than before.


Hindrance To Aging


The antioxidant substances present in alkaline water can inhibit the free radicals from damaging and prevents the growth of cells that are responsible for aging process. Otherwise, these cells are capable of triggering the aging process more rapidly.


Positive Impact on High Blood Pressure and Diabetic Patients

The research carried out on high blood pressure patients revealed that consumption of alkaline water for 3-6 months has significantly reduced the blood pressure levels. The intake of alkaline water for few months by diabetic patients results in lower blood sugar level proving it a source to aid diabetic treatment.


Combating Cancer

Although there is no solid proof of alkaline water contributing to fight cancer or destroying cancerous cells in body, yet some researches concludes that patient drinking alkaline water respond better to chemotherapy than those consuming normal water.


Conclusion

To conclude it suffice to state that health benefits of alkaline water consumption are nevertheless qualify it as most suitable drinking water. Replacing tap water or normal drinking water with alkaline water can significantly help improve the physical and mental health of any individual. Whether you are a healthy individual or someone with health problems, it will serve best.




Sources: 

Biol Sport. 2017 Sep; 34(3): 255–261. Published online 2017 Feb 19. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2017.66003

Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology. Annals Publishing Company. Potential Benefits of pH 8.8 Alkaline Drinking Water as an Adjunct in the Treatment of Reflux Disease Jamie A. Koufman, MD; Nikki Johnston, PhD. http://alkalinewaterbenefits.com/articles/koufman.pdf

Med Gas Res. 2018 Oct-Dec; 8(4): 160–166. Published online 2019 Jan 9. doi: 10.4103/2045-9912.248267

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016; 2016: 3084126. Published online 2016 May 31. doi: 10.1155/2016/3084126

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