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Alkaline water is a type of ionized water that has a pH of more than 7 on the acid-base scale. Although there aren't any studies that certify all of its benefits, there are others that support certain advantages attributed to its alkalinity.
In this article, we take a look at what alkaline water is, its uses, and benefits. Besides, we'll learn how to make alkaline water right at home.
To define alkaline water, we first need to take a look at the definition of alkalinity. Whether a substance is an acid or base depends on its capacity to neutralize acids. In natural water, this property occurs due to weak acid salts that they contain by default.
Therefore it is called alkaline water -a variety of ionized water- whose alkaline potential of hydrogen (pH) is more than 7 on the acid-base scale -that goes from 0 to 14, 7 being a neutral point.
Since it contains antioxidants, it promotes oxygen production and the elimination of excess acids in the body, correcting the body's acid-base balance and helping to regenerate the body's cells.
This is why some call it a natural antioxidant and antacid that eliminates acidic waste that is produced during digestion and as a result, also prevents the development of specific pathologies and combats certain problems like acid reflux.
Alkaline water is generally recommended for athletes as it reduces muscle fatigue since it regulates the acid in the body made during intense exercise and is a natural source of antioxidants.
When the body experiences constant overexertion, it becomes dehydrated and an increased amount of acid is produced that can make it hard for the muscles to excrete lactic acid, causing the individual to experience fatigue.
This is why drinking alkaline water before and after exercise is recommended, along with a healthy diet that meets the athlete's needs.
However, it's important to take note that there aren't any studies that confirm all of the prevention and treatment benefits for chronic degenerative diseases. On the other hand, for conditions such as acid reflux, positive connections have been made. Below, we'll share some of the benefits of alkaline water that have been scientifically proven.
One of the key benefits attributed to this type of ionized water is that it promotes the elimination of toxins from the body.
In some cases, these toxins cause certain illnesses. Not only does the alkalinity of the water help to get rid of this but also to alkalize the body and in this sense, it helps to prevent and ease some gastrointestinal issues, constipation, and others.
Neutralizing gastric acid also helps to improve digestion and circulation.
Based on this last point, getting rid of excess toxins in the body more efficiently, indirectly helps to prevent premature aging.
At the same time, this helps to promote cell oxygenation, helping them to regenerate and thus keeping the organs hydrated and healthy.
Alkaline water hydrates and neutralizes acids in the body naturally. This can even help individuals to lose weight since it reduces stored fat if one eats a healthy diet and makes positive lifestyle choices.
When bodies have a healthy level of alkalinity, it's much easier to lose weight than with a more acidic pH.
As we mentioned before, alkaline water helps to eliminate free radicals in the body. These little atoms can even damage the immune system, and if it's weak, infections and diseases are more likely to appear.
Ionized water naturally obtains more natural antioxidants for the body and thus combats and neutralizes the free radicals.
The human body maintains an acid-base balance on its own in the bloodstream, but there are certain situations where acid is more prevalent still. For example, eating certain types of foods like fatty meats, processed sugars or coffee, lead the body's acid levels to increase.
This causes the cells in our body to stop working efficiently and then the body has to work harder to reestablish this equilibrium. Ionized water can help to bring back this balance more easily.
Although the easiest way to get alkaline water is buying a machine that makes it directly or tablets that you can add to the water, there are ways to make alkaline water on your own.
The first consists of boiling tap water for 5 minutes so that its pH of 7.2 -approximately- rises to 8.4.
Another way involves adding a half a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to a glass of water to raise its pH.
Finally, another method you can do at home involves taking 2 bowls and filling one with water and then from pouring it into the other from a certain height and repeating the process 9 times.
The bubbles that form when the water falls helps to raise its pH by a few tenths.
However, since not all of the studies on this type of water are conclusive, we recommend drinking pure mountain water, as well as following a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Koufman, J. A., & Johnston, N. (2012). Potential benefits of pH 8.8 alkaline drinking water as an adjunct in the treatment of reflux disease. Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology, 121(7): 431-434.
Zeng, K., & Zhang, D. (2010). Recent progress in alkaline water electrolysis for hydrogen production and applications. Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, 36(3): 307-326.