Some people believe that alkaline water helps our bodies metabolize nutrients and expel toxins more efficiently than regular tap water, leading to better health and performance.
Anecdotal evidence supports some of those claims. But so far, we don’t have solid data supporting alkaline water’s use. Until we learn more, save your money: Stick to tap water and supplement with mineralized water if you like.
Alkaline water is water that’s less acidic than regular tap water. This means it is rich in alkalizing compounds, including calcium, silica, potassium, magnesium, and bicarbonate.
Many people believe that the typical North American diet contributes to chronic low-grade acidosis – a condition that may be associated with poor health outcomes including heart problems, altered hormonal status, and the loss of muscle or bone.
Proponents of alkaline water believe that it can neutralize the acid in your bloodstream and help your body metabolize nutrients more effectively, leading to better health and performance.
Let’s take a closer look at these claims.
Most of us know that water is a big deal. In fact, our bodies are largely made of the stuff. No other substance is so important to our physiology or health. No wonder so many of us feel concerned about increased pollutants and contaminants in our tap water.
But before we completely dismiss North American tap water, the good news is that it’s actually quite safe compared to the water in many other parts of the world.
Tap water contains different dissolved elements that influence its pH level. Pure water has a pH level close to 7. Alkaline water has a pH above 7.
Our bodies do a fantastic job of maintaining blood pH within a tight range. This means that “chronic low-grade acidosis” won’t appear on lab reports.
But what if those reports are deceptive? Proponents of alkaline water argue that even if your pH levels look fine, your body could be drawing on stored buffers from bone and muscle to maintain pH within the ideal range. And that would not be good.
The human body is complex. Claiming that everyone needs to “alkalize” might be an over-simplification.
For one thing, each organ system has a unique pH range. And since there are various ways that the body maintains pH balance, if pH is out of whack, it’s important to get to the underlying cause. Without knowing the cause, you can’t determine whether alkaline water will really help you.