Water is one of the most important things you put in your body. As it goes, a human can live for several weeks without food, but not without water.
So the latest trend in alkaline water is a curious one. Some people claim alkaline water is “snake oil” and that it doesn’t live up to the hype around the supposed health benefits it offers.
Does PH balance matter? Is there anything a person can do to alter that PH balance and does drinking alkaline water have any effect on that? These are all questions we intend to answer.
What Science Says About Alkaline Water
When you start to read about alkaline water, right away you’ll find people calling it “snake oil” and saying it’s a hoax to take your hard earned money. These people largely go after companies who are making outrageous claims about the health benefits of this water. It’s definitely not a miracle cure or a magic potion to eternal youth. It does however have real and documented benefits.
So let’s talk about the provable benefits of alkaline water and the science behind them. The National Institutes of Health recently published a study about it here’s the abstract:
“In conclusion, the increasing dietary acid load in the contemporary diet can lead to a disruption in acid-alkaline homeostasis in various body compartments and eventually result in chronic disease through repeated borrowing of the body’s alkaline reserves. Adjustment of tissue alkalinity, particularly within the kidney proximal tubules, can lead to the more effective excretion of toxins from the body. Metabolic detoxification using a high vegetable diet in conjunction with supplementation of an effective alkalizing compound, such as potassium citrate, may shift the body’s reserves to become more alkaline.” (source)
What this is essentially saying is that – yes, if you have an extremely acidic body it will begin to draw on your natural alkaline reserves which can cause problems. Eating a diet high in alkaline rich foods (ie. vegetables) and taking an alkaline supplement (such as drinking alkaline water) “may shift the body’s reserves to become more alkaline” – This is the real science and the real benefit of alkaline water.
While it’s true that the body has natural processes that balance PH levels, alkaline water is helpful for “gut health” and kidney health. This seems like a no brainer since these are the internal organs that it touches as your body processes it. It makes sense, you wouldn’t drink alkaline water expecting it to cure a twisted ankle. However, it may help deplete some of the acid from the muscles in that ankle and provide for a more speedy recovery.
So the key is to be wary of brands that make unrealistic claims, but know that there is real scientific evidence that alkaline water is beneficial for certain symptoms.
Alkaline Water for Athletic Hydration
Alka Pure received a hefty endorsement from former World Heavyweight Champion, Evander Holyfield. He makes the analogy between putting clean mineral infused water in your body and putting gas in a vehicle. The better quality gas you put in a car the more mileage you get out of it, the body is no different.
It’s a proven fact that intense exercise causes your muscles to produce more hydrogen ions than your body can efficiently remove. As a result, acid levels increase and fatigue sets in.
Drinking alkaline water may enhance the body’s buffering capacity and limit the acidity helping to improve performance.
It’s also well known that mineral supplements such as calcium, magnesium, potassium etc. can help to decrease cardio-respiratory stress and blood lactate responses. Long-distance runners sometimes supplement with sodium bicarbonate and there is proof that alkaline water works similarly.
The mineral content of alkaline water can also help athletes retain fluid in the cardiovascular system. This can result in improved overall hydration status.
When it’s all said and done alkaline water has many benefits and more are being discovered.