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Alkaline water – Benefits, What it is and How is it Made

What is alkaline water?

Alkaline water is water with a pH above 7 on the scale.

alkaline water

The pH is the scale that measures whether a liquid is acidic or alkaline. It ranges from 1 to 14 where 7pH indicates a neutral liquid, which is neither acidic nor alkaline. Anything that is lower than 7 on the scale tips towards the acidic side, while anything higher than 7 towards the basic or alkaline side.

Distilled water is often neutral, with a pH of 7.

Tap water, often lies between 6 and 6.8pH.

• Acidic substances like orange, lies much lower on the pH scale between 3.3 and 4.2, while soda lies lower than 3pH.

The pH of alkaline water can range between 8.5 to 9.5 on the scale. There is an increasing belief that the consumption the alkaline water has many health benefits,including its anti-cancer effect.Let’s demystify all the views and check what the evidence suggests.

Why is the quality of drinking water so important?

The importance of quality of the water and its contents has been known since the age of Vedas. The book Rig Veda has described the properties of good drinking water as:

• Sheetham-coolto touch,

• Sushihi-clean

• Sivam- having nutritive value, consisting of minerals and trace elements

• Istham-transparent

• Vimalam lahu Shadgunam- having normal limits of acid-base balance

Water is irreplaceable, and we need good quality water to sustain our lives in so many ways. Today the modern science has also enumerated the function of ideal quality of water:

1. To replenish water in the body: the human body is made up of about 60% of water. Intake of water replenishes the reserves of water, which gets lost in various ways. The advised daily intake of water is 3000 ml for men and 2200 ml for women.

2. Detoxification: Water plays a major role in detoxification.

• All the toxins are processed by the liver and filtered through the kidneys. It is then removed from the body in the form of urine.

• Toxins are also removed from the body through sweat.

3. To replenish mineral loss: It is also a significant source of minerals. The body loses minerals along with water when we perform various physical activities in the form of sweat. These minerals are very vital for body functioning.

The distilled water (water with low TDS) that we buy from the market or produce it by using RO filters at home is often low in minerals. The ill-effect of decreased minerals in water is well established—the WHO has mentioned the following.

1. Effects on fluid balance: increased urination (by 20%), increased excretion of minerals in urine- sodium, potassium, chloride, etc. and increased body fluids.

2. Lack of calcium and magnesium: cardiovascular disorders, tiredness, weakness or muscular cramps

3. Lack of essential micronutrients

4. Possible higher intake of toxins

5. Negative taste properties and less thirst-quenching

 

pH levelMineral contentIdeal properties of water
Distilled water7 pHLow in minerals (Ca, Mg, etc.)• Replenish water (with lower fluid balance)

• Detoxification

• Unable to replenish minerals

• Low on thirst-quenching and taste

Mineral-rich waterVariableRich in minerals• Replenish water

• Detoxification

• Replenish minerals in the body

• Better thirst-quenching and taste

Drinking water that is pH neutral and without any minerals is more harmful than beneficial. This brings us to the question, whether we should be consuming water that is rich with excess minerals, or as commonly known, alkaline water.

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Is alkaline water beneficial to the body?

Alkaline water enthusiasts suggest that it helps the body in many ways. However, only some of the studies have been done until now, which has proven its health benefits. These studies are short term involving a relatively lower number of people. We still need to understand the exact mechanism and the effects of the alkaline water in many aspects.

One property that seems promising is that alkaline water containing alkaline minerals has an antioxidant property. This may help to balance out the oxidative damages the human body experience due to toxins present in the environment. This oxidative process has increasingly been considered to play a role in the development of many lifestyle diseases (heart problems, etc.), aging, inflammation, and cancers.

The anti-oxidant property of the alkaline water is calculated by Oxidation-reduction potential (ORP). The lower the ORP value, the higher the anti-oxidant effect it has on the body.

Benefits: the proposed health benefits of the Alkaline water are.

• Reducing or slowing down the aging process due to the presence of anti-oxidants

• Improved Hydration

• Better Skin health

• Detoxifying properties

• Resistance against cancer

• Better Bone Health

• Faster Weight Reduction

• Improved Immunity

• Colon cleansing properties

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Is there any medical proof showing the benefits of alkaline water consumption?

Studies conducted on the consumption of alkaline water are limited, especially on humans, and are in the early stages of understanding.

These are as follows:

 

Gastrointestinal and Human Health study

A group of 60 people were divided and asked to consume 500ml of alkaline electrolyzed water (AEW) and purified water(PW) regularly. After 4 weeks, their blood samples were taken, which showed:

Results:

• Good cholesterol: people who consumed alkaline water had an increased level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

• Reaction time: consuming alkaline water reduced their overall body reaction time.

Sleep quality considerably improved, and they felt better after waking up.

Conclusion: It improves the physical activity performance and helps to reduce fatigue, thereby promoting good health.

 

Mice Study

Study objective: A study was conducted on 3 mice groups of 50 individuals each, for 3 years. Two were fed alkaline water, and one group was fed normal water.

Results: mice who consumed alkaline water saw a longevity in age.

 

Hydration Test on sportsmen

Sixteen males involved in combat sports, were made to drink alkaline water for 3 weeks. Tests were done to determine the hydration status after their training regime.

Results: The study showed that drinking alkaline water improved hydration status, acid-base balance, and high-intensity anaerobic exercise performance.

Recommendation: were suggested to consume 3 to 4 litres of highly alkaline water daily for improved performance and hydration.

Another study on soccer players concluded saying, players who consumed alkaline water experienced a better hydration status.

 

Alkaline water for better health

Another article on the health benefits of alkaline water and alkaline-forming foods, show evidence of improvement in many aspects of health, and they are mentioned below.

• Improvement of Bone Mineral Density (BMD)

• Improved Muscle mass

• Protection against Chronic Illnesses

• Reduced tumor-cell invasion and metastasis

• Effective toxin excretion from the body

Studies also revealed that consumption of water with high total dissolved solids (TDS), meaning water with high mineral content, showed a lower incidence of

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD)

Cancer

It also showed lower total mortality rates and chances of prevention of osteoporosis as well as protection of pancreatic beta-cells due to anti-oxidant effects.

 

Blood Viscosity

• 100 (50 males and 50 females) participants were enrolled in a study for rehydration after exercise.

• They were randomly chosen to consume either high pH alkaline water or standard water up to 2% of their body weight.

• Parameters were noted for 2 hours after the physical activity to note any changes.

Results: Participants who consumed high pH alkaline water showed a considerable decrease in high-shear viscosity by an average of 6.30% compared to 3.36% reduction for participants who consumed standard water.

Conclusion: This could mean an improved blood flow rate and better and quicker oxygen delivery to the body. It could reduce stress on the heart preventing cardiovascular diseases.

 

Acid reflux

Pepsin, an enzyme secreted by stomach is the leading cause of acid reflux. A study was conducted to see if the water with natural bicarbonate (pH 8.8) helps to de-activate this enzyme.

Results: It was found that alkaline water with pH 8.8 instantly denatures pepsin, rendering it inactive permanently.

Conclusion: It concluded saying alkaline water can be useful for people suffering from reflux disease.

These were the results of a few studies that showed positive outcomes from consuming alkaline water.

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How is Alkaline water made, and can we make it quickly?

Alkaline water, as mentioned earlier, is water that has a higher pH level than normal water, and people who want to consume it on a regular basis can do so easily at home. There are three ways you can obtain alkaline water, which are:

1. Natural mineral water

2. Using additives

3. Filtration processes or ionization process

 

1. Natural Alkaline Water:

Water, after passing over rocks for a long period of time, often absorb minerals from it, converting to alkaline water, which can then be consumed for one’s benefit. This is actually the best source of alkaline water and is much more beneficial than the water obtained through any other process.

This water is mostly used by bottling plants to be sold as a product in the market after certain filtration processes.

Buy bottled alkaline water

However, one might not want to invest in bottles regularly which can sum up to be an expensive deal for long term usage.Moreover,the increased use of plastic bottles adds up to the environmental disbalance.To sustain and long term solution at a lower price you can either add something to your water or use a machine to produce alkaline water at your home.

 

2. Using additives

• Baking Soda

Baking soda is a basic substance with a pH of around nine. This is an easily available product in the market anda commonly used item in the households.

Process: Mix 1/8th of a tablespoon (about 600 mg) in 250ml of water.

Precaution: Be sure not to add in excess which may affect the taste and produce adverse effects upon excessive consumption.

• Lemon

Lemon is acidic in nature and has a pH of about 2 to 3. It might sound stupid to say that adding lemon to water will give you alkaline water.But,contrary to popular belief, the by-products of consumption of lemon water forms an alkaline structure.

Lemon is a good addition, which will provide additional vitamin C as well a good taste.

Process:

• Squeeze 1/8th or 1/4th of a small lemon in 250 ml (one glass) of water, for the desired results. One can either squeeze it or leave it to be absorbed.

• One can also add Himalayan Pink salt, which will aid the process.

• pH drops

pH drops is an additive that contains a concentration of electrolytes and minerals. It can be bought in the market and often comes with a guideline on how many drops are needed for a glass of water.

Process: It is concentrated, and hence one bottle can make many glasses of water. Adding a few drops to one glass (250 ml) of water should be more than enough.

Precaution: Keep in mind to use a good source of water, as it is unable to remove any other components like chlorine or fluorine present in the water.

Buy pH drops

 

3. Filtration processes

• Water Filtration system

There is a wide variety of filtration systems available in the market that use different techniques to filter water.

Process: Some of them come with reverse osmosis, while some come with filters. Most of these filters, after cleaning the water supply, also add minerals externally, which can include magnesium or calcium.

This helps obtain the alkalinity needed for the water.

Buy alkaline water filtration system

• Water Ionizer

This is the most commonly used technique for manufacturing alkaline water, and it used by bottling companies and households alike.

Process:

• It uses a process called electrolysis, which splits the negative and positive particles in the water.

• This forms two streams, one acidic and one alkaline, which is then separated and the acidic water is discarded.

• What remains is the alkaline water supply, which is good for consumption.

Precaution: One should be aware that this filter can sometimes produce water that is too basic. It can provide water with pH as high as 12 on the scale,which can cause adverse effects.

Both of the filter water setups are a better idea in the long run, compared to spending money on a regular supply of bottled water.

Buy alkaline water ionizer- Indian market

International market

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