The benefits of alkaline water
Claiming to be more hydrating than tap water, alkaline water has hit the headlines as the new health drink. Some people say alkaline water can help our body expel toxins and metabolise nutrients better than regular tap water, leaving us healthier and able to perform more efficiently.
What is it?
Alkaline water is water that is less acidic than your regular tap water. All liquids have a measure of acidity which is determined by the pH scale. The pH scale goes from zero to 14, with anything under seven being acidic and anything above being alkaline. Drinks like coffee, fizzy drinks and vinegar are acidic while green juices and apple cider vinegar are more alkaline.
How is it made?
Alkaline water can be made using special filters or can be bought as bottled water. It is produced when filtered tap water comes into contact with metal plates that are electrified, charging the water and making it highly alkaline and negatively charged.
Normal tap water is often around a pH of seven, but alkaline treated water is typically between pH 8.5 and 9.5.
Benefits of alkaline water
One of the main benefits of alkaline water is it increases hydration levels by easily penetrating cell walls. This is due to the negative charge left when it is processed. Water over a pH of 8.8 can help sooth acid reflux through deactivation of the enzyme pepsin, a stomach enzyme which helps break down food proteins and is the main cause of acid reflux.
It is also thought alkaline water contains antioxidant properties which can help against ageing and diseases. It helps neutralize acid in the bloodstream; cleanses the colon; rejuvenates the skin and lubricates muscles and joints.
People who eat a diet high in fresh vegetables are likely to be more alkaline than those who eat less. It is therefore thought that alkaline water may benefit those who eat a more processed diet. It may also be beneficial to people who exercise regularly. Intense exercise is associated with an increased production of hydrogen ions which our body often struggles to remove. Drinking alkaline treated water may help buffer the body and enhance its capability to remove these toxins.