Alkaline water is slightly basic. It contains minerals such as magnesium, bicarbonate and calcium. These compounds bind together with hydrogen ions present in the water causing it to turn more basic. Normal tap water is neutral and has a pH of 7.Natural alkaline water sources include springs or water sources found underneath’s the earth’s surface. The rock structures surrounding the water may constitute of basic materials, increasing its pH value.
Some companies also add minerals in the water to make it more basic. Similarly, people can also purchase machines to ionize tap water at home. Some people believe that drinking alkaline water offers a range of benefits and helps regulate the body’s pH level, preventing diseases such as cancer.
What is Alkalinity?
Alkaline is a word that is used to describe pH levels. The pH level is a number used to measure how alkaline or acidic a substance is. It has a scale of 0-14. The pH scale is set in a way so that 7 represents a neutral solution; pH values greater than 7 represent alkalinity where as values less than 7 represent acidity. Normal drinking water generally has a pH of 7 where as alkaline water has a pH of 8 or 9.
Health Benefits of Alkaline Water
Since alkaline water has a slightly higher pH than plain tap water some health professionals claim it neutralizes acids in the blood stream and helps the body absorb nutrients more efficiently and boosts metabolism. Some people also claim that drinking alkaline water can slow down the aging process, prevent diseases along with other health benefits.
“Alkaline water is somewhat a controversial topic. There aren’t any side negative effects of drinking alkaline water so long as you continue to balance pH.”
Additionally, some studies claim that drinking alkaline water reduces bone loss and has a positive effect on overall bone mineral density.
People can consume alkaline water from several sources. This includes faucet attachments, special fillers and additive designed to raise pH. One of the most convenient ways is to purchase alkaline bottled water that is readily available in grocery stores.
The Importance of Balancing pH in the Body
According to WHO (World Health Organization), pH extremes can have a significant impact on one’s health. Drinking water with a pH greater than 11 can cause mucous, skin and eye membrane irritation while on the other hand, pH values lower than 4 can also cause detrimental effects to one’s health due to its corrosive nature. The World Health Organization warns people to balance pH in the body, to reduce the risks of diseases.
An acidic body creates a favorable environment for the growth of mold, viruses and fungus. This increases the risks of diseases. Drinking alkaline water and eating fruits and vegetables makes the body alkaline whereas consuming large amounts of meat and dairy products make the body more acidic.
How to Test your pH
By now, you are probably intrigued about all this talk about pH and want to test your pH level at home. The good news is that you can conveniently head over to the local supermarket or drug store and pick up a pack of pH test strips.
To test the pH of your saliva, wait at least two hours after eating a meal. First, fill your mouth with saliva and then swallow. You must ensure your split is clean. Once you are through with this step, simply place some saliva on the pH strip and follow the guidelines printed on the box. Drink plenty of water and eat tons of veggies to lighten your acidic load.
“Keep in mind that pH levels are likely to fluctuate throughout the day.”
There are a number of studies that also attribute benefits to drinking water with negative ORP, Oxidation-Reduction Potential. Any health benefits of this water is beyond scope of this article. Because we are water professionals and do not sell you specific "health" products, what is offered below is options on how to improve your water quality, and not medical advice.
How to Increase pH in Water?
Apart from purchasing alkaline bottled water, you can also change the pH of water in your home. Here are some easy ways to make water more alkaline at home?
Add Baking Soda
Adding about 1/8 tbsp of baking soda in 8 oz of water can help increase pH level. The high alkaline content increases the alkaline properties of the water. Simply add baking soda to the solution and stir. You may shake the mixture vigorously if you are using bottled water. Ensure all the baking soda mixes thoroughly in the water. However, people who are on a low sodium diet should avoid using baking soda since it is very high in sodium.
Invest in a Water Ionizer
Investing in a water ionizer and attaching it to your faucet is a convenient way to increase the pH of your tap water. The ionizer runs the water through positive and negative electrodes that electrically enhances the water. This process separates acidic and alkalized water. Alkalized water makes up 70% of the final produced water and can be used for drinking. You can discard the acidic water or use it to kill bacteria living on your skin or use it for cleaning purposes.
Use an Ionizing Water Filter
Ionizing water filters work like normal filters and can be easily attached to your water supply. They are an inexpensive alternative to electric ionizers and are easy to transport. Some filters require you to pour the water in and let it sit for a couple of minutes. The water is sent through a series of filters after which it sits in tank of alkalizing minerals.
Use Alkalizing Filters on your Reverse Osmosis Systems
Water coming out of a reverse osmosis filters is acidic because it lacks minerals. Invest in alkalizing and remineralizing cartridges that would raise the pH of the water after it has passed the Reverse Osmosis Membrane. Remineralizer House Filters adds minerals in your tap water, giving it a higher pH boost.
So, should I switch to Alkaline Water?
While drinking alkaline water may prove to be beneficial for some people, there is no 100% guarantee that it will be beneficial for your health. Drinking alkaline water may prove to be beneficial for you if you suffer from acid reflux and do not have any kidney problems.