There is a common theory that the American diet is highly acidic as a result of a diet high in sugar, processed foods, alcohol and meat, especially red meat. This highly acidic diet is believed to contribute to chronic low-grade acidosis, which leads to a variety of health concerns. While critics of alkaline water point out that there is no scientific confirmation of chronic low-grade acidosis, others believe that there are a host of symptoms resulting from this condition.
So, What Exactly Is Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water is very simply water that is less acidic then regular tap water. The pH, or potential hydrogen scale runs from 0 to 14, with 7 as the neutral point in the middle. A pH of 1 is very acidic, while a pH of 13 is very alkaline. Most tap water is fairly neutral – about a 7.0 on the pH scale. Alkaline water is typically slightly alkaline, versus acidic, coming in at about a 7.5 – 9.5. This increase in alkaline is attained by adding alkalizing compounds like calcium, silica, potassium, magnesium and bicarbonate.
Human blood has a pH of approximately 7.4 — slightly alkaline, while organ pH varies. Stomach pH is about 1.5 to 3.5, or very acidic and needs to be in order to digest food. The body must maintain acidic levels fairly evenly or significant health problems begin to occur, including heart problems, hormonal imbalance, diarrhea, osteoporosis, anxiety, rheumatoid arthritis and immune function impairment, along with cancer growth.
Reducing Acidity in Your Body
Alkaline water has in fact been shown to reduce acidity in the body, particularly in the blood, and anecdotal evidence might suggest that it is beneficial to health, but there is little research on these findings. A few studies have reported lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels, reduced blood pressure and lower stomach acid levels, but there is limited data on these findings. It is also important to note that NO agency or reputable organization is recommending alkaline water.
While the idea of alkaline water may seem to make sense and may seem like a quick fix for health, a better idea is to maintain a healthy diet and exercise program for optimal health.