The world is made up of 70% water. That water is scattered across oceans, glaciers, rivers, lakes and in the ground. It evaporates into the air, condenses into pretty clouds, then precipitation occurs in the form of rain, snow and hail, falling back onto the earth to cycle again and again. It’s pretty fascinating, don’t you think?
What’s also intriguing is what we’ve done with Earth’s water supply. There have been so many ways we’ve gathered, consumed, used and transformed water.
From sustainable water recollection systems to harnessing energy from falling water or even something as simple as “bottling” water for human consumption, we’ve managed to come up with a multitude of uses from this precious resource.
Alkaline water has the spotlight today. As some of you know, drinking alkaline water (or ionized water), has been regarded highly among the health-conscious community. Though the benefits of drinking this particular water seem promising, is it truly healthy or just a hoax?
First, let’s tap into what alkaline water actually is.
There are several types of water suitable for humans to drink including: tap water, bottled water, spring water, reverse osmosis water, distilled water and alkaline water.
Alkaline water is water with a pH level that is greater than 7. This water is usually produced by a water ionizer, which is a filtering machine that “splits” apart water molecules with electricity, resulting in artificial alkalized water. Kangen and Jupiter are two of the most popular water ionizers on the market.
Of course there are natural ways to create alkaline water, like using pH drops, which are liquid alkaline minerals, such as Dr. Young's PuripHy Drops. You may also use a few drops of fresh lemon or lime juice! These fruits are acidic in their natural state, but alkaline-forming in the body. So, the juice itself doesn’t actually change the pH of the water, but has an alkalizing effect on the body, basically delivering the same benefits.
So ionized water describes water that is made alkaline with an ionizer, whereas alkaline water exists naturally and can be created through other means apart from an ionizer.
Benefits of Drinking Alkaline Water
People have claimed that drinking alkaline water on a regular basis helps to:
- Detoxify and wash away acid waste from the body
- Hydrate your body more efficiently
- Oxygenate and neutralize free radicals
- Alkalize your body’s pH level
- Strengthen the immune system
Hundreds of hospitals all over Japan have been using Kangen water ionizers for decades. These devices have been shown to improve the health of these patients going through intense therapies. Several studies have been done on the positive effects of drinking alkaline water longterm.
Is Ionized Water a Hoax?
With these fancy ionizing machines being all the hype these days, is this expensive water as healthy as it claims to be?
There are some controversies associated with drinking alkaline water. Most of these don’t have extensive research behind them, but have been suggested by chemists and other scientists in the field:
- Drinking alkaline water long term will raise the alkalinity of your stomach (which by nature is highly acidic). This can weaken your ability to digest food properly, resulting in stomach ulcers.
- Alkaline water is antibacterial, potentially compromising the beneficial bacteria in your gut overtime.
- Alkaline water ionizers require high mineral content in the source water supply being filtered in order to create a substantial alkalinity of water.
- The benefit of alkaline water is source-dependent: Drinking alkaline water without minerals does not alkalize your blood stream, therefore this water does not contribute to balancing your body’s pH. For the ionized water to be effective, acid-neutralizing minerals are required to create an acid-alkaline balance within the body (ie, water from a spring versus municipal water, which has low mineral content)
- There are some alkaline ionizing machines that do not have adequate filtration systems, resulting in contaminated water.
- Ionizer machines are very expensive!
What it all boils down to is one’s experience with drinking alkaline water. For some, it’s done wonders, while others may not experience a difference at all, or even have had ill-effects from consuming alkaline water long term. Is it possible that drinking this “miraculous” healing water is just placebo? Tell us your story!
Has alkaline water contributed positively to your health? What is your experience drinking this water?
By: Abby Stoecker