If you follow trends in the health food community, you’ve probably heard of alkaline water – and you may be feeling a bit confused about what it is and how it works. Many people operate under the assumption that it doesn’t make much of a difference in what type of water you drink. However, proponents of alkaline water maintain that it is better for your overall health than other options. Here’s what you need to know about this fascinating health trend.
What Is Alkaline Water
Alkaline water is less acidic than tap water and contains alkalizing compounds to balance the acids in your body. These compounds include silica, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and more. They affect the pH level of the water intending to balance the pH in your body as well. Pure water with no additives has a pH level of about 7, which is almost neutral. Typically tap water will be slightly more acidic, so it will have a pH level of less than 7. Alkaline water has a pH level above seven.
Pros and Cons of Alkaline Water
Alkaline water is excellent for balancing your pH levels if your body is naturally on the acidic side. Many foods that are cornerstones of the American diet, like grains, dairy, meat, and sugar can make your body more acidic. Ideally, your body’s pH should be close to neutral, and alkaline water can balance your pH if you do have high acidity levels. Alkaline water also contains many minerals that we need in our diet, like calcium and magnesium. These minerals are essential for bone health and general body function. Athletes, in particular, will find that alkaline water will help their muscles perform better and recover from fatigue faster.
However, there are some potential downsides and things to note about alkaline water. It’s often said that alkaline water can get rid of toxins in the body, but there is minimal research to suggest that this is true. Alkaline water can also be dangerous for those who have kidney problems because of its mineral content. If your kidneys aren’t able to process these minerals, they could build up in the body and cause health problems. If you have concerns about drinking alkaline water, talk to your doctor to see if it is safe for you.
Where to Get Alkaline Water
If you want to drink alkaline water at home, you can get a water ionizer to treat your tap water. Ionizers work by separating the acidic and alkaline components in the water, removing the acidic parts and leaving the alkaline ones. However, these devices can be costly, and if you don’t want to invest in one, many bottled water brands sell alkaline water. Essentia, Life Wtr, and Icelandic Glacier are some of the most popular brands of alkaline water, but there are many more. Check the label of your favorite bottled water to see if it is alkaline. The Food and Drug Administration regulates alkaline water, so companies are required to put this information on their labels.