Top 5 Benefits of Alkaline Mineral Water

Alkaline Water

Consistent consumption of clean water is essential for the proper maintenance and generation of cells, tissues and organs within our bodies. It helps us in regulating body temperature, moistens the tissues in the eyes, nose and mouth, as well as transporting critical nutrients and oxygen to our cells (adult human bodies consist of 60% water). But there have been growing trends surrounding something known as ‘alkaline water’ and the potential health benefits.

In this article, the team at zazen Water dive into what alkaline water is, what it does within your body, the potential health benefits of alkaline water, and address any risks, dangers or side effects that may cause concern.

What is Alkaline Water and what does it do?

Well, to put it into perspective, the ‘alkaline’ refers to the pH level in water (a measure between 0 and 14 to gauge how acidic or alkaline the water is). It is generally understood that an overly acidic body, known as acidosis, can cause disease. A tendency toward acidity is increasingly common today partly from the highly processed foods, drugs and acidic drinks consumed as well as lifestyle choices (and because people are dehydrated). There is a growing movement toward drinking alkaline water in order to become more alkaline or balanced and to take advantage of the potential health benefits.

Many alkaline water products produce extremely high alkaline levels of 9.5 – 10 and even 11pH after ionization! There is the belief that more is better. But it is not that simple! If it were this simple, then in terms of water you could put one teaspoon of bi carbonate soda in a glass of water and you will get an alkaline benefit in the body. But again, it’s only half the story!

Too alkaline is just as bad as too acidic.

To understand why alkaline water has been heralded as a health miracle with a variety of benefits, you must first understand the alkaline effect, a naturally occurring process in the body. It looks something like this:

The Alkaline Effect Part 1

  • The stomach releases hydrochloric acid (HCL) to break down food and water for nutrients.
  • Hydrochloric acid would burn the stomach so to protect it the body also releases bicarbonate – alkaline buffers to neutralise the hydrochloric acid (into the blood around the stomach and surrounding areas).
  • The body does not release as much HCL when you consume acidic foods and fluids.

  • Released Alkaline buffers come with a bonus. They act as anti-oxidants.
  • An anti-oxidant can neutralise free radicals (toxins) and acids in the body.
  • This can prevent or slow cell damage in the body.

  • Alkaline foods and water require more HCL to break down, which in turn needs more alkaline buffers to be released.
  • Most people believe that flooding the system with EXTREMELY HIGH alkaline water will increase the number of neutralised free radicals therefore improving health. This is incorrect, read on to find out why! test

The Alkaline Effect Part 2

  • Flooding the system with alkaline food and water requires more hydrochloric acid and more alkaline buffers.

  • If the body doesn’t have enough alkaline minerals (such as calcium) to use as buffers, it will steal them from the bones.
  • This can lead to other long term issues and diseases, and throws the body out of balance.

  • The body needs to flush the toxins from all the neutralised free radicals that the alkaline effect has created.
  • The body must be hydrated to flush toxins but high alkaline water alone does not hydrate if it does not contain a balanced range of alkaline minerals.
  • An over-alkaline system without the ability to hydrate can cause significant imbalance in the body and the condition called alkalosis.

Our blood pH is slightly alkaline

By nature, our blood pH is ideally balanced and tuned to be only slightly alkaline. The human body sets about daily to maintain that balance. To emphasise the fact, think about the pH of our blood, which is 7.369. This is only slightly alkaline. Neutral is 7. This is important to note as a measuring stick; to temper our understanding of the alkaline effect; to help us recognise that excessive alkalinity is not ideal when ingesting further ionized alkaline water.

What are the Benefits of Alkaline Water?

1. Promotes Cellular Hydration 

Alkaline Water must contain a range of electrolyte minerals including magnesium, chloride, potassium, and sodium, which are each important to maintain hydration levels within the body, transmitting impulses along our nerves, and activating muscles to relax and contract. In fact, a recent study into nutrition and hydration found participants who drank alkaline mineral water instead of purified water (water without electrolyte minerals) at the conclusion of an intense workout had a reduced blood viscosity, (viscosity is allowing blood to flow more easily through vessels and promotes faster recovery).

2. Improves the Body’s pH Balance

Alkaline mineral water can potentially work towards creating and maintaining a balance in our pH levels. It does this by stimulating the stomach to release hydrochloric acid, which prompts the body to then release bicarbonate buffers through our bloodstream, balancing our alkaline state.

3. Flush Toxins from the Body & Works to Prevent Disease

Our cells can carry a selection of toxins, particularly when we are in an overly acidic state, but when we are well-hydrated at a cellular level, our bodies can effectively flush them out. 

Alkaline mineral water can therefore benefit the body by assisting organs and metabolic systems in their function.  Removing toxins from the body cells and tissues helps to offset dietary and lifestyle factors; as well as environmental elements that can pose a serious risk to our health, such as when heavy metals like lead and copper dissolve into water supplies through corroding pipes.

4. Elevates Performance, Focus & Quality of Sleep

The brain needs a consistent supply of nourishment, hydration and rest in order to function at its full potential. When we are dehydrated, our body will let us know through a series of symptoms, such as difficulty with concentration or remembering everyday details, as the brain is lacking energy from hydroelectricity to process information and take the appropriate action.

The electrolytes in alkaline mineral water are crucial to keep the mind and body focused and performing at peak levels. Our kidneys are dependant upon good levels of hydration for optimal functioning.  They also regulate blood pressure and glucose levels, promote better nerve function, encourage a smoother digestive system, more efficient blood circulation, and even support stronger bones.

What’s more is that, if you are tossing and turning all night, it might be due to dehydration. Drinking alkaline mineral water throughout the day replenishes the water and electrolytes your body loses through sweat, urination and bowel movements.

What are the Potential Benefits of Drinking Alkaline Water for People with Pre-Existing Conditions?

Research has suggested there are a myriad of potential health benefits in drinking alkaline mineral water for people with certain pre-existing conditions. A 2012 study into the treatment of reflux disease, for example, revealed the consumption of naturally carbonated alkaline water (consisting of an 8.8 pH level) may have worked towards diminishing pepsin, which is the primary enzyme found to cause acid reflux disease. There was also a recent study into how consuming alkaline ionized (mineral) water created positive changes with high blood pressure, abnormal blood sugar and blood lipids . And, in 2016, another study into how ionized alkaline water effected the viscosity of blood in adults found certain benefits. Blood viscosity, or its ‘thickness’, will determine how effectively it passes through the body, this is affected heavily by your diet. This study found that of the 100 people included, a noticeable difference in viscosity was recorded between drinking high-pH alkaline water to ‘normal’ pH-level water after exercise-induced dehydration. A further literature review in 2016 highlighted a large number of studies showing the benefits of alkaline water consumption with a lower incidence of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease and lower total mortality rates. Consumption of alkaline water also may play a role in preventing osteoporosis.

Are there any risks, dangers or side effects of drinking ionized alkaline water?

As ionized water should still hold natural minerals, most consider drinking natural alkaline water to be safe. The risks, dangers or side-effects from alkaline are related to overconsumption, which may lead to alkalosis  (the opposite of acidosis), where the body has too little chloride and a disproportionate amount of bicarbonate in the blood. This can lead to mild agitation and symptoms, such as confusion, hand tremors, muscles twitching, nausea, vomiting, and tingling sensations across the face and in extremities.

When asked this question, dietician Alex Rutkowska also stated that, ‘Alkaline water is generally recognised as safe. However, there are several side effects that result from a change in the body's pH. One of them is reducing the natural acidity of the stomach, which, among other things, helps to kill bacteria and expel pathogens from the body. In addition, high alkalinity can cause digestive problems and skin irritation.’

In concluding, drinking a balanced, mineralised water which is naturally alkaline can enhance health outcomes, and improve long term health conditions.


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