W ater, as we find it in nature, is a great source of hydration, and, usually, it is enough to drink the recommended eight glasses per day to stay healthy. Nevertheless, if you are an active person, you may feel, at some point, that bottled, filtered, or tap water cannot hydrate you fast enough. On the other hand, even if it is the municipality’s job to ensure proper filtration for tap water, it isn’t as uncommon as you would think for heavy contaminants like arsenic or lead to end up in your glass. Plus, chlorine does have a specific odor and taste that can discourage you to drink your ideal number of glasses.
The alternative, which started to be promoted more often by celebrities, seems to be ionized alkaline water. Adepts praise its ability to significantly increase hydration levels since it contains high levels of minerals considered essential for bone and muscle growth and regeneration. Moreover, alkaline water obtained through ionization is considered safer than bottled water, which could contain plastic or other pollutants.
Now, the question is if you should drink it daily. Should it completely replace your regular water? And, is it safe to ingest about two liters or more every day? We are about to answer all these questions and a few extra, so read on and educate yourself on this topic.
How to Obtain Ionized Alkaline Water
A water ionizer can deliver either alkaline or acidic water, but if you are going to drink it, the first type interests you. Acidic water can be used as well, but for cosmetic or cleaning purposes. You should never ingest it as it can harm your health.
Alkaline water is usually tap water that is drawn through a machine and transformed. Most ionizers offer a first filtering layer, designed to remove the contaminants, but allow the minerals to go through. Then, the water comes in contact with the electrodes, and a small electrical charge activates the electrolysis process, separating the water into acidic and alkaline streams. The second stream will gather good mineral salts like calcium, magnesium, and potassium, while the bad stuff like chlorides or nitrates will go into the acidic stream.
Alkaline water will have a higher pH than regular water, reaching values of 8 to 12. Nevertheless, for it to be safe, the value you will want to obtain shouldn’t overcome 9.
Many enthusiasts have taken the benefits even further, asserting that it can improve the immune system, change the body’s pH, or even kill cancerous cells. Nonetheless, no serious studies have been performed in this direction, and the odds of these being true are rather slim.
Per ensemble, there hasn’t been identified any major risk that could result from drinking high-pH water. Some studies suggested that if the pH is too high, it could reduce the stomach’s acidity and allow bacteria to multiply inside the stomach and intestines. But, this only happens in isolated cases, when the water is ingested in high quantities before or during the meals.
However, as the studies are still in an incipient phase, the long-term effects are still to be discovered. Some studies suggested that it can interact with some drugs, so if you are taking any medication, make sure to check with your doctor or, to be super safe, replace high-pH water with regular water during the treatment.
Most people who switched from regular water to high-pH water reported feeling more hydrated, and those with acid reflux problems experienced lower acid levels. However, in the beginning, it isn’t uncommon to feel some headaches, trembling, or vomiting, especially if you are suddenly introducing this type of water into your diet.
So, the secret here is not to make sudden turns. If you are already drinking 8 or more glasses of water a day, start by alternating it with high-pH water. In time, you can get to replace it completely without any side effects.
On the other hand, if you are trying to increase your daily water intake and reach the recommended quantity, you shouldn’t ingest more than 4 glasses per day. Complete the rest with tap or bottled water until your body gets accustomed to this level of hydration.
Always check the pH of the water. While you want it to be higher than 7, values that go above 9 can affect your stomach and lead to alkalosis. This affection is characterized by the presence of too much base and a deficiency in acid inside the body. Alkalosis manifests through numbness, nausea, hand tremor, and muscle spasm. You can tell if it is present in an aggravated form if you start experiencing confusion, dizziness, or respiratory problems.
While no one contests the advantages of getting water directly from the source instead of obtaining it through mechanical means, the truth is that bottled water rarely stays as natural as the companies claim. Unless you live next to a natural spring or have the budget to buy only glass-bottled alkaline water, it is better to skip it. Plastic bottles have the disadvantage of losing tiny particles, which enter the water. The most dangerous aspect here is that they tend to get stuck inside your muscles, forming small cysts that can cause cancer.
The advantage of artificial high-pH water is that you get it on the spot. Tap water undergoes already complex filtering stages and is usually pure enough to be consumed as it is. Nonetheless, the ionizer provides an extra filtering layer that eliminates both contaminants and odors. To fully benefit from its purity, always produce the exact quantity of water you are going to drink. Do not store it unless you are taking it with you to work or outdoors. Even then, use only glass bottles.
If you are thinking of including high-pH water in your diet, the first you will want to do is check with a healthcare professional, especially if you are suffering from a chronic illness or have suffered from alkalosis before. Also, if you are on medication, it is better to avoid making this change at the moment. However, if you have cleared all these out of the way, you can start introducing it gradually in your diet and consume it daily without a problem. In fact, soon you will start experiencing all the benefits associated with it.