There are new health claims surrounding alkaline water. In fact, some athletes swear by drinking Fiji water and other bottled water brands because of their high alkalinity.
Filtered alkaline water has a higher pH level, typically greater than 7. Levels of pH range from 0 to 14, with 14 being the most alkaline. Normal drinking water has a pH of 7, but pH alone doesn’t determine if water is alkaline. Negative oxidation reduction potential (ORP) and minerals are also important, as part of alkaline water’s appeal is its antioxidant properties.
While alkaline water may be what athletes are drinking, researchers are still on the fence about the benefits of drinking alkaline water, but other studies have shown significant benefits of alkaline water for people with acid reflux and other digestive issues.
Does Alkaline Water Really Work
The Mayo Clinic has said that regular water with a pH level of 7 is best for most people. The organization also stated that there was no scientific evidence supporting alkaline water’s health benefits, but that has since been refuted.
Multiple studies have recently shown that alkaline water does help a few people with digestive problems.
In one 2012 study, alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 helped deactivate pepsin, which is an enzyme that causes acid reflux. In another study, ionized alkaline water was shown to decrease high blood pressure, help with diabetes, and even reduce high cholesterol.
Many users have noted that alkaline water settles their stomachs and increases their energy levels as well, but more research is needed.
Why are Athletes Drinking Alkaline Water
While this fad started from NBA locker rooms, athletes purposefully look for high pH water. This is due to the reduced viscosity of filtered alkaline water. Studies show that blood flows more efficiently when alkaline water is consumed and may increase oxygen delivery for your entire body. This is helpful for athletes after strenuous workouts and intensity training, especially.
What Alkaline Drinkers Say About It
Despite only a few studies on the health benefits of alkaline water, thousands of people are investing in water ionizer filtration systems that deliver higher alkaline water directly to their water faucets and showers.
Proponents of alkaline purified water have experienced incredible, life-changing benefits, such as:
- Anti-aging properties
- Immune system support
- Better overall skin health
- Detoxifying properties
- Weight loss
- Cancer resistance
- Colon-cleansing properties
Alkaline water is considered safe to drink, but there may be certain side effects of consistent higher alkalinity in your body.
Can Alkaline Water Filtration Systems Help You?
Alkaline filtration systems are called ionizers. They may be included with a higher-quality water filtration system. After water is filtered, the ionizer will add minerals back to the water to increase the pH level to an 8 or 9.
In order for filtration systems to do this, they must also create a negative ORP, also known as oxidation reduction potential. When water has a negative ORP, it becomes an antioxidant, thus improving blood flow and absorption in your body.
Are There Side Effects of Alkaline Water?
In most cases, there aren’t any side effects or risks to drinking a higher alkaline water. However, you shouldn’t consume over a pH level of 9 on a regular basis.
One of the risks of drinking alkaline water consistently is that you lower your natural stomach acidity. While that can actually help people with acid reflux and other stomach issues, alkaline water may lower the ability of your stomach to kill off bacteria.
Others have reported more gastrointestinal issues and metabolic alkalosis, causing nausea, hand tremors, muscle twitching, and tingling extremities. While there has been very little research to see what conditions cause these side effects, it’s likely due to a much higher alkaline level of 10 or higher being consumed on a consistent basis.