We all know that water is essential to life. Our bodies are made up of over 65% water and without a constant supply of it, we will die. Most of us get our daily requirement of water by either drinking it alone, or by consuming beverages and foods that have water as one if their ingredients. Lately, there has been a lot of discussion on the benefits of alkaline water. Alkaline water is the opposite of acidic water in that its pH is over 7. The normal pH of tap water is around 7. Alkaline water is higher in such minerals as calcium, magnesium, silica, potassium, and bicarbonate. All of these minerals combined will increase the alkalinity of water and as a result lower the acidity in our bodies. In most commercial brand of alkaline water, there minerals are added to filtered water in varying amounts.
Why do we want to lower the acidity in our bodies you ask? Many experts feel that the Standard American Diet puts our bodies in ‘low acidotic state’ and disrupts our overall pH balance. Many claim that by drinking alkaline water, we are assisting our body’s ability to buffer acid and maintain a more desired neutral pH. Does this mean that all of us should be drinking alkaline water? Maybe not.
To date, there is little scientific evidence supporting the regular use of alkaline water for most people. In fact, for people that have compromised kidney function or are taking medications that are supporting kidney function, alkaline water may do more harm than good. Excess minerals can predispose some people to calcifications and make it more difficult for our bodies to clear them through our kidneys. There is limited research on the benefits of alkaline water for endurance athletes. Intense exercise creates a surplus of ions in the body which results in a more acidic body pH, causing fatigue. Use of alkaline water for these athletes has shown in increase in the body’s ability to buffer the acids and therefore increase performance and speed up recovery.
As of now, there is not enough scientific literature backing regular use of alkaline water. If you are someone who wants to try it out this link tells you how alkaline some popular brands are:
As a side note, it is important to remember that bottled water of any kind poses its own set of health concerns. The most noted would be the plastic in which most bottled water is contained. BPA is an ingredient that is present in many brands of bottled water. When exposed to heat (on the truck, in your car etc.), BPA degrades and produces a faux estrogen. This by-product has the potential for hormone disruption, inflammation, toxicity, fertility/reproductive issues and other negative health effects. Ideally, we should all strive to limit our use of bottled water.
For most of us, tap water should be enough. If you want to go one step further, add a good quality water filter to your home water supply to catch other toxins that may be present.
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