Just Another Fad?
Alkaline water—odds are you have heard of it and the supposed myriad of health benefits you can reap from drinking it. To understand the potential benefits of alkaline water, we have to look at the science behind it.
The pH scale is a reference point that measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is. The scale goes from 0 to 14. Substances with a pH under 7 are acids; anything over 7 is alkaline; and anything with the magic number of 7 is neutral. Although our bodies contain elements with differing pH levels (think stomach acid), our bodies want to be as close to a neutral 7 as possible.
Processed sugar, coffee, and alcohol (among other fan favorites) all have low pH and add to the acidity of our bodies. Since diseases, such as cancer, tend to thrive in high-acid situations, neutralizing the acid with an alkaline substance helps to bring our bodies back into a state of balance. Normal drinking water has a pH of 7. Alkaline water has a pH around 8 or 9. Drinking alkaline water may be able to neutralize some of the harmful acid we put in our bodies through our diet.
Alkaline water is thought to have other benefits as well. A natural anti-oxidant, alkaline water stabilizes free radicals, which break down cells over time and contribute to the signs of aging. In neutralizing these free radicals, alkaline water slows the signs of aging and gives you an extra immune boost.
Because it has a smaller molecular content than regular drinking water, alkaline water promotes hydration, is easier to absorb by the body, and allows blood to flow more effectively, thereby transporting more oxygen to the body.
It is important to note, however, that there is little to no scientific research that backs alkaline water as the answer to our imbalances. In fact, too much alkalinity can kill naturally occurring acidity in our bodies and cause problems for digestion and other important processes.
When it comes to health, one of the most important things you can do for your body is research. If you do choose to partake in health trends, always make sure you know exactly what you are putting in your body. After all, health is not something to be taken lightly.
by Pax Ansley