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August 2022

Is Alkaline Water Good for You? Get the Facts

Word on the street is that alkaline water is good for you. With all the buzz about it, you may be curious.  

Alkaline water has become popular in recent years. But does it offer any real health benefits? Or are these health claims just hype?  

Humans need water because we consist of more than 50% water. The body of an adult male is around 60% water, while adult females are approximately 55%. Drinking water is beneficial for your entire body. 

Certain health conditions aside, most of us are in danger of not drinking enough fluids each day. Even mild dehydration can bring on symptoms like headache, fatigue, constipation, and dry mouth.  

Water helps flush impurities out of our bodies. Adequate water intake helps remove waste from our bodies via urine.  

Alkaline water can be good for you, but it may not be for everybody — especially your furry family members.  

In this article we'll look at what alkaline water is, the potential benefits of alkaline water — and the risks, when you should drink it, and who should avoid it.  

What Is Alkaline Water? 

The term "alkaline" refers to a water's pH level. The pH scale measures the acid or alkaline in a substance. This scale goes from 0 (acidic) to 14 (basic). Substances with a pH of 2 include vinegar and lemon juice, while baking soda measures at 9.5. Healthy human blood pH is around 7, which is the neutral point on the pH scale. 

Alkaline water has a pH above 7. We can create alkaline water through an ionization process, or it can occur naturally. The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) guideline for drinking water is a pH of 6.5 to 8.5. However, the agency considers pH an unenforceable "secondary guideline". Slight deviations from this pH are considered safe but may affect water's appearance and taste. Depending on where you've lived and traveled, you may have consumed water with varying alkaline levels. You may have drank alkaline tap water or acidic water without realizing it.  

Is Lemon Water Alkaline?

You may have read that lemon water is alkaline. At first glance, that doesn't make much sense. Lemons have a pH of 2, which makes them acidic. And if you’re wondering how to make alkaline water, it isn't as simple as adding lemon juice to plain water.  

Some people regard lemon water as alkaline because of its potential renal acid load (PRAL). The PRAL of a food or beverage measures how much acid is left after the body metabolizes it. This acid reaches the kidneys, which get to work getting rid of excess acid or alkaline. 

Lemons and other fruits contain alkaline nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Your body leaves behind alkaline byproducts after the metabolization process. Lemon water has a negative PRAL score, which some say makes its total effect on your body, on your kidneys, alkaline. 

Proponents of alkaline water could argue that lemon water only makes your urine alkaline and not your body. Lemon water doesn’t offer the same potential benefits as alkaline water does. So while lemon water can taste good, it's not the same as drinking alkaline water.  

One food additive that creates alkaline water is sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda. Adding baking soda to a glass of water is a home remedy for heartburn and acid reflux disease. However, this isn't the tastiest way to make alkaline water. Even tiny amounts of baking soda have a strong flavor that many people don't care for.  

Commercially available pH drops are another way to increase the pH level of drinking water. These drops are easy to use. You can create high pH water when you need it by adding it to glasses of water throughout the day.  

Does Alkaline Ionized Water Taste Different?

You may find that alkaline water tastes different from regular tap water. Water's pH level may affect the flavor, but other factors are at play. The water's source and whether it's filtered via reverse osmosis can alter the taste. That's why water from other places will taste different.  

People accustomed to drinking well water often find that city water tastes "off," and vice versa. The EPA regulates water contaminants and impurities in the U.S. Unlike other parts of the world, most people in the United States have access to safe water right in their homes.  

In the end, taste comes down to a matter of preference. Some people swear that mineral water tastes the best, while others prefer spring water. You may find that filtered tap water suits you just fine.  

If you desire the health benefits of alkaline water but don't like the taste, try experimenting with different temperatures. Colder temperatures diminish the flavor of most beverages. Alternatively, you may prefer room temperature or even lukewarm water. 

Can I Use Alkaline Water to Take My Prescription Medications?

There hasn't been much research on how alkaline water can affect certain medications. We do know that alkaline water may alter the stomach's pH. Stomach acid is quite acidic and has a pH between 1 and 2.  

There’s evidence that alkaline water can help with heartburn symptoms as it denatures a stomach enzyme called pepsin. This research shows us that alkaline water and digestive enzymes may affect how the stomach metabolizes medication. 

If you take certain medications to treat high blood pressure, heart disease, or congestive heart failure, you may need to adjust your fluid consumption. And, it's best to be cautious. Ask your pharmacist if alkaline water can interact with any drugs. When in doubt, take your over-the-counter or prescription medications with regular water.  

Is Alkaline Water Good or Bad for Kidney Disease?

Your kidneys are almost 80% water, and they make bicarbonate ions that neutralize acids in your blood. When they’re not functioning correctly, your blood can become acidic (metabolic acidosis) because your kidneys can't balance the acid load. Studies show that an alkaline diet may be helpful for those with kidney disease.

However, if you’re on dialysis to treat kidney disease, your doctor may place you on a fluid-restricted diet. Between dialysis treatments, your body will hold onto any excess fluid that your kidneys cannot remove. Extra fluid in the body can affect how well your heart and lungs work.  

If you have any kidney conditions, speak with a healthcare provider before starting a higher pH-level water regimen. 

When Is the Best Time of Day to Drink Alkaline Water?

As previously mentioned, you may want to avoid drinking alkaline water when you take medication. Beyond that, you can drink alkaline water any time you'd like!  

There are countless benefits to drinking water throughout the day. Alkaline water can help alleviate the midday slump many of us experience after eating lunch. Water helps you regulate your body temperature when it’s hot out. If you want to increase your daily water intake, it can help to carry a water bottle with you so that you can drink enough water throughout the day.  

Adequate hydration is critical to maintaining healthy levels of certain minerals called electrolytes. These minerals — which include potassium, calcium, and sodium — are lost when we sweat and urinate. An imbalance of electrolytes can affect the entire human body, including muscle contractions and nervous system function.  

Is Alkaline Ionized Water Good for Athletes?

Yes, athletes can benefit from drinking alkaline water. It’s a healthy choice to increase your water intake anytime you’re physically active. You can meet your hydration needs by carrying a water bottle when you go for a bike ride or hike.  

Adequate water intake is also crucial for athletes because it plays an essential role in bone health. Synovial fluid surrounds the joints throughout your body. This thick liquid cushions and protects your joints when walking, running, and jumping. Your body cannot produce synovial fluid without water.  

Drinking water can also help you consume fewer calories throughout the day and aid in weight loss.  

Can I Give Alkaline Water to My Cat or Dog?

There’s disagreement over whether alkaline water is safe for pets to drink. Some sources state that cats should drink water with a pH of 6.2 to 6.4, which is well below the level of alkaline water. And others say that some alkaline water is okay, but more significant amounts could negatively impact the pH of a cat's urine. Ask your veterinarian before you make any changes to your pet's diet. 

We don't know if animals can benefit from alkaline water the way humans can. For most pets, tap water from your home is likely sufficient. Before giving your pets regular tap water, run it through a filter pitcher or your home's filtration system. A water filter removes undesirable tastes and odors from tap water.  

Alkaline foods and beverages can be a concern for some pets. Both cats and dogs can develop metabolic alkalosis. This condition results from excess alkali in the animal's blood. Another underlying condition causes metabolic alkalosis; it does not occur independently. 

Can the Human Body Become Too Alkaline From Drinking Alkaline Water?

Becoming "too alkaline" is not a concern for most people. Healthy kidneys can filter out any excess alkaline in the body. Drinking alkaline water is unlikely to raise your body's pH to an unhealthy level.  

A condition called alkalosis can throw off a person's pH level, making the human body too alkaline. An underlying issue with the lungs, kidneys, or liver usually causes this alkalosis.  

People at high altitudes can experience respiratory alkalosis due to a low level of carbon dioxide in the blood. 

There’s no evidence that alkaline water causes this condition or that a healthy person can drink too much alkaline water. In other words, if you’re healthy, this is a side effect you probably don't have to worry about.  

Can I Make Alkaline Water at Home?

If you appreciate the taste of alkaline water, you'll quickly realize how expensive bottled water can be. The costs can add up fast. It’s possible to make alkaline water at home with a water ionizer. Filtered tap water is cheaper than bottled water, even when you factor in filter replacement costs. 

An ionized water filter first removes any impurities from the tap water. Then the water goes through electrolysis, which separates alkaline minerals and acid minerals. The result is affordable, great-tasting alkaline water. You can drink alkaline water plain and use it to make tea and coffee.

Home filtration systems and water ionizers are easy to install and environmentally friendly. These systems allow you to filter gallons of water at a time quickly. Check out HomeWater today to learn more.

Is Alkaline Water Good For You and Should You Drink It?

Water is good for you — we all need it to stay healthy and survive. You can drink alkaline water with meals and snacks or use it to cook if you prefer to do so. Alkaline water is a healthy option to meet your daily hydration goals.  

Though not for everybody — especially your pets — alkaline water has been shown to have health benefits and taste good. 

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