I first learned about alkaline water benefits many years ago from a natural health practitioner who had a background in macrobiotics.
He taught me that most illnesses arise due to an acidic state in the body. He said that healthy human cells thrive in a slightly alkaline environment. In fact, the “normal” pH range for blood is between 7.30 and 7.45.
Blood pH is a good indication of how much oxygen is available to the cells.
This fact is really important! According to many doctors and health practitioners, lack of oxygen to the cells is one of the primary causes of most diseases, including cancer.
My friend also said that we become more susceptible to getting colds and flus when we are more acidic because many unhealthy bacteria and viruses thrive in a slightly acidic environment.
So I took his advice to heart and started studying about the acid-alkaline balance in the body macrobiotic books and lectures.
At the time, I learned that the two primary causes of excess acidity in the body are (1) stress and (2) a diet high in animal protein.
As a health and nutrition consultant today, I frequently experience how difficult it is for many people to change their diets or lifestyles toward a more alkaline way of living. So I am always open to finding solutions that are easier.
When I first learned about alkaline water, it seemed like an easy way to help reduce excess acidity.
What I have learned during the past 8 years of drinking and sharing alkaline water is that it definitely does afford many health benefits and will help to restore acid-alkaline balance in the body.
However, drinking alkaline water alone will not override all of our bad habits.
Three of the most important alkaline water benefits include:
During my early years of researching alkaline water benefits, I discovered what seemed like a simple and quick way to alkalize my body. I don’t remember for sure, but I think it was from an Edgar Cayce remedy for colds and flus.
At the first sign of symptoms, I simply added 1 tablespoon of baking soda to a glass of water and drank it on an empty stomach every 2 to 3 hours throughout the day. To be honest, I have no idea if it helped or not but I have to admit that I never experienced a prolonged illness.
Considering what I know now, I wouldn’t recommend this approach to anyone. Drinking too much baking soda with water can be dangerous, especially if there is food in the stomach.
In addition, I believe the alkaline water benefits from using baking soda are minimal and temporary at best. I certainly never saw any change in the overall alkalinity of my body fluids over time.
Today there are a number of products on the market, such as alkalizing pH drops, powders, or tablets, which are designed to be added to water and are supposed to provide health benefits.
In my experience, the problem with these products is that they create what I call an “artificial alkalinity.” People can easily become too alkaline with these products, creating other problems such as bladder and kidney infections.
I wouldn’t say these products have no value, but I believe they should only be used periodically, if at all, and certainly not on a daily basis. In addition, I think baking soda does essentially the same thing - and it’s far less expensive.
Even after the baking soda phase, increasing body alkalinity by drinking alkaline water made sense to me so I continued to pursue and learn more.
I’ve learned that water that is alkaline in pH (in a healthy range between 7.0 and 9.5 pH) has more alkaline minerals in it than acidic minerals.
Tap water that is treated with disinfectants such as chlorine becomes acidic. However, laws require the municipal water to be alkaline in order to preserve the city pipes from acid corrosion.
The problem is that the way our treatment centers handle this requirement is by adding lye and/or other unhealthy (i.e., toxic) alkalizing agents to the water.
Alkaline water benefits only come from water that is free of contaminants and contains more naturally occurring alkaline minerals than acidic minerals.
Unfortunately, true alkaline water is hard to come by. Most bottled water is acidic. Water that is purified via distillation or reverse osmosis (both of which remove minerals in the water) is also acidic.
Well water is a possible choice if the source water is consistently free of contaminants (or if used with an effective filter) and if the water is rich in alkaline minerals, such as calcium and magnesium.
Drinking spring water is a good choice. Natural spring water often contains a level of minerals that is beneficial to health. Mineral-rich water will usually have a neutral or slightly alkaline pH.
Ionized alkaline water is an even better choice because the water contains ionic alkaline minerals. The ionization process makes the alkaline minerals even more bio-available to the body because of their electrical charge.
Water ionizers can be expensive. But when it comes to health, an ounce of prevention is worth much more than a pound of "cure" (i.e., the cost of medical expenses).
In fact, with all due respect to the medical profession, most of the time the treatments don't cure anything; they just temporarily suppress the symptoms with medications. Thus I will continue to pursue natural solutions that support the body to heal itself . . .