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The Dangers and Benefits of Alkaline Water

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 09/27/2023

Ever found yourself staring at a bottle of alkaline water in the store, puzzled about its potential benefits and risks? You're not alone. Alkaline water is touted as a wellness game-changer by some, but others warn of possible dangers.

This isn't just another health fad we can brush aside. It's about understanding our body's delicate pH balance—our inner ecosystem that prefers different levels of acidity or alkalinity for optimal functioning.

We'll take you on a journey from natural springs to artificial machines, diving deep into the world of alkaline waters. What could happen if you tilt your scales too far towards the alkaline side? Or how overuse of antacids might disrupt your stomach’s chemistry?

Hang tight because this is more than quenching thirst—it's about making informed choices for your health.

Understanding the pH Scale and Its Role in Our Body

The pH scale, ranging from 0 to 14, plays a vital role in our bodies. At the opposite ends of the scale, we have 0 representing extreme acidity and 14 for total alkalinity, with 7 as neutral territory. The middle ground, neutral territory, sits comfortably at seven.

The Importance of pH Balance in the Body

A healthy body isn't all about being 'neutral.' Different parts of our system thrive under varying levels of acidity or alkalinity. It's like throwing a party - everyone has their preferred music volume; too loud or soft doesn't cut it.

Blood, for instance, slightly leans towards being more alkaline, with an optimal level between 7.35 and 7.45.

The Role of Acidic Environment in the Stomach

Your stomach prefers heavy metal over classical tunes – metaphorically speaking. With a natural pH falling between 1 and 3, it’s an acidic rock star that helps break down food into digestible pieces while also fighting off harmful pathogens.

Alkaline Water: Natural vs. Artificial

Natural alkaline water is sourced from springs or wells, rich with essential minerals like calcium and potassium. These natural resources pass over rocks in the earth and pick up various minerals, affecting their pH and taste.

Health Benefits of Natural Alkaline Water

This mineral-rich natural alkaline water can help replenish our body's mineral reserves. Drinking it could aid hydration more than regular water due to these added nutrients.

Consuming a diet with more fresh produce can help to neutralize the acidity in our bodies caused by an abundance of processed foods, which is why natural alkaline water could be beneficial.

Potential Dangers of Artificial Alkaline Water

In contrast, artificially created alkaline water uses machines to alter its pH levels without adding any beneficial minerals.

The electricity-based process these machines use separates molecules in the water into acidic and basic parts - leading to an increased pH level but lacking essential nutrients in naturally occurring versions.

This type of ‘empty’ alkalinization may lead you down a slippery slope towards potential health issues such as metabolic imbalances if consumed excessively – a topic we'll explore further.

Risks Associated with Over-Alkalization

Drinking too much alkaline water can lead to a condition known as alkalosis. You may experience muscle spasms and abnormal sensations when your body is overly alkaline. But it doesn't stop there.

Hypochlorhydria or Achlorhydria - Consequences of Over-Alkalization

If the stomach becomes excessively alkaline, conditions like hypochlorhydria or achlorhydria can develop. This affects protein digestion and mineral absorption negatively. Moreover, it also increases allergy risks.

In extreme cases of over-alkalization, low potassium and calcium levels in the blood might occur. You wouldn't want that.

Alkalosis and Urinary Health

The pH balance in our urine plays a crucial role in maintaining urinary health. Drinking excessive amounts of alkaline water can upset this delicate balance.

This alteration potentially heightens infection risk because an imbalance allows harmful bacteria to thrive more easily. Studies have shown that urinary tract infections are more common when the urine's pH is imbalanced.

The Role of Antacids in Altering Stomach pH

Antacids, a common go-to for heartburn relief, can drastically change our stomach's acidity. They work by neutralizing excess acid.

Research has shown that these remedies can lead to conditions like hypochlorhydria or achlorhydria when overused. That's right - consuming too many antacids may lower your stomach acid more than necessary.

Understanding Antacid Overuse

"Too much of a good thing can be detrimental." While antacids are helpful in small doses, consistent use could create problems with protein digestion and mineral absorption due to reduced acidity.

You might think 'less acid equals less pain,' but let me surprise you: low stomach acid can increase your risk of allergies. So before reaching for an antacid next time you feel discomfort, remember moderation is key.

The Verdict on Alkaline Water

With the increasing buzz surrounding alkaline water, it's essential to distinguish between fact and fiction. Not all types of this trendy drink offer the same benefits.

Natural vs. Artificial Alkaline Water

There's a big difference between naturally occurring alkaline water and its artificially created counterpart. The former comes from springs or wells and contains essential minerals our bodies need.

In contrast, artificially made alkaline water, produced by machines using electricity, lacks these vital nutrients.

Risks Tied to Over-Alkalization

Too much of anything can be harmful - even as essential as water. Consuming too much of an alkaline substance may lead to 'alkalosis,' a potentially serious condition with symptoms such as low potassium and calcium levels, muscle spasms, or abnormal sensations.

This is no laughing matter; it could result in low potassium and calcium levels, muscle spasms, or abnormal sensations. In severe cases? Even heart arrhythmias or seizures.

A Word About Antacids

Antacids work by neutralizing stomach acid, but overusing them has risks, too - like disrupting protein digestion and mineral absorption, leading to increased allergy risk.

Conclusion

Gaining knowledge about the potential advantages and risks of alkaline water can help equip us with the power to make informed decisions. You've learned about our body's intricate pH balance and why each part requires different acidity or alkalinity levels.

You now understand that natural spring waters can give us beneficial minerals. But artificially created ones? They could be a risk since they lack these crucial elements.

We've also touched on over-alkalization risks like hypochlorhydria or achlorhydria and how this may mess with protein digestion and mineral absorption—scary stuff!

And remember antacids? Sure, they provide relief, but too much might unexpectedly disrupt your stomach’s chemistry.

So, make intelligent choices regarding hydration because every sip counts towards maintaining your health equilibrium.

Supporting Data

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20060064/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19482105/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/13679824/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19362552/

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