By Rehan Iqbal
Not everyone agrees with the notion that alkaline water is beneficial to your health. Fad diets come and go. Some disappear into obscurity almost as quickly as they appear. Others gain recognition until they become an accepted practice. Is alkaline water just hype, or are there genuine benefits? Evidence to suggest that it is the healthier option is mounting. Though there will always be opinions that differ.
While scientific research into the pros and cons of drinking alkaline water is somewhat limited, there is credible evidence suggesting that alkaline water has numerous health benefits, with few risks that are highly unlikely to occur with normal consumption.
The idea that alkaline water is healthier than regular water has been around for a while. Instead of being proven to the contrary, more people are starting to accept that this is, in fact, a good thing. It seems that, at least by popular opinion, the argument in favor of alkaline water is winning at the poles.
If you’re considering alkaline water as a healthy alternative to regular tap (or filtered) water, I have some really good news. It is quite easy to make your own alkaline water and it need not cost much. This article is going discuss 6 ways that you make alkaline water.
What is Alkaline Water
Water can be either acidic, neutral, or alkaline depending on its PH (potential for hydrogen). Normal drinking water will usually have a PH of about 7. We can call this neutral water that is neither acidic nor alkaline. As the PH increases, the water becomes less acidic. At a PH of 8 – 9, water is considered alkaline. Conversely, water with a PH of less than 7 is acidic.
There are natural sources of alkaline water. In areas where the ground is rich in dissolved minerals, springs and artesian wells will supply naturally alkaline water. This water is sometimes bottled and sold commercially.
Alkaline water is also commercially manufactured, using industrial alkaline water filters or water ionizers. This water is also bottled and sold.
If you don’t have a well, supplying natural alkaline water, buying bottled water can become expensive. You’ll also be dumping all those plastic bottles into landfill sites. Not really an environmentally friendly practice.
Making your own alkaline water obviously makes a lot of sense. Though, before looking at how to make alkaline water, you may be wondering if all the fuss is actually worth it? Is alkaline water good for you?
Benefits of Drinking Alkaline Water
There many health conditions caused or aggravated by acid in the body. Bones and teeth are particularly vulnerable to acid damage. It is speculated that food, after being burnt whilst metabolizing, is converted into acidic ash. This process may increase acid in the blood, leading to osteoporosis.
Consuming acidic foods can lead to more common ailments, like indigestion. It can also result in the formation of stomach ulcers.
Because of the health risks associated with acid in the body, the idea was conceived that drinking alkaline water may help reduce these risks.
Not much scientific research has been conducted to prove the medical benefits of drinking alkaline water. Though there is clinical evidence indicating some of the advantages that drinking alkaline water provide.
In 2016, the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition published an article: Effect of electrolyzed high-PH alkaline water on blood viscosity in healthy adults.
After researching the effects of drinking alkaline water after exercising, it was concluded that blood viscosity was reduced in those participants who consumed alkaline water, when compared to participants who did not. In other words, the blood was thinner in the people who drank alkaline water. Thinner blood reduces blood pressure, which reduces the risk of heart disease or a stroke. If you suffer from high blood pressure, there is conclusive evidence that drinking high-PH water will be beneficial to your health.
Another article, published in the National Library of Medicine (2012) suggests that alkaline water may be beneficial in the treatment of reflux disease. It controls the digestive enzyme, Pepsin, which damages laryngeal cells.
Apart from the documented scientific reports outlining the medical benefits of drinking alkaline water, others have been observed that are yet to be medically proven. These include:
It appears that the possible (and proven) benefits of drinking alkaline water are plentiful. I’m sure that, over time, more scientific research will either confirm or disprove these observations.
Now for the big question: can alkaline water be bad for you?
Alkaline Water Risks
High-PH water can be harmful if you consume too much of it. Overhydration can occur. Though, to be fair, drinking too much of any type of water may have the same effect.
Drinking excessive amounts of alkaline water, combined with large amounts of bicarbonate, can lead to metabolic alkalosis – incorrect PH in the kidneys and lungs.
After weighing up the pros and cons of drinking alkaline water, I’m guessing you’re probably ready to try it for yourself and see if it really works. This brings us to the main focus of this article, how to make alkaline water.
Water filter pitchers are relatively cheap, easy to use, and portable. This makes it a very popular method of water filtration. While mostly used to remove harmful contaminants, like chlorine, some pitcher filters may adjust the PH to produce alkaline water.
The pitcher utilizes a small cartridge containing filtration media. Activated carbon is the most commonly used filtration media for these types of filters. More advanced pitcher filters will use additional media for additional benefits, like alkalization.
You fill the pitcher from a faucet and gravity does the rest. The water flows through the filter into the pitcher, providing clear pure water. Because the water flows slowly through the filter, it takes some time before you’re able to use the water. It is a slow process.
Because of the time involved to filter the water, and limited capacity provided by water filter pitchers, they are not ideal for homes that use a lot of filtered water. The filters are also quite small and need to be replaced more regularly than larger filters. Despite these minor disadvantages, pitcher filters remain extremely popular.
If alkaline water is important to you, it advisable to do some research before buying a water filter pitcher. Not all water filter pitchers increase the PH of the water, and some are not particularly effective. You’ll need to look for a pitcher that is designed to supply alkaline water. You may also want to consider other types of filtration media that may be of benefit to you, as these will vary between different models.
The best method of making alkaline water has to be the water ionizer. These machines use electrolysis to charge electrons in the water. The ionized electrons separate to produce either alkaline or acidic water.
You have perfect control over the water PH. Water ionizers have a control panel that allow you to select the level of ionization. Usually, the machine has an easy to use touch pad that allows you to select the correct PH for the intended use.
You can choose alkaline water for drinking, cooking, or beverages. You can also set the machine to generate acidic water which can be used other purposes, like cleaning, when a lower PH can be of greater benefit.
An ionizer machine can be quite expensive and requires some installation. It also does not filter the water, like other water filtration systems that also provide water alkalization. None the less, they remain the most efficient way to adjust the PH of the water you use in the home.
For a simple and effective way to make alkaline water on the go, PH drops are becoming highly popular. It takes very little effort, and the drops are not expensive.
PH drops contain minerals and electrolytes that alter the PH of the water, quickly turning the water alkaline. You simply add a few drops to a glass of water and it’s ready to drink. The PH drop bottles are small and easy to take with you wherever you go.
The ease of use and take anywhere aspect of PH drops make them extremely convenient. It’s easy to understand why they are so popular.
One of the oldest household alkaline, baking soda has a PH of 9. Traditionally, baking soda dissolved in water has been a home remedy for heartburn and indigestion for centuries. It seems only logical that baking soda is one of the best ways to make alkaline water.
By mixing approximately ⅓ teaspoon of baking soda into an 8 OZ glass of water, you can make alkaline drinking water. By adding more baking soda, it is an effective treatment for heartburn. Use about ½ teaspoon baking soda for 4 OZ of water to relieve heartburn.
Some people don’t like the taste of water treated with baking soda. It does have a soapy taste. If you’re on a low sodium diet, you should be cautious about using baking soda to make alkaline water. Baking soda contains high levels of sodium which may affect your health if you suffer from high blood pressure or other conditions affected by the consumption of sodium in your diet.
Consuming excessive amounts of baking soda can have hazardous side-effects.
Since lemon juice is highly acidic (PH 2 – 3) it may seem crazy to suggest that it is a good way to make alkaline water. Technically, water with lemon juice is not alkaline, it decreases the PH significantly.
The obvious question now would be: why is lemon juice suggested as part of an alkaline diet when it is actually acidic?
A recommended dose of ⅓ teaspoon of lemon juice in an 8 OZ glass of water has numerous health benefits. It also tastes great. Lemon juice is believed to improve the removal of acids from the body. The effect is basically the same as consuming alkaline water, if not better. Essentially, lemon juice helps reduce acid, by stimulating your natural ability to balance to PH in your body.
Apart from helping the body control blood PH, lemon juice has a myriad of other health benefits:
Because lemon juice has so many health benefits, it is recommended for just about any diet, including an alkaline diet. Even if you make alkaline water, using any of the methods mentioned here, adding lemon juice will only help to improve your health in so many ways.