Google the phrase “alkaline water”, and you’ll be presented with nearly 630,000 results. Among them, you’ll find websites touting big-time benefits and other websites that claim alkaline water is nothing special. So who’s right? What’s the REAL story behind alkaline water? Is it really capable of providing you with better hydration, or is it simply some kind of fad that’s been blown way out of proportion?
Alkaline Water pH vs. Tap & Bottled Water
Let’s start by discussing exactly what makes alkaline water different from regular ol’ tap water.
Alkaline water has a higher pH level than its tap counterpart. Specifically, any water that has a pH level over 7 is officially considered to be alkaline. From there, different sources of alkaline water can be classified by their specific pH levels. For example, FIJI Water has a pH level of 7.7, while Evian has a pH level of 7.9. In both cases, the water is far less acidic than the water that comes out of your tap. And, the higher the pH level gets, the less acid you’re going to have. So, water that has a pH level of 9 is going to pack a bigger punch than water that has a pH level of 8.
Alkaline Water Benefits
Why is the pH level of your drinking water so important?
Our diets have evolved over time to contain more and more foods that raise the level of acidity in our bodies. By increasing the alkalinity of all the water you drink during the day, the more you can balance out the pH level in your body caused by the foods you eat and other factors. That’s a big deal because your blood needs to stay at a specific pH level (right around 7.35, to be exact). If your blood becomes too acidic, it has to do something to level out. That’s when it turns to the calcium in your bones. When calcium mixes with your blood, it brings the level of acid down, and thus, the pH level goes back up to where it should be.
The problem with that? Your bones can’t afford to lose all of that calcium! If your blood is constantly using up your calcium supply, you’ll end up with weaker bones that are more likely to break and lose
valuable mass as you age. So, by drinking alkaline water, you can help keep your blood’s pH level where it should be, and your body’s supply of calcium can stay where it should be — in your bones!
Bone and blood issues aside, having too much acid in your system as a whole can lead to uncomfortable issues like diarrhea, a weakened immune system, anxiety, confusion, and fatigue. In fact, alkaline water is popular with athletes, because it can actually help your body withstand lots of physical activity for longer periods of time.
Alkaline Water & Your Skin
Your skin isn’t immune to the benefits of alkaline water, either. In fact, it’s one of the best natural skin care products you can buy because:
1. It’s a great moisturizer
Alkaline water is one of the best natural face moisturizers, because it hydrates your skin from the inside out. It has smaller molecules than regular tap water does, so it absorbs more easily into your body — meaning you can see the effects of it sooner.
2. It can reduce the signs of aging
Those dark spots and wrinkles that make you groan every time you look in the mirror are actually the result of free radicals — or, tiny groups of atoms that float around your system destroying cells. Luckily, antioxidants are little tiny foot soldiers that are fighting a war against the free radicals inside your body. They can actually react with the free radicals and neutralize their dangerous capabilities.
What does all of this have to do with alkaline water? It’s actually chock full of antioxidants — far more than you would get from regular tap water!
That’s because a molecule of alkaline water has more hydrogen in it than a molecule of “normal” water does. So, the more of it you drink (or even use to wash your face, arms, or anywhere else that has fallen victim to age spots), the more antioxidants you’ll have fighting on your behalf.
Getting Alkaline Water
Do you have to buy a certain company’s water to reap all of these benefits?
Sure there are bottled water companies that sell alkaline water and can be a very convenient choice for many people (if you choose bottled water, remember to select BPA free. Our favorite is Solar Rain because it’s sustainable and eco-friendly which is available online or at select Whole Foods stores). However, you can make your own right in the comfort of your own home, as long as you have the right equipment. There are special filtration systems that you can buy, and all you have to do is fill one up with tap water and turn it on. It will work to neutralize heavy metals, add ionized minerals, and break the existing water molecules into smaller clusters. If you’re stuck working with a smaller budget, there are special pitchers you can buy that will convert regular tap water to alkaline water as well. We like this countertop model from Zen Water Systems for $79.95.
No matter how you get it, though, alkaline water can definitely make a difference from the inside out.