By

Sandra Chaloux & Susan Brady

| 08/25/2016

Is Alkaline Water Something to Consider?

Is Alkaline Water Something to Consider?

I, too, have been wondering about the drinking water I have been consuming. We have all been told over and over again about the importance of being properly hydrated. But what does that really mean?

Earlier this year, I attended a presentation given by a Stage 4 Cancer survivor who spoke about the importance of an alkaline diet. She recommended a diet that is 80% alkaline foods (think veggies and green juices) and only 20% acidic (standard American diet). I began wondering about this recommendation. Alkalinity is something I hadn’t paid much attention to before.

Then I had a plumber test my filtered water and discovered that the water from my Reverse Osmosis filter system was highly acidic with a pH of 5.5. It had never occurred to me that I should test the pH of my filtered water. The U.S. EPA recommends that the safe drinking water pH range is 6.5-8.5. Could this highly filtered and acidic water have caused the acid reflux I have been experiencing in recent years? Alkaline water has a pH over 7.0.

I bought some drops from a local health food store and started experimenting with adding them to my filtered water to raise the pH but the higher the pH, the more upset my stomach felt. I reached out to Susan Brady of Nurtured Bones to get her take on it.

Q: How does a highly acidic diet affect your health? 

A: A diet high in salt and processed foods or excessive protein intake is highly acidic and can create a chronic low-level metabolic acidosis. Acidic body chemistry results in calcium being withdrawn from bone to restore a more alkaline pH. Studies have shown that a diet high in protein, which is very acidic, causes an increase of calcium excretion in the urine. There is increasing evidence that other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and pain may be influenced by dietary acid-alkaline imbalance as well. A few other notable pros of following the alkaline diet include preservation of muscle mass and healthier bones and reduced risk of kidney stones and chronic disease.

Q: How important is the pH level of your water and what do you think about alkaline water?

A: Water is one of the most essential elements to our health. Although I do recommend making sure that the water you drink is within the EPA’s recommended pH range; in my opinion, the purity of the water is more important. Most public water supplies are loaded with harmful contaminants that are both naturally occurring and man-made chemicals and by-products.

There is a lot of hype about alkaline water! The importance of the pH of your water really depends on your diet. If you eat the typical western diet consisting of acidic food and beverages, then drinking alkaline water is a good way to help balance the pH in the body. For example the pH of cola is 2.5, orange juice is 3.0, and coffee is 5.0. But if your diet is high in fruits and vegetables that tend to be more alkaline, then water with a high pH is not as critical. Some studies have shown that drinking alkaline mineral water could help preserve bone density. However, alkaline water is best consumed between meals so it does not interfere with digestion.

Water you drink gets mixed with the acid content in your stomach, so it gets changed to the pH of your stomach before it is even absorbed. Food, on the other hand, has its effects after it has been metabolized. Lemons are acidic when ingested, but after metabolized, produce an alkaline ash.

Again, I think that finding the most pure water you can is what is most important. You need to make sure you get the contaminants, chemicals, heavy metals, and bacteria out of the water. Reverse osmosis (RO) filters are best at this. Yes, RO filters also remove the healthy minerals, but if you are getting these minerals from other sources, then adding them back to your water is not as important.

Q: If you are using a filtering system in your home, what is the best way to determine the pH of the water that you are drinking?

A: Currently, the most common and accurate way to measure pH is the electrode method using a pH meter that gives a numerical reading. You can purchase complete water testing kits and pH meters at local hardware stores or on Amazon.

Q: What are the health effects when the pH levels in drinking water are too low?

A: One of the problems with acidic water, water with a low pH, is that it can leach metals, such as copper, lead, iron, cadmium, and zinc from plumbing systems. Exposure to heavy metals can cause a whole host of health problems. It is unclear that drinking water with a low pH by itself has any effects on one’s health. When you drink water, it immediately combines with the acidic digestive juices in the stomach that have a pH of 1.0. So most likely, acidic water won’t have an effect on your overall pH if your diet consists of enough fruits and vegetables (alkaline).

Q: What are the health effects when the pH levels in drinking water are too high?

A:. According to Dr. Mercola, water that is too high in pH will:

Raise the alkalinity of your stomach, which will buffer your stomach’s acidity and impair your ability to digest food and specifically protein

Reduce the acid in your stomach, which can open the door for parasites in your small intestine.

Acid is necessary in the stomach to ionize minerals, such as calcium, in order for them to be absorbed.

Q: What is the healthiest type of water to consume and why?

A: Pure water is hard to find! Comes from a natural spring. To find a natural spring in your area go to www.findaspring.com.

The most economical and environmentally sound choice you and your family can make is to purchase and install a water filter for your home. The best one for removing contaminants is a Reverse Osmosis Filter.

The majority of healthy minerals our bodies need come from the food we eat and not our drinking water. The main thing we should be concerned about is removing the chemicals and toxins in our water and increasing the amount of alkaline and mineral rich foods we consume.

Click here to learn more about the pros and cons of different water filtration systems.

About the Author:

Sandra Chaloux is the founder of Wellness Hub  –the leading source for holistic health information in the United States.

About the Expert:

Susan Brady is a Physical Therapist, Doctor of Integrative Medicine and holds a Post Master’s Certificate in Nutrition and Integrative Health. Practicing in the healthcare field for over 25 years, her background give hers a unique perspective in treating bone disorders. By providing a comprehensive approach, Susan can evaluate your risk factors and address all avenues for strengthening your bones. For more information on Susan and her practice visit http://nurturedbones.com.

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