What is Alkaline Water? What are its Benefits or Dangers & How do you make it?

what is alkaline bottled water brands
Different kinds of alkalized water on display. Ways to make and obtain alkaline water such as buying bottled water and using baking soda to make it. PH test of the brands of bottled alkaline drinking water are also visualized.

A fundamental shift in our daily food consumption and drinking water preferences has created a whole new range of “Alkaline Products” for health conscious consumers. Common questions people are asking include:

  1. What is alkaline water which I am hearing so much about?
  2. What will drinking it do for me and how can I make this water?
  3. Is it dangerous?
  4. Where is the scientific proof of the health benefits claimed by makers of this water?
  5. Should I purchase it in bottled form or should I make it at home with baking soda or should I use an ionizer?

Understanding what makes water alkaline will provide the required core knowledge to make informed decisions when choosing whether to purchase it bottled or make it fresh daily. Wikipedia explains that, “Water with a pH above 7.0 is alkaline, below 7.0 it is acidic” (Visit Wikipedia). Now that we know what water ph value is alkaline or acidic, let us cover the differences in the 3 types of alkaline water being marketed to consumers, and discuss any potential benefits or dangers.

The 3 Most Common Ways To Make Alkaline Water

  • Making alkaline water by adding baking soda(Sodium Bicarbonate) is commonly advocated on the internet, with many youtube videos showing people how to do it. This method will increase the pH depending upon the amount of baking soda that is dissolved into the water. This however is not a healthy option, and should not be used for any length of time. The reason why is that people who do this have reported development of kidney stones and other health complications. Most people doing this actually over consume the baking soda, which can lead to these deadly health complications.
  • Adding alkaline minerals to water will raise the ph. Depending on which minerals are added you can get a healthy mix, or you can just add one mineral to the water which leads to the same problem as over consuming baking soda. Bottled alkaline water from big name manufacturers is typically high in common minerals like calcium or magnesium. The alkaline bottled waters are made in large scale production facilities which carefully control what is added and the amount. Name brand bottled alkaline water is a safe and healthy option when on the go, but it is expensive and its cost add up quickly over time. Other kinds of alkaline drinking water may be made with minerals or even chemicals. These sources such as ph booster drops, will increase your drinking water ph, but you do not really know what is being added, and you may add too many drops or too little, potentially over consuming them in the long term.
  • The healthiest and most natural way to get alkaline water benefits in your drinking water is to use a water ionizer. This is because the machine filters your water and then uses the process of water electrolysis to separate the naturally occurring alkaline and acidic minerals in your water. Most people think that it is the higher ph of the water that is beneficial, but this is not true. The health benefits stem from the –ORP or negative Oxidation Reduction Potential in the water, which enables the water to act as an antioxidant in the body, neutralizing positively charged free radicals. This is the source of the health benefits, highlighted in all the medical studies listed below. It is only ionized water (Electrolyzed Reduced Water or Alkaline Ionized Water) that possess this property, and it is only by water electrolysis that you can make this water which has been researched and found to have health benefits in many medical studies. People think it is the higher ph that is beneficial, partly because it is easy to explain and easy to market higher ph water to consumers. It is also extremely cheap to bottle tap water, add alkaline minerals, and label it higher ph 9.5 or 8.0 or 8.88 drinking water. This misconception is mostly due to large corporations that used to sell carbonated sugar water, who then started selling bottled water, and now find it more profitable to charge a premium for bottled alkaline water.

making-alkaline-water-with-baking-soda-dangers
Be sure to read the warning label on the back of the box or bag of baking soda before you start consuming it daily. Making alkaline drinking water by adding baking soda to water can cause serious health problems.

 

You should not believe everything you see on YouTube or read on the internet.

Most consumers tend to believe what they see and read on the internet with little to no thought as to its validity.

FDA orders Dr. Mercola website to stop making false health claims on Dr. Mercola branded products.
FDA orders Dr. Mercola website to stop making false health claims on Dr. Mercola branded products.

 

Warning label which advises against over consuming baking soda. In particular not to exceed the maximum dose in a 24 hour period or consume this dose for more than 2 weeks.
Warning label which advises against over consuming baking soda. In particular not to exceed the maximum dose in a 24 hour period or consume this dose for more than 2 weeks.
There are videos posted all over sites like YouTube and Facebook that show people how to make alkaline water using baking soda, other chemical additives, mineral adding filters, etc. These videos only show you how to make it, they do not provide any proof to its benefits, or go over any of its potential dangers if you do it incorrectly. They do not show you the warning label on the box of baking soda that advises the following:

  • Ask a doctor before using if you are on a sodium restriction diet.
  • Consult doctor of pharmacist if you are taking prescription drugs.
  • Stomach Warning: To avoid serious injury, do not swallow until powder is completely dissolved, it is very important not to take on a full stomach.
  • Do not take more than the following amount in 24 hours: Seven 1/2 teaspoons or three 1/2 teaspoons if you are over 60 years.
  • DO NOT USE THE MAXIMUM DOSAGE FOR MORE THAN 2 WEEKS.

A very important serious set of warnings indeed, yet one never mentioned to you by sellers of mineral and chemical adding methods to make alkaline drinking water. So while too the less educated, or the less savvy consumers, who immediately trust what they see and read on the internet, it may appear that these 3 methods of making alkaline water all do the same thing, and as this Alkaline & Acidic ph chart shows, that is just not the case. With the promise of potential health improvements stemming from everything with the buzz word “Alkaline” attached to it, individuals need to educate themselves before embarking on this dietary change. The Acid Alkaline Diet published by the U.S. News & World Report, explains that to follow their “General rule of thumb, if you want to stick to a strict Acid Alkaline Diet, 80 percent of what you eat should be alkalizing foods, with 20 percent acid-forming. You should apply this rule to every meal, beverage and snack. Some people, however, follow a 60/40 alkaline diet – which won’t correct years of acidity, but helps you maintain a healthy balance moving forward”(U.S. News & World Report)

 

For those consumers seeking to drink more alkaline beverages, know the following:

  1. Alkaline ionized water (Electrolyzed Reduced Water) gets it’s health benefits from ionization, which means the water has been treated using electrolysis. This is the only process which safely delivers alkaline ionized water benefits, and has been studied extensively for many decades, as shown in the medical articles listed below.
  2. Alkaline bottled water continues to flood the market, along with brands that also market their water as being ionized. The professional packaging, and marketing strategies prey upon an unsuspecting public that has very little knowledge about alkalized water, and even less about the ionization of water.
  3. Using baking soda and other chemical additives to make your alkaline water at home should not be done for more than 2 weeks, or not done at all, and should not be over consumed, due to serious health dangers.

Published medical and scientific studies provide data on different types of illnesses that respond positively to treatments using Electrolyzed-reduced water or as it is more commonly known ionized, alkalized water. Wikipedia gives this definition, “Electrolysis of water is the decomposition of water (H2O) into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen gas (H2) due to an electric current being passed through the water”(Visit Wikipedia).

Drinking electrolyzed reduced water made by electrolysis provides antioxidants which can protect the body from oxidative damage, also known as free radical damage. This is the main benefit of drinking the water, and what medical research has proven. Many other health benefits have been observed in studies on electrolyzed-reduced water, or alkaline ionized water as it is commonly called. The next study even demonstrates its ability to protect different organs like the liver from cellular damage. “The results of this study show that ERW can be proposed to protect the liver against CCl(4)-induced oxidative damage in mice, and the hepatoprotective effect might be correlated with its antioxidant and free radical scavenging effect”(Hepatoprotective effect of ERW).

Two more published studies uncover evidence that the ERW or water processed with electrolysis in water ionizer machines provides benefits along with relief for diabetes sufferers. According to this scientific study, “These results suggest that electrolyzed reduced water can prevent apoptosis of pancreatic β-cells and the development of symptoms in type 1 diabetes model mice by alleviating the alloxan-derived generation of reactive oxygen species”. With other medical studies stating: “The present data suggest that ERW may protect beta-cell damage and would be useful as an anti-diabetic agent”.

Medical studies also report that: “Electrolyzed reducing water with E(h) values, Oxidation Reduction Potential values between 0 and -300 mV produced in electrolysis devices possesses this property. Drinking such water favors the growth of residential microflora in the gut. A sufficient array of data confirms this idea.” Another one of the benefits of owning and using a water ionizer machine to make this water is the fact that they have the ability to produce water with a negative ORP reading, or an abundance of antioxidants which gives the water its many different health benefits.

“Unlike conventional drinking water, pH 8.8 alkaline water instantly denatures pepsin, rendering it permanently inactive. In addition, it has good acid-buffering capacity. Thus, the consumption of alkaline water may have therapeutic benefits for patients with acid reflux disease,” according to research on consuming ionized alkaline water to treat acid reflux.

The effects of drinking higher ph ionized water to treat Metabolic Acidosis has also been studied with the conclusions published in the US National Library of Medicine stating:, “Alkaline ionized water can be considered as a major safe strategy in the management of metabolic acidosis secondary to renal failure or dialysis or urinary diversion”.

In addition to benefiting your body every day, drinking ionized water will surely boost your energy around the holidays, birthdays, or any special events, by helping to reduce hangovers from alcohol consumption. “These results suggest that drinking ERW has an effect of alcohol detoxification by antioxidant mechanism and has potentiality for relief of ethanol-induced hangover symptoms,” medical researchers report.

To read more medical research reports on a variety of health benefits from drinking water that has been processed using an alkaline water machine visit the “US National Library of Medicine” and search for the following terms:

  • Alkaline ionized water
  • Electrolyzed reduced water
  • Reduced water

Conduct your own search and read the medical research by visiting the US National Library of Medicine website by clicking the link below:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/