Alkaline Water Health Benefits

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Is it a super health product or just a scam? Advocates of high alkaline water say drinking it can help your body maintain an appropriate pH balance and prevent numerous types of diseases. People who want to drink alkaline water can buy tablets to add to water or purchase machines that create alkaline water from tap water.

Measurement

A pH designation measures acidity and alkalinity of a substance on a scale from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral, higher numbers alkaline and lower ones acidic. Distilled water theoretically has a pH of 7, although the number tends to run a bit lower because the water picks up carbon dioxide from air. Human blood has a normal pH of around 7.4. The scale determines hydrogen ion concentration, and machines designed to create alkaline water are often called ionizers. In pH, the "p" is for the German word potenz, which means power, while the "H" represents hydrogen. If you are interested in discovering the pH of your saliva, you can buy pH strips at certain pharmacies or order them online.

Claimed Health Benefits

People who support drinking alkaline water for health benefits, such as the marketers of Kangen water systems, say it prevents disease and slows the aging process. They also claim it stops free radicals from forming, flushes toxins from cells and prevents toxins from accumulating, provides essential minerals, promotes normal blood flow and maintains normal blood pH. Alkaline water also is said to be better at hydrating the body because it penetrates cells more effectively.

Acidic Diet Effects

Proponents say alkaline water can improve health because when people eat an acidic diet and drink water which is not alkaline, the body has to balance blood pH by leaching important minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium from tissues, bones, and teeth. This contributes to bone loss, tooth decay, and cellular aging. People with systems that are acidic, as measured by saliva pH, can have many symptoms and disorders including muscle and joint pain, fatigue, headaches, indigestion, excessive mucous and dry skin and hair. On the other hand, proponents say high-alkaline diets prevent and treat degenerative diseases, such as arthritis, cancer, heart disease and kidney disorders.

Science

Many claims related to alkaline water are unsubstantiated by science. Although saliva and urine pH levels change, blood pH is always very close to the same number, and excess acidity is mainly expelled by breathing out carbon dioxide. In addition, regions of the western United States that have alkaline well water show no difference in average numbers of degenerative conditions compared to the rest of the country. Some websites selling alkaline tablets say people should be drinking water with a pH between 9 and 10, which is about the alkalinity of Milk of Magnesia. Distilled water can be brought to a pH of around 8.3 by adding baking soda. Any substance with a higher pH than 10 gets into the realm of soap.

Alkaline Water Machines

These machines produce alkaline water from tap water by the process of electrolysis, adding an electrical charge to minerals in the water. Distilled water cannot be used, as it does not contain minerals. The machines separate the water into acidic and alkaline channels. The alkaline water has concentrated calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

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