Alkaline water is not a new concept to most people. Especially if you live in a first world country, where there is a new trend in health and diet every couple years.
But is it really a big thing? As in, a “healthy” regime that you should maintain in the long term? And if it is, how to make alkaline water so you won’t have to spend ridiculous money buying premium, healthier bottled water?
In this article, we will explore the answers to those questions.
What’s Alkaline Water?
pH (potential of hydrogen) is a scale used to specify the acidity or alkalinity of various liquids. The higher the pH level, the less acidic and more alkaline it is. And vice versa. The pH level of normal drinking water is 7, and alkaline water has a pH level higher than that.
Benefits And Risks Of Consuming Alkaline Water
The hype of drinking alkaline water stems from the idea that alkaline water can neutralize the effects of acidic foods in your body.
As a matter of fact, our typical diet is highly acidic. And high acidity levels in our bodies are believed to cause osteoporosis, accelerate the aging process, and nourish cancer cells.
Consuming alkaline foods and drinks, including ionized water, is hence believed to improve your health and skin condition, slow down the aging process, and reduce the possibility of cancer.
More solid studies are needed to determine whether alkaline water really has positive effects on our health and overall appearance. However, some researches have shown positive results.
According to a study led by J. Weidman et al, drinking alkaline water after exercising can help reduce whole blood viscosity in the human body. Another study suggested that drinking water with alkaline can potentially reduce acid reflux – a condition affecting millions of people in the modern world.
A recent research (2016) even found that drinking alkaline water helps decrease the aging factor among mice and increases their survival functions.
What about the risks? Can you overdose on alkaline water?
Thankfully, we have yet to find any side effects associated with drinking alkaline water excessively. The only risk with it is overhydration, which can be caused by drinking too much of any kind of water.
How To Make Alkaline Water
1. Baking soda
With a pH level of 9, baking soda is one of the most effective ways to alkalize your drinking water.
A widely recommended recipe is ⅛ tablespoon of baking soda in 8 fluid ounces of purified water. Stir or shake the mixture thoroughly so that the baking soda becomes completely dissolved. Voila! Your alkaline water is ready for drinking.
Note however, that baking soda is quite high in sodium. If you’re sensitive to sodium or are on a special diet that needs cutting down of sodium, the benefits may not be worth the risks to try this method.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but adding lemon juice to the water is a surprisingly popular way to make it more alkaline. Similar to the baking soda recipe, you’re supposed to add ⅛ tablespoon of lemon juice in 8 fluid ounces of clean water.
While lemon juice is very acidic, typically having pH of 2 or 3, it is found to become alkaline as it is digested inside your body. Whether or not this alkalization really helps is still a matter of debate, but it can’t really hurt to try this method, as lemon juice is safe for most people at such a small dose. Plus, the vitamin-C loaded juice can significantly improve the way your water smells and tastes.
3. Adding pH drops
The use of pH drops is on the rise, as drinking alkaline water becomes a trend.
pH drops are liquids with highly concentrated minerals and electrolytes. The liquids are usually contained in a small handy bottle so you can bring it everywhere with you. Each glass of water only requires a couple drops to become alkalized.
You can find the most popular pH drops here.
4. Using a water filter pitcher
A water filter pitcher is a jug with a water filtration function. The water you fill it with passes through a layer of filtration materials (usually activated carbon), where various contaminants are removed and the taste and smell of chlorine becomes subtle, while the majority of healthy minerals that make the water alkaline are preserved.
Water filter pitchers can make your water smell and taste so much better. They are also very affordable. The only problem with them is that it takes a little while for the water to be filtered, and you have to wait a few minutes before you can drink your water.
5. Installing a water filtration system
Perhaps the cheapest way to get alkaline water is to install a system that can transform a large amount of water in your household into alkaline water. Residential water filter systems are very widely used in the US for this purpose.
Apart of the carafe filter, other methods mentioned in this article, while being effective at alkalizing water, won’t help remove contaminants in the water. Household water filters, meanwhile, remove from the water various pollutants and contaminants like fluoride, chlorine and toxic minerals. They hence can significantly improve the safety in drinking your water, and at the same time, add a good taste to it.
There are a wide range of water filters that can alkalize your water for residential use. You can install an under sink RO filter with remineralization or find a non-RO countertop water filter/ionizer, for example. Explore the options to see which ones are the best for you!