What even is water alkalinity?

You can better understand alkalinity if you think of it as a little chemistry equation. It’s the measure of how many good guys float around in your water–minerals like calcium and magnesium. They help fight all the nasty acid buildup in your body. 

But what causes alkalinity? Rocks and soil! As water travels over them, it picks up those minerals mentioned–giving it the alkaline power.

How water alkalinity is measured

Have you ever thought about how alkaline your water is? It turns out there’s a bit to unpack. 

Measuring the water alkalinity is another science experiment called titration. Basically, you slowly add a special acid to the water sample until it hits a certain spot on the pH scale. You see, the more acid you need to use, the higher the alkalinity.

Once your water sample hits that target pH, it will change colour, letting you know you‘ve already reached the end. Measuring alkalinity is like measuring ingredients. But instead of flour or sugar, it’s something called calcium bicarbonate. 

Going back to alkaline water, it generally clocks in at a pH of 8 or higher. Do you remember that pH scale from school? Neutral water hangs out at 7. Anything lower than that is acidic, and anything higher is alkaline. 

Alkaline water can speed up your metabolism

Some early research suggests alkaline water might help with blood sugar levels, cholesterol, blood pressure, and even waist size. 

There's even a hint it could make sleep better and boost strength in menopausal women. Exciting possibilities, right?

Metabolism gets thrown around a lot, but you don’t need a science degree to get the gist. Consider it as your body’s engine turning food and drinks into energy. And guess what? Staying well-hydrated helps keep that engine humming along nicely. 

Your digestive system is like a conveyor belt. The more water you drink, the smoother the belt runs. It means that the nutrients from your food get absorbed faster, giving your body the fuel it needs to power everything you do. 

So, here's the deal: a well-fueled metabolism turns your food and drinks into the power you need to feel your best. And staying hydrated is a big part of that! Who wouldn't want an extra energy boost?

Alkaline water is good for acid reflux

Alkaline water can act as a natural remedy for acid reflux. The idea here is that its higher pH might help neutralise the stomach enzymes (pepsin) that keep creeping into your esophagus, causing the burning sensation. 

Based on a study, pH 8.8 alkaline water can instantly denature pepsin, making it permanently inactive. It also has a good acid-buffering capacity. This makes alkaline water therapeutic for patients with reflux disease.  

Alkaline water and alkaline diets aren’t the same

You might have heard of the term “alkaline” thrown around with water and diets. But these two are totally different things. Think of alkaline water as water with a higher pH level.

The alkaline diet, on the other hand, is a way of eating that focuses mostly on alkaline-forming food, including lots of fruits, veggies, and certain seeds and nuts. Eating these foods could influence your body's pH. 

While the science behind the diet's effect on pH is still debated, one thing's for sure: focusing on eating lots of fruits and veggies is also good for you regardless. 

It’s all about balance

While a slightly alkaline environment is beneficial, disrupting your body's delicate pH balance can have consequences.

Our bodies work hard to maintain a slightly alkaline pH, typically within the range of 7.35 - 7.45 in our blood. This narrow range is essential for optimal health and wellbeing. Like most things in life, a healthy balance is key.

However, it's important to note that this is the pH range for blood. The normal range for drinking water is considered to be between 6.5 and 8.5 according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

While water with a pH outside this range is generally not considered harmful to ingest, it can have other effects. For instance, water with a pH less than 6.5 may be corrosive and leach metals from pipes, and water with a pH greater than 8.5 may be hard and cause scaling in pipes and appliances.

Alkaline Water Won't Fix Your Life (But It sure can help)

Truth be told, alkaline water alone will not transform your health from 0 to 100 magically. The real secret to feeling your best is to eat a healthy diet, exercise, and stay hydrated with clean, filtered alkaline water. Just think of alkaline water as an “add-on” to enhance your already healthy habits. Bottoms up!