The pH level of the drinking water refers to how basic or acidic it is. The pH level is related to the hydrogen ions found in the water. It stands for potential of hydrogen.
The alkalinity refers to the measure of the capacity of the water to neutralize the acids. It can measure the presence of the bicarbonate, carbon dioxide, hydroxide ions, and carbonate which are naturally present in the water. The pH level of the water at normal drinking level, carbonate and bicarbonate are the main contributors of its alkalinity.
Check out this article to know more about the alkalinity of drinking water, what are its benefits, and possible health risks.
The pH and the alkalinity level of the well water can be affected by various factors such as the following:
- Acid rain
- Natural geological conditions found on the site
- Coal and other mining activities
- Landfill, gas station, factory, or dry-cleaning operations
- Water treatment process
The Aesthetic Objective of Drinking the Water
The pH level of the water is measured from a scale of 0 to 14. If the measurement is below 7, it means that the water is acidic. If it is above 7, then the water is alkaline or basic. If it is 7, then the water is neutral.
If the pH level of the water is less than 6.5, then it can possibly contribute to the corrosion of the fixtures and the pipes. Also, how corrosive the water depends upon other factors. Examples of which are the total dissolved solids, water temperature, alkalinity, and its hardness.
Furthermore, water with a pH balance of 6.5 is not a health risk. But the corrosive water has the ability to dissolve the metals like zinc, cadmium, lead, and copper which is found in the pipes. As such, it can cause increased concentrations of the metals in the drinking water. It can lead to health issues in the long run.
Meanwhile, if the pH level is above 8.5, it can possibly contribute to the scale build-up especially in plumbing.
The regular testing of the well water for the standard measures of chemical parameters including the alkalinity and pH level is a must. Choose an accredited water testing laboratory for this. You can get the special sampling bottles plus the instructions from the laboratory of your choice. The cost of analyzing the water samples can range differently. The price can vary depending on the parameters tested plus the lab.
In testing for alkalinity, you have to fill the filtration tube first up to the 5ml line in the water. Then put a red tablet in the water. Seal it and shake it until the tablet disappears. Then the water might turn blue-green. If the water turns pink, then it does not contain alkalinity.
Thereafter, fill the direct-reading titration with the Alkalinity Titration Reagent B. Next, you have to fill the titration whenever the plunger is up to the zero graduation mark. When the plunger is up to the zero graduation mark, put the titration found in the center hole of the titration tube cap.
Slowly depress the plunger until titrate sample which is blue-green changes to pink. The amount of the Reagent B which is depressed into the titration as it turns into pink is the available alkaline level of the water. You can measure it by parts per million (ppm) out of 200 ppm.
Does Alkaline Water Really Work?
The use of alkaline drinking water is controversial. Some health experts claim that there is not enough research to back up the health claims provided by the sellers and users. Meanwhile, there are differences on research findings which can be related to the type of alkaline water studies.
According to experts, regular water is still the best for people. There are no studies to fully verify the claims made by alkaline water supporters.
But there are some studies that show that alkaline water can be helpful for certain medical conditions. For example, in a study done in 2012, it has found out that drinking the naturally carbonated artesian-well alkaline water with a pH level of 8.8 may help deactivate pepsin. This is the main enzyme that causes the acid reflux.
Moreover, drinking the alkaline ionized water can have positive benefits to the body. Especially for those people who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, and diabetes.
In a study a few years ago on around 100 people, it has found out that there is a significant difference in the viscosity of the blood after taking high pH water. This is in comparison for those who take regular water after a heavy workout. Viscosity refers to the direct measurement of the blood flow via the vessels.
Those who drink water with high pH level can have reduced viscosity of 6.3%, versus those who drink standard water with 3.36% of viscosity. As such, you can have the blood flowing efficiently with the use of the alkaline water. With this, the delivery of oxygen in the body can be increased.
But more research is needed to support these studies. The field needs more research to provide answers to other claims made by those who support drinking of alkaline.
Though there is a lack of scientific research, supporters of alkaline water believe that it brings various health benefits. It includes:
- Anti-aging benefits (this is via the liquid antioxidants which absorb faster in the human body)
- Cleanses the colon
- Supports the immune system
- Lose weight
- Hydrates the skin and detoxifies it
- Provides resistance against cancer
The proponents also argue that sodas which are acidic have positive ORPs which causes multiple health issues. Meanwhile, the alkalinized and properly ionized water have negative ORPs. Green tea has antioxidant properties and it has slight negative ORP.
Alkaline Water and its Possible Treatment of Cancer
The use of alkaline water can help counteract the acid which is found in the bloodstream of the body. It is believed that drinking water with a high pH level can boost the metabolism and improve the ability of the body to absorb the essential nutrients.
There are other theories that explain that the alkaline water will starve the cancer cells in the body. This is because the cancer cells strive in an acidic environment. More alkaline in the body can potentially stop or slow down the growth of the cancer cells by balancing the pH level of the body.
In sum, alkaline water can have a hydrating effect on the body. For others, it can even improve the symptoms of some diseases such as acid reflux.
But in a body with a regular function, the alkaline water which is available in commercial stores with not cause to significant change at all. This will not cause that much change in the overall acid-base balance in the bloodstream.
How to Use the Alkaline Water
In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued updated guidelines on the quality of the drinking water. In general, the organization does not make any health-based recommendations or guidelines for the specific pH level of the drinking water.
The guidelines state that the pH level of the drinking water does not have a direct impact on the consumers. This is true as water that has been disinfected with chlorine has a pH level of less than 8.0.
If you wish to use the alkaline water, you must drink it as you do with the tap water. But be aware that drinking too much alkaline water can lead to possible side effects, like having indigestion or an upset stomach.
Risks and Possible Side Effects of Drinking Alkaline Water
In general, drinking alkaline water is safe. However, it can still cause side effects to the human body. Some of the side effects can include lowering of the acidity level of the stomach. With this, it can help kill the bacteria in the body. It can expel the unwanted pathogens in the bloodstream.
In addition, the excessive alkalinity in the human body can cause skin irritations. It can also lead to gastrointestinal issues. Furthermore, it can agitate the normal pH level of the body. This can lead to metabolic alkalosis which is a health condition that can cause symptoms like vomiting, nausea, muscle twitching, hand tremors, confusion, and tingling in the face.
Metabolic alkalosis can lead to the decrease of calcium level in the body. As such, it can damage bone health. But the most common cause of hypocalcemia is not because of drinking the alkaline water. It is having an underactive parathyroid gland.
Natural or Artificial?
The natural alkaline occurs when the water passes on the rocks just like in the springs. Then, it picks up the minerals along the way which cause the increase of the alkaline level.
But modern homes who consume the alkaline water buy a product that has been chemically processed via electrolysis.
With this technique, it uses a product which is called as the ionizer. It can raise the pH level of the regular water. Those who make the ionizers state that the electricity can separate the molecules in the water which is more acidic and alkaline. Thereafter, the acidic water is removed.
However, experts state that these claims are not supported by worthy research. The original source’s water quality before the ionization begins is important in ensuring that the contaminants are not available in the drinking water.
On the other hand, there are other scientists that suggest the use of reverse osmosis. With this, it can adequately purify the water before it connects to an alkaline ionizer. As such, it can add the minerals and raise the pH level of the water.
The study done by the World Health Organization (WHO) restricts the use of drinking water with low mineral content. This can be created with distillation, reverse osmosis, and other techniques.
Where to get the Alkaline Water?
One can get the alkaline water from health food stores or the grocery stores. You can also buy it online. You can also have the sparkling water which is high in pH level and is naturally mineralized.
Meanwhile, the water ionizers are sold in various large chain stores around the world.
On the other hand, you can also make your own alkaline water inside your home. Lime and lemon juices are naturally acidic. However, they have minerals that can modify the composition of the water. Just add a squeeze of lime or lemon in the water and you can now make it more alkaline. Also, you can add drops of baking soda in the water to change its pH level.
If you filter the water to remove its contaminants, re-mineralize, or ionize it, then there is no evidence of the limitation of how much alkaline water can you consume on a daily basis.
Safety of the Alkaline Water
Many health experts are not concerned with the safety of the alkaline water. But it is more about the health claims that they made about it.
There is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of alkaline water to treat various health conditions. In fact, several medical experts pose warning on the use of it because of the claims of several marketers.
It is true that drinking alkaline water is generally safe since it contains various natural minerals. However, you must be cautious about the use of the artificial alkaline water. This is because it contains fewer minerals than what is necessary for the body. This can possibly contain contaminants than what you have believed. Overall, its overuse can make you become deficient in the consumption of the minerals for the body.
In sum, drinking the alkaline water is generally safe for the body. It brings benefits for its consumers, however, the claims have not been backed up by quality research. There are more things that are needed to be proven with its use and it will take more years to learn its health potentials to the human being.
But if you wish to drink the alkaline water, you can produce your own using several filters available in the market. You can also avail from the trusted water stores in your locality.
EcoBlueLife.com is a replacement water and air filter company located in the United States. The views and opinions contained herein are solely those of the original author and do not represent Eco Blue Life or its affiliates. This article was originally published on TheBerkey.com