Alkaline water, just as the name suggests, is water that is alkaline. Alkaline water has a higher pH level than regular drinking water, but most people do not know much about the alkaline water side effects.
Regular drinking water normally has a pH of 7, which is neutral. Alkaline water has a pH of about 8 or 9. Alkaline water also contains alkaline minerals and negative oxidation-reduction (ORP), which increases its alkalinity.
Oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) is the ability of water to act either as pro-oxidant or antioxidant. The more negative the ORP value of water is, the more oxidizing it gets.
Although alkaline water is quite controversial, few studies suggest that it may be good for a couple of reasons.
An example is a 2012 study that found out that drinking naturally carbonated alkaline water from an artesian well with a pH of 8.8 can help deactivate pepsin, an enzyme that causes acid reflux.
Another study suggested that drinking alkaline water may benefit people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Generally, there isn’t enough research that supports the claims that alkaline water is associated with health benefits save for a few studies.
Despite the lack of adequate scientific evidence, supporters of alkaline water claim that it has many health benefits.
These benefits include promoting skin health, aiding in weight loss, cleansing the colon, and preventing cancer among many others.
While it has many alleged health benefits, there are a couple of alkaline water side effects that you need to know of before jumping on the alkaline water bandwagon. These will be discussed later in this article.
CAN YOU DRINK ALKALINE WATER EVERY DAY?
Alkaline water is quite controversial in terms of its alleged health benefits. Thus, there isn’t any recommendation on how much of it you should take and how frequently you should drink it.
Whether or not you can drink it daily is at your own discretion.
However, you should be aware of the various alkaline water side effects such as those discussed in this article before deciding to drink it regularly.
IS ALKALINE WATER BAD FOR KIDNEYS?
For most healthy people, drinking alkaline water is probably harmless to the kidneys.
However, for people with chronic kidney conditions who take medication that alters the kidneys’ functioning, the accumulation of minerals from alkaline water may affect the kidneys.
If you have kidney disease, it is best to consult your doctor before taking alkaline water.
WHEN SHOULD YOU NOT DRINK ALKALINE WATER?
Proponents of alkaline water believe you should not drink it together with your meal since your stomach requires an acidic environment for digestion; hence the alkaline water will slow down digestion.
It is recommended that you should drink it at least thirty minutes before eating and 1.5 to 2 hours after your meals.
IS ALKALINE WATER BAD FOR LIVER?
There are barely any known negative effects of alkaline water on the liver.
On the contrary, some research suggests that it may be beneficial in managing Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).
Studies aimed at testing the effect of alkaline water on rodents with high fat-induced NAFLD have revealed that it alleviates fatty liver damage by reducing hepatic oxidative stress.
As much as this may mean good news for people with NAFLD, there isn’t comprehensive scientific evidence from human trials, proving that the effect is the same for human patients.
Although it is generally believed to be safe for consumption, there are several alkaline water side effects that many people are unaware of.
LITTLE-KNOWN ALKALINE WATER SIDE EFFECTS
Some examples of little-known alkaline water side effects are;
IT SLOWS DOWN DIGESTION
The stomach contains digestive juices, most of which are acidic, to aid in the breakdown of nutrients during digestion. For this reason, the stomach environment is naturally acidic.
If you drink alkaline water regularly, it may dilute the stomach’s acidity, hence slowing down digestion.
Due to the slow digestion, you may also experience bloating, heartburn, belly pain and stomach upset.
IMPAIRS ABILITY OF THE STOMACH TO FIGHT PATHOGENS
The acidity of the stomach environment enables it to fight disease-causing pathogens present in your food.
If you take alkaline water regularly, you may compromise your stomach’s ability to fight these pathogens.
Drinking alkaline water regularly may cause calcium leaching from your bones, causing a medical condition called osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is characterized by the fracturing of bones and loss of height.
MINERAL ACCUMULATION IN THE BODY
For people with gastrointestinal diseases like colitis and Crohn’s disease, alkaline water can cause an accumulation of minerals in the body. This may be detrimental to their conditions.
Drinking too much of alkaline water regularly may raise your body fluids’ alkalinity, which can irritate your skin.
INCREASED RISK OF RESPIRATORY ISSUES
During the purification of water to make it alkaline, the electrolyzers used may release platinum particles into the water.
Ingestion of platinum can make you susceptible to respiratory conditions.
INCREASED RISK OF KIDNEY STONES
Sometimes the water is made alkaline by enriching it with minerals such as calcium.
Calcium accumulation in your body can increase the risk of developing kidney stones.
Overindulging in alkaline water can increase the alkalinity of body tissues and fluids, making the muscles on your hands tremble involuntarily.
Twitching of muscles is also associated with regular consumption of alkaline water.
One of the cons of drinking alkaline water is that it may cause the muscles on your face, legs or arms to tingle or feel numb.
DEACTIVATES THE ACTIVITY OF PEPSIN
Pepsin is an enzyme which aids in the breakdown of proteins into smaller peptides hence speeding up protein digestion.
Taking too much alkaline water regularly can slow down or deactivate pepsin activity. Thus it impairs your body’s ability to break down proteins efficiently, which could lead to protein indigestion.
If alkaline water is processed and purified, it may lack some minerals essential to your health, such as magnesium.
Drinking too much-demineralized water without a diet curated to make up for the minerals absent in the water can lead to mineral deficiency in your body.
As mentioned in this article, there isn’t enough scientific backing to support alkaline water’s alleged health benefits.
Many experts believe that it is not, in any way, better than regular water and that the only major difference between it and regular water is that it is expensive.
This position can be clarified in the future by further studies on the alleged health benefits of alkaline water, but until then, little is known of its benefits.
There are, however, several alkaline water side effects that have been pointed out in this article.
In case you decide to begin drinking alkaline water, you should do it in moderation to avoid suffering the side effects associated with it.
You should also make sure your diet contains the minerals absent in alkaline water to prevent mineral deficiency in your body.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]