Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What Is Alkaline Water?


Alkaline water is one of the products derived from a process called ionization. When natural water is ionized, it is broken down into acidic water and alkaline water.


Why? When free radicals are present in your body, they damage your healthy cells. Your body contains excess oxygen, that includes molecules with unpaired electrons. These molecules stimulate an ongoing process called oxidation. When your body has an abundance of lonely unpaired electrons, these unstable molecules or Free Radicals, can damage your healthy cells. They break off and steal healthy a molecules electrons. Some feel these free radicals can be neutralized by the Hydroxyl-ions that are more plentiful in alkaline water. The ionized molecules in alkaline water naturally hold additional electrons, which bind with free radicals, preventing excessive oxidation in your body. So, as an antioxidant, alkaline water could help to preserve your healthy cell tissues, fight disease and slow down the effects of aging.  Guess what, the best alkaline water comes directly from nature. Surprise!, but did you know that, alkaline water can actually be created in several different ways? Including alkaline drops. Like you would use in an aquarium. These drops are chemical additives that boost the alkalinity of the water, but from what I've read, it would taste bad to most people. While these drops are an option, they are not suggested.
The best quality man-made alkaline water is made by water ionization machines. Looks like, ionizers  from Japan seem to be the highest quality. Alkaline or "ionized" water undergoes electrolysis to fit a certain PH. Using an electrical current, drinking water can supposedly be split in two, alkaline water and acidic water. This way, people can enjoy water with a higher PH which some believe to be better for hydration, and even slow the aging process by aiding in elimination of free radicals. One of the added benefits of alkaline water produced by an ionization machine is said to be a property of the water called micro-clustering. During the ionization process, groupings of water molecules, typically 15 – 20 molecules or more, are broken down into smaller groupings, 4 – 6 molecules. These reduced clusters allow for greater penetration and absorption by the body. The idea is that this will work well when taking supplements also, because the smaller clusters can better distribute the vitamins and minerals that they are transporting throughout your body, with more efficiency.
Most normal drinking water has a PH level of about 7, which is neutral on the PH scale. Alkaline water has a slightly higher PH level which hovers around about 8.
 
Simply, alkaline water can be achieved by adding baking soda to tap water. Though I suggest, if you want to drink tasty water, use a water ionizer machine. You can set the desired PH of your water and create different types of water. The PH level of water will change its effect. For example, highly acidic waters with a PH of around 2.5 are great disinfectants which can be used to clean food and surfaces, while a PH of 4.5 is great for cleaning the exterior of the skin and killing bacteria. People advocating the need to drink more alkaline water, believe that most lifestyle food choices, for most people, move the body towards a more acidic state.

They think that, drinking water with a higher PH helps to neutralize acids within the body and promote a better balance. Now it's true that our body is exposed to many toxins on a daily basis. From the food we eat to the by-products of stress, and oxidation, free radicals. Toxins are being deposited in and on our bodies daily, that are harmful to our health.

Still on the other side of the coin I see opinions of individuals that believe these possible benefits are a fabrication used by companies in order to sell expensive alkaline, Ionizer water machines. Some scientists even argue that water does not hold enough conductivity to successfully be ionized. Another argument from skeptics is that the PH of the water will immediately be changed once it hits stomach acids and thus not be able to distribute the higher alkaline content to the bloodstream. Since 70% of the body is made of water as is 90% of the blood, it's no secret that drinking more water can promote better overall health, but many believe it doesn't have to be alkaline. Many skeptics believe that the falseness of ionized water, being of any sort of miraculous advantage to the well being of the body, lies in the basic chemistry of water. Those who believe in ionizing water, rave of its health benefits, but those with strong chemistry backgrounds have refuted these points strongly. Here are some facts about water, that scientific community points out, in order to disprove the claims of alkaline water.





1. Pure water is not conductive enough to undergo pure electrolysis

2. Pure water can neither be alkaline or acidic, and requires trace elements in order to be anything but completely neutral

 
3. If you drink alkaline water, the alkalinity is immediately negated by stomach acid.


4. Most in the Science community believe that an overall PH level in the body is something that is not constant and cannot be achieved.

5. Pancreatic secretions within the intestinal tract neutralize the acids in water meaning that all water becomes alkaline through natural digestion.


A registered dietitian, Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. for the Mayo Clinic has this position:
"For most people, plain water is best. Alkaline water has a higher pH level than does tap water. Some proponents say that alkaline water can neutralize acid in your bloodstream, boost your energy level and metabolism, and help your body absorb nutrients more effectively. Others say that alkaline water can help you resist disease and slow the aging process. However, researchers haven't verified these claims. Some research does suggest that alkaline water may slow bone loss, but further study is needed to determine if the positive effects can be maintained over the long term or influence bone mineral density overall." 

Ionized water and non-ionized water benefits body cells, we need consistent hydration to function at the top of our game. One of the positives of ionized water could be that it combats chronic cellular dehydration. Proponents say, alkaline water benefits the body more because its molecules are smaller in size and easily absorbed into the cells.


Now. just about everything the majority of Americans like to eat is acidic, from the meat and dairy products, to refined grains, refined starch (stiffening agent), sugar, salt, chemical additives, preservatives, flavor enhancers, candy and chocolate, soda pop, wine / alcohol / beer, processed orange juice, coffee, and hot cocoa, commercial tea beverages and fruit juices, and even bottled water. Though by far the most acidic things you could consume is soda pop. Acid corrodes the body, eats up the nerves myelin sheathes, and also aids in bone decay, tooth decay, inflames the body's tissues, and lowers the body pH throwing off the internal body balance that creates a breakdown and an imbalance of bacteria and flora, the good, and the bad. Even though your body can naturally balance pH levels, your body may have a difficult time balancing pH levels with a modern diet high in acidic foods. According to some you should eat a diet consisting of approximately 80% alkaline and 20% acidic foods. However, modern diets typically result in the opposite intake. Serious proponents believe that drinking alkaline water and eating alkaline foods, such as vegetables and low sugar fruits, can help your body to get rid of acid waste and return to a healthy pH balance.


Now if you choose to use an ionizer to create alkaline water, you need to know that, the natural metals in your water will be concentrated to levels that are higher than in untreated water. This results in water that contains a level of metals and other constituents that can be considered dangerous. Your ionizer moves anions into the water and removes cations. As a result of this process, anion fluoride concentration can be two to three times higher than normal levels in your tap water. Too much fluoride is dangerous and can have an adverse affect on your thyroid. Alkaline water produced by ionizers can upset your digestive system by raising the pH of your stomach. In reaction, your stomach will attempt to produce more hydrochloric acid to regulate the pH and make it more acidic. In some individuals, their ability to produce more acid could be adversely affected. If you are one of these individuals, you will not be able to normalize the pH in your stomach. When this happens, your digestive process is disturbed.





So there you have it my little snowflakes. Both sides of the story. On one hand there seems to be a lot of logical conjecture about the benefits of Ionized water. Although there is no positive clinical testing I can find. This ones a toss up for me, think I'll pass for now. If you choose to try Alkaline water, as always proceed with caution. Good Luck...







        
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