In the hustle and bustle of today’s modern world it can be hard to find the time to make our lives more healthy, to exercise right and to eat well. With this in mind the idea of being able to make ourselves more healthy by making a change in our drinking habits seems very appealing, who wouldn’t want to give themselves a health boost by simply changing the water they drink.
What is alkaline water?
Making the change to alkaline water can be as simple as buying a water ionizer, but a lot of the terminology around alkaline water can be confusing and some of the concepts and science behind the health benefits of drinking alkaline water can be dizzying. To help you out we’ve put together an article that hopefully gives you a brief primer about all the thing you need to know before changing the water you drink, read on to find out more.
The importance of making the body ph balanced
Supporters of alkaline water suggest that in the west we have a very acidic diet and by consuming alkaline water we are better able to balance the body’s ph level . It is generally agreed that the body is naturally able to deal with an imbalance in diet so if we do start to consume too many acidic foods the body will compensate.
Proponents of alkaline water argue that modern western diets and lifestyles can lead to people taking on board a lot of acidic foodstuffs, this situation has become worse as people have become more time pressured and less natural, processed foods have become so readily available. So, whilst the body is able to to find a balance for us, if we are able to help the body to find this balance by consuming more alkaline in our diets then it should prove beneficial. Drinking alkaline water can therefore help our bodies to maintain a ph balance in the face of a significant acidic barrage.
The difference between alkaline water and ionized alkaline water
Alkaline water and ionized alkaline water are subtly different things but it can sometimes be confusing to tell the difference between the two as people tend to use the two terms interchangeably.
Water can be made alkaline by adding chemicals to it, but if you buy a water ionizer then the water produced by the machine will not just be alkaline it will also be ionized via electrolysis. When water has been ionized it’s ORP value is changed , so what is ORP?
What is ORP?
Oxidation-reduction potential, or ORP, is a measurement that allows us to ascertain the degree to which a substance is capable of reducing or oxidizing another substance. If something has a positive ORP value then it is an oxidising agent, and it is claimed that oxidising agents can have a negative effect on the body. Normal tap water and many bottled waters have a positive ORP value so they can be described as oxidising agents.
Ionized water has a negative ORP value this means that is a reducing agent, the waters power as a reducing agent allows it to neutralise free radical cells within our bodies and it has been argued that the reduction of free radical cells has a very positive effect on our health.
ORPS and Free Radicals
As well as providing health benefits by restoring the body’s PH balance proponents of ionized alkaline water would also suggest that the water helps the body fight disease and infection due to its negative ORP value. So, our next question might be…
What are Free Radicals?
Everything in the world is made up of atoms. All atoms contain electrons and atoms will swap their electrons with other atoms. Some atoms which are missing electrons will actively seek other atoms to take electrons from. Free radicals fit into this category, here is the process by which a free radical cell can cause damage to the body –
A free radical searches for an atom from which to take an electron
The free radical finds a suitable atom and removes an electron
The atom that had the electron removed is now missing an atom and goes searching for another from which to take an electron
As this chain reaction occurs in the body it can lead to damage and also to unwanted side effects such as premature aging.
Antioxidants are able to stop this cycle as they hold extra electrons that free radicals are able to take, but rather than creating another free radical atom, when an electron is taken from an antioxidant the free radical is neutralised. This makes antioxidants incredibly beneficial to the body.
Antioxidants can be found in many different food sources such as vegetables and pulses but they are also found in ionized alkaline water.
Is alkaline water safe?
We obviously can’t tell you that all alkaline water is safe, as the safety of anything you drink will obviously vary greatly depending on where it has been sourced from. What we can tell you is that if you buy a good water ionizer from a reputable source then the alkaline water it produces will be safe to drink, and many people who have used a water ionizer report that drinking the water produced by it has had significant benefits for their health.