Do you drink at least eight glasses of water a day? Water is essential for digestion, circulation, the transportation of nutrients, and the regulation of body temperature. Most tap water in the United States contains fluoride, and some bottled water is just tap water in a fancy bottle. Poor quality water has made many U.S. consumers turn to home water filtration systems, and the new kids on the block is the alkaline water filter.
What Is Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water is water with a pH level of seven or above. The idea behind drinking alkaline water is that many organs in the body perform better when blood has a neutral pH or one that is slightly alkaline. Some health and wellness gurus claim that drinking alkaline water changes the pH balance throughout the body, but research and conventional physicians don’t agree.
In an interview with Reader’s Digest, Dr. Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe MD states that alkaline water contains added minerals that cause the pH level of the water to rise. More minerals in our water doesn’t sound bad, right? Hold on—say many physicians and researchers—don’t jump on the alkaline water bandwagon just yet.
Alkaline Water Filter Benefits
The truth is, there is very little research that supports alkaline water’s health benefits. In a systematic review published in the peer-reviewed journal BMJ Open, researchers from the University of Calgary chime in on the debate saying “there is a lack of evidence for or against diet acid load and/or alkaline water…”
The researchers searched for evidence that alkaline water may benefit cancer patients. At the end of the study the researchers concluded “Promotion of alkaline diet and alkaline water to the public for cancer prevention or treatment is not justified.”
On the other side of the argument for an alkaline water filter, researchers put 100 healthy adults in a warm, humid room to exercise. After they completed their exercise, study participants were rehydrated with either electrolyzed alkaline water or standard water. The people who received alkaline water had improved hydration levels.
As the interest in the potential health benefits of alkaline water filters grows, researchers will continue to explore their potential. Currently, multiple clinical trials mentioning alkaline water are listed in the National Institute of Health’s U.S. National Library of Medicine. Alkaline water is being studied in women with breast cancer, for inflammation management, sports recovery, and other conditions.
Natural Alkaline Water vs. Artificial Alkaline Water
It is important to note the difference between natural alkaline water and artificial or electrolyzed alkaline water when researching alkaline water filters. Water in mountain streams that cascade over river rocks becomes naturally more alkaline than acidic as it gathers minerals along the way. The water bottled and marketed today as alkaline water has likely been created through electrical charges that break apart water molecules, resulting in alkaline water. Many consider electrolyzed alkaline water “artificial.”
You can purchase alkaline water filters for home use. Countertop models with replaceable filters and sports water bottles with replaceable pouches are the most affordable alkaline water filters available. Most companies keep their filter ingredients close to the vest, adding vague descriptions including “stones and rocks.”
Electrolyzed alkaline water filter systems for the home are also available. These water filtration systems range in cost from $750 to over $5,000. Before you make this size of an investment, read the research carefully and determine if alkaline water is something you want to try.
Alkaline Water Precautions
Natural alkaline water is generally considered safe. However, if you drink too much water with high alkalinity, you may experience:
- Reduced acid in the gut
- Metabolic alkalosis
- Muscle twitching
- Hand or leg tremors
- Tingling in the extremities and face
- Mental confusion