Alkaline water has been gaining popularity as a supposed "miracle" solution for a variety of health conditions, including acid reflux, high blood pressure, and even cancer. However, as with many health trends, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support the claims that alkaline water can improve health or prevent disease. One area of concern is its potential impact on metabolism. In this article, we will take a closer look at the potential benefits and drawbacks of alkaline water, with a focus on its impact on metabolism and the current state of scientific research on this topic.
What is Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water is water that has a higher pH level than tap water, typically between 7.5 and 9.5. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Therefore, even if the water is alkaline, it is still considered neutral in terms of pH. The idea behind alkaline water is that it can neutralise the acid in the body, which some people believe can help with a variety of health conditions such as acid reflux, high blood pressure, and cancer.
Potential Benefits of Alkaline Water
While there is a lack of scientific evidence to support the claims that alkaline water can improve health, some studies have suggested that it may have benefits for people with acid reflux or high blood pressure. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Health in 2016 found that drinking alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 can help reduce symptoms of acid reflux. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and understand the mechanisms behind these potential benefits.
Impact on Metabolism
One of the potential drawbacks of consuming alkaline water is its impact on metabolism. The body has a delicate acid-base balance that is crucial for maintaining optimal metabolic function. Consuming alkaline water can disrupt this balance and negatively impact the body's ability to properly metabolise the nutrients it receives and eliminate waste products. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition in 2016 found that drinking alkaline water can interfere with the body's natural acid-base balance and may lead to metabolic alkalosis, a condition characterised by high blood pH levels, which can cause a variety of symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, confusion, and muscle twitching.
Lack of Evidence
It's important to note that there is a lack of scientific evidence to support the claim that alkaline water can improve metabolism or prevent metabolic disorders. The studies that have been conducted on the effects of alkaline water on metabolism are generally small and inconclusive. Furthermore, a systematic review published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics in 2019 found no evidence that drinking alkaline water improves bone health or prevents bone loss.
In conclusion, while alkaline water may have some potential benefits, there is currently a lack of scientific evidence to support the claims that it can improve health or prevent disease. Additionally, there are potential drawbacks to consuming alkaline water, such as its impact on metabolism, interference with medication, taste, cost, and it may be unnecessary for most people. More research is needed to fully understand the potential effects of alkaline water on human health and metabolism. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or water consumption habits.