If you’re like me, and consider yourself a frequent enough water drinker to be somewhat of a discerning connoisseur of the finer points of water, then you likely have already discovered the pure enjoyment and satisfaction that a really good alkaline water can bring.
My first real introduction to alkaline and highly filtered water was when I sampled water filtered through the Kangen system. No, I never did purchase the pricey water filtration and alkalizing system, but I will say it was some of the finest, most pure tasting water I had ever tried. From there, I was hooked on the idea of high quality water.
Another thing I noticed about drinking highly filtered and mineralized water was how I actually felt quenched and hydrated. You don’t need to drink as much of this type of water as you would a normal non-alkaline water, at least it seems, to feel really hydrated.
It has a much fuller body and taste to it, if that even makes sense. A smoother feel. It makes other waters feel like they are lacking that same fullness – and “texture” to use a word that comes to mind when describing how it differs from other waters.
What Makes Water More Alkaline?
Alkaline water simply has more mineral content that waters that are lower on the pH scale. Alkaline water clocks in around an 8 or above, so it is higher on the pH scale (related, read why shampoo should be a certain pH). Water that is lower on the pH scale is considered to be more acidic.
So the pH scale varies from lower (acidic) to higher (base). What it really means is that alkaline water has more electrolytes - the electrically charged minerals that help keep your body hydrated and your heart beating with regularity, and which must always be kept in balance.
If you’ve ever felt your heart beat become irregular, or a “fluttering” type of sensation, this can sometimes be attributed to an electrolyte imbalance. Low electrolytes can also make a person feel fatigued or faint. Immediate hydration should be sought ideally by drinking some really high quality alkaline or mineral water or if that’s not available, an electrolyte infused sports drink.
Potential Health Benefits
Proponents of alkaline water tout the water as an overall healthier option to at least include in the diet daily, if not able to exclusively drink this type of water 100% of the time. The health benefits often mentioned include cancer prevention, detoxification, digestive support (especially for acid reflux), and weight loss and maintenance.
The weight loss aspect is interesting, as I’ve observed some interesting things and have some anecdotal evidence to share regarding this benefit. Often times, hunger and thirst can be confused with one another. They are both natural human urges that require satiety, and I’ve found that drinking a glass of high quality alkaline water makes feelings of hunger go away. Following a low carb diet? Here's an awesome family recipe - Low Carb Zucchini Casserole
This same outcome is not achieved with just normal filtered water, so I have to believe that the alkaline water is just more satisfying and helps my brain to think that it is satisfied, whether I was really just thirsty or actually hungry.
I myself try to include some alkaline water daily, however it is pretty pricey to keep up with, and I drink so much water every day that it would not be budget friendly. I do not personally believe it is necessary to drink it 100% of the time, but I do believe that all water must at least be highly filtered.
A Cheap Way to Make Your Water More Alkaline
If you don’t want to bust your budget on buying pre-packaged alkaline water, or purchase an expensive alkalizing and filtration system, there is an easy way to make your water more alkaline. It’s also readily available. Any restaurant has it, so if you’re out and about it can come in handy too. Squeeze a sliver of fresh lemon into your water.
Although it may seem counterintuitive since lemon juice is acidic on the pH scale, lemon juice (fresh) actually is processed by your body as a more base liquid. In other words, lemon juice has an alkalizing effect once it is digested. This is due to the natural minerals contained in lemon. Once it is utilized by the body, it produces alkaline byproducts.
Another recommendation is often adding baking soda to water. This is risky since it adds sodium which is something most people try to minimize in their diet for heart health reasons. It also obviously has an effect on the water’s flavor that won’t be palatable for most people.