As the resident water filter expert here at Gimme the Good Stuff, I often field questions about water alkalinity and if it’s worth purchasing a special filter to make drinking water more alkaline. Here is my take on the issue.
What is alkaline water?
Alkaline water is simply water that has a higher pH level than does plain tap water.
What are the reported benefits of alkaline water?
Proponents claim that alkaline water can do everything from delaying the aging process, to neutralizing acid in your bloodstream, to increasing your metabolism, to helping you absorb more nutrients from your food.
Is there any evidence that alkaline water is healthier?
The debate over the effectiveness of alkaline water is robust. Despite the fact that proponents make interesting arguments and have lots of anecdotal evidence to share, it is difficult to cite scientific studies that demonstrate any benefit. Of course, this doesn’t mean there is definitively not a benefit–but after lots of research on this topic, I remain unconvinced.
It seems that, except for the rare instance, our bodies naturally maintain very tight control over the alkalinity of our blood and other organs. This suggests that no matter how much alkaline water we might drink, there is little we can do to actually change our pH levels for more that a very brief time.
It may be that, over time, studies will prove the benefits claimed by alkaline water proponents. Or perhaps they will show flaws in the theory. It does seem that alkaline water won’t hurt anything but your budget if you choose to purchase a filter.
Rather than spending money on an expensive filter, most experts seem to agree that the best way to make your water more alkaline is to simply add a bit of lemon or lime to your drinking water.
How does my body balance alkalinity if I don’t drink alkaline water?
Many nutritionists say that eating a diet rich in fresh vegetables will give us all the alkalinity we could ever use. Foods with especially high alkalinity include raw spinach, kale, and broccoli, cucumber, lemons, limes, seaweeds, wheatgrass, and red cabbage. And I always recommend filtering drinking and cooking water with a robust carbon filter to remove a range of harmful contaminants.
Where can I read more about alkaline water?
Here are some sources that I think provide a nice balanced take on this issue: