When we are born, our bodies are still 80-85% water. In the course of life, however, the water content decreases to around 70% in adults. For health reasons, doctors therefore recommend drinking around 1.5 - 2.5 liters of water per day to ensure the functionality of all cells and the removal of all toxins.
With a healthy lifestyle, drinking enough water is enough to flush the toxins out of the body. However, if you live a little "unhealthily", acidity quickly sets in as a result of the pollutants remaining in the body. In order to mitigate this acidification, many naturopaths and some doctors recommend drinking alkaline water. Their opinions say that alkaline water dissolves pollutants, especially acids, more quickly and can thus counteract acidification.
the essentials in brief
- Alkaline water has a pH of around 9-10.
- Water can be made alkaline by adding baking soda or baking soda.
- There are no clinical studies that prove the positive effects of alkaline water on the metabolism.
Background: What does alkaline water do in the body?
In our guide you will find all the important information about alkaline water and a healthy lifestyle. We will also answer many important questions about alkaline water for you. Of course, you should still know how the PH value is formed and what it says. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, i.e. proton saturated.
PH values below 7 are considered acidic or proton-oversaturated, they give off the protons in a reaction with a basic liquid. With a pH greater than 7, alkaline or basic liquids are described as proton acceptors. In a reaction with an acid, they can accept the protons transferred from the acid.
What is alkaline water and what is it composed of?
Alkaline water has an alkaline pH above 8-9. For comparison, tap water has a neutral pH of 7 and ordinary mineral water often has a slightly acidic pH of 6.
Acids with low PH values are proton ("H+ ions") donors and thus cause acidification, while the bases can absorb the protons and thus lower the PH value again. Alkaline water is basically nothing more than water from which protons have been removed and which can therefore absorb more protons in the body.
The body regulates the PH value via the blood and kidneys.
The breakdown of amino acids in our metabolism produces acids that the body has to excrete via the blood (blood PH) and the kidneys (renal PH). As we know, the human body can regulate the PH value itself via the blood and the kidneys.
Free radicals, proton donors, acids and bases, you should be aware of these terms if you want to assess the effects in a differentiated way. (Image source: unsplash / 21 swan)
However, the proponents of alkaline nutrition deny these functions to the kidneys and instead claim that the function of pH balance is improved precisely by the alkaline water in the blood.(1) It binds acids and free radicals and is primarily intended to prevent acidification act in the body.
How can you make alkaline water?
While alkaline water only occurs in nature in individual springs, you can easily produce it yourself at home. If you don't want to buy a water ionizer for a lot of money, you can already produce alkaline water yourself with a few home remedies.
Soda (better known as a baking ingredient: baking soda) comes into play here. 4 spoons of it in a 250ml water glass are enough to produce alkaline water. If you don't have baking soda on hand, you can use a lemon instead. Due to its antinomic effect, alkaline water is created overnight with a quartered lemon in a 2L water carafe.
Those who prefer to rely on industrial products can of course also use PH drops. Their alkaline minerals increase the pH value immediately after contact with water and you get alkaline water within seconds.
Why should you drink alkaline water?
Alkaline water is said to have a healing effect. It is said to balance the acid-base balance, have a rejuvenating and healing effect and neutralize free radicals.
In order to be able to drink alkaline water on the go and in the office, it helps to fill the water in a thermos flask in the morning. (Image source: Bluewater Globe/ unsplash)
In the opinion of the suppliers of alkaline water, the PH value in the blood should be reduced via the ionized alkaline water, which can alleviate or even cure diseases such as allergies, diabetes, high blood pressure, gout and osteoporosis.
Where can you get alkaline water?
You can't buy it in bottles in Germany, you can only make it yourself. Whether you use old home remedies or buy a high-priced water ionizer is up to you.
It doesn't always have to be an expensive water ionizer, baking soda or a diced lemon in the water will do too!
Whether you mix baking soda into the water or dice a lemon into a carafe, you should know the dosage and give yourself some time if you want to drink alkaline water afterwards. Water ionizers or alkaline drops cost more, but you get results much faster here.
|water ionizer||fast and safe||expensive|
|baking soda||cheap||(-) Taste, difficult dosage|
|lemon||cheap, (+) taste||weak effect|
Should you drink alkaline water when you are ill?
To support the claims of marketing and supporters of alkaline nutrition, it would be good to have scientific proof of its effectiveness. Unfortunately, to date, however, no study has come to a valid and lawful result.
A study that examined the effect of alkaline water in cancer therapy came to the conclusion in 2015 that a positive effect on the course of the disease in cancer patients could not be proven.(3)
What side effects does alkaline water have?
If you want to believe the descriptions of the manufacturers of devices for the production of alkaline water, then of course there are no side effects when drinking alkaline water. If a healthy person does not consume excessively, this may certainly be correct.
In the body, only the stomach has a critical, acidic pH value.
However, there are already scientific studies that raise critical questions here. Especially the factor that apart from the stomach acid (with a PH 1-2), which is known to be injected only to digest the meals in the stomach, there is hardly any real strong over-acidification of the body in the critical range (PH 2-3).
In addition, there are justified doubts about the effectiveness of alkaline water in the body, which is directly protonated in the stomach by the strongly acidic gastric acid and thus becomes ineffective. The researcher Jan Roberts even suspects that the alkaline water in the stomach can lead to a dangerous overproduction of gastric acid. (4)
An incident from 2013 near Bonn proves the toxic effect of strongly alkaline sodium hydroxide in drinking water. Due to a technical defect in a waterworks, the strongly basic sodium hydroxide solution reached at least 12 people via water pipes, who showed toxic reactions when they came into contact with this liquid.
With a lot of luck, the incident was discovered within hours and the water supply was shut off to clean the pipes of sodium hydroxide and pump clean water back into the pipes as quickly as possible. Shortly thereafter, new warning systems for NaOH were installed in the waterworks. (5)
Does alkaline water help with sports?
One might think that physical exertion and muscle work creates more acid in the body, which has to be transported and excreted via the blood and kidneys.
If you follow this thought further, it could be helpful to speed up the acid removal during sport by adding alkaline water. The removal of acid during sport takes place in the body in 3 different ways.
Drinking water is absolutely necessary during sport, drinking alkaline water during sport does not harm, but a positive effect on performance has not been scientifically proven either. (Image source: Andy Hall/ unsplash)
First, we sweat out acidic substances dissolved in the liquid through the skin, second, acids are excreted through the urine through the blood and kidneys, and third, through the lungs and an increased breathing rate, carbon dioxide is released. These 3 mechanisms work so well in the majority of people that the support from alkaline water remains negligible.
Studies cannot provide any evidence of an increase in performance through alkaline water during sports.
This means quite simply: the studies so far have all been too small in terms of the number of subjects to draw any valid conclusions about the population.(2) In sports, you cannot run faster, jump higher or throw further by drinking alkaline water. Nevertheless, we still recommend drinking enough water before, during and after exercise to avoid dehydration.
Alkaline water is definitely a current trend. There are many promises that can certainly be interesting for one or the other. A quick try will certainly not harm a healthy person.
However, you should consult your family doctor before long-term supply with alkaline water and inform yourself in advance about the side effects and your own previous illnesses in order to avoid damage to your health from the alkaline water. While water ionization has spawned a small industry of equipment and ingredient manufacturers, there is still no solid scientific evidence of the proclaimed beneficial effects of alkaline water.
For the average Otto consumer, the production of alkaline water using household remedies such as baking soda is certainly an exciting thing, but it is also important to find out the right dosage so that you don't just produce 'inedible broth'.
The possibility of producing alkaline water overnight using an unpressed lemon is much easier, but it also takes time. The solution to produce the coveted alkaline water using alkaline drops costs around €30 for around 60ml. We recommend this to those who want to try it out for a short period of time and don't have time to wait or don't have suitable scales.
If you have a fine taste bud and don't have time for experiments, you can consider the high prices for water ionizers (~150 - 450€) whether it really needs alkaline water to alleviate your symptoms.
- A treatise on alkaline nutrition - an alternative medical diet
- Scientific study to investigate the positive effects of alkaline water on athletes
- Scientific study on the resilience of the healing effect in cancer therapy
- An examination of the pros and cons of consuming alkaline water
- An investigation of the incident, risk assessment and impact analysis of alkaline liquids