By GMB Health Advisor, Nutritionist Stephanie Malouf
The word 'alkaline' has been thrown around as a bit of a buzz word in the health industry lately, but what does it really mean? We asked our GMB Health Advisor, Nutritionist Stephanie Malouf to give us the low down on what all the fuss is about alkaline water and if it really is important to drink in our day.
What is alkaline water
Alkaline water is a water with a pH level greater than 7. A pH scale measures acidity with a value ranging from 0 to 14. Absolutely acidic is 0, alkaline sits on the opposite end at 14 and 7 is neutral. Tap water generally has a pH level of 7.
What are the proposed health benefits?
Some of the health claims surrounding alkaline water is that it can:
- Reduce acid reflux
- Support your immune system and reduce disease risk
- Reduces the risk of fractures and osteoporosis
- Hydrate you more than regular water
- Helps you lose weight
Why do we need to alkalise?
In order to stay alive and functioning, our body needs to maintain a healthy blood pH level of 7.38 and 7.42 which is slightly alkaline. If the blood pH falls outside of this range, this is a sign of a serious disease state.
Luckily, the human body has an amazing ability to maintain a steady pH in the blood with a number of mechanisms. The main ones being our lungs and kidneys. If you have too much acid present in the blood, our body naturally alkalises by eliminating the acid through breathing or our urine. However not all acid in the body is bad. Our stomach has a highly acidic pH level of 1.5 to 3.5, due to the stomach acids needed to digest your food.
It is believed that certain foods and drinks are acid forming such as dairy, animal protein and alcohol whilst others are alkalising such as fruit, nuts, vegetables and alkaline water. Whilst our diet can alter the pH of our urine, stomach and breath, it won’t have any impact on our blood due to our bodies smart buffering systems.
That being said it is important to support your organs instead of stressing and overworking them and the key to health is maintaining a healthy balance. Consuming a balanced diet containing both acid and alkaline food and drinks is all part of achieving this healthy balance.
What do the studies say?
Whilst alkaline water has gained a lot of popularity recently, the research is still yet to follow suit. Unfortunately, there has been few studies to date on this area making it difficult to understand the full health benefits from drinking alkaline water. However for those that produce too much stomach acid and experience reflux, alkaline water proved to be therapeutic as it helped to buffer the acid in the stomach. Given the fact that 50% of our bodies are made of water, staying properly hydrated is essential to life and alkaline water is a great way to stay hydrated.
Where can you get alkaline Water?
You can create alkaline water through a process called electrolysis using expensive machinery or by adding minerals and other alkaline ingredients such as potassium, calcium or sodium bicarbonate to purified water.
However the best alkaline water is created by mother earth using natural purifiers. Aqualove is a brand we love using Australian spring water sourced from natural sandstone aquifers in the Central Coast Hinterland of NSW.