Should you be splurging to make your body less acidic?

by dr. Michael Daignault, USA Today

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

As a doctor, [I find that] The explosion of interest in alkaline water in recent years has been very worrying. Alkaline water consumption is projected to reach a $1.3 billion market by 2023. This is no doubt being done by clever marketing of alkaline water as an easy way to “make your body less acidic.”

For many people, the idea of ​​a more alkaline and less acidic body is good. However, what does this mean for how our bodies actually work? And are the many health benefit claims of alkaline water proven?

First, an important explanation. Drinking water can be labeled as alkaline in two different situations.

Water can become naturally alkaline if it picks up minerals like calcium and magnesium after passing over rocks in a spring. San Pellegrino water is a great example of sparkling water that contains these important minerals.

Artificial alkaline water can also be produced chemically for mass use. Manufacturers use a process called electrolysis to separate water molecules into acidic and alkaline components; then acidic substances are released. Doing so increases the pH of the water—the higher the number, the more alkaline the water. The pH of normal water is 7, the exact center of the balance. Alkaline water has a pH as high as 9.5-10. Proponents argue that higher pH and alkalinity correspond to greater benefits in proportion.

Most alkaline water on the market has both electrolysis and a higher pH, as well as added important minerals such as magnesium and calcium.

Claim: A less acidic body is better

The main claim of alkaline water manufacturers is that the less acidic, the more alkaline the body is, the healthier it is. The human body-mainly regulated by the lungs and kidneys -maintains a healthy balance between acidity and alkalinity. A normal pH is maintained in the range of 7.35 to 7.45.

Any extreme change in pH—acidotic or alkaline—can be dangerous, but the body will work quickly to compensate. However, the gastrointestinal system and urinary system work at a basic acidotic level to perform many important functions and to protect us from infection.

We know that more alkaline urine increases the likelihood of bacterial infection and urinary tract infections. So, there is actually a strong reason to make sure that the urine is more acidic. New research challenges this conventional wisdom, in fact. Urine samples near the neutral pH of clean water actually showed the highest level of siderocalin protein. Siderocalin inhibits bacterial growth in the urine by blocking the ability of microorganisms to obtain iron.

The pH of the stomach is acidic, which varies from 1.5 to 3.5. This is primarily due to the stomach cells producing hydrochloric acid. We rely on this low pH to break down chemicals and kill bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. That being said, the stomach will do a good job of re-acidifying and balancing the alkaline water before it can do anything, but in large amounts, it can be a problem. In fact, alkaline water can cause bloating and flatulence in pregnant women.

Claim: Better water

Another important claim to look at is whether alkaline water is better at rehydrating after exercise. The point is that dehydration increases blood viscosity or thickness, and alkaline water after exercise does a better job of reducing blood viscosity than water at a normal pH level. A small study of 100 healthy adults showed that electrolyzed, high pH water reduced viscosity by 6.3% compared to 3.36% in those who drank the same water after exercise.

This is a limited study. Researchers have been able to show that alkaline water reduces blood viscosity [more] compared to regular water. And their results are significant, which is indicated by a p-value of 0.03 (p-value

If you’re looking for better hydration, there’s more strong evidence to support adding electrolytes and other minerals to your daily water intake. Electrolytes are very important to help cells transport water across cell membranes. And they regulate and control the water balance in the body. Sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium are the main players. After a particularly intense workout or sweat, we have a lot of low-key electrolytes.

Claims: Reduces ‘acid ash’

Much of the fake science from alkaline water proponents is based on the so-called acid ash hypothesis. Some researchers claim that a Western diet heavy in meat, cheese, grains and fish leads to excess acid which is the root of disease, especially bone diseases like osteoporosis. “Ash” refers to whether the burning of certain foods produces more acidic or alkaline substances. An alkaline food supplement—consisting of an alkaline ash diet and alkaline water—is hypothesized to offset this excess.

Fortunately, we now have several systematic reviews and meta-analyses showing that there is no evidence that eating certain ash-rich foods leads to an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Bottom Line: While an acidotic body feels comfortable, many vital organ functions function better in an acidotic or pH-neutral environment. The benefits of alkaline water are from its high mineral content, but these can be obtained through natural leaching water without the unwanted effects of high pH. Hydration with electrolyte powder is more tried-and-true than alkaline water.

Q&A: For most people, drinking plain water is the best way to stay hydrated

(c) 2022 America Today. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Should you be splurging to make your body less acidic? Source link Should you be splurging to make your body less acidic?

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