Why Is It Important to Drink an Alkaline Water?

(and What Makes a Water Alkaline, Anyway?)

Let’s face it, very few of us know much about the water we drink, primarily because we have never been taught just what constitutes a great water. We now realize that our municipal water supplies are terribly polluted and heavily chlorinated, to the point that a growing number of us are relying upon bottled water, but beyond that, we really don’t know what questions to ask when deciding what water to drink.

In addition to purity, one of the most important factors to consider when selecting a water is alkalinity. A liquid is considered alkaline if, on a pH scale, it is above 7.0. By way of explanation, on a pH scale, 7.0 is neutral. Anything above 7.0 is alkaline while anything below 7.0 is acidic. Generally speaking, the higher the pH, the better the water is for you.

So what makes a water alkaline? It’s the alkaline minerals in it, and the most important of these are the macro minerals calcium and magnesium. Acidic minerals lower the pH of water, so the ideal water is one that is high in calcium and magnesium and low in acidic elements such as chlorine, sulfates and nitrates. (Sodium is also an alkaline mineral but one that you want to be kept low in your water.)

The reason it is so important for animals, including human beings, to drink alkaline water (plants are another story; they thrive on acidic water) is that our blood has to be alkaline in order for us to live, and drinking an alkaline water has a huge effect on the pH of our blood. Blood pH has to be within a very specific range of 7.30-7.45. A great bit of news is that blood at a pH of 7.45 (the high-end of the blood pH range) contains 64% more oxygen than blood at a pH of 7.30 (the low end), so the higher your blood’s pH, the more oxygen you will have available to your cells. Concerning oxygen, a major concern in today’s environment is that the air today contains considerably less oxygen than it used to, especially in industrialized cities like Houston (petroleum molecules use up oxygen). Therefore, keeping our blood pH as close to 7.45 as possible greatly improves our chances of getting enough disease-fighting oxygen to our cells. (We also think better when our brains get more oxygen.) So remember, the more alkaline the water you drink, the more alkaline your blood will be and the higher your blood’s oxygen content will be. (If you drink bottled water, find out what the pH of the water is. You may be surprised at the answer.)

In addition to water, food also contributes to the level of our blood’s pH. In the Standard American Diet (SAD), most food is acidic. Of all the foods we eat, with rare exceptions, only vegetables and fruits are alkaline; everything else is acidic, including meats and grains. (Sugars and soft drinks are extremely acidic and are ruinous to blood pH). When we eat an acidic diet and drink acidic water (and most bottled waters, including many spring waters, are acidic), our bodies have to find a way to buffer or raise the pH in our blood to maintain an alkaline level. They do this the only way they can, by pulling calcium out of our bones and into our bloodstream. You can easily see how eating acidic food and drinking acidic water is the perfect set-up for osteoporosis.

According to Robert Atkins, M.D., the noted author, health and diet expert, “…(T)he cells and fluids in most people’s bodies…are overly acidic. This can cause a lot of health problems. It prevents your body from neutralizing and disposing of harmful, poisonous toxins and leaves you more susceptible to the cell-damaging, free radical oxidation that leads to cancer and other diseases…Just about every condition I can think of, from arthritis to diabetes to cancer, is associated with acidity.”

So, do yourself a favor: eat a balanced diet including a lot of vegetables and some fruit to help neutralize the acidity of meat and grains, keep sugar intake to a minimum (it robs your cells of oxygen and promotes bone loss, it feeds cancer cells, and it creates a huge strain on your adrenal glands), add some good fats, and drink a great, alkaline spring water in order to give your body the alkalinity that it needs in order to keep you healthy. Then sit back and feel how much better life can get. Vive la difference!