Alkaline Water: Hype? Or Hope?
One of the main reasons I got into integrative/functional health comes from the fact that I’m not easily convinced that just because something is popular, or in common use, necessarily means it’s going to be beneficial, or safe.
For those of us practicing medicine here at Robinhood Integrative Health, we’ve reacted to the shortcomings of Western Medicine and started to explore alternative forms of treatment.
I firmly believe that all the therapies we offer will help improve a person’s health. Even if other doctors regard them as “fringe-treatments”.
The truth is I wouldn’t consider adopting a new therapy unless the biological plausibility, the low-risk with the treatment, as well as the evidence we’ve collected on it so far have led us to believe it may be one of the most effective means of healing.
That’s why I’m not always quick to accept a new treatment into our therapeutic regimen.
In this article, I’ll be exploring the benefits of alkaline water and I’ll explain how I went from being skeptical of alkaline water’s ability to improve health to being so convinced it’s helpful at dampening the negative effects of oxidation that I ordered a $4,000 alkaline water machine for our office.
Why Alkaline Water Is Not an Overblown Health Fad
When I first heard others discussing the merits of alkaline water, I was very skeptical about its reputed benefits.
Yes, I’d heard a number of anecdotes about this miraculous form of water helping to save people from suffering; and helping to reverse a myriad of health conditions.
But anecdotes aren’t enough for me to risk my professional reputation on when selecting a new therapy.
Which is why before I risked using alkaline water with my patients…
And before I recommended patients buy a single bottle of alkaline water…
I had to look at the evidence to see if the wild claims people make about alkaline water could pass the smell test.
Surprisingly, they did.
But, only in certain circumstances, which I’ll explain shortly.
Alkaline water is exactly what it sounds like, water with a pH higher than 8.
As I’ve written about before, it’s important that we maintain alkalinity in the body as excessive acid in our bodies can lead to serious health issues.
Alkaline waters can go all the way to ph levels of 10, which is about 2.6 points higher than the average blood ph level of 7.4.
The theory then, that drinking highly alkaline water will enhance alkalinity, makes sense.
But that’s not actually what I think makes alkaline water so effective at helping improve health.
Why Not All Alkaline Water Is Created Equal
The truth of the matter is while I believe those theories promoting the increased intake of alkaline water might have some truth behind them, what fully convinced me that some alkaline water would improve health had to do with a new kind of alkaline water.
Traditional alkaline water is made simply by passing water through a machine and adding alkaline minerals to it. You can make your own alkaline water by adding baking soda to tap water.
Not too long ago, companies discovered that you can create alkaline water and impart hydrogen to it at the same time.
The combination of alkaline water and hydrogen offer an incredibly strong 1-2 punch that doesn’t just increase alkalinity in the body (which I’d argue is helpful)…
But also helps to neutralize the negative effects of free radicals (which I’d emphasize is extremely beneficial).
As best I can tell, the reason this kind of alkaline water works as well as it does to improve health has to do with how this type of alkaline water’s increased number of hydrogen particles help to neutralize dangerous free radicals and combat the effects of accumulated oxidative stress.
As I detailed in an article on hydrogen inhalation, this unique molecule exhibits the outstanding ability to cancel out some of the most harmful agents known to man: free radicals.
Hydrogen is one of the most abundant elements in the universe.
It’s also one of the smallest, which means that when you absorb hydrogen it can permeate every single cell in your body.
As the hydrogen atoms course through your cells, they tumble through your cells and knock out free radicals with a great amount of efficiency and power.
Alkaline water mixed with hydrogen has far more hydrogen than what you’d find in tap water.
In fact, the level of hydrogen in alkaline water we serve in the office has more hydrogen that just about any other free-radical fighting therapy.
The addition of hydrogen into this specialized kind of alkaline water has one of the highest oxidation reduction potentials (ORPs) of any known treatment.
And the system we used in the office produces the highest levels of molecular hydrogen in water that a glass of ionized alkaline water can hold.
Because this is true, I still remain skeptical of the ability of normal alkaline water to significantly transform health.
However, alkaline water that’s been made with additional hydrogen gets my stamp of approval.
It’s my belief drinking ionized water that’s both alkaline and filled with hydrogen could help with the following issues:
- Helps to fully hydrate
- Promotes alkalinity in the body
- Reduces harmful effects of free radicals
- Can help to strengthen bones
- Increases cell signalling for stronger heart beat
- Assists in detox
- Helps with weight loss (one study showed the water we have in the office helped people lose 12 pounds)
- Combats the signs of aging
- Helps with digestive issues
If you’d like to see a more in-depth article on why I believe hydrogen is so important, please go to this blog that I wrote.
If you’d like to learn more about the various ways the alkaline water we offer in the office could benefit you, click here.
And, if you’re interested in getting a bottle on your next visit, please schedule an appointment with us in the patient portal (for existing patients) or call to set up an appointment (for new patients call 336-768-3335).