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What’s with the trend toward alkaline water?

Words from the Aquapax Founder, Neil Tomlinson.

When it comes to water, one of the few chemical formulae learned by (possibly) most school children in education, is that water molecules are composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom and is expressed as a chemical symbol H2O.  Under normal chemical processes, some of these molecules (estimated at one in approximately 10 million) will ionize in contact with other elements, which means splitting into hydrogen and oxygen ions. The resulting Hydrogen ions are acidic, while the hydroxyl (oxygen) ions are alkaline. Water (H2O) will take on the pH (pH = power of hydrogen) value of whichever ion is most abundant, leading it to range (quite naturally) between acidic and alkaline.  

Taking pH to the next level, the scale ranges from 0 to 14 with a pH of 7.0 being perfectly neutral.  A pH less than 7 is classed as acidic while a pH greater than 7 is classed as alkaline.   The pH scale is logarithmic, so each unit pH represents a 10 fold increase in the number of ions present. This means a chemical solution with a pH of 3 will be 10 times more acidic than a solution with a pH of 4 and 100 times more acidic than one with a pH of 5. 

alkaline water

Here's the important bit…  To the best of our knowledge, and with the available research findings, the peer reviewed evidence does not support the claim that alkaline water can alter the pH of the human digestive system, blood or cellular structure, or have any specific, measurable effect on human health!  According to current medical science, a human body maintains its pH equilibrium on a constant basis and will not be affected by the pH of any water consumed.   

So why the fuss?  Well, if something sounds too good to be true, it’s usually just that; yet clever (not always ethical) use of tabloid style marketing messages, combined with social-media spread pseudoscience holds sway over many consumers.  Relentless messaging has led to a thriving market for ‘alkalizing ionizers’ and people who swear by the miraculous powers of alkaline waters. 

A high pH (alkaline) water may well affect a person’s urine acidity, but what happens to an alkaline (or any other) water when it enters the human stomach?  The stomach contains Hydrochloric acid which has a pH  of between 2 – 3 and the reality is that the water undergoes a counterbalancing reaction, whereby the balance of the alkaline OH- ions (hydroxide ions) are turned back into regular water with plenty of acidic H30+ (hydronium) ions left to keep the pH of the stomach properly acidic, as required for normal digestion. 

alkaline water

What about detox claims?  Once again, claims that alkaline water somehow detoxifies a human body are without supporting science. The human body has a liver specifically designed to detoxify us and it does that job perfectly capably; provided the host human has no disease condition, maintains a healthy weight and diet, and avoids toxic drugs or excessive alcohol intake. 

Drinking ‘clean’ wholesome water can only help us humans in maintaining a healthy hydration level and with our skin being the largest organ in our body, there is adequate empirical evidence of healthy hydration levels and a balanced diet having a beneficial effect on our skin cells.  If you’re specifically concerned your diet is too acidic, try eating more fruit, vegetables and whole grains, which are considered alkaline foods, and maybe also try reading further: HEALTHLINE

For the record, Aquapax waters are typically around 7.4pH balance which means they are readily absorbed by the body, without the need for rebalancing first.

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