The health benefits derived from drinking alkaline water (or ionized water) have been the center of the much-heated debate. Some doctors and nutritionists are not convinced of its health-enhancing properties.
However, there are many doctors who claim to see improvements in themselves and their patients after consuming alkaline ionized water over time.
These doctors point to the fact that alkalized water is heavily consumed in Korea and Japan and that it is partly responsible for the better overall health Asians enjoy over people of the West.
Here is a summary of the views expressed by nutritional experts in favor of getting drinking alkalized water.
Q: Why is it important to alkalized water.
A: Drinking alkaline water is great for neutralizing free radical free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that contribute much to peoples’ ill-health, such as cancer, cataracts, heart disease, stroke, and premature aging.
Free radicals are oxidizing agents; basically, they cause your body to rust inside. They get their power by stealing electrons from healthy tissue or any surrounding molecules. You slow down free radical damage by ingesting antioxidants.
Alkalized water is one of the most effective antioxidants because of its high, negative oxidizing reduction potential (-ORP). The negative ions of alkaline water are able to donate electrons to your body that were previously stolen by the free radicals. This process slows down and in some cases reverses the effects of free radical damage.
Q: Are there any other benefits to drinking alkalized water?
A: There sure is. A very acidic body cannot properly absorb minerals and vitamins from food or supplements. A mineral-deficient body is more prone to diseases. When the body is starved of minerals it takes it from other parts of the body, even bones. Drinking alkaline water improves the absorption of the vital nutrients your body needs and improves your long-term health.
Q: Even if I drink alkaline or ionized water, isn’t it neutralized by the acids in my stomach?
A: It is true that when the body initially increases or decreases alkalinity or acidity, it then compensates for this by equally decreasing or increasing alkalinity or acidity.
In other words, there is no net change. However, alkalinity coming from outside the body 9 (such as drinking ionized water) is able to affect your body. Let me explain further.
When you eat or drink anything (including alkaline ionized water), your stomach’s alkalinity initially increases, that is, it’s pH value goes up. In order to kill any bacteria you may have ingested, your stomach then releases hydrochloric acid. This brings your stomach’s pH back down to about a 4, which is about its normal value.
So it may seem drinking alkaline ionized water is a waste of time – right? Wrong!
When your stomach secretes hydrochloric acid, this process creates byproducts – sodium bicarbonate or potassium bicarbonate, which then passes into your bloodstream. These bicarbonates, also known as alkaline buffers, are responsible for neutralizing acidic waste outside of your stomach – hence reducing acidity.
By drinking ionized water, the alkalinity from it passes into your bloodstream along with the body’s alkaline buffers. However, poor dietary habits and aging force the body to use up the alkaline buffers. This is where consuming ionized water helps the body out by providing extra alkalinity. The body is then able to carry out its detoxification more effectively.
Q: Can’t I just mix tap water with baking soda to make increase its alkalinity.
A: Yes, but even though that solution would be more alkaline, it wouldn’t give you the health benefits you’re looking for. Tests show that a water-baking soda solution has a positive ORP as opposed to the negative ORP of the alkaline water produced by a water ionizer.
As stated before, it is the negative ORP that is needed to neutralize the free radical scavengers within your body. Besides, drinking a mixture of water and baking soda would taste horrible. Alkalized water that is produced by water ionization tastes fantastic.
Q: When is the best time to drink ionized water?
A: Anytime is ok. However, for maximum benefit, it is better to drink it in between meals, when the stomach is empty. An empty stomach has less acid and is an easier environment for ionized water to pass through and into the bloodstream. Conversely, a full stomach has more acid in it, making it harder for alkaline rich water to pass through.
Q: Who are some of the experts in favor of drinking ionized water
A: There are many, such as Dr. Ray Kurzveil, inventor, futurist, and author of many health books.
Q: Do water ionizers also filter water?
A: Some water ionizers are capable of removing drinking water contaminants but no one buys an ionizer for its filtration capabilities. If you are also concerned about the drugs found in your tap water (and you should be), get a whole house water filter for that purpose.
The debate continues as to the effectiveness of drinking alkaline water. You could consult with your physician on the matter. He may recommend it, especially if you suffer from a weakened immune system due to illness. A good home water ionizer can produce as much alkaline water as you need.
Alternatively, you could drink alkaline ionized water for a few months to see the results. Some water ionizer suppliers offer a money-back guarantee on their products if you’re not satisfied. One such reputable supplier is listed below.