Sustainability made simple

Benefits and Drawbacks of Drinking Alkaline Water

benefits of drinking alkaline water
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / cocoparisienne

Alkaline water has appeared regularly in health magazines over the past few years. However, the benefits of drinking alkaline water are murky at best.

If you like to keep an ear to the ground when it comes to health and lifestyle news, chances are you’ve heard of the benefits of drinking alkaline water.

Most commonly, these benefits are believed to include; slowing down aging, boosting your body’s mineral content, cancer prevention and bone loss prevention.

Of course, we know that drinking plenty of water is essential for our body’s overall health. But is alkaline water better or worse than regular water? We’ve taken a deep dive so you don’t have to.

What Is Alkaline Water?

Mono Lake, California is a highly alkaline body of water.
Mono Lake, California is a highly alkaline body of water. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / ArtTower)

First thing’s first, let’s go back to high school chemistry class.

Basically, pH is a rating of how acidic or alkaline something — usually a liquid — is on a scale from 0 to 14. A pH of seven is considered neutral, and regular drinking water typically sits somewhere between 6.5 to 8.5. Any pH value below 7 is considered acidic (vinegar is around pH 3). Likewise, any pH value over 7 is considered alkaline; for example, tofu has a 7.5 pH level once it’s been digested.

Alkaline water is water that’s had alkaline minerals added to it. However, it can also occur naturally in bodies of water, such as Mono Lake (pictured). Bottled alkaline water usually has a pH level of 8 or 9.

What Are the Supposed Benefits of Alkaline Water?

The benefits of drinking alkaline water are unclear.
The benefits of drinking alkaline water are unclear. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / 926663)

Our bodies have a natural acidity. Therefore, the idea behind drinking alkaline water (and eating alkaline foods) is that it will help to neutralize some of this acidity. This, according to some studies, has health benefits.

In addition to the potential benefits mentioned above,

  • a 2012 study reported that drinking alkaline water can help with acid reflux,
  • another small study suggested that drinking alkaline water can help with post-exercise blood flow, and
  • a study published in 2021 showed that alkaline water could benefit postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

What About the Drawbacks?

Alkaline water could actually be bad for you.
Alkaline water could actually be bad for you. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / TanteTati)

The drawbacks of drinking alkaline water are much clearer.

Our bodies already do a great job of maintaining optimum pH levels by themselves. Our kidneys and liver are specifically designed to “detox” our body and do it naturally.

What’s more, drinking alkaline water, particularly in large quantities, can do more harm than good.

There are many contradicting studies online about whether drinking alkaline water is safe for people with kidney disease. However, until more concrete studies are done, it is better to err on the side of caution if your kidneys have trouble filtering out toxins.

Likewise, in rare cases, going overboard on alkaline water can cause alkalosis, resulting in nausea, vomiting, muscle twitches and confusion.

How To Make Alkaline Water

Be very careful when experimenting with alkaline water.
Be very careful when experimenting with alkaline water. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / bniique)

Having said that, if you’re willing to do your own research and want to try alkaline water, there are many ways to do so.

Buy an ionizer

Alkaline water can be produced by ionizers that change the pH level of water, making it more alkaline and less acidic. Once installed, the devices create no waste and you don’t need to keep buying filters. They are, however, expensive. Expect to shell out a few hundred dollars at least, like on this one from Amazon**, although ones with prices into the thousands are also not uncommon, like this Amazon** product.

Use a filtration system

These enrich your water (in a water bottle or jug) with minerals that make it alkaline. These are usually a lot cheaper than ionizers and work without disposable filters. You can find water jugs on Amazon**, as well as infusers to add to your water, also available at Amazon**.

Make it at home

Avoid spending money on new products altogether and simply make your own. However, if you’re watching your sodium intake, be extra careful.

Baking soda has a pH level of 9, and you’ll likely already have some in your kitchen. ⅛ tbsp. of baking soda is more than enough per cup of water (shake it thoroughly before drinking). You should not drink more than a cup a day of self-made alkaline water.

Drinking Alkaline Water: Yes or No?

Overall, drinking alkaline water is unlikely to do you any harm. However, if you think you’ve found the elixir of youth or health hack of the ages, you’ll likely be disappointed. While some studies purport the benefits of drinking alkaline water, far more have cast doubt upon that research. Likewise, several studies suggest that drinking too much alkaline water can lead to side effects.

The ultimate takeaway is to trust your vital organs — our bodies are designed to regulate our pH levels, and health fads can cause more harm than good.

Read more:

Important Information regarding Health-related Topics.

** Links to retailers marked with ** or underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.

Do you like this post?

Thank you very much for voting!