The Ultimate Alkaline Water Guide
Since 75% of your body is made of water, it is essential to drink the right amount every day in order to ensure the proper functioning of your organs and tissues.
Drinking an adequate amount of water, however, is not the only thing you should think about: its quality should also be a priority.
In fact, not all waters are equal and, with many drinking water options available, it is easy to experience some confusion in regards to what you should be drinking.
Although expensive bottled water may seem an appropriate choice, it can be exposed to contaminants through the purification process. Moreover, single-use plastic bottles are not ideal since they can leach heavy metals and chemicals in your water, which can cause hormonal imbalances.
Likewise, tap water has its downsides: public water systems do not control all the pollutants (including pharmaceuticals) entering the water supply.
Moreover, the added chlorine (which prevents the development of disease and harmful bacteria such as E. Coli and Giardia) can cause a number of complications that can disrupt our body’s acid-alkaline balance.
By introducing mineralized alkaline water to your routine, you can restore your body’s acid-alkaline balance and avoid contaminants that can hinder your health. Overall, drinking alkaline water can help:
- Balance pH levels
- Neutralize acid
- Strengthen the immune system
- Prevent the development of diseases
- Soothe and prevent acid reflux
- Flush out toxins
A Santevia filtration system is the perfect solution if you’re looking to drink alkaline water. Not only does Santevia filter harmful tap water contaminants, it’s the only filter to remineralize water with healthy minerals like calcium, magnesium and trace minerals. These minerals naturally raise the pH and alkalinity of water, creating great-tasting alkaline water that’s optimized for health.
In this blog post we will talk about:
- Acid-alkaline balance and your health
- Why alkaline water is good for you
- Mineralized alkaline water vs. other water options
Defining pH, Alkaline, and Alkalinity
Before diving into the definition of alkaline water, there are some scientific terms that we should clarify: pH, alkaline (or basic), and alkalinity.
pH stands for Potential of Hydrogen, and the pH scale (which ranges from 0 to 14) measures how acidic or basic a solution is. Zero is highly acidic, whereas 14 is highly basic. In the middle of the pH scale is 7.0 (neutral), and as a consequence, it is neither acidic, nor basic.
The terms alkaline and alkalinity have different meanings. The word alkaline is synonymous with the term basic. That is, it’s used to describe a solution that has a pH greater than 7.0.
Alkalinity, on the other hand, is the resistance to change in pH in a solution. For example, when water contains stabilizing minerals such as calcium and magnesium, its alkalinity increases and therefore, it becomes resistant to a change in pH. This means that if a body of water with high alkalinity comes into contact with an acidic solution, its pH will not change easily.
The health benefits of alkaline water are derived from both its raised pH (alkaline or basic pH) and raised alkalinity. Water that simply has an “alkaline” or “basic” pH is not optimized for health unless it also has minerals that raise the alkalinity of water. Not all alkaline water measures high in alkalinity. More on this later.
Acidity and Your Health
Your body works hard to maintain its optimal pH balance so it can function at its best. The optimal pH of cells, tissues and organs is slightly basic but unfortunately, many lifestyle choices can cause excess acidity, leaving your body out of balance.
While your body can neutralize some acidity, excess and ongoing acidity can lead to serious health implications. When exposed to too much acidity, you’re more susceptible to chronic health conditions such as:
- Heart disease
So, how are you exposed to acidity?
Your acid-alkaline balance is largely influenced by diet and the majority of the Standard American Diet (SAD), contains acid-forming foods and beverages such as coffee, wine, meat, dairy, refined carbs, soft drinks, trans fats, and processed foods.
Each day, your metabolism tries to process these foods and beverages that contain an excessive amount of sugar, salt, flavourings, preservatives, and chemicals. However, your cells and organs do not know how to process these foreign substances, resulting in the creation of an acidic environment.
Food is not the only cause of acidity. Other factors including stress, smoking, intense workouts, and medication can also make your body more acidic.
Often, lifestyle choices prevent your body from absorbing the minerals, vitamins, and enzymes that our body so desperately needs each day in order to repair itself and maintain its pH.
Although your body can regulate minor pH imbalances by subtracting minerals from your reserves in bones and muscles, it cannot always do so without having repercussions in the long run.
An analogy may illustrate this issue more efficiently.
Think about a bank account: when your deposits exceed your withdrawals, you save money. On the other hand, when your withdrawals exceed your deposits, you go into debt. Although some small debts are easy to overcome, hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt are a bigger problem to fix.
The same goes for your health bank account. When your body needs to neutralize acid (that you introduce through your diet and lifestyle), it withdrawals alkalizing minerals stored in your bones and muscles.
Ongoing withdrawals (and no deposits) lead to a depleted health bank account, and therefore, disease.
When you fall into a cycle of debt, you can declare bankruptcy. However, when you are trapped in health-debt, that is not possible. For this reason, it is important to practice prevention and to take care of your body by reducing the acidic load and by regularly introducing minerals in our health bank account.
When people start to experience the consequence of their lifestyle and develop diseases caused by acidity, traditional medicine prefers to treat these issues with a lifetime of prescriptions.
However, medication is not synonymous with health. Often, by making some simple adjustments in your daily life (such as drinking mineralized alkaline water and eating tasty alkaline fruits and vegetables), you could reduce your body’s acidic load, improve your health significantly and restore your body’s optimal balance.
Alkaline Water Health Benefits
When drinking alkaline water, the goal is not that of making your entire body alkaline. Rather, it’s that of maintaining the right pH in the right place. Each part of our body has its own pH value that we should strive to maintain.
For example, the lower stomach has a pH between 1.5 and 4.0. Imagine what a disaster if the pH was above 7.0!
The body’s bicarbonate buffering system constantly works hard to maintain the correct pH level in the various parts of your body. A significant change in the ideal pH of your body can cause illnesses and, in the worst scenario, death.
The pH of drinking water should not be neither too high or too low - both ends of the spectrum can have adverse effects on your health. Rather, the pH should be between 8.0 and 9.5. Not only should alkaline water have a pH between 8.0 and 9.5, it should also have alkalizing minerals to support pH balance.
The ability to neutralize acid within the body is only one of the many benefits of mineralized alkaline water. Mineralized alkaline water:
- Has anti-ageing properties
- Helps support the immune system
- Helps fight free-radicals
- Provides us with extra energy
- Improves focus and mental clarity
- Provides us with the minerals we need on a daily basis
- Is more hydrating than regular or acidic water
There are numerous benefits of mineralized alkaline water. Below, we’ve compiled a quick list that summarizes why alkaline water is better for you. You can also read our detailed explanation on the 10 Amazing Benefits of Mineralized Alkaline Water.
1. Alkaline Water Is a Powerful Antioxidant
Antioxidants are powerful molecules commonly found in fruits, vegetables and whole foods. Antioxidants are responsible for neutralizing free radicals and protecting our body from free radical damage.
Factors such as a poor diet, smoking, pollution, UV rays, stress, alcohol consumption, toxic chemicals, pesticides, intense exercise, and antibiotics promote the development of free radicals.
But what are free-radicals? Free radicals are oxygen molecules that have an uneven number of electrons. When these molecules lose an electron, they try to steal electrons from other molecules, creating a chain reaction.
Unlike free radicals, antioxidants are stable molecules that are able to lose electrons: they donate their electrons to unstable free radicals in order to neutralize them and stop the damaging chain reactions that free radicals would otherwise cause.
Free radicals can lead to chronic disease and may accelerate the aging process through oxidation and cellular damage. If you’re unclear about what oxidation means, cut an apple in half and leave it on the counter for a few minutes: you will notice that the pulp will darken in colour. This is the process of oxidation.
Since alkaline water has a negative Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP - which measures a substance’s ability to oxidize or reduce another substance), it is able to transfer its electrons to free radicals, therefore neutralizing their damaging effects.
2. Alkaline Water Helps to Flush Out Toxins
Toxins are ubiquitous and they accumulate in our body every day through air, beauty products, cleaning supplies, food, and so on. Alkaline water supports your body’s ability to remove toxins.
Unlike filtered mineralized alkaline water, tap water contains chlorine, fluoride and many heavy metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and copper.
These toxins become difficult to flush out due to their constant reintroduction through tap water.
Heavy metals present serious health risks and can interfere with the correct functioning of our brain and nervous system.
For example, exposure to mercury in children and adults can result in brain abnormalities such as neurological, cognitive, and behavioural disorders.
Likewise, cadmium has a toxic effect since it is a carcinogenic that attacks the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurological, renal, reproductive, and respiratory systems.
Using an alkaline water system can help you filter out the contaminants contained in tap water and therefore, limit your exposure to toxins. Santevia alkaline water filters reduce chlorine, lead, mercury, fluoride, microplastics, rust, bacteria, and sediment.
3. Alkaline Water for Weight Loss
Our body does not know how to process excessive amounts of sugar, salt, preservatives, and chemicals, and, as a consequence, it either draws on the body’s minerals reserves to try and fight the acidity produced by these foods/beverages, or it stores the acid in its fat cells.
According to bestselling author Ross Bridgeford, “to get acid out of the blood and away from vital organs, the body creates new fat cells to store it in”, and those cells cannot be burned off until the amount of acid decreases in your body. However, for most people, the issue remains and, he continues, “by age 45, 95% of us have a dangerous buildup”.
When we deplete our reserves of alkalizing minerals, our body is no longer able to produce weight-control hormones such as adiponectin and HGH hormones.
A study led by the University of Alberta demonstrated that women over 50 who were able to reduce their body’s acidity, managed to increase the production of the HGH hormone which, in turn, promoted weight loss, energy, and a sharper memory.
The minerals contained in Santevia water have a two-fold effect to support weight loss. The minerals raise the pH of water to alkaline, effectively reducing the acidity your body takes on. Secondly, the minerals in Santevia water helps top up those reserves of alkalizing minerals that are required to produce weight-control hormones. Ultimately, by drinking mineralized alkaline water you can lose weight more easily.
The Importance of Mineralized Alkaline Water
Although the foods we eat contain minerals and vitamins, often, our daily intake of these nutrients often remains below our standard need.
In her book Hack Your Health Habits, Dr. Nathalie Beauchamp explains “we do not consume real food, only food like items. The majority of things we eat are heavily altered, modified from their natural form to grow quicker, larger, and be more resistant to disease”.
Today, with genetically modified foods sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, we are more than ever exposed to demineralized foods.
If we also drink demineralized water, the health risks that we are faced with become even greater.
Natural alkaline water is rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. These minerals all work to maintain your body’s optimal balance, and in the long run, their absence can cause issues.
For example, calcium (the most abundant mineral in our body) represents between 1.5 - 2.0% of our total body weight and is essential for healthy bones, teeth, hormone production, and cardiovascular health. Some of the issues calcium deficiency can cause are tooth decay, osteoporosis, headaches, and muscle cramps.
Likewise, magnesium supports over 300 biochemical reactions in the body—it regulates the immune system, it promotes nerve function and a healthy brain. Not receiving enough magnesium can result in issues in the development of the skeleton, cardiovascular disease, muscle pain, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and so on.
To better understand the nutrients in drinking water and what a deficiency can cause, read our in-depth article Nutrients in Drinking Water: Is Mineral Water Good For You?
Demineralized water is not optimized for health. Research has demonstrated that consuming water with low mineral content can cause:
1. Loss of calcium, magnesium, and other trace minerals when used in cooking
When demineralized water is used in cooking, it significantly reduces the amount of minerals contained in your food because the water leaches the minerals out of it.
Even if you tend to eat fresh veggies and fruit, you will end up with demineralized foods. By cooking with demineralized water, your food will lose:
- 60% calcium
- 60% magnesium
- 70% manganese
- 86% cobalt
Studies have reported that when cooking with mineralized alkaline water, the loss of important minerals is significantly lower, and that “an even higher calcium content was reported in food as a result of cooking”.
2. Increased intake of toxic metals
Since demineralized water has an acidic pH (due to the absence of minerals), it may cause erosion and is able to dissolve metals from pipes and tanks.
As a consequence, if you are drinking demineralized tap water, toxic substances (including lead) can leach into your water—and no amount of lead is safe for adults and children.
Some of the adverse effects of this toxic metal include brain damage, anemia, miscarriages, infertility, kidney issues, and damage to the nervous system.
According to research, calcium and magnesium are antitoxic minerals. This means that they help prevent the absorption of dangerous substances such as lead and cadmium.
There is a wealth of evidence that drinking water packed with minerals such as calcium and magnesium can help prevent cardiovascular disease, motor neuron disease, and pregnancy issues. A calcium deficiency can expose individuals to:
- A higher risk of bone fracture
- Neurodegenerative diseases
- Premature birth
- Low-weight birth
- Nail and skin diseases
- Cardiovascular diseases
When our body doesn’t receive an adequate amount of minerals, it draws nutrients from our bones, organs and tissues in an attempt to neutralize acid. If we don’t reintroduce those lost minerals in our body, our body becomes weaker and more prone to illnesses.
Alkaline Water vs. Bottled Water
Every minute, 1 million water bottles are consumed globally. In the US, 50 billion bottles of water are used each year, and only 23% of them are recycled (this means that over 38 billion bottles remain in our landfills and seas).
Most people purchase bottled water because it is deemed safer and cleaner. Although it is marketed as a healthier alternative to tap water, many brands package tap water and present it as if it comes straight from a fresh mountain stream.
The reality of bottled water is less charming than what is commonly thought. In fact, laboratory tests of several water bottle brands in the US and Canada, carried out with a water pH test kit, showed pH levels that were less than 7.0. These water samples were acidic.
Overall, choosing bottled water (even an alkaline water bottle that is “eco-packaged”) is not sustainable for the environment and, in the long-run, for your wallet.
Using an alkaline water filtration system is a much more sustainable way of drinking alkaline water.
Mineralized Alkaline Water vs. Ionized Alkaline Water
Although there are many alkaline water brands on the market, not all types of alkaline water are created equal. For example, the Kangen alkaline water ionizer machine employs a very artificial process known as electrolysis.
Throughout this process, electricity separates the water molecules into 2 groups: acidic and alkaline. The first group goes to waste, whereas the second is used as drinking water.
Is this type of alkaline water safe? Ionized alkaline water has pros and cons (mostly cons). In fact, although the water ionizer reduces the amount of chlorine, it does not get rid of other contaminants. Moreover, you end up with demineralized water: the water ionizer doesn’t only filter the bad, it also filters the good, leaving your water without alkalizing minerals that support optimal body balance.
Ultimately, ionized alkaline water artificially boosts the pH of water without raising the alkalinity. The result is: water that is not optimized for health.
On the other hand, natural mineralized alkaline water runs down river rock beds: here, it collects minerals and becomes alkaline. Both the pH and alkalinity of water increases during this process.
All of Santevia’s products mimic earth’s natural filtration processes to create alkaline water. Santevia mineralized alkaline water reduces the acidity your body takes on and replenishes the minerals your body needs to maintain its optimal balance.
An alkaline water filter pitcher or an alkaline water dispenser are the right way to provide healthy mineralized water to your family. Santevia offers a diverse range of at home and on-the-go alkaline mineral water filters that naturally raise the alkalinity and pH of drinking water.
Santevia’s mineral water dispenser and alkaline water sticks infuse nutrients in drinking water such as calcium and magnesium and reduce up to 99% of chlorine, creating healthier water that tastes deliciously smooth.