Medical News Today: The pH of water: What to know

Drinking water and other water-based drinks of varying pH levels may play a role in a few different health factors.

Alkaline water and other alkaline products have gained popularity in recent years, becoming a new health trend. According to advocates of alkaline drinks, acidic environments in the body cause several chronic illnesses, which they claim could not persist in an alkaline environment.

The thinking behind this is that drinking alkaline water helps the body itself to become more alkaline, which will treat a number of illnesses, including cancer.

However, there is little evidence to back up these claims. While drinking alkaline water may temporarily affect the pH of the mouth or urine, there is no scientific proof that it will change the overall pH of the body.

The body strictly regulates its pH levels. Changes in the body’s internal pH, such as blood pH, can mean serious problems in the organs and tissues. So, if it were possible to change the body’s pH using food and drink, it would be dangerous to do so.

However, alkaline water may still be helpful for some people. In general, alkaline water tends to be more alkaline because it has minerals and electrolytes in it. Due to this, drinking this water after a workout or while sick may help keep minerals and electrolytes balanced and prevent dehydration.

Additionally, the findings of a smaller study suggest that people with acid reflux disease may benefit from drinking alkaline water with a pH of 8.8. The researchers found that alkaline water appears to permanently inactivate an enzyme that plays a role in heartburn, which may reduce symptoms.

Researchers have also found that drinking water with a pH of 8.5–10 may be beneficial for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) whose primary symptom is diarrhea. The people who drank water with a pH of 8.5–10 had higher self-reported quality-of-life scores after 8 weeks than those who did not.

However, these are small studies, and more human studies are necessary to back up these initial results.

Learn more about the potential health benefits of alkaline water here.

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