Fancy waters are all the rage these days and many claim to have health benefits above and beyond what you would get from the tap. Two that are often confused with one another are alkaline water and hydrogen water. But only one of these waters can actually benefit your health. Here’s everything you need to know about alkaline water and hydrogen water and which one you should be drinking to live your best life.
What is alkaline water?
Alkaline water is water that has been specially formulated to increase its alkalinity, giving it a higher, less acidic pH. The theory behind alkaline water is that it can neutralize acids in the bloodstream and make the body less hospitable to the viruses and bacteria that could lead to disease.
The human body is designed to operate within a very tight blood pH range of 7.36 to 7.44. Remember that pH is measured on a scale of 0 (acidic) to 14 (alkaline.) A pH of 7 is neutral. Thus the blood pH for humans is slightly alkaline. So it would make sense that drinking alkaline water would help promote this alkaline environment, right?
It’s an interesting premise, but the theory doesn’t really hold water (excuse the pun.) Here’s why. You cannot alter the pH of your blood by consuming liquids that enter the digestive system. The second alkaline water hits the acidic environment of the stomach, it is neutralized and sent on its way. Alkaline water may affect the pH of your urine, but it cannot alter the pH of your blood; therefore it does not in any way affect what’s going on in your cells.
Also, it should be noted that the human body is designed to rigorously maintain blood pH within this narrow window. Even the slightest variation would signal the release of biological systems designed to restore balance. And a failure of the body to maintain blood pH would indicate health issues which could not be aided by the consumption of alkaline water.
Alkaline water can’t hurt, but it also can’t help. If you enjoy drinking it, great. But you’re better off saving your money.
What about hydrogen water?
Hydrogen water is water that is infused with extra hydrogen molecules. The theory here is that these extra hydrogen molecules can bond with free radicals and neutralize them before they wreak havoc within the cells. And due to their extremely small size, hydrogen molecules can enter parts of the cells that most anti-oxidants can’t, making them efficient at preventing disease and improving health.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not.
Researchers have begun studying the effects of hydrogen water on everything from improving athletic performance to controlling diabetes, to treating Alzheimer’s disease, and the results are overwhelmingly clear that hydrogen water delivers on its promises. By removing free radicals from the body, hydrogen water helps to reduce the inflammation that can harm overall health and eventually lead to disease.
The takeaway here is that drinking water is good for you. Drinking water that has been infused with hydrogen is even better.