Should You Really Worry About Acid In Your Water? Experts Weigh In
There’s constantly the latest big health or dietary trend on TikTok. Whether we’re turning cottage cheese into all sorts of other foods, adding butterfly pea flowers to our tea, or drinking potato juice, it seems to never end – and always has at least a bit of dubious value. The latest hot TikTok trend has been drinking alkaline water. But what exactly is that? And why do we even care?
Essentially, when we talk about Alkaline water, it all boils down to (sorry, we couldn’t resist!), the pH level of the water. Anything with a low pH is acidic, and a higher pH is alkaline. So, alkaline water has a higher pH than tap water. But why does that even matter? “Water itself has alkaline properties and alkaline water is simply a plus,” says Dr. Jeannette Graf, a board-certified dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mt Sinai School of Medicine.
TikTok has popularized alkaline water, pointing out ways of buying it bottled or adding alkaline drops to tap water to make it more alkaline. “By alkalizing water you increase the amount of minerals in your water, which in turn increases your internal pH. This leads to optimal body function and hydration,” says Dr. Graf.
TikTok videos are often claiming that by drinking alkaline water, it helps against inflammation and other health concerns. “By increasing our internal alkalinity the body becomes healthier and all of the bodily functions are carried out optimally in every organ. Alkaline water is healthy and recommended for everyone unless your doctor recommends otherwise,” says Dr. Graf.
When it comes to drinking water, there are definite differences that exist depending on the type of water we are drinking and how we are drinking it. “One major difference between waters is acidity level,” says Jenna Stangland, MS, RD, Director of Nutrition for the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Pureboost Ambassador. “Acidity is measured by pH levels and a more acidic solution is going to have a lower pH while a more basic/less acidic solution will have a higher pH.”
Those who support drinking alkaline water point to many potential benefits. “Proponents of alkaline water will say that drinking the alkaline water helps to prevent diseases and reduce risk of health conditions, especially if one experiences acid reflux, high blood pressure or even cancer, lowering pH would appear to be beneficial,” says Stangland.
However, none of this has yet to be proven substantially. “There is no substantial scientific evidence to show that simply consuming an alkaline water results in a significant change such as preventing cancer, postponing aging or lowering blood pressure,” she continues.
But it all falls under the category of it certainly can’t hurt to drink alkaline water. “For the research that has been done on alkaline water, it does appear to be absorbed at a higher rate so post-exercise it may be more hydrating than other types of water,” says Stangland.
There is also some research supporting alkaline water reducing acid reflux in comparison to taking prescription PPIs. “This is still an area that needs more evidence before we make a strong conclusion,” says Stangland. “It isn’t the end-all solution to every health issue but certainly is not going to be harmful, and drinking adequate amounts of any filtered water is going to be beneficial for health, exercise, hydration, and digestion.”
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