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The Benefits of Alkaline Water

How is Alkaline Water Good for Me?

The benefits of alkaline water become apparent to most people within a couple of weeks - but what is actually going on inside the body? Surely alkaline water is neutralised as soon as it enters the acidic environment of the stomach?

Alkali WaterIn order to digest food and kill any harmful bacteria within food, our stomach produces hydrochloric acid and maintains an acidic pH of around pH 4.

When we eat alkaline foods and water the pH of the stomach increases so the stomach produces more hydrochloric acid to bring the stomach's pH level back down to around pH 4. More alkaline water = more hydrochloric acid and so on - looking at it this way you would think that drinking alkaline water actually makes your body 'more' acidic! This is true - but only in the stomach (which is designed to be acidic) and there are two other important factors to consider:

1. The stomach does not have access to a reservoir of hydrochloric acid which can be tapped on demand. When the pH in the stomach rises this rise in pH actually triggers the production of more hydrochloric acid from the cells in the stomach lining. This process is not immediate which is why it takes food a couple of hours to make it out of the stomach and into the small intestine. Thus, drinking alkaline water on an empty stomach is ideal because the water is transferred from the stomach to the intestine before the water has a chance to be neutralised by the stomach’s creation of extra hydrochloric acid and once in the intestine the alkaline water’s beneficial OH- ions are readily absorbed by the body.

2. When alkaline water is consumed with food it contributes to make the contents of the stomach more alkaline which, in turn triggers the stomach to produce more hydrochloric acid. However, the process of making more hydrochloric acid actually has an alkalising effect on the body. When the stomach's cells make hydrochloric acid they use carbon dioxide (CO2), water (H2O) and sodium chloride (NaCl) or potassium chloride (KCl) to make hydrochloric acid (HCl). Putting these elements together to create hydrochloric acid (HCl) produces by-products which are alkaline: sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) or potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3). These alkaline by-products then enter the blood stream and are used as alkaline buffers to neutralise excess acids in the blood and help the body to maintain a blood pH of around 7.4 (slightly alkaline).

But Wont My Body Become Too Alkaline?

It is possible to become too alkaline but the body’s acid/alkaline balance is generally a one way battle - that being the body’s battle to neutralise and eliminate acid waste. As the blood’s alkaline buffers neutralise acidic wastes our bodies produce carbon dioxide which is safely discharged through the lungs but when these buffers become low a condition called acidosis can occur which is a natural occurrence as the body accumulates more and more acidic waste. It is known that the body's alkaline buffers reduce as we get old and, therefore, there is a relationship between the accumulation of acids and the process of ageing or, in other words, there is a relationship between the reduction of alkaline buffers and ageing.

As we have seen, when the body produces acids the by-product is alkaline. However, the same is true the other way round and the body also has to produce alkaline substances in certain places - such as in the pancreas. Pancreatic juice is used to neutralise food as it comes out of the acidic environment of the stomach and into the small intestine where the pancreatic juice's enzymes to do their job in breaking down food. The process of making pancreatic juice produces a by-product of hydrochloric acid which then enters the blood and which must be neutralised by the blood's alkaline buffers. Since the Western diet and lifestyle is generally highly acid forming, the body is in a constant battle and working harder than it should to maintain its alkaline state - and given that when the body produces alkaline to neutralise acids, it actually produces acid as a by-product, you can see that the maintaining of a correct pH is a highly delicate and sophisticated balancing act. The body is a marvel in this respect but, as discussed, drinking alkaline water has the positive effect of not only creating alkaline bicarbonates (by-product of the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach) but also, ensures that the food entering the small intestine maintains a relatively constant pH which means that no more acid forming pancreatic juice production is undertaken by the pancreas than is absolutely needed.

Because the body always makes acid when it makes alkaline and vice versa there is no net gain in either acidity of alkalinity when the body makes its own - one cancels out the other. It is the substances we introduce from outside that make the difference. Western diets are highly acid forming, so the body gains in acidity. If we introduce alkaline water and a more alkaline diet, then our body simply doesn't have to work so hard to maintain its pH balance because it has to produce less alkaline which, in turn, creates less acid and less acid means less decay.

Remember: we all know that our body acids take over after we die to break down the body. What we don't realise is that, these acids are doing just that for many, many years before you die. They're doing it now - rusting, decaying, breaking down, burning, oxidising - all a natural part of our balanced metabolism - and our body is constantly having to fight to neutralise and replenish and replace. It is this acidic decay process which results in ageing but the negative charging of the hydrogen atom in alkaline water helps to neutralise the acidic H+ ions and mop up oxygen free radicals within our bodies and thus should slow down the decay process. It is believed this is why many people notice an improvement in their skin condition after using alkaline water as part of their daily diet.

What Is the Best pH?

Ionized alkaline water is usually consumed between the pH ranges of 8.5 - 9.5. Alkaline water above pH 9.5 is generally considered unpleasant to drink. However, Jupiter Science ionizers do provide strong acid and alkaline waters since acid water can be used as a treatment for skin conditions such as eczema and both strong acid and alkaline waters are ideal for chemical free cleaning of surfaces.

The ph Scale