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Drinking Alkaline Water: Is Ionized Water Good for You?

ionized water
Although little research supports the claims, alkaline ionized water is said to offer several health benefits, such as improving gastrointestinal health and more.

Ionized water is a commercially available form of alkaline water (water with a high pH value), which is believed to offer several health benefits, such as improved bone health, slowing down the aging process, improved gastrointestinal health, and decreased risk of cancer and heart disease. However, there is very little research to support these claims or if the benefits are maintained in the long run.

The pH is a measurement of the acid-base balance of water on a scale of 0 to 14. The normal pH of natural water ranges between six and a half to eight and a half and is controlled by the carbon dioxide-bicarbonate-carbonate equilibrium system. An increase in the amount of dissolved carbon dioxide reduces the pH of water, creating acidic water. However, a decreased amount of carbon dioxide increases the pH of water, generating alkaline water.

There are various methods identified to increase the alkaline properties of water by using special filters, faucet attachments, and additives that raise the pH levels, making normal tap water go from neutral pH to alkaline.

What are the health benefits of ionized water?

Possible health benefits of alkaline ionized water include:

  • Drinking alkaline water offers better hydrating properties compared to normal water since it contains smaller molecules, which are more readily absorbed by cells, aiding in quick rehydration. 
    • This can be a beneficial drink for people who work out daily and require more water in their bodies.
  • It increases the efficiency of the immune system, thereby lowering the risk of infections and diseases.
  • It contains various minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, both of which are important for maintaining healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis.
  • The presence of highly potent antioxidants helps prevent the growth of cell-damaging free radicals in the body, which can further hasten the aging process.
  • Studies have shown drinking alkaline water can help lower measures of high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels in patients.
  • One of the most important benefits of drinking alkaline water is that it neutralizes the acidity in the body by lowering excessive acidic content in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract.
    • Because of its inherent ability to neutralize acids in the stomach, it is a wonderful choice for treating gastrointestinal problems, such as gastric hyperacidity and diarrhea.

What are the uses of ionized water?

Besides the potential health benefits of drinking alkaline water, ionized water has the following uses:

  • Bathing in it claims to improve skin-related problems because it has been shown to reduce skin damage associated with ultraviolet radiation.
    • Alkaline water helps maintain the balance between proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines (chemicals regulating inflammation).
  • Alkaline water has been proposed to reduce adverse side effects of hemodialysis, such as excessive free radical generation in patients with end-stage renal disease.
  • Alkaline water accelerates the excretion of melamine and prevents its accumulation in the bladder, which may prevent the formation of bladder stones.
  • Ionized water may help maintain healthy blood flow.

What are the risks of ionized water?

Despite the numerous nutritional benefits of drinking alkaline water, rigorous quality control is required to keep the pH within a physiologically acceptable range. One of the adverse effects is that excessive ingestion may damage the stomach's natural acids, causing the healthy bacteria to die. Consuming alkaline water can irritate the skin, eyes, and mucus membranes.

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