When it comes to understanding the effects of alkaline water systems on stomach acidity and overall gastrointestinal health, there are often questions and misconceptions. You might wonder how alkaline water, with its high pH level, interacts with your stomach’s acidic environment.
Municipal tap water is typically recommended to have a pH of 7 by the Environmental Protection Agency, while alkaline water boasts a pH of 8 to 9.
Hydrochloric Acid’s Role in Your Stomach
To comprehend the interaction between alkaline water and your stomach, it’s crucial to understand the role of hydrochloric acid (HCL) in your gastric system. Your stomach produces HCL, a potent acid, to aid food digestion and eliminate bacteria. Normally, your stomach maintains a pH level of around 4, creating an acidic environment necessary for these functions.
The pH Adjustment Process
When you consume alkaline mineral water or alkaline-rich foods, your stomach’s pH level rises. This prompts your body to respond by producing more hydrochloric acid to lower the pH back to its optimal level of around 4.
At first glance, it may seem like you’re increasing acid production, which could be concerning. However, there’s more to this process than meets the eye.
It’s essential to clarify that your stomach doesn’t store hydrochloric acid reserves waiting to be released. Instead, HCL is secreted as needed to maintain the required acidic environment for digestion. If the stomach had a constant reserve of HCL, it would lead to severe health issues.
Hydrochloric acid production involves a chemical reaction that combines water (HO), carbon dioxide (CO), and sodium chloride (NaCl), resulting in the production of hydrochloric acid (HCl) and sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO). Here’s the simplified equation:
NaCl (sodium chloride) + HO (water) + CO (carbon dioxide) = HCl (hydrochloric acid) + NaHCO (sodium bicarbonate)
Sodium bicarbonate enters your bloodstream, playing a vital role in neutralizing solid acidic waste and converting it into a liquid form that can be easily expelled from your body. This mechanism ultimately contributes to alkalizing your body.
Alkaline Mineral Water’s Overall Effect
When you look at the complete picture of how alkaline water interacts with your body, it becomes clear that alkalinity prevails. While it might seem counterproductive that the stomach produces hydrochloric acid, the introduction of sodium bicarbonate into your bloodstream counteracts this effect.
- The stomach produces hydrochloric acid to facilitate food digestion and eliminate bacteria.
- When you consume alkaline mineral water, the stomach also produces alkaline byproducts, like sodium bicarbonate, which enter your bloodstream to neutralize acidic waste.
- Consuming alkaline mineral water does not deplete your stomach of alkalinity; in fact, there is a net gain.
Acid Reflux and Mineral Ionized Water
One area where alkaline ionized water has shown promise is relieving acid reflux symptoms.
A study conducted over two decades ago revealed that alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 could permanently neutralize stomach acid (pepsin), relieving acid reflux.
A subsequent trial in 2017 compared alkaline water and a Mediterranean diet to proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), commonly prescribed for acid reflux. Surprisingly, the results indicated that the combination of diet and alkaline water was as effective as PPIs, with the diet showing the most significant benefit. The study authors also suggest that a plant-based diet and alkaline water might serve as a superior alternative for acid reflux treatment.
Alkaline Mineral Ionized Water and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
A notable study conducted in 2018 focused on individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) characterized by diarrhea.
Participants who consumed a minimum of two liters of alkaline-reduced water (ARW) daily for eight weeks experienced significant improvements in their symptoms and overall quality of life. This randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study suggests that ARW can alleviate IBS-D symptoms.
Benefits for Gastrointestinal Diseases
A review of studies conducted in 2021 sheds light on emerging evidence regarding alkaline-reduced water (ARW) and its potential therapeutic properties. ARW, typically produced through electrolysis involving the passage of electric current through water, possesses specific characteristics, including an alkaline pH, high hydrogen content, and an extremely negative Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP).
This review suggests that ARW has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that benefit various gastrointestinal diseases, including gastritis (stomach inflammation) and indigestion.
Choosing the Best Alkaline Water System for Your Home
For bottled water to qualify as alkaline, it must contain alkalinizing minerals such as calcium and magnesium carbonate. Additionally, it should possess a negative oxidant reduction potential, acting as an antioxidant, similar to blueberries or fish oil. The solution to this requirement is an Alkaline Water Ionizer Machine.
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Incorporating alkaline mineral water into your daily routine, along with alkalizing foods, can contribute to maintaining a balanced pH level in your body, promoting the overall health of your family. Whether you’re looking to address acid reflux, improve gastrointestinal health, or simply enhance your hydration, there are options available for you.
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- Koufamn, J.A, and N. Johnston. “Potential Benefits of PH 8.8 Alkaline Drinking Water as an Adjunct in the Treatment of Reflux Disease.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 July 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
- Koufman, J. A., & Johnston, N. (2012). Potential benefits of pH 8.8 alkaline drinking water as an adjunct in the treatment of reflux disease. The Annals of otology, rhinology, and laryngology, 121(7), 431–434. https://doi.org/10.
- Hansen, T. H., Thomassen, M. T., Madsen, M. L., Kern, T., Bak, E. G., Kashani, A., Allin, K. H., Hansen, T., & Pedersen, O. (2018). The effect of drinking water pH on the human gut microbiota and glucose regulation: results of a randomized controlled cross-over intervention. Scientific reports, 8(1), 16626. https://doi.org/10.
- Tanaka, Yoshinori, et al. “Daily Ingestion of Alkaline Electrolyzed Water Containing Hydrogen Influences Human Health, Including Gastrointestinal Symptoms.” Medical Gas Research, vol. 8, no. 4, 2018, pp. 160-166, https://doi.org/10.
4103/2045-9912.248267. Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.