What Are The Cons To Drinking Alkaline Water

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In recent years, alkaline water has gained popularity as a supposed health elixir. Proponents claim that it can improve hydration, balance body pH, and even prevent diseases. However, it’s essential to examine both sides of the equation and consider the potential downsides of drinking alkaline water. In this article, we will explore the cons of consuming alkaline water and examine the scientific evidence behind these claims.

Understanding Alkaline Water

Before delving into the cons of alkaline water, it is important to understand what exactly it is and how it is produced. Alkaline water is defined as water that has a higher pH level than regular tap water, typically ranging from 8 to 9.5 on the pH scale. This higher pH level is achieved by adding alkaline minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, to the water.

Alkaline water has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits. Proponents claim that alkaline water can neutralize acid in the body, promote detoxification, and enhance overall health. However, it is important to note that these claims are still being studied and more research is needed to fully understand the effects of alkaline water on the human body.

What is Alkaline Water?

Alkaline water is water that has been ionized and has a higher pH level than regular tap water. The pH scale measures the acidity or alkalinity of a substance, with a pH of 7 being neutral. Alkaline water typically has a pH level ranging from 8 to 9.5, making it more alkaline than regular tap water.

One of the main reasons people choose to drink alkaline water is its potential to neutralize acid in the body. The human body naturally produces acids as part of its metabolic processes, and excessive acidity can lead to various health issues. By consuming alkaline water, proponents believe that the body’s pH level can be balanced, promoting overall health and well-being.

How is Alkaline Water Produced?

Alkaline water can be produced through a variety of methods, each aiming to increase the concentration of alkaline minerals and raise the pH level of the water. One common method is by adding alkaline minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, to the water. These minerals can be naturally present in the water source or added manually to achieve the desired alkalinity.

Another method of producing alkaline water is through the use of ionizers. These devices use an electric charge to separate the water into alkaline and acidic components. The alkaline water is then collected and consumed, while the acidic water is typically discarded.

Electrolysis is another technique used to produce alkaline water. This process involves passing an electric current through the water, which causes the separation of ions and the formation of alkaline water. Electrolysis is often used in water ionizer machines, which are commonly used to produce alkaline water for drinking purposes.

It is worth noting that while alkaline water can be produced through these methods, the effectiveness of the resulting water in terms of health benefits is still a topic of debate. Some argue that the alkaline minerals in the water can be beneficial, while others believe that the body’s natural buffering systems can adequately maintain pH balance without the need for alkaline water consumption.

The Science Behind Alkaline Water

To understand the potential cons of drinking alkaline water, it is crucial to examine the scientific evidence surrounding its claims. Let’s delve into the science behind alkaline water and its effects on the body.

The pH Scale and Its Importance

The pH scale measures the level of acidity or alkalinity of a substance, with 0 being highly acidic and 14 being highly alkaline. The body naturally maintains a slightly alkaline pH level, with a blood pH range of 7.35 to 7.45. This delicate balance is necessary for the optimal functioning of various bodily processes, including enzyme activity, cell function, and nutrient absorption.

When the body’s pH level deviates from the normal range, it can lead to various health issues. For example, acidic conditions can contribute to the development of acid reflux, heartburn, and even osteoporosis. On the other hand, excessively alkaline conditions can disrupt the normal functioning of the digestive system and impair nutrient absorption.

Alkaline Water and Body pH

While it is true that some foods and beverages can temporarily impact urine pH, there is limited evidence to suggest that drinking alkaline water has a significant and lasting effect on the body’s pH balance. The kidneys play a crucial role in maintaining the body’s pH level, and they are highly efficient at regulating pH despite dietary variations.

However, proponents of alkaline water argue that consuming it can help maintain a more alkaline body pH. They believe that by neutralizing excess acid in the body, alkaline water can promote better overall health and reduce the risk of certain diseases.

It is important to note that the human body has several buffering systems in place to maintain pH balance. These systems include the respiratory system, which controls the level of carbon dioxide in the blood, and the bicarbonate buffering system, which helps regulate the pH of bodily fluids. These mechanisms work together to ensure that the body’s pH remains within the normal range, regardless of dietary factors.

While drinking alkaline water may not have a significant impact on the body’s pH balance, it can still provide hydration and essential minerals. Alkaline water often contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are important for maintaining overall health. These minerals can also contribute to the taste and potential health benefits associated with alkaline water.

Additionally, some studies suggest that alkaline water may have antioxidant properties, which can help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and drawbacks of alkaline water. It is always important to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet or lifestyle.

Promoted Benefits of Alkaline Water

Now that we understand the scientific background, let’s explore some of the promoted benefits of drinking alkaline water and assess their validity.

Alkaline Water and Hydration

One claim often associated with alkaline water is that it can improve hydration due to its higher pH level and mineral content. However, research suggests that the difference in hydration between alkaline water and regular water is negligible, and consuming a well-balanced diet with an appropriate amount of water is sufficient for maintaining hydration.

While the idea of alkaline water hydrating the body more effectively may seem appealing, it is important to note that the body has its own natural mechanisms for regulating pH levels. The kidneys and lungs work together to maintain the body’s acid-base balance, ensuring that the pH of the blood remains within a narrow range. Therefore, relying solely on alkaline water for hydration may not provide any significant advantage over regular water.

Furthermore, the mineral content in alkaline water, such as calcium and magnesium, is often present in such small amounts that it is unlikely to have a substantial impact on hydration. These minerals are more efficiently obtained through a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods.

Alkaline Water and Health Claims

Some proponents of alkaline water claim that it can prevent or treat various health conditions, including acid reflux, cancer, and even aging. However, there is no substantial scientific evidence to support these assertions. It is always essential to rely on evidence-based research and consult healthcare professionals for specific health concerns.

When it comes to acid reflux, the primary cause is the malfunctioning of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which allows stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus. While some anecdotal evidence suggests that alkaline water may provide temporary relief by neutralizing stomach acid, it is not a long-term solution or a substitute for medical treatment.

Similarly, claims that alkaline water can prevent or treat cancer are not supported by scientific research. Cancer is a complex disease with multifactorial causes, and no single substance, including alkaline water, has been proven to be a cure or prevention measure.

As for the anti-aging claims, it is important to note that aging is a natural and inevitable process that cannot be reversed or halted by consuming alkaline water. While hydration is crucial for overall health and can contribute to maintaining youthful-looking skin, there is no evidence to suggest that alkaline water has any unique anti-aging properties.

In conclusion, while alkaline water may have its proponents and be marketed as a superior option, the promoted benefits often lack scientific evidence. It is always advisable to make informed decisions based on reliable research and consult healthcare professionals for personalized advice on hydration and health concerns.

The Potential Downsides of Drinking Alkaline Water

While alkaline water may seem harmless, it is not without potential downsides. Let’s explore some of the cons associated with consuming alkaline water.

Alkaline Water and Stomach Acidity

Drinking alkaline water with a higher pH may interfere with the natural acidity of the stomach, which is essential for proper digestion. The stomach requires an acidic environment to break down food and absorb nutrients effectively. By neutralizing stomach acid, alkaline water could potentially hinder digestion and nutrient absorption.

The Risk of Alkalosis

Alkalosis is a condition characterized by elevated blood pH levels above the normal range and can cause symptoms such as nausea, muscle twitching, and confusion. While it is rare, overconsumption of alkaline water, especially in individuals with pre-existing health conditions, could potentially disrupt the body’s acid-base balance and lead to alkalosis.

Impact on Kidney Health

Some studies suggest that long-term consumption of alkaline water may put additional stress on the kidneys, especially in individuals with compromised kidney function. The kidneys play a crucial role in maintaining the body’s pH balance, and the excess alkaline load from consuming alkaline water could potentially strain kidney function over time.

Expert Opinions on Alkaline Water

It is always valuable to consider expert opinions when evaluating the pros and cons of any health trend. Let’s take a look at what nutritionists and doctors have to say about alkaline water.

What Nutritionists Say

Nutritionists generally agree that maintaining a balanced and varied diet is key to promoting overall health. While alkaline water may offer a slight increase in mineral content, it cannot compensate for a poor diet or replace essential nutrients obtained from whole foods. It is important to focus on a well-rounded diet rather than relying solely on drinking alkaline water.

What Doctors Say

Medical doctors emphasize the importance of evidence-based medicine and caution against attributing miraculous health claims to alkaline water. They recommend maintaining a balanced diet, regular exercise, and consulting healthcare professionals for personalized recommendations. Drinking alkaline water alone is not a panacea for health-related issues.


While alkaline water has gained popularity and is marketed as a health-enhancing beverage, it is important to consider the potential cons associated with its consumption. The scientific evidence supporting the claims of alkaline water is limited, and there are potential downsides, including interfering with digestion, the risk of alkalosis, and potential strain on kidney function. It is always advisable to consult healthcare professionals and rely on evidence-based research when making decisions about your health.

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