The Made in Oasis Complete Nutrition Guide to the Alkaline Diet recommends drinking a gallon of alkaline water daily. Let's talk about what alkaline water is and why you want to add it to your diet.
Hydration is Essential
Before we dive into the science around alkaline water, let's start with why it is essential to drink water in the first place. When you don't get enough water, your body can become dehydrated. Extreme dehydration can be a serious issue leading to conditions like seizures, hyperthermia, and even death. But even mild dehydration can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and confusion. The goal of Made in Oasis is to help you feel your best, and staying hydrated is key.
While you will get a small amount of the water your body needs from the fruits and vegetables on the Alkaline Diet, it is crucial that you also drink plenty of water. Here are some of the many ways your body uses water:
Water is vital for regulating body temperature. Water is needed to create sweat. Sweat helps cool you down during heavy exercise or when you are somewhere hot. However, if you are dehydrated, your body may have difficulty forming sweat, leading you to overheat.
Water helps form saliva, which is vital for helping you break down food. Saliva also keeps your mouth healthy.
After food leaves your mouth, it travels through your GI system. Your body needs water to help continue to break the food down into nutrients your body can use, and once the food is broken down, water is used to help absorb the nutrients.
Your body requires water to remove waste from your body. Being hydrated helps your kidneys function correctly.
Your joints, spinal cord, and body tissues all need water for lubrication. When your joints are healthy, it is easier to stay active.
Because of many of the reasons listed above, regularly drinking water can help prevent serious medical conditions like constipation, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, exercise induced asthma, and hypertension.
What is Alkaline Water?
Now that we have explained the importance of staying hydrated let's look at the benefits of alkaline water. Natural spring alkaline water (which we recommend) is quite different from what you get from the tap.
Every liquid has a pH level, and these levels range from 0 to 14. In the middle is 7. If a liquid has a pH of 7, it is considered neutral. Any liquid with a pH less than 7 is acidic, and anything more than 7 is a base or alkaline. For example, if we were looking at non-edible liquids, battery acid would rank 0 because it is very acidic, while lye and ammonia are 12-13 on the scale and are considered bases. (1) Normal water is regarded as a 7, while alkaline water typically has a pH of 8 or 9. It is worth noting that when scientists looked at different tap waters, many of them were well below 7 and fell in the 4.5-6 range.
Some manufacturers create alkaline water by ionization machines. However, if you have been reading our blog, you know that Made in Oasis suggests getting your food and beverages as natural as possible. So, look for alkaline natural spring water. It can be found at most health food stores.
The Science Behind Alkaline Water
It shouldn't be surprising that the alkaline diet would recommend alkaline water. But, let's take a look at just some of the benefits science has discovered about alkaline water.
Researchers have been looking at alkaline water in some very compelling studies. For example, one of the exciting benefits of alkaline water is that it because it is a base, research has shown it can be beneficial for people who have problems with acid or acid reflux. (2) The high pH level helps neutralize the acid in their system.
In another study, individuals who drank ionized (alkaline) water had significant decreases in blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood lipid levels. (3) Similarly, studies on athletes have shown that high-pH water is more effective at rehydration after intense exercise than standard water. (4)
A study in the periodical "Bone" showed that alkaline water could also help with strong bones. It supports bone resorption, which is when old bone is broken down by the body and replaced with new bone. (5) Most interestingly, there was also an animal study that looked at mice given alkaline water over the course of three years. Scientists found that those that drank the alkaline water had a better survival rate and showed reduced signs of aging. (6)
Getting Alkaline Water Into Your Diet
If you aren't drinking a lot of water right now, jumping up to a gallon of water can be a big step - not to mention causing many trips to the bathroom! So start small. You might want to first see how much water you are drinking in a day at all. Keep a journal or a note on your phone and note every time you have a glass of water. That will give you a starting point. From there, try increasing your intake by 8 - 12 ounces every few days. One easy way to do this is to have a water bottle near you at all times and set goals on how much you will drink each day. As you increase your water intake, you will begin to see and feel the benefits.
(1) Ophardt, Charles E. "PH Scale." Department of Chemistry - Elmhurst College, chemistry.elmhurst.edu/vchembook/184ph.html.
(2) Koufman, Jamie A, and Nikki Johnston. "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 vol. 121,7 (2012): 431-4. doi:10.1177/000348941212100702
(3) "Preliminary Observation on Changes of Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar and Blood Lipids After Using Alkaline Ionized Drinking Water--Shanghai Journal of Preventive Medicine." China National Knowledge Infrastructure, en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-SHYI200112005.htm.
(4) Weidman, Joseph, et al. "Effect of Electrolyzed High-pH Alkaline Water on Blood Viscosity in Healthy Adults." Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-016-0153-8.
(5) Wynn, Emma, et al. "Alkaline Mineral Water Lowers Bone Resorption Even in Calcium Sufficiency:: Alkaline Mineral Water and Bone Metabolism." ScienceDirect.com | Science, Health and Medical Journals, Full Text Articles and Books, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S87...
(6) Magro, Massimiliano et al. "Alkaline Water and Longevity: A Murine Study." Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM vol. 2016 (2016): 3084126. doi:10.1155/2016/3084126