If you are one of those people who think that water is just water, then this is probably not for you.
An alkaline water filter is rapidly becoming a popular solution for meeting our everyday drinking water requirements. As regular readers of our blog will know, bottled water consumption has tripled over the past 10 years - in 2017, more than 75% of the UK population used bottled water - but that is not without environmental and financial implications.
In response to this many of us are sourcing alternatives in the form of a countertop water filter, which produces cleaner drinking water straight from our home supplies. As part of this growth, alkaline water filters are increasingly becoming a common feature in many homes. But what exactly is alkaline water? And how does it differ from 'normal' water?
What are the Health Benefits of Alkaline Water?
This list of 6 benefits below will reference scientific research and academic data to highlight the power that taking your drinking water to the next level can have on your body. Let's take a look:
Higher pH Level
The central feature of an alkaline water filter is of course that it increases the pH level of the water, making it more alkaline. This aids the body in neutralising the acidic properties we accumulate through our diets. While the pH level of our stomachs is acidic, drinking alkaline water creates hydrochloric acid and the bicarbonates created in this process neutralise excess acids in our bodies.
Removal of Tap Water Toxins
Another key health benefit of an alkaline water filter is that it removes unwanted contaminants from your tap water supply. Depending on where you live, tap water can contain numerous chemicals and contaminants which are not fit for consistent human consumption. These can range from chlorine and fluoride to lead and copper, to name only a few.
In the example of chlorine, the detrimental effects on human health are well documented. Despite the fact that the levels of chlorine in your tap water have to meet regulated levels, this doesn't mean that there is no downside. The World Health Organisation, in a publication about water chlorination, finds an increased risk of bladder cancer in populations exposed to chlorine in their drinking water supplies.
In further alarming findings regarding chlorine, the U.S. Council Of Environmental Quality stated that:
“Cancer risk among people drinking chlorinated water is 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine."
Lead & Water Crises
Another common contaminant in tap water is lead. People who lives in homes built before the 1970s may still have lead pipes carrying their mains supply. This can leach from the pipework and contaminate the quality of the water. Lead is the main factor in the infamous water crisis in Flint, Michigan – where residents have been unable to access clean drinking water for more than two years.
An alkaline filter removes these toxins ensuring the best possible standard of clean, healthy drinking water.
One of the little-known boosts of alkaline water is it's ability to produce anti-oxidant water. Yes, really - water can have anti-oxidative qualities too! How does this work I hear you ask?
This happens because of the relationship between the pH level and Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP) - water with a higher pH level has more 'reducing' agents and water with a lower pH level has more 'oxidising' agents. The ORP range goes from -2,000-+2,000 millivolts (mV). Therefore, higher pH level water is likely to be around the low (-) range and low pH water is low (+) range. Bear with me, it's more simple than the science makes it sound.
Tap water in the UK is generally considered to be somewhere between 200-600mV. An alkaline water filter can produce water between -200 and -400mV, which means it has more reducing agents than oxidising agents. The result - crisp, refreshing anti-oxidant water!
Soothe Acid Reflux
We have all at some time suffered from acid reflux, otherwise known as indigestion or heartburn. Bupa estimates that around 40% of people in the UK suffer from heartburn per year. In the US, it is estimated that between 42-64 million adults suffer from heartburn every year.
That burning sensation in your chest is caused by stomach acid flowing into your oesophagus. Alkaline water has proven an effective remedy for this common occurrence. A study by Kaufman and Johnson (2012) found that alkaline water inactivated human pepsin due to its acid-buffering capacity.
The Phox Alkaline Water Filter was recently reviewed by howtogetridofacidreflux.info, where you can find out more about how alkaline water helps with acid reflux.
Enhances Cardiorespiratory Capacity
One of the most scientifically concrete benefits of an alkaline water filter is its ability to enhance the body’s hydrogen ion buffering capacity during high intensity exercise. When we exercise at intensity our bodies produce more hydrogen ions than we can deal with, this is how fatigue and lactic acid builds up.
Heil et al. (2012) tested the impact of an alkalising supplement against a placebo in a group of professional skiers. Following a 7-day analysis, they found that the group given the alkalising supplement suffered significantly lower cardiorespiratory stress, lower blood lactate levels and higher upper body power levels.
Further research by Daniel P Heli also shows that alkaline water improves acid-base balance and gives better hydration compared with ‘non-mineralised placebo’ bottled water. These publications prove that the health benefits of alkaline water filter in regards to improved hydration are substantially better than basic, non-alkaline forms of drinking water.
One of the hidden benefits of a five-stage carbon activated alkaline water filter is that it adds minerals to the drinking water. This is where an alkaline water filter differs with other forms of water purification, such as distilled water. Distilled water aims to remove all impurities and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) from tap water. While this can be beneficial for short-term detoxifying purposes, sustained human consumption of distilled is not recommended. The World Health Organisation also advises against demineralised water and points out the health risks concerned;
"Sufficient evidence is now available to confirm the health consequences from drinking water deficient in calcium or magnesium. Many studies show that higher water magnesium is related to decreased risks for Cardiovascular Disease and especially for sudden death from CVD."
Therefore, mineralisation is a key component of an alkaline water filter. The primary minerals that are adjusted in the filtration process are calcium and magnesium. Deficiencies of these components can lead to a range of issues other than Cardiovascular Disease, like weaker bone strength and tooth decay. That’s why it’s important that any filtration process enhances the mineral content of the water to supplement the mineral consumption we receive from our daily food intake.
Your Body Deserves the Best
Despite the contention and speculation surrounding the benefits of an alkaline water filter, the evidence discussed above demonstrates the higher level of quality they provide compared with normal bottled water and other basic water filters.
Sceptics are quick to jump on the areas where they claim there is insufficient scientific proof and use them as evidence that alkaline water doesn’t provide any unique health benefits. However, not only are there scientifically-proven alkaline water benefits, there are also numerous other improvements pertaining to mineralisation and removal of odours & toxins that truly underline the value of an alkaline water filter.
If you would like to experience the refreshing, revitalising boosts of alkaline water click here.