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World Water Day – March 22, 2017

March 14th, 2017

World Water Day takes place on March 22. Each year this global event focuses on a specific aspect of our relationship with water. The theme for 2017 is WASTEWATER.                    ‘There ... More »

Part 4: pH of the Body, Water & the Food We Eat

The ‘Myth’ of Alkaline Water

[This article is Part 4, the final segment of 4 articles, in this series entitled  ‘pH of the Body, Water & the Food We Eat’. See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.]

The pH of Water Varies Naturally

Water is the basis of all life processes. It is always moving, influencing and being influenced as it penetrates the tiniest organelle or spans the hydrological cycles of inner and outer earth, and even the galaxy.

As hydrogen ions in water interact with substances unique to each locale, water partners with and relinquishes these substances causing changes in the concentration of H+. Consequently, the naturally occurring pH of water at different points of supply varies from acidic to alkaline.

pH is a parameter of water quality but pH, on its own, does not determine whether a particular water is beneficial to drink. Waters that are coveted for their health benefits may have an acidic pH. Other beneficial waters may have an alkaline pH.

The ‘Myth’ of Alkaline Water

The acid-alkaline balance of the body does not benefit in any lasting way from drinking ‘alkaline’ water. In fact, the chemicals used to artificially make water more alkaline may have questionable health consequences.

Very alkaline water can burden the body. Excess alkaline minerals, which are typically not bio-available, fall out of solution leaving deposits inside the body similar to the troublesome lime scale that forms in geographical locations with hard (alkaline) water.

‘Alkaline’ Does Not Mean ‘Alkalizing’.

‘Alkaline’ refers to a pH above 7.
‘Alkalizing’ refers to the ability to neutralize acids.

An alkaline substance may have no ability to neutralize acids.
A substance does not have to be alkaline to neutralize acids. Some acids are alkalizing.

Bicarbonates in Water

Some naturally sourced waters are alkalizing due to the presence of bicarbonates. Drinking bicarbonate water can be beneficial, especially before a meal. Despite being slightly alkaline, bicarbonates assist the production of hydrochloric acid for digestion which the stomach must produce, on demand, whenever we eat something. [More about bicarbonates in water in a future article.]

The pH of Water from Various Natural SourcesSurface water (from rivers, streams and lakes) is typically somewhat acidic.
Ground water (from aquifers) is typically alkaline.
Well water is typically alkaline due to the ground water source. However, the presence of carbonic acid may cause some well water to become acidic.
Rainwater is naturally acidic.
Natural springs may yield alkaline or acidic water.
Seawater is naturally alkaline.
pH of Bottled WatersStill bottled waters may be naturally acidic or alkaline. Some are made alkaline artificially to meet public expectations.
Sparkling waters are acidic due to the presence of CO2 in the water.

Proper Hydration Assists pH Balance

The body, in its wisdom, deftly maintains its intricate and multi-layered requirements for acid/alkaline balance despite the acidity or alkalinity of the substances we ingest. This interplay between acids and bases takes place in the presence of water. Keeping yourself well hydrated with vibrant and contaminant free water is one of the best things you can do to help this pH balancing process.

The Urge to Breathe is Directly Related to pH Balance

Interestingly, the urge to breathe is primarily stimulated by the body’s need to control CO2 and pH levels of the blood, not by the need for oxygen.25, 26 Rapid breathing after running is the body’s way of rebalancing itself by expelling excess acid (CO2) created during vigorous exercise. On the other hand, deep and slow breathing conserves CO2 by keeping it longer in your lungs. When you are relaxed your system becomes more alkaline which requires the balancing presence of CO2.

Drink Good Water and Breathe to Assist pH Balance

The body is a complex organism orchestrated by an unfathomable Wisdom that manages your various internal pH levels. You can assist simply by drinking contaminant-free water and by cultivating good breathing habits.
Next time you feel stressed, drink some good water and remember to breathe more deeply.
Get out more in nature, exercise your lungs and inhale that good air.

End of Part Four

This article is Part 4, the final segment of 4 articles, in this series entitled  ‘pH of the Body, Water & the Food We Eat’. See Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3 of this series entitled ‘pH of the Body, Water & the Food We Eat’.

References for Part Four:

  1. https://www.boundless.com/physiology/textbooks/boundless-anatomy-and-physiology-textbook/respiratory-system-22/respiration-control-212/chemoreceptor-regulation-of-breathing-1039-6384/
  2. http://www.scq.ubc.ca/waiting-to-inhale-why-it-hurts-to-hold-your-breath/

 

Disclaimer:

The information in this article is for information purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. It should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this article. Readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the authors, but readers who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.