The Alkaline vs. Alkalinity Battle Rages

Maybe you have heard that alkaline water is good for you and you are convinced that you need to purchase a $4,000.00 Kangen Ionizer or maybe an Alkaline filter which some claim does the same as an ionizer.  I am going to tell you “Not so fast – be careful of what you believe.” There are lots of water ionizers on the market and they range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars for the Kangen Ionizer.

Kangen water typically produces water with a pH of 8.5 to 9.5 which they state “is slightly alkaline and can help restore your dehydrated body.”  That is truth, but I am going to suggest that raising the pH does not automatically raise the alkalinity.  There is general agreement that an alkaline body is healthy and an acid body is disease-causing.  Additionally, as a human being, everything you do (breathing, eating, exercising, etc.) creates metabolic acid and acids need to be neutralized to maintain a blood pH of 7.35 to 7.45.

To alkalize your body means that you give the body the ability to maintain a proper pH, but in order to do that you need water with alkalinity not alkaline water.  pH merely measures the degree of acidity or alkalinity, NOT THE CAPACITY TO NEUTRALIZE ACID.  Measuring pH is like measuring temperature, but measuring Alkalinity is like measuring BTU’s.  A match is 451 degrees Fahrenheit but just 1 BTU, whereas a fireplace is 451 degrees Fahrenheit, but 50,000 BTU’s. You don’t buy a furnace based upon temperature, but rather, on BTU’s.

You also don’t alkalize your body based upon pH, but rather on alkalinity.  Alkalinity measures the ability to neutralize acid with buffers which are the sum of bicarbonates.  Alkalinity is measured in mg/l (milligrams per liter).  Alkaline mineral compounds include the following:

  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Sodium
  • Manganese
  • Iron

So, you need to add alkalinity to you body, but you need to realize that pH has no relation to that alkalinity.

Case in point:  spinach juice has a pH of 6.4 but alkalinity of 2250 mg/l.   Wow!  If you put a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water, you would have 1500 mg/l of alkalinity.   Compare that to one of the many alkaline filters on the market.  Most add just a few mg/l of alkalinity (20-50) and then it only lasts a few gallons.  There are also health benefits to drinking a limited amount of water with a negative ORP (oxidation reduction potential), which is something I shall discuss in  a subsequent column.

For the record, I take a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 12 ounces of water in the morning (I don’t eat for an hour so that my stomach acid can rebound), but you might want to consult a doctor before doing the same thing.  I am not qualified to give you medical advice and neither are the people who sell ionizers or alkalizing filters.

In the interim, you may want to read what one expert writes about alkaline water in Public Health Alert.  Settle back and read this in-depth article by one of the most respected scientists in the field, Robert Slovak.

This article has 5 Comments

  1. I think much of the confusion on this topic has to do with the lack of proper water descriptors. pH is measured on a scale of 1 to 14. pH of 1 is highly acidic while pH of 14 is highly basic. Yes, BASIC, not ALKALINE. Alkalinity is the ability of water (or anything else for that matter) to buffer to a basic pH (any value above 7). This can be confusing because things that are alkaline typically do have a pH that is basic, but not always.

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