The truth is something closer to the middle. There are good points made from both sides of the issue, but those same sides also tend to not recognize their own shortcomings. Which leads to a lot of misconceptions and taking passed each other.
The 5 most common are: (in no particular order)
Alkaline water is a miracle cureIt’s not. Our bodies don’t function that way. We need a wide array of nutrients and complicated biological reactions to take place every day to maintain good health. Now, are many of us chronically dehydrated and can a lot of problems be helped by drinking more water? Absolutely, and since alkaline water is more hydrating than other options, that help is even more substantial. But it does not replace well-rounded nutrition and it can’t make up for years of poor choices on its own.
Alkaline water is a major piece of improving your health, especially when it’s viewed holistically. But don’t think you’ll be able to maintain a poor diet, deplete the body’s mineral stores, and then use alkaline water to fix current or future problems.
The body self-regulates pHThis is one of the most maddening things you’ll often come across. Usually written, said, or quoted by someone in a medical field. They stress that the body continually balances the acid and alkaline and doesn’t need any help. It’s partially true, the body does indeed balance itself. But it’s the how that process happens they avoid for some reason.
Are we all issued a supply of alkaline minerals at birth to use the rest of our life? Is there a resupply mechanism or is that all we get? Could what we eat and drink matter?
Using their logic, eat whatever junk you want and you’ll be fine. The only reason those with a diet high in mineral and nutrient rich foods are healthier than those who eat and drink poorly is luck. Or maybe they were just issued fewer minerals at birth.
A better answer would be the body has a complicated pH regulating system that requires a consistent input of alkaline minerals to facilitate the balancing. If alkaline water is delivering good levels of minerals, it’s a good thing.
pH is the same as alkalineThis is the area of biggest disconnect between the two sides. The marketers often say alkaline, when what they really mean is pH. Conversely, those who say there is nothing to alkaline water are typically looking through the lens of alkalinity.
You can have very low pH and high alkalinity or low alkalinity and high pH. The 2 measurements are not the same and they don’t have to be directly related.
pH is a measurement of hydrogen, alkalinity is a measurement of how effectively a base can neutralize an acid. Which one seems more important?
It’s overpricedThis is one of those legacy objections when the only way to get alkaline water was to “invest” $2000-5000 in an electric ionizer. But today there are additional options.
The awareness of alkaline water’s benefits is much broader today. You can find numerous bottled brands in the local store. This is still a bit pricey, especially if it’s your only method (and you’ll lose the fresh, antioxidant benefits) but if the choice is between a cheap non-alkaline bottled and an alkaline version, the difference is under a dollar.
If you want a home system, or even one to travel with, the old school electric ionizers that cost thousands upfront and hundreds a year in filters and upkeep are way overpriced. No longer are those options justified, especially when more of the sticker cost goes to the network sales organizations than the product itself. The more affordable option is a natural mineral based system you can buy direct. These will often have superb filtration and will only cost $0.03-$0.08 per liter. Only a few cents more than tap water and much, much cleaner.
Everyone can do their own cost/benefit analysis, but $0.25 or less a day to feel better seems like a wise investment.
Stomach acid doesn’t affect itOf course it does. Those who say it doesn’t do so for two reasons.
First, they don’t understand the difference between pH and alkalinity. Secondly, they typically contribute the health benefits to the water’s pH level only. So when someone counters with “stomach acid will negate the pH of the water”, their only option is to fall back to nonsense.
Acid will always negate an alkaline. In many cases, it actually takes a much smaller volume of an acid to eliminate a larger quantity of a base.
The interaction of the water in the stomach is a more complicated discussion, but the basic chemistry of acids and bases is not.