Alkaline Water and our body's pH regulation

One of the most common reasons we see offered by those who discount the benefits of alkaline water is something like this,

“under normal circumstances your body does not need any help in maintaining pH or in neutralizing acid.”

That quote was taken from Dr. Roach, a doctor with a syndicated column in many newspapers and newsletter across the country.  Kind of like the Dear Abby for health.  Scroll down to the bottom of his column from the St. Louis Dispatch here.

Here’s another.

“It’s a complete waste of money,” says Reinagel. “Your body maintains its pH within very tight parameters all by itself no matter what you drink. The idea that drinking alkaline water would have any affect is just counter to biochemical science and reality.”

That’s from Monica Reinagel, a nutritionist quoted in the National Post.

Both are correct.  The body does regulate itself, but it’s a pretty poor answer because it immediately leads to additional questions.  It also conflates a couple of issues we’ve raised before, namely treating alkaline water like it’s food.

But setting that aside for now, what questions and concerns do answers like this prompt?

How does the body regulate pH?

Without getting overly complicated into the chemistry/biology, the body utilizes minerals. We use minerals to build systems (ie skeletal), we use minerals during digestion, we use minerals during hydration, etc.  Those processes can also create acid waste that needs to be eliminated.

So there are 2 main principles which need to be in close balance.  A solid supply of minerals going in (what we eat/drink) and an effective way to get the waste out (bathroom, sweating, breathing)

Alkaline water alone isn’t going to provide the necessary minerals and it’s not going to balance your pH all by itself.  Those misconceptions created by the alkaline water crazies over the last several years have done a massive disservice to people.

But drinking alkaline water will help, as can adding baking soda to water, taking whole food supplements and eating a solid mineral rich diet.  It all works together.

What’s normal?

The more baffling word in Dr. Roach’s statement was “normal”.  What the heck does that even mean anymore?  Has he seen the same people we have and the massive health issues crippling us?

If he means the body doesn’t need help when we have proper diet, exercise, hydration, etc, then OK.  He’s spot on.

But is that what he’s saying?  Cause it doesn’t read that way to us.

We’d love it if people always ate healthy foods and got plenty of sleep and exercise.  But we’re also realistic.  Utopia is utopia for a reason…and chocolate and wine go well together.

…”no matter what you drink”

Really?  So guzzling soda all day doesn’t cause issues.  Or the recent relationship identified between milk and bone strength?  Is it just no matter what we drink, or does that go for food as well?  If so, why are drink and food different?  Are we all just issued at birth our lifetime concentration of minerals to use the rest of our days?  Or do we have to consistently replenish that supply?

It’s beyond concerning that a nutritionist and a doctor both think this way. It’s also strange how popular this answer is becoming for the anti-alkaline water “experts”.  They’re either all taking the same continuing ed courses or simply Googling around for answers and repeating each other.

We’re the first to say the marketing angle used by alkaline water proponents the last many years has caused plenty of problems and should be pushed back on. Alkaline water is not a miracle cure.  But c’mon, the logic and rational trained medical professionals are using is no better.

Drinking water with good alkaline minerals helps, and we can all use as much help as we can get.

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