Is Alkaline Water Really Better For You?

Is Alkaline Water Really Better For You?


[ intro ] You may have heard of alkaline water— it’s the newest health trend hitting grocery
shelves. These products are essentially just water
treated to have a more basic pH between 8 and 10 instead of water’s usual neutral 7. And supposedly, they take your internal chemistry
from acidic to alkaline, leaving you more hydrated and healthy. Drinking alkaline water can even prevent bone
loss and cure cancer!… if the health gurus are to be believed. But science doesn’t back it up as any kind
of miracle drink. The claim is based on an old idea often called
the acid-ash hypothesis: that a more acidic body leads to health problems
like cancer and osteoporosis. And if an acidic body creates bad health, then making things a little more alkaline
could prevent all sorts of diseases. So for decades, folks have been coming up
with special diets— and, now, beverages like alkaline water— that are supposed to raise your bodily pH
and thereby cure cancer!… somehow. But, there isn’t one “bodily pH”. Human blood has a pH around 7.4, for example, while muscles are a bit more acidic at a pH
of about 6.1. And it’s not easy to change those numbers
with what you eat or drink. For example, a study published in 2001 is
often touted as showing that special diets can tweak internal pHs but even it didn’t actually find much of
an effect. The researchers prepared two meal plans for
8 volunteers— an acidifying one, where the foods had higher
amounts of phosphate in them and participants drank a low-pH water and an alkaline one with loads of calcium
and a high-pH water. But after 4 days on the alkaline diet, while
the subject’s pee was noticeably less acidic the average blood pH only went up 0.014 units
on average. That’s less than the participants’ daily
variation, and likely within the level of error for the instrument used to detect it. It’s actually a good thing they didn’t
find any big changes to blood pH based on diet. The range of pH where your cells work well
is really narrow so big swings in either direction can damage
your organs and even be fatal. That’s why your body has several systems
in place for keeping acid-base levels balanced. For example, it can respond to decreasing
pHs by getting rid of one of the most common acid forming molecules—carbon dioxide— by well, breathing a little more. But usually, it’s your kidneys that jump
into action. They take whatever you have too much of in
your blood and put it into your pee. And that’s why urine pH does change based
on what you eat or drink. In that 2001 study, for example, the alkaline
diet raised the subjects’ urine pH by an average of 1.02 units. So if you wanted to alter your blood pH by
drinking an alkaline beverage, you’d have to interfere with your kidneys— which, just to be clear, is a really bad idea. And other parts of the body also regulate
their local acidity, either by making acidic or basic compounds
or by throwing whatever they don’t want into the blood and letting the kidneys take care of everything. That means that your urine is pretty much
the only bodily fluid you can alter by chugging alkaline water—with one other exception. You do have some external control over the
pH in your stomach —at least temporarily— because you can directly neutralize some of
the acid there with what you put in it. And it’s why alkaline water /might/ be effective
against one particular health issue: acid reflux. Acid reflux is thought to occur because acidic
stomach juices activate a digestive enzyme called pepsin. If there’s too much pepsin or it sloshes
up into your esophagus or other places it doesn’t belong, it binds to tissues and causes symptoms like
burping and heartburn. And an article published in 2012 did find
that alkaline water can deactivate pepsin. But that was done in dishes in a lab, not
in an actual human body. And we already have lots of cheap, readily
available meds for neutralizing stomach acids— that’s the whole idea behind antacids. When you look closer at the other purported
health benefits of drinking alkaline water, the evidence just isn’t there. Take cancer, for example. Some scientists noticed that tumorous tissues
are often more acidic than healthy tissues— which is likely where people got the idea
that reducing acidity could cure or prevent cancer. And if that were the case, you’d think that bladder cancers would be
especially susceptible to alkaline diets because urine pH can actually be influenced by what
you eat. But a study of over 27,000 men from Finland
in 2005 found having a lower urine pH didn’t significantly
increase the risk of developing bladder cancer. Similarly, many have claimed that alkaline
water can prevent or help treat osteoporosis, a disease where bones become less dense and
more likely to break. That’s because, if your kidneys slack on
the job, another way your body can buffer too much acid is to pull calcium and bicarbonate
from bone, and less calcium means less bone mass. However, a study from 2010 found no association
between urine pH and a subjects’ bone mass density or how many bones they broke. And meta-analyses have failed to find any
connection between excreted acids and bone health. So for all the conditions drinking alkaline
water might prevent, so far we haven’t seen a real case for any
of them. And despite the acid-ash hypothesis existing
for half a century, there hasn’t been any direct research showing
that an alkaline diet or alkaline water can improve a person’s health. Luckily, there don’t seem to be any side
effects, either, so if you want to drink alkaline water because
you like the taste, more power to ya. You’ll just have some slightly more expensive
pee. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow! If you liked learning what actually happens
to all that alkaline water you’re drinking, you might like our episode on what doctors
can learn by looking at your pee. [ outro ]

24 Replies to “Is Alkaline Water Really Better For You?”

  1. This is a bunch of BS. Shame on you Sci Show. Alkaline balances your body, do your own research don’t listen to this video. Bunch of “science” bs

  2. Wow. Trying to tackle pseudo science with… pseudo science? Or is it just another bad review so that SciShow can make money? This is a common business tactic because people naturally like BAD NEWS? Why? because people are full of fear, and do not like to step out of their comfort zones, so they would rather benefit by scaring others.

    FYI: I have seen the evidence of Alkaline water work miracles first hand, so there's no swaying me. But i genuinely believe people make these videos by trolling of other business content just for attention.

    If SciShow has something good to present to the table, something that can solve my problems and better mankind, Im listening…

  3. Well, I can say into your face lady SciShow, that 3 years ago, I had severe colon cancer, and just after 6 months of drinking only pure Alkalized Kangen Water, colon cancer is GONE. Thanks to Kangen Alkalized Water. I am now alive and very happy. I think you should first try to drink Alkaline Kangen Water before you make any video about alkaline water. You just dont have any clue what your talking about.

  4. I started drinking alkaline water called Flow 8.1 and then drifted over to the WaterDepot brand and it is 10.1 ph and I find I not only like the flavor, the steady color of my urine and the way it makes me feel less hungry all the time — I like it because it is the ONLY thing I have ever tried that caused me an immediate change for better in the way my muscles feel and perform, as said, makes my stomach less acidic and I hate taking pills and anti-acid tablets which can't do you any better or even as well as the alkaline water. I think having a better feeling about oneself can't be a bad thing. I do like the nice color of my urine all the time now and that makes me feel emotionally better. Having a flavor in my water is very nice, too. So why not keep buying the alkaline water instead of buying fruity flavors which suck due to the fake sweetner put in them? This lady is out to lunch. Not everything has to be about curing cancer and bone deceases. Why not give some credit to the things that a person likes because they just well, "Like it!". We don't need science to back up a great flavor of things we drink. Beats the hell out of tea and coffee and soda pops…and especially out of lemon water or baking soda waters…which really suck and don't do much for the body scientifically as well. I find as well as many of my friends (not many = which are about only 25 = not facebook) that alkaline water is just better for us because of flavor, color of urine and the fact that it helps tremendously in eating less and hydrating more. Those things alone make alkaline water better for a persons body, mind and hydration!

  5. CONDUCT Ph TEST OF SEA WATER AND ADD TO THAT OF ACIDIC SOLUTION. THE PROOF THAT ONLY BASE OR ALKALINE IS CAPABLE OF NEUTRALIZING ACIDIC CONDITION. COOKING WITH THE NATURAL SALT FROM THE SEA IS CAPABLE OF DOING SAME TO THE CHEMICAL CONTENT OF OUR FOOD JUST AS USING ALKALINE WATER TO WASH THE FOODSTUFF. IF THAT MAKES NATURAL SENSE, THEN WHY IF I DRINK ALKALINE WATER( Ph 8.5 to 9.5) BEFORE SLEEPING IN THE NIGHT WOULD NOT NEUTRALIZE ANY TOXIN IN THE BODY.
    THE CREATOR MADE THE BODY TO CONSIST OF ALMOST SEVENTY PERCENT WATER.
    THE BRAIN, THE ENGINE OF CREATIVITY TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS ON EARTH IS
    ALMOST NINETY PERCENT WATER AND NEEDS SEVENTY PERCENT WATER FROM THE
    BODY TO FUNCTION EFFICIENTLY AND EFFECTIVELY.MOST FRUITS, VEGETABLES AND
    GREEN LEAVES IMPROVE THE FLUID CONTENT OF THE BODY AND ARE ALKALINE. @t

  6. CONDUCT Ph TEST OF SEA WATER AND ADD TO THAT OF ACIDIC SOLUTION. THE PROOF THAT ONLY BASE OR ALKALINE IS CAPABLE OF NEUTRALIZING ACIDIC CONDITION. COOKING WITH THE NATURAL SALT FROM THE SEA IS CAPABLE OF DOING SAME TO THE CHEMICAL CONTENT OF OUR FOOD JUST AS USING ALKALINE WATER TO WASH THE FOODSTUFF. IF THAT MAKES NATURAL SENSE, THEN WHY IF I DRINK ALKALINE WATER( Ph 8.5 to 9.5) BEFORE SLEEPING IN THE NIGHT WOULD NOT NEUTRALIZE ANY TOXIN IN THE BODY.
    THE CREATOR MADE THE BODY TO CONSIST OF ALMOST SEVENTY PERCENT WATER.
    THE BRAIN, THE ENGINE OF CREATIVITY TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS ON EARTH IS
    ALMOST NINETY PERCENT WATER AND NEEDS SEVENTY PERCENT WATER FROM THE
    BODY TO FUNCTION EFFICIENTLY AND EFFECTIVELY.MOST FRUITS, VEGETABLES AND
    GREEN LEAVES IMPROVE THE FLUID CONTENT OF THE BODY AND ARE ALKALINE. @t

  7. Our metabolism/ph homeostasis is way too strong for alkaline food/water to make a difference. Your body is a constantly running self-regulating chemical reactor that produces huge amounts of energy, a glass of dilute alkaline chemicals is nothing in comparison. Try this: drink a glass of baking soda solution – you will probably burp up some CO2, which takes the acidity out of your body. Considering that your exhaled air is around 5% CO2, that's around as much as 20 breaths, probably less.

  8. Drink more everyday waters, save the alkaline to maintain a healthy body, but don't only drink alkaline water. I'd say drink more waters that are little bit acidic so your body can produce acid but only drink small amounts of alkaline water… Don't get it twisted, you can drink alkaline water but dont drink too much of it because it neutralizes acid in the body so you can't digest food.. but drink little amounts of it maybe like every 2-3 days, but like a said.. dont drink too much, dont drink the whole bottle, take small swigs of it then don't drink it til the next few days later. Try lasting a bottle of ph 9 or 10 water a whole month, but keep it refrigerated

  9. Has anyone ever stop to think that a YouTube video from a woman who cannot confirm the validity of her statements as it applies to everyone not just men in Finland is accurate? If not then the people who are watching this video and believing it are just as dumb as the person who made it. If you want to know if alkaline water is good or bad for you then try it yourself and see the results instead of watching YouTube videos cuz it fits your conscience

  10. I suffered from asthma since I was 12 years and was on multiple medications. Went to multiple doctors and specialist with no cure. Instead I gained weight because of the meds despite exercising daily. Finally I went to an herbalist who put me on alkaline water. 9 months later I was asthma free and have been for 4.5 years.

  11. so… there's basically no studies done that are worth talking about either way. Studies of like 8 people? With next to no discussion of controls of diet or environmental factors or preexisting health variable…. and some "meta-analyses" really aren't enough to make a claim either way. I want to see some real studies done. Everyone has an opinion but the truth is there really aren't studies so an opinion is just an opinion at this point. Either direction.

  12. Hi looks like you are an expert. Any research you did yourself?
    At least PhD? My wife drinks alkaline Kangen
    water and her high cholesterol, sugar, triglycerides and joint pains came down in 11 months. She is off all medications. Any answer to that?

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