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Alkaline Water: Buy or Bye?

Does an alkaline environment mitigate health issues?

Alkaline Water

Promoters of the so-called alkaline diet and alkaline water believe that by consuming foods and drinks that are less acidic and, in turn, promoting an alkaline environment in the body, you’ll be less susceptible to several health issues, including cancer and osteoporosis. Some athletes believe that a lower acid load can improve recovery from training loads, too.

Bottles of alkaline water tend to come in at a pH of 8 or 9. This number means it’s more basic (less acidic) than regular water. That’s because it contains minerals, including calcium and potassium, that make the water more alkaline. To say there’s a lack of quality research backing any of the health claims associated with it would be an understatement.

First, it is impossible to change the body’s pH in any meaningful way through the food and drinks you consume. The kidneys are largely responsible for maintaining a balanced pH throughout the body, known as acid-base homeostasis, and it’s very tightly regulated. So you should not believe that by sipping pricey alkaline water you’ll be better balancing the acid in your body: Your body is already very efficient at doing that.

The verdict: Don’t waste your money on these false promises. Tap water provides the hydration you need at a fraction of the cost.

See also: Trending: Sparkling Water

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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