Ever considered switching from your regular tap water to another source? Yes, you can drink a different type of water besides tap water, and no, it’s not sparkling water, it’s alkaline water. Alkaline water So, what exactly is alkaline water? Well, unlike the plain tap water that we usually tend to drink which has a neutral pH of 7. Alkaline water typically has a bit higher pH of around 8 or 9. The pH level number basically helps you to find out the acidity or the alkalinity of a substance on a scale of 0-14. And the pH level assigned to alkaline water is actually what the word “alkaline” refers to. However, besides pH, alkaline water also contains alkaline minerals as well as ORP (oxidation-reduction potential), which helps to determine the alkalinity of the water. Benefits of alkaline water There is a reason why there is such a big hype about this and that is the various health benefits that alkaline water tends to provide. And although there isn’t a great deal of sufficient and evidence-based research, a huge number of people seem to be alkaline water enthusiasts and they believe that the following are the benefits of drinking alkaline water: 1.Neutralisation The most commonly known and popular benefit of drinking alkaline water is that due to its higher pH level, it tends to neutralise the acidic content in your body. And that is why people prefer drinking it over normal tap water. 2. Reduced levels of blood pressure and blood sugar A research conducted by scientists in Shanghai concluded that after 3-6 months of drinking alkaline water on a regular basis, people with high blood pressure and high sugar found reduced levels in both cases. This along with another similar study deducted that alkaline water may help reduce the cardiovascular strain that is caused by dehydration. 3. Beneficial for skin Alkaline water has proved to be highly beneficial for one’s skin due to its considerable hydrogen content, because of which, your cells absorb alkaline water quickly and more efficiently than normal tap water. It aids in keeping your skin healthy, hydrated, and moisturised. It is also said to have plenty of anti-ageing properties. 4. Maintenance of bone health Alkaline water has quite a good amount of benefits when it comes to your bone health. Alkali-rich mineral water decreases the process of bone resorption wherein old bone cells break down and are replaced by new ones as more mineral content and density along with less bone resorption help to strengthen your bones and also improve bone metabolism. 5. Cancer resistance There isn’t much data or evidence on this but many people, including certain researchers believe that drinking alkaline water may help with cancer resistance. 6. Good for the immune system Alkaline water is good for the overall functioning of your immune system too as it is also said to have colon-cleansing properties along with other detoxifying properties that are great for hydration, skin health, and even weight loss. Side effects Although it has quite a great deal of benefits, there are also certain alkaline water possible side effects and potential dangers that you might want to be on the watch for. It might lower the natural acidity of your stomach and end up restricting helpful bacteria to enter the bloodstream. An excess of alkalinity in the body can also lead to skin irritation and dryness and may even upset your stomach quite frequently. An excess of alkalinity is also likely to disturb your body’s normal pH levels which can thus lead to a condition called metabolic alkalosis, wherein you may experience nausea, confusion, twitching of muscles, a tingling sensation in the face, hand tremors, and vomiting. Additionally, if you have any serious health problems like a kidney disease, then you might want to first consult a health expert or a trusted doctor before consuming alkaline water. Drinking too much of alkaline water can also leave you deficient in minerals. Things to keep in mind One of the most important things to remember is that your body isn’t accommodated to an abrupt change of pH. If you are planning on shifting to alkaline water, then make sure that you carry out the transition slowly – mix up alkaline water with your regular plain water and then gradually switch to the former so that your body also gets time to get used to it. And the recommended amount of alkaline water consumption on a daily basis is about 8-12 glasses, i.e., 2-3 litres, to get the most of the benefits. However, don’t drink too much every day because that might end up having opposite effects altogether. Another to keep in mind is that when you get alkaline water, make sure you get it from a good and trusted place – you can get it from many grocery stores as well as health stores; you can even buy it online! You could also make your own alkaline water at home with no hassle at all! Squeeze some lemon or lime into your normal water and while drinking it, it is likely to become more alkaline as you digest it. And even though lemon and lime are acidic in nature, they tend to contain certain minerals that are capable of creating alkaline byproducts, once digested. You could also try adding pH drops and make your normal tap water alkaline at home. If you’re going for artificial alkaline water instead of natural, then you have to be a bit more cautious as drinking the latter is safer. Other than that, it is mostly safe to drink alkaline water as it is healthy. But there’s no sufficient evidence that it can treat health problems, so don’t put your money simply based on that fact. But mostly, remember to stay hydrated!