Water is a key ingredient influencing the taste, form and preservation of foods as well as being fundamental to our wellbeing. So it makes sense that water deserves just as much attention in our healthy diets as food does. Alkaline-ionised reduced water is becoming increasingly known as a positive alternative to other waters.
Kyushu University in Japan has recorded that alkaline ionized water can assist people in their recovery from various illnesses, thanks to its antioxidant properties, higher pH levels and smaller water molecule clusters. The report from the University’s Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology concluded that alkaline-ionised waters “are health beneficial and they suppress oxidative stress related diseases such as diabetes, cancer, arteriosclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases.” The researchers claim that having an alkaline body can have far-reaching benefits; a person can expect fewer colds due to improved immunity, a decreased likelihood of cancer thanks to healthier cell turnover, easier maintenance of weight, improved muscle and bone mass, and mitigation of hypertension or strokes.
Auckland-based doctor of integrative medicine and clinical nutritionist Kathleen Wills emphasises the benefits of having a more alkaline body through the consumption of alkaline water and foods. “Maintaining tissue and body cell pH is important for keeping healthy, and creating an inhospitable environment for diseased cells and fungus and bacteria to thrive,” Dr Wills says. “Too much acid in the body forces it to borrow minerals, including magnesium, sodium, potassium and calcium from our vital organs, teeth and bones to neutralise the acid, and safely remove it from the body.” Wills says this process is called acidosis, and the resultant displacement of essential minerals can then lead to problems such as upset stomachs, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, early morning fatigue, restless leg syndrome, muscle pain, rapid heartbeats and high blood pressure.
A recent seven-year study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco, has found that acidosis may also cause a loss in bone density, resulting in fractures as we age. It has also been linked to many kinds of inflammation in the body which, in turn, further increases acid levels. In spite of the arguments for the benefits of alkaline ionized water – there’s also plenty of online information debunking the science. So always check the source of the information and decide for yourself on its veracity.
Dr Wills comments she did a blindfolded taste test of five types of filtered water, and found that liquid from an alkaline ionization product called the Alka Jug tasted the freshest. “Many of my clients ask me for alternatives to tap water, and I recommend the Alka Jug from Ionza, due to its health benefits and competitive price compared to other filtering options.” Dr Mark Gabriel from Christchurch is in favour of alkaline water’s benefits, saying he has seen the health of his family noticeably improve through the daily consumption of alkaline water, and he is convinced it is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Carl Sayer was suffering from gout until he started drinking alkaline water. Since then, he says it has “so majorly improved that I can now jog again. The fire in my feet is totally gone.”