December 01, 2019

Is alkaline water better for rehydration than normal water?

Q: I’ve heard that alkaline water is better at rehydrating your body than normal water. Is this true?

A: Let's start by defining alkaline water. Scientists use pH to describe how acidic or basic a substance is with a range from 0 to 14. Pure water has a pH of 7, meaning it's neutral. Fluids with a pH under 7 — such as coffee and soda — are acidic. Substances with a pH over 7 — such as baking soda — are basic (alkaline).

Alkaline waters have a pH around 8 or 9. Some vendors use water that has a naturally higher pH, while others say they create alkaline water through an ionization process.

Alkaline water companies make a host of claims, saying it's better at rehydrating the body and that it will detoxify and "balance" your body, help you lose weight, and prevent or even treat cancer.

However, there's little credible research showing that alkaline water benefits your health in any important way. In addition, be wary of promoted research on alkaline water, as some of these studies are small or funded by alkaline water companies.

Some claims about the benefits of alkaline water rest on the argument that modern diets make our bloodstreams and bodies too acidic. This is misleading. Regardless of what you eat or drink, your body is very good at regulating your blood pH through organs such as your lungs and kidneys. It's possible to have excess acid in your body fluids (acidosis), but this is generally caused by a serious condition such as a chronic disease involving the lungs or kidneys.

Many people don't drink enough water, and...