Hi friends! Back with my Dietitian Q&A series; this is a series of blog posts where I give you the skinny on a few nutrition hot-topics. Today's post is about pH water- a topic I have received many questions about. Here is my take on it:
What is pH?
You probably remember learning about pH back in your high school science classes! pH measures how acidic or alkaline something is using a scale of 0 to 14 (0 being the most acidic, 7 neutral, and 14 the most alkaline). Believe it or not, your body does a great job of regulating pH on its own. Nothing you eat is going to substantially change your blood pH, as your body does a great job of keeping it constant. Plus, each organ has a unique pH range that your body maintains (the stomach for example is naturally very acidic, with a pH of 3.5 necessary to help break down food).
How is alkaline water different than regular water?
Regular water is usually around a neutral pH, whereas alkaline water has a pH greater than 7. Alkaline water is rich in calcium, potassium, magnesium, and bicarbonate. But no, drinking alkaline water has NOT been proven to prevent cancer or chronic disease. The majority of research I have personally read up unto this point suggests that alkaline diets and water have limited backing. However, let's not forget that hydration is a HUGE deal when it comes to our health. There is nothing more essential for the body and our general health than water.
What is the difference between alkaline and acidic foods?
Acidic foods include refined sugar and meat; these acidic foods are generally foods that we are told to avoid when following a healthy diet. Alkaline-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, soybeans, and tofu. Those alkaline foods are naturally good for you and can support a healthy weight. So, basically an Alkaline diet is telling you to eat primarily plant-based, which is naturally a very healthy dietary pattern. However, as mentioned before, nothing you eat is going to substantially change your blood pH. Your body does a great job at regulating your alkalinity and pH levels on its own.
What's the bottom-line?
Just drink water! Any filtered water, all day long. Especially in the summer months, hydration is extremely important. Plus, alkaline water can be very overpriced. Until we learn more about alkaline water, just stick to regular filtered water. More importantly, try your best to stay away from plastic bottles and go for either glass or a stainless steel insulated water bottle instead.
Have any more questions about this topic? Have another topic for our Dietitian Q&A series? Send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like.