When Sam tagged me on an article about alkaline water, “Is alkaline water a miracle or BS? The science is in” I replied, “I haven’t read the article yet but I call BS.”
About 18 months ago I posted “Alkaline water is a thing (but is it a thing we should care about?)”. I’d just learned about it and had an initial skeptical gut response. Kind of like clean eating and the whole “detoxing” idea, I’m not keen on fads that purport miracle cures, especially if not strongly supported by facts. And the facts never support a miracle cure, by the way.
The new article in question casts further doubt on the claims of alkaline water. First, what is the idea behind it. According to Dr. Tanis Fenton, from the University of Calgary and an evidence analysts for Dieticians of Canada:
the marketing claims behind alkaline water are based on an old idea called the acid-ash hypothesis. This posits that eating certain food like meat, dairy and eggs results in something called acid ash in your body, which increases your acid levels and causes adverse health effects including osteoporosis.
Trouble is, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that raising the body’s alkaline level has any health benefits at all. According to Dr. Fenton:
you simply can’t change the pH of your body by drinking alkaline water. “Your body regulates its [blood] pH in a very narrow range because all our enzymes are designed to work at pH 7.4. If our pH varied too much we wouldn’t survive.”
While you can’t change the pH of your blood, your diet does affect the pH of your urine. “Most people’s urine is about 6, which is acidic,” she explains. However, “that’s no problem, that shows our kidneys is working.” So while it’s possible drinking alkaline water may make your urine less acidic, that doesn’t really make a difference; you’re literally just flushing money down the drain.
Bottom line: we don’t need to drink alkaline water because there is no problem for alkaline water to solve.
So yeah, even after reading the article (maybe even more intensely so, in fact), I still call bullshit on alkaline water.
What’s your take on fancy water (alkaline or other)?