By Diana Lomont, Editorial Contributor
These days, consumers have more choices than ever when it comes to water — spring, filtered, flavored, carbonated, mineralized and more. Proponents of “alkalized” water say it offers possible health benefits ranging from cancer resistance and diabetes prevention to helping with weight loss, lowering cholesterol and improving energy. But before you spend your hard-earned cash on water, Orlando Health nutritionist Lisa Cooper, RD, says it’s important to know the facts.
On the pH scale of 1 to 14, alkalized water has a pH level of 8 or 9, while normal drinking water has a neutral pH of 7.0. However, not all alkalized water is the same. Most alkaline water sold in bottles is made by supplementing water with minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. The type of alkaline water that some health studies have looked at is called “electrolyzed reduced water,” made through a water ionization process.
“A few laboratory and animal studies have indicated that electrolyzed reduced water can neutralize free radicals that may contribute to the development of inflammatory diseases,“ says Cooper. “However, further studies need to be done on humans to substantiate this.”
If you’re interested in gaining the benefits of a more alkaline body, Cooper recommends eating more alkaline foods, which include fruits and vegetables.
“Only one in 10 Americans consumes the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and obesity,” says Cooper.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit per day and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day to maintain a healthy body. By eating more fruits and vegetables, you’ll benefit from vitamins, minerals and protective micronutrients found in these foods while gaining a more alkaline body.