In an interview with GQ, Kawhi Leonard, NBA player, was asked, "What nutrition advice he could offer?"
His response might surprise you.
"Watch the type of water you’re drinking. Not all water is great for you. I drink a lot of water during the day, but I stay away from certain waters because their pH levels are low. Stick to alkaline waters with a higher pH. Trust me,”says Leonard.
Aside from eating clean and fresh, Leonard is a massive advocate of alkaline hydration – and he's not the only one. A number of high profile athletes and celebrities have been rocking pH friendly beverages.
So What's the Deal with Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water is different than your average glass of aqua on tap. It has a higher pH level than normal water as well as negative oxidation-reduction potential (ORP).
ORP measures the acidic level of something. A low pH suggests a more acidic atmosphere. And a higher pH is more alkaline, explains Dr. Josh Axe, a Doctor of Natural Medicine and health consultant for many professional athletes.
Fewer hydrogen ions indicate that more oxygen is present, which leads to a more alkaline state. And no known illness can survive an alkaline state, says Dr. Axe.
Aside from not providing disease with a hospitable home in your body, what does pH level have to do with health?
Shanel Sinclair who is a Certified Holistic Clinical Nutritionist and Founder of Augusta St. Kitchen, explains that a proper pH of 7.3-7.45 is ideal for optimal health.
"If your body is alkaline, you detoxify more efficiently, and you reduce inflammation in the body, which can reduce symptoms of chronic conditions," notes Sinclair.
What are the pros and cons of reaching for a refreshing glass of alkaline water? Before we jump into that, it's worth bringing attention to both sides of the coin.
What is the Debate Surrounding Alkaline Water?
Those in support of alkaline water claim that it provides a range of health benefits: raises metabolism, decreases bone loss, and reverses aging by neutralizing acid in the blood that can cause disease.
The opposition, on the other hand, acknowledges there could very well be benefits, but they're unsure whether the positive effects from alkaline water come from the water's minerals or higher pH level, says Dr. Axe.
Below you'll find a go-to guide on the pros and cons of going alkaline.
Pros of Alkaline Water:
1. Regulate Body Functions
"The minerals potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium are great for muscle function, bone health, blood pressure regulation, and electrolyte balance," explains Sinclair.
These mineral all-stars work as a team to keep our bodies healthy and running efficiently.
According to Dr. Axe:
- Calcium acts as a double agent by supporting an optimal circulatory system and by strengthening our bones.
- Magnesium helps to transform our food into useful energy. It also maintains heart, kidney, nerve, and muscle functions.
- Sodium manages our blood pressure, while also balancing out our fluids.
- Potassium helps with muscle contraction and relaxation, which is hugely significant around our hearts. It also assists in fluid elimination and digestion.
Our bodies work tirelessly to keep the blood moving toward an alkaline state, explains Dr. Axe.
Choosing naturally alkaline water, such as artesian, spring, or well water provide you with a great health-promoting drink.
2. Promote Detoxification
"The higher pH from the minerals in naturally alkaline water can help in the detoxification process, and when your body is properly alkalized, you can detoxify more efficiently," says Sinclair.
3. Improve Sleep
Dehydration means more than just feeling thirsty. Being inadequately watered up has a strong effect on your body's ability to feel good and can take a toll on your quality of slumber.
A study published in Oxford Academic suggests that if you aren't getting enough sleep, you should hydrate more.
By sipping on this essential beverage throughout the day, you have your hands on a simple, actionable step to enhance health and sleep. Bottoms up!
But before you reach for just any cool drink of water, you’ll want to strongly consider keeping it alkaline.
A study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health showed that participants who drank alkaline water daily not only slept more soundly but felt better in the morning.
4. Reduce Gastrointestinal Symptoms
The same study also showed that those who drank a daily dose of alkaline water experienced relief from gastrointestinal symptoms.
The study isn't the end all and be all in terms of addressing issues to do with gastrointestinal problems, but it certainly provides compelling data for choosing a more pH balanced water.
Cons of Alkaline Water:
1. Harmful Toxins from Plastic Bottles
A trendy go-to for many sports players, bottled water seems to be on fire in terms of publicity and popularity.
However before you choose an alkaline refreshment that's bottled, be sure to consider the toxins included in some plastics.
"It can be bottled in plastics containing BPA and other chemical residues," says Sinclair.
For an easy solution, you can pick up a high pH alkaline water ionizer machine to create alkaline water at your home.
2. Excess Consumption
"Alkaline water can be unhealthy if consumed in excess, as it can alter the body's pH and make you too alkaline, which can actually be bad for your health," notes Sinclair.
If you are too alkaline, then you might experience microbial infections.
"Some things need to be more acidic, like urine and stomach acids that help break down proteins in the digestive process, and acidic urine prevents bacterial growth," explains Sinclair.
3. Research Quantity
Finally, there tends to be a great debate surrounding the validity of drinking alkaline water for improved health.
Much of the debate is linked to the amount of research done.
For some, not enough structured statistics support the claims, making certain proposed benefits questionable, says Sinclair.
You can undoubtedly enjoy alkaline water knowing that studies have shown it to be beneficial for health. Just be sure to drink up wisely and avoid outdated plastics.
Ready to get hydrated and deepen your sleep? Get your own high pH alkaline water ionizer machine for your home or office and start feeling better today.