Plenty of the world’s most beautiful people swear that the secret to their perfect skin, hair and health is plain old water. Even a good-looking merman once said, “Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty”. More recently, the likes of Miranda Kerr and Beyoncé have reportedly switched to guzzling alkaline water: the elixir of beauty and vitality. Here’s what you need to know about it.
What exactly is it? Regular water has a neutral pH level of 7, while alkaline water can be anywhere between 8 and 9 on the pH scale. This means it also has alkalising minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and bicarbonate. How do I get it? Water from springs and artesian wells is naturally alkaline due to the dissolved minerals. Otherwise, a water ionizer can create the alkalinity by passing water over charged electrodes (like the Japanese water purifier, Kangen). A simple fix is to grab a bottled version from brands, like Evocus and Alkalen at a local department store.
So, it’s different from regular filtered water? Yes! “Reverse osmosis (the at-home RO filters) strips the minerals from water,” says macrobiotic nutrionist and chef, Shonali Sabherwal. “Any filtration process will also create oxidation in water that may not be good for you. You’ll notice this when you open a bottle of water and hear a hiss sound. This happens when the water absorbs the greenhouse gas and becomes acidic.”
Is it better than regular filtered water? Will it give you Deepika Padukone’s glow and a 10-year old’s energy levels? Probably, not. But the most popular claims made by bottled alkaline water brands include detoxification, better hydration, andbetter hydration, and more antioxidants. “It could help a lot, but it can’t fix the acidic blood pool entirely till you’ve fixed your diet,” says Sabherwal who also discourages getting your H2O fix from plastic bottles.
Honestly, do I really need it? With no concrete studies to support these claims, the world is divided on alkaline water. You must also remember that our bodies do a pretty good job of naturally maintaining pH levels. “Indians generally have hardy systems and too much alkalinity in our water makes us sensitive to consuming other kinds of water,” warns Sabherwal. “While water should be taken seriously, diet plays a far more important role in creating the right pH balance in our systems.”
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