All anyone seems to be talking about today is alkaline water. From Ronaldo and Tom Brady and Virat Kohli to Malaika Arora – international celebrities, sports stars and even nutritionists have endorsed alkaline water and its tremendous health benefits. From lowering acidity to increasing longevity there are many benefits claimed. But are these health benefits real or just a marketing gimmick? Read to find out the true facts about alkaline water.
Alkaline Water is not a new category of water
Universally there are two definitions of drinking water - filtered or packaged drinking water (IS 14543) usually manufactured using RO, and natural mineral water (IS 13428) also known as spring water or mineral water. Alkaline water is not a separate category of bottled water – water can either be made alkaline by a machine, or absorb alkalinity from natural elements. Even alkaline water falls under these two larger categories. If it is ionized alkaline water it will require RO purification that would come under packaged drinking water. If the water passes through clay, sand, rock and acquires minerals that make it alkaline it will be certified as a natural mineral water or spring water.
What is alkaline water?
Water usually has a neutral pH of 7. Any water with a pH lower than 7 is deemed acidic, and if the pH is close to 8 and above it is regarded as alkaline. While this definition works from a scientific standpoint, one must take a closer look at how the water has acquired its pH.
When spring water or underground aquifer water comes in contact with rocks, clay, sand it acquires minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium etc. These naturally occurring minerals are alkaline and their presence in the water can raise its natural pH - just like it does for Aava water. Aava’s natural alkalinity of pH8 comes from the earth, not from artificial processes.
There is a way to raise the pH of the water through a machine - this process involves splitting the water molecule using electrolysis and is known as ionization. Water ionizers simply raise the pH of the water to whatever limit is desired. This process is usually done on demineralised and purified RO water and hence the pH lasts only temporarily. This high ionized pH in alkaline water has no real health benefits, especially without the presence of minerals .
pH affects taste more than it benefits your health.
Your body has its own pH that it regulates to keep you alive. What pH actually does to water is to impact taste. When the pH is acidic the water will taste slightly acrid and bitter. When the pH of the water is more alkaline, the mouthfeel is much smoother. Aava is a naturally alkaline pH8 mineral water with naturally-occurring silica which gives Aava a signature slightly sweet aftertaste and smooth finish. Over the last 18 years we’ve had many loyal consumers who swear by Aava’s natural alkalinity for their acidity, one of the main contributing factors here is also the bicarbonates. Bicarbonates help counter acid reflux and it's the presence of these bicarbonates that makes Aava alkaline. So it is not always just about the pH, the minerality is always more essential and important.
In alkaline water, the health benefits come from naturally-occurring alkaline minerals rather than just the pH
Calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, bicarbonates are naturally occurring alkaline minerals. When these are present in water they can raise the pH of the water just like they do in Aava water. The real health benefits come from these minerals, not just the pH. The premise is quite simple. Human beings cannot manufacture minerals in the body. We depend on our diet for the same. Drinking water is as much a part of our diet as food is, in fact we drink water more frequently throughout the day than we eat. When we think of calcium, we immediately think of milk, but we don’t realise that even drinking water has calcium. Every litre of Aava has up to 25 mg calcium, so if you drink 3 litres a day that's 75 mg of calcium that you are just getting from drinking water. It’s the same with magnesium - 300 biochemical reactions in our body depend on magnesium. It’s the most important mineral in our body and it's abundantly present in natural waters like Aava too. Filtered/ packaged RO water removes all of these healthy minerals. Some Ionized Alkaline water brands re-add minerals before ionizing that water but science proves that bioavailability of natural minerals is superior to such added minerals.
Naturally alkaline water is healthier and tastier than ionized alkaline water
The biggest and most important trend in water will always be back to nature. Natural mineral and spring water that’s ethically procured from a protected source and contains naturally occurring minerals will always be healthy and tasty. TDS denotes the minerality in water, this minerality is what gives water taste and wellness – not the pH. If the pH is alkaline that’s great but choosing your drinking water basis just the pH without looking at the origin and minerality will lead to no real wellness benefits. If you are buying alkaline water in India make sure you check for the IS mark. If its IS 13428 its a natural mineral water like Aava and a healthier choice for you and the planet since it is bottled without RO. If it is IS 14543 it’s ionized alkaline water, something you can make in your own home with an ionizer too. Naturally alkaline Aava cannot be manufactured by a machine and it’s bottled with zero water rejection making it a healthy choice for you and the planet too.
Water that is naturally alkaline like Aava is well balanced without any additives or processes and safe to consume for everyone. Hydrating with Natural mineral water is always beneficial for your wellness because of its mineral content. So the next time you reach out for alkaline water, first ask how or where that alkalinity comes from - it’s healthy if it’s natural. Your body and wallet will thank you for it.