The hidden health benefits of drinking alkaline water

There is no other substance as essential for your body than water. Pure filtered water is a cornerstone of good health. If you are drinking your eight glasses of water a day, you are already doing your body a big favor. But did you know that not all water is created equally? You may have already heard that alkaline water might be better for your health.

Alkaline water has a higher pH level (above pH 7) than plain tap water. Drinking antioxidant-rich ionized alkaline water may improve your health in many ways. It is believed to aid detoxification, supercharge the immune system, and fight the aging process. But more importantly, research has shown that it promotes a healthy microbiome.

Balanced gut flora, the key to better health

It is no longer a secret that a healthy gut flora plays a crucial role in many aspects of our health. While your diet is vital in maintaining a healthy microbiome, alkaline water has been shown to create the ideal environment for these bacteria to thrive.

Keith Bell, founder of The Gut Club, explained that high alkaline water is more than just an antioxidant-rich drink. Drinking alkaline water has shown to favor the growth of microbes in the small intestine, which he believes is the center of all health. Our small intestine is the place where most essential nutrients are absorbed. Malfunctions in this part of the body can lead to nutrient loss and disease.

“This [the small intestine] is where all health begins, or it’s the beginning of the end,” Bell said.

These microbes in the small intestine thrive in an acidic environment. But wait, how can alkaline water help to improve a healthy acidic gut? Contrary to what may seem logical, drinking high alkaline water doesn’t make our digestive tract more alkaline, but strengthens the growth of microbes which help to maintain a healthy acidic level in the small intestine. Especially when you are often struggling with acid reflux, alkaline water may help you to rebalance your internal gut flora and acidic levels. Acid reflux occurs when the gut is too alkaline, according to Bell.

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Furthermore, studies have also shown that some beneficial bacteria thrive in negative oxidation reduction potential (ORP) provided through regular consumption of high alkaline water. These bacteria include Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, which both contribute to a healthy gut by preventing the overgrowth of toxin-producing, gram-negative bacteria.

While the latter are also important to our body, overgrowth of these bacteria may interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients our body needs to maintain proper health. As reported by Bell, imbalances in gut flora and overgrowth of these aerobic bacteria may lead to malabsorption syndrome, which has been linked to many metabolic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cancer, and neurodegenerative disease.

“So, by creating an environment with a high negative value ORP drinking water, which is high alkaline water, we’re helping our protective microbes to guard the intestinal fort,” he added.

While it may sound a little odd and counterintuitive, drinking alkaline water on a regular basis creates the right acidic environment for our friendly gut bacteria to thrive.

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