In this post, we introduce alkaline water, explain its benefits, and identify the differences between natural alkaline water and artificial alkaline water. We also reveal the well-kept secret of how you can make homemade alkaline water easily, safely and inexpensively. Let’s dive in!
What is Alkaline Water?
Drinking alkaline water can be a great way to support a healthy lifestyle. However, did you know that there are two very different kinds of alkaline water with very significant differences between them from a health perspective?
The word “alkaline” in the term “alkaline water” essentially refers to the pH level of water. The term “pH” is a scientific term which essentially refers to the acidity or non-acidity of a liquid. All liquids have a pH, which is expressed on a scale of 0 to 14. Liquids with a lower pH (that is, closer to a pH of 0) are more acidic than liquids with a higher pH (that is, closer to a pH of 14).
For example, liquids with a pH lower than 7 (like coffee and vinegar) are acidic liquids, while liquids with a pH higher than 7 (like liquid soap and baking soda) are non-acidic liquids, which are also known as “alkaline” or “basic” liquids. Pure water has a pH of 7, which is considered neither acidic nor alkaline. Accordingly, alkaline water is water that has a pH greater 7 and is non-acidic. As discussed in more detail below, healthy alkaline water typically has a pH of 8 or 8.5.
Alkaline water is commonly believed to be beneficial to health. In particular, health advocates believes that alkaline water helps neutralize acidity in the body and thereby helps increase energy levels, slows the aging process, boosts the immune system, supports weight loss, detoxifies the body, cleanses the colon, rejuvenates the skin, supports the health of muscles and joints, and prevents numerous diseases, including cancer.
In fact, recent studies have found that alkaline water may benefit those with high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Moreover, other recent studies have found that drinking alkaline water neutralized acid in the bloodstream, leading to improved circulation and increased oxygen distribution throughout the body. Another recent study has also determined that drinking alkaline water can help fight or even eliminate acid reflux disease.
Differences Between Natural Alkaline Water and Artificial Alkaline Water
In general, there are two types of alkaline water. The first type of alkaline water is commonly known as “artificial alkaline water” or “artificially alkalinized water”. This is typically water that has been produced by passing tap water through an alkaline water machine, which is also known as an electrical ionizer.
Alkaline water machines operate by a process known as ionization or electrolysis, which is essentially a process that electrocutes water by repeatedly sending electric currents through it. Throughout the process, the water molecules are forcibly split by the electrical current and pushed over metal plates generally made of platinum and titanium. This process creates an exchange of platinum and titanium ions which essentially “forces” the water into a greater state of alkalinity. Adjusting the electrical flow determines how many ions are forced into the water. Some alkaline water machines also come with artificial powders that can be added to the water to make it even more alkaline.
Alkaline water machines generally increase the pH of water from 7 (being the “neutral” pH level of normal water) to an extreme pH of 12 or even 13, which is just short of the highest possible pH level (being a pH of 14).
While alkaline water machines are widely available for purchase in many stores as well as online, they are often marketed in a very aggressive manner along with claims that are false or misleading. As a result, you should exercise significant caution when considering an investment in an alkaline water machine. In fact, as described in detail below, many health advocates have cautioned that drinking artificial alkaline water for an extended period can have serious health side effects.
One reason advanced by health advocates is that the metals contained in alkaline water machines (platinum and titanium) are toxic and detrimental to your health. Accordingly, while water will become more alkaline as it passes through an alkaline water machine, it will also become increasingly toxic. In addition, alkaline water machines can increase the pH of water to an extreme level, which can negatively affect the body. In particular, excessive alkalinity can decrease natural stomach acidity, which can make your body more vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. In addition, drinking water that is too alkaline can cause gastrointestinal issues, negatively affect bone health, and cause skin irritation, as well as other health problems.
Artificial alkaline water is very similar to “empty food” that is high in calories but lacks the essential minerals that your body needs to flourish. In fact, a study published by the World Health Organization cautions against drinking water with low mineral content. When artificial alkaline water is consumed, its high pH level essentially “tricks” the body into thinking that it is receiving water that contains a significant amount of dissolved minerals. This “trick” can cause the body to release mineral reserves into the blood and kidneys, thereby ultimately making the body deficient in minerals as a result. In addition, the powders provided along with alkaline water machines are not pure and may also have negative health consequences. Beyond these health concerns, alkaline water machines can also be expensive to purchase and operate.
The issues associated with artificial alkaline water can be avoided by drinking what is commonly known as “natural alkaline water”, “naturally alkalinized water”, or “living water”. Natural alkaline water is essentially naturally-sourced water that has become alkaline as a result of its natural environment. For example, water can become naturally alkaline as it passes through a mountain spring. As the water flows and rubs against rocks in the earth, it will naturally pick up and absorb various minerals that will increase the water’s pH and make it more alkaline. Unlike artificially alkalinized water, naturally alkalinized water has a more naturally alkaline pH of 8 or 8.5, which is much healthier for your body.
Unfortunately, unless you live near a mountain spring, you may feel that you have little choice but to resort to buying natural alkaline water from a grocery store or health food store. Unfortunately, such water is almost always packaged in plastic bottles, which can leech chemicals into the water and thereby harm your health. In addition, plastic bottles are very harmful to the environment. Beyond these concerns, bottled water is generally expensive and the costs can quickly add up.
In addition, it is important to exercise significant caution when purchasing alkaline water in bottled form. Many grocery stores and specialty stores sell bottled alkaline water that is marketed as natural alkaline water when it is in fact artificially alkalinized water. In general, this water has been created through the process of reverse osmosis and has then been mixed with a powder in order to alkalinize it. As noted above, these powders are often not pure and can be harmful to health.
Fortunately, as described in more detail below, you can avoid the issues associated with artificial alkaline water and bottled alkaline water by making homemade alkaline water. You can make your own homemade natural alkaline water easily, safely and inexpensively using a copper water bottle.
How to Make Natural Alkaline Water at Home Using a Copper Bottle
When you store water in a copper water bottle, the water naturally and safely absorbs very small amounts of copper. This naturally ionizes the water and causes the water to become natural alkaline water.
As a result, a copper water bottle is essentially a natural alkaline water bottle. In fact, the process for making natural alkaline water in a copper bottle is much like the process by which water becomes natural alkaline water in nature. In nature, water can become alkaline by passing through a mountain spring and absorbing minerals. Water stored in a copper water bottle essentially does the same thing as it rubs against the walls of the copper bottle.
In fact, in a recent study scientists studying the effect of storing water in a copper vessel determined that the water became alkaline. In particular, the scientists discovered that the water's pH rose steadily the longer it was stored in the copper vessel. In addition, the scientists studied the effect of the copper vessel on microbially-contaminated drinking-water, including serious bacteria such as e.coli and salmonella. Incredibly, the scientists determined that water infected with these bacteria was completely decontaminated after being stored in a copper vessel for a number of hours at room temperature.
Apart from naturally making water alkaline, storing water in a copper water bottle can also have other health benefits. Copper is an essential mineral, and copper water (also known as “tamra jal” in ayurvedic medicine, and also commonly known as “copper infused water” or “copper charged water”) can have excellent health benefits. For example, copper is anti-bacterial, acts as an effective anti-oxidant, improves immunity, supports good health, prevents aging, eliminates toxins and free radicals, and stimulates the brain. Because copper is naturally anti-bacterial, copper water bottles are naturally self-sterilizing and do not require as much cleaning as other water bottles. Interesting, copper water vessels have been recognized for their health benefits throughout history.
Making alkaline water using a copper water bottle is as easy as pouring water into your copper water bottle and giving the water time to naturally alkaline. Water stored in a copper vessel will become increasingly alkaline the longer it remains in the copper vessel, and the speed and degree of the alkalinization process will depend on various environmental factors, including the temperature of the water and its original pH level. In general, the natural alkalinization process will occur a bit faster if the water is at room temperature or slightly warmer.
You can use any type of water in your copper water bottle, including tap water, water that has been passed through a filter, or even bottled water. You will probably notice the greatest difference with tap water, which is generally the least alkaline and in the need of the most care. Although tap water is generally fine in most first-world cities, you may wish to consider filtering you water before pouring it into your copper water bottle.
Make sure you use a copper water bottle that is made of 100% pure high-grade food-safe copper and does not have any other metals, alloys or lining. Make sure to do your research and ensure that you are avoiding certain manufactures (particularly those who sell on Amazon and Ebay and manufacture their copper bottles in China and India) who falsely claim to sell pure copper water bottles that are actually plain metal bottles plated with copper. Also make sure to avoid sellers who sell copper bottles that are coated on the interior with a toxic lacquer. Our copper bottles are 100% pure high-grade food-safe copper and contain absolutely no toxic materials of any kind.
In addition, you should try to use a hammered copper water bottle, as the hammered texture increases the surface area of copper on the inside of the copper water bottle which makes contact with the water stored in it. The greater the physical contact between the water and the copper, the greater the health benefits for you and the faster the speed of the natural alkalinization process.
In general, we suggest storing water in your copper water bottle for 6-8 hours for the most beneficial effect. For best results and a healthy start to your morning, try storing water in your copper water bottle overnight and drinking from it first thing in the morning. For some great tips on the healthiest way to drink water, check out our recent blog post about the healthy way to drink water.
About the Authors: This article was collaboratively written by our team of researchers and writers with the benefit of all available scientific studies and other relevant literature. Our team of researchers and writers include experienced health researchers including a qualified medical professional. Please note that information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.