So you’re thinking this water’s a good beverage, think again.

When you consume water regardless if it’s bottled or from your tap most of use assume it’s safe. Well let’s explore this a bit more in detail and take the bottled water route for a quick spin.

Alkaline Water Recall:

In November of 2020 a number of cases of hepatitis were reported starting an investigation by the FDA. It’s taken a number of additional people and children getting ill and on March 18,2021 the FDA   issued a warning regarding the bottled water company selling “Real Water”. Their products range from a 500ml bottle to 5 gallon bottles and are sold can be found at stores including Sprouts, Whole Foods and Costco. It’s also available via delivery to homes in the large bottles.

The “Real Water” products have been associated with an outbreak of hepatitis which resulted in liver failure and other related symptoms including vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite and fatigue. Not surprisingly the lawyer are well on their way to litigation as there was a clear association, in one family with drinking the product and their illnesses.

The company’s claims are pretty interesting: ” alkalized water infused with negative ions” and “the healthiest drinking water available.” But let’s explore this further as the lawsuit indicates the water is drawn from the Las Vegas public tap water supply. There’s more…. the public tap has an average pH of 7.8 and their claim to fame is a pH of 8.0. Did you see the ingredients list ? They make their special blend in part by using ……potassium bicarbonate an inexpensive common food product .

A quick primer the difference as seen by your body is negligible and not enough to warrant any claims, for most indivduals.

Health considerations:

We should of course take a look at the claims and question if the products, alkaline water has supported health claims. The literature is very weak and only published on a limited number of participants and under specific situations. Let’s take a quick look: Here’s an often cited publication: “The effect of mineral-based alkaline water on hydration status and the metabolic response to short-term anaerobic exercise” addressing the athletic recovery of 36 athletes for 7 days while doing supermaximal exercise. Of the13 who used an alkaline mix they did show a better lactate utilization rate. Questions of course arise as to how many of you reading this will ever achieve a supermaximal exercise level and what are the long term outcomes ?

The second publication that gets quoted often: “Effect of electrolyzed high-pH alkaline water on blood viscosity in healthy adults”. The outcome after 4-8 hrs. of exercise to dehydrate the patients, “high-pH water reduced high-shear viscosity by an average of 6.30% compared to 3.36% with standard purified water (p = 0.03)” What does this mean ?

Higher viscosity of your blood can be thought of as thick oil in your car motor, which happens when your dehydrated, and it can lead to health issues. This study was only for 120 minutes post rehydration.

Body Chemistry:

With all the fanfare and the cost consider your stomach…… unless your taking antacids your pH is immediately influenced by it’s acidic environment quickly returning the water to a non-alkaline state. So how is the water making a pH difference ?  Between our lungs, kidneys, and the GI system we maintain a very tight balance of pH’s. It’s essential for proper body function. Ever notice how you breathing changes ? Our respiration is based in part on getting c02 out of the lungs which directly relates to our pH. You’ve probably noted a difference in your pee when you drink more or less liquids, another means of maintaining our pH.

Take Aways:

  • Don’t get dehydrated drink water, more if you’re exercising and/or sweating
  • Have your water checked, at your tap
  • Get an appropriate  filter if needed
  • Want to alkalinize your body, eat more fruit and veggies
  • Forget the bottled water (see our upcoming article on plastic in your water)
  • Your water bottle should be made of glass, stainless or medical grade silicon