Mineral, distilled, filtered, and now alkaline – H2O is constantly being reinvented (or should that be re-marketed) in order to make it as appealing/healthy/palatable as possible. But why has alkaline water suddenly become the A-Listers quaff of choice and more importantly, should we be following suit?
Ms Kerr has been extolling the virtues of an alkaline diet (popular with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Elle Macpherson and Queen Bey who adds it to her rider) and that includes drinking alkaline water; “I learnt about the benefits of alkaline in the body from studying nutrition," Miranda told Your Fitness Magazine. "There are many ways to do it – drinking alkaline water is one of them. I follow an alkaline-based diet and drink between two to three litres of alkaline water every day to stay hydrated. Unfortunately most bottled water has low alkaline levels so I add “Plasma pH” (pH increasing water drops) to the water I drink and I have alkaline water filters in my kitchen sink.” Many experts however remain divided so here’s what you need to know;
What is it?
Alkaline water is water with a pH greater than 7 (those science classes suddenly muddling into focus again?). Regular bottled water brands can range in pH levels from 4 to 7. Naturally alkaline water can be found in certain areas of the world such as Hawaii’s volcanic region, otherwise it can be made alkaline by ionizing it (with a machine) or adding an alkalising salt.
How does it taste?
Unsurprisingly a lot like regular water but is slightly sweeter and smoother on the tongue.
Why is it beneficial?
Proponents claim that maintaining a pH of 7.4 is optimum for a healthy body and that making our body less acidic (our diet – particularly if high in processed junk food can increase acid levels in the body), can help with everything from skin disorders to combating disease. Alkaline water is supposedly higher in antioxidants (so in theory helps with anti-aging), increases hydration (the ionized water has gone through electrolysis making the water clusters smaller and therefore more easily absorbed at cellular level), helps with weight-loss (by purifying waste from the body) and boosts the immune system (accumulated acidity has been linked to everything from arthritis to acne).
Whilst alkaline water has been hailed as a general cure-all by some, there are those who believe that tap water is just as beneficial. Many nutritionists and medical professionals for example argue that our bodies do a rather good job at maintaining pH levels all by themselves and that the stomach is so acidic that it would completely obliterate anything you consume anyway. They maintain that unless you have kidney disease (and therefore can’t rid yourself of acid as quickly), have acid reflux or are prone to kidney stones, the only benefit you’ll get from drinking alkaline water are from the minerals in it rather than the pH.
Our take? Whether alkaline or plain old tap, as long as you’re getting your eight glasses of water a day it’s going to help give you that H2glow either way.
Acqua Panna Natural Mineral Water, £1.
An Italian mineral water which has a pH of 8.
Alkalife pH Booster Drops, £19.97.
Add three drops to ordinary drinking water in order to make it alkaline.
AlkaLife pH drops is an alkaline concentrate. 3 drops added to ordinary drinking water makes the water alkaline.
As well as bringing your tap water into a pH range of 8.5 - 9.5 this state-of-the-art jug also filters fluoride, hormones, pesticides, chlorine, lead and other water contaminants.
It might look disconcertingly, well, black, but this fulvic mineral-infused water (minerals derived from prehistoric plants) tastes surprisingly good.