A Personal Discussion with Ian Blair Hamilton, Founder, AlkaWay
.. and in that time we’ve continued to learn and refine our knowledge of alkaline water. But certain things remain true. The basic question most people ask us is whether alkaline water is better to drink that neutral or acidic water. We needed some hard data, rather than stories from salespeople.
We worked with an early customer, Dr Gerry Brady, retired GP, who alerted us to some amazing studies from around the world on national health effects. Gerry is an avid traveller, and talked excitedly about Italy, where the (alkaline) Dolomite mountains caught the rain and snow, filtering it through the magnesium and calcium-rich strata, flowing down into the lush Northern Italian vineyards, producing the famous San Giovese grape, that thrives on and delivers a decidedly less hangover than non-alkaline grape strains.
Dr Gerry’s gift to us and to our readers was a link to a metastudy of over 100 individual studies of the effects of water pH on populations in general. From Finland to Taiwan, from the UK to the USA, there are vast areas where alkaline ‘hard’water is the norm. In every study, a significant increase in pH towards alkaline was shown to be linked with higher health outcomes, including major disease groups.
Let’s get this clear now.
High pH water isn’t necessarily highly alkaline. Electric water ionizers will ‘bump up’ the pH reading without delivering a proportional amount of alkaline minerals. The electrolysis process artificially increases the pH.
This form of water is known as únbuffered’water, meaning that it will neutralise quickly when it meets acidic water. This, in turn, means it isn’t a good álkalizer’ in terms of actual benefit to the body.
Look for water that has added alkaline minerals. These are the ‘stuff” of your internal alkaline buffer or storehouse, and they are what the body uses to neutralise ingested or metabolic acids.
The skin is a good example. The natural pH of the biome of the skin is pH4.5, some 100 times more acidic than neutral pH. If we use alkaline water to wash, we will be washing with water that will work against the body’s natural effort to maintain this acid pH. The acid pH of the skin, by the way, is our way of killing bacteria before it enters.
However, drinking alkaline water is definitely a valuable aid to immunity, the energy, and to the maintenance of our skeletal health.
Is Drinking Alkaline Water better than eating alkalizing foods?
It’s not better. It’s the same.
Eating alkalizing foods, especially dark leafy greens, is a fabulous health strategy. But the actual alkaline minerals in a typical alkaline diet plan, even when you eat lots of álkalizing’foods, can be quite low. For that reason, drinking alkaline water is supportive of alkaline diet’s goal of maintaining an alkaline balance.
Many people take on alkalizing because they’ve been told of all the health benefits they may achieve. But let’s be very specific about WHY we alkalize.
We alkalize to maintain and replenish what is called our álkaline buffer’. This is a storehouse of alkaline minerals with the singular purpose of being ready to neutralise acids that enter the body (or acids we manufacture through metabolism) before they can do harm to us. These four minerals are calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium.
So any plan to alkalize has to keep in mind what the objective is, and whether our plan will achieve a daily replenishment of our essential alkaline buffer minerals.
For many years the electric water alkalizer was the biggest selling alkalizing method. It used electrolysis to separate the alkaline minerals in our water from the acid minerals, delivering the same alkaline minerals in a lesser volume of water, thus çoncentrating the alkaline minerals. The acid water went down the sink.
This looked like it was alkalizing, but it was actually only delivering the alkaline minerals already in the water. The electrolysis chamber gave the water a high pH but this did not equal high alkalinity. The machine did not add any alkaline minerals to the water.
High pH = high levels of hydrogen in the water.
High alkalinity = high levels of alkaline minerals in the water.
Our own invention, the UltraStream uses no electricity and delivers actual alkaline minerals into the water plus high levels of beneficial molecular hydrogen.
So will an alkaline diet, which will also help due to the high levels of essential enzymes and vitamins in the food. You can also take a flat teaspoon of alkaline electrolytes every day. This is all you need to keep your alkaline buffer replenished.
As you can see, we aren’t saying that alkaline water is the ‘be-all and end-all’. We see it as a definitely important part of our overall alkalizing strategy.
On a final note.. many people have bought our products so they can continue and acidic lifestyle. The reason that they love their life, so they can perhaps maintain it by adding an alkaline regimen. But they miss another important part of our strategy. It’s taking out acid-forming foods from your diet.