Hype or happening? Fitness

Is Alkaline water good for health?

Verdit : Hype

There’s a wide choice of ‘waters’ offered up in restaurants: still water, sparkling water, citrus-infused water, basil-infused water, and many more. Then there’s alkaline water. Brands and companies that hope you will buy either their alkaline water or the devices that make them, list the benefits. What is alkaline water? How different is it chemically from regular water? Does it really have beneficial properties?

According to scientists, water with a higher pH level than regular drinking water is considered alkaline. A pH level is a number that measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is. Dr Sharad Kulkarni, who practises Ayurvedic medicine with Jeevottama Health, in Bengaluru, says, “Alkaline water can neutralise the acid in your body. Normal drinking water has a pH of 7. Alkaline water has a pH of 8 or 9. In Ayurveda, it is believed that alkaline water can treat many diseases. It is used to treat gut-related ailments often. Kshara or alkaline in Ayurveda, is derived from the burnt ash of about 15 plants, banana peel and papaya stalk being the most common. I would recommend alkaline water only if the alkalinity is from the burnt ash of plants. I cannot speak for the authenticity of commercially-packaged alkaline water,” he says.

The Internet is full of information, some backing the claims of alkaline water companies and some saying it’s pure marketing. The supporters cite data to give their claims legitimacy. According to the Mayo Clinic website, regular water is best for most people. Scientists state that no scientific evidence fully verifies the claims made by supporters of alkaline water. A diet high in fresh vegetables will usually result in greater alkalinity.

V Sudershan Rao, a former scientist with the National Institute of Nutrition and expert member on Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), rubbishes the claims about alkaline water. “As we speak, there must be 100 studies on 100 topics. Each of these studies claims something, but does not state anything as a fact. Any study without facts and a definite outcome cannot be trusted. It’s the same with alkaline water. Studies and research on alkaline water have not been able to claim anything as a fact. I look at it as a gimmick to make more money by packaged-water companies. It is another of the ‘superfood’ type fads,” says Rao.

In this column, we decode health trends and decide if it’s all just ‘hype’ or actually ‘happening’

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Printable version | Jul 20, 2021 11:34:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fitness/hype-or-happening-is-alkaline-water-good-for-health/article26767718.ece

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