Between sparkling, mineral, spring, purified, distilled, and, now, alkaline water, how does one decide which option to go with? More recently, alkaline water has gained popularity, but is it really better than its counterparts? Below, experts explain the hype behind alkaline water.

What is it?
Simply put, “Alkaline water is water that’s less acidic [on the pH scale]. This means it’s rich in alkalizing compounds including calcium, silica, potassium, magnesium, and bicarbonate,” explains Ryan Andrews, a nutrition and exercise writer.

Is it beneficial?
People seem to think that alkaline water has added benefits that other waters don’t have. However, Dr. Jamie Koufman, a physician who specializes in laryngology, says that there’s no science to back up the claim that drinking alkaline water changes the entire pH balance of the body. “If the body takes in extra acid or extra alkaline, it disposes of it through urine,” says Dr. Koufman.

Are there any risks?
According to the World Health Organization, too much alkali can be just as damaging as too much acid. Drinking alkaline water is generally safe, but an overall excess of alkalinity in the body can cause gastrointestinal problems and disrupt the body’s normal pH balance, potentially leading to metabolic alkalosis, a condition in which the pH of tissue is above the normal range. If that occurs, you may experience confusion, nausea, vomiting, hand tremors, muscle twitching, and tingling in the face, hands, or feet.

What’s the verdict?
So it really boils down to personal opinion. Just be wary of false advertising that claims alkaline water can “detoxify” or “energize” because there isn’t enough research to back it up.

xx, The FabFitFun Team