The term, pH refers to the potential of hydrogen which is a measure of the hydrogen ion (H+) concentration and also a measure of acidity or alkalinity.
The pH scale ranges from 0 on the acidic side to 14 on the alkaline side. A solution is neutral if the pH is 7. The pH scale is logarithmic, so a change of one pH unit indicates a tenfold shift in the concentration of hydrogen ions. For example: a pH of 6 is ten times more acidic than a pH of 7, and it is 100 times more acidic than a pH of 8. You can see how a slight shift in pH can be quite significant.
In the human body, pH is critical especially in your blood. The pH range that is considered to be normal for blood is between 7.30 and 7.45. Blood pH is a direct indicator of how much oxygen is available for your cells. Blood at a pH of 7.45 contains 65% more excess oxygen than blood at a pH of 7.3.4 Lack of oxygen and the resulting metabolic acidosis is a component of just about every disease we know.
Nobel prize-winning research in the 1930s and 1940s by Dr. Otto Warburg revealed that cancer could not live in an oxygen-rich environment. His research provided evidence that
oxygen-starved cells switch to another mechanism for producing energy one that does not require oxygen and one that is capable of surviving in an acidic environment.5 Since his
original research, most disease has been linked with the lack of oxygen and the build-up of acidic wastes.
Blood with a pH of 7.3 is also thicker than blood with a more alkaline pH. Acid is partially responsible for blood clotting. A lower blood pH means thicker blood that is more difficult to pump. Both dehydration6 and low blood pH are now linked with high blood pressure.
In today s world, most people s bodies and blood are more acidic than they should be. This is the result of poor diet (heavy in sugar, soft drinks, excessive protein, and refined
carbohydrates), dehydration, stress, and environmental pollutants. Each of these contributes to acidosis and unfortunately also to disease and premature aging. Besides the
consequences mentioned above, acidosis reduces your body’s ability to absorb minerals and nutrients. It reduces energy production and slows cellular regeneration. Acidosis is
responsible for hardening of the arteries and it makes you more susceptible to fatigue and illness. In an overly acidic body, maintaining normal blood pH is difficult; sometimes your
body has no choice but to pull alkaline minerals from organs and tissues including bones and teeth.
When water is ionized, alkaline minerals (with a positive charge) are attracted to the negative charge on the hydroxyl ion (OH-) and are concentrated on one side of the ionization chamber producing what is referred to as alkaline water. Alkaline water has a pH that is between 10 and 1000 times more alkaline than the starting water, depending on the minerals in the original water and on the pH setting you choose. Drinking the alkaline portion of ionized water provides an abundance of alkaline minerals which help to neutralize acidic wastes in your body.
Alkaline water also contains more oxygen. At a pH of 7, water has an equal concentration of hydrogen ions (H+) and hydroxyl (OH-) ions. But as the pH increases, so does the
predominance of negative (OH-) ions. When you drink alkaline water, you are drinking water with more oxygen not in the form of O2, but in the form of OH- which is stabilized because of its combination with an alkaline mineral. Once inside your body, two hydroxyl ions can form a water molecule (H2O) and give off an oxygen atom. In this way, the alkaline mineral is used to neutralize acids and the hydroxyl ion is freed to supply oxygen to your cells.
One of the most common questions people ask about drinking alkaline water is: Does it neutralize the acid in my stomach? This question has a simple answer. In essence, the cells in your stomach wall produce hydrochloric acid (HCl) on an as-needed basis. When you eat or drink, the pH inside your stomach becomes more alkaline. The increase in pH, along with the fact that your stomach has been stretched, stimulates the secretion of HCl to bring your stomach pH back to a normal range for digestion. When you drink alkaline water, more HCl is secreted to maintain the stomach pH value. The interesting thing is that the by-products of the reaction are bicarbonates the alkaline buffers required to balance the pH of your blood. The reaction uses carbon dioxide, water and salt (as sodium chloride or potassium chloride) and the outcome is HCl in the stomach and sodium bicarbonate which enters the blood stream. 7
As we age, we lose bicarbonate buffers in our blood a function of increasing acidity.8 Anything you can do to support the buffering capacity of your blood will help you to neutralize acid and slow the symptoms of disease and aging.
When it comes to pH, the person who drinks alkaline water benefits in many ways:
1. Alkaline water provides an abundance of alkaline minerals that are required to neutralize acidic wastes in the tissues and in the blood. Having an abundance of alkaline minerals spares their removal from organs, bones, and teeth.
2. Alkaline water is capable of carrying more oxygen in the form of OH-.
3. Drinking alkaline water (especially 20 minutes before a meal) stimulates the production of HCl which aids digestion and the assimilation of nutrients. Most North Americans over the age of 40 don t produce enough HCl in their stomachs for optimal digestion.
4. The production of HCl releases bicarbonates which are sent to the bloodstream.
These are used to balance (buffer) the pH of the blood and other body fluids.
(Change your water, Change your life, Dr. Dave Carpenter, N.D., C. Ac., C.C.I.)