Alkaline Water: The 21st Century Snake Oil

by Allen Gil November 19, 2014

Alkaline Water: The 21st Century Snake Oil

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Psuedo-science, or as I like to call it, “Bullcrap”, seems to run rampant in the world of fitness.

I think it is because people want so desperately to feel and look better, that they are willing to cling to any belief that could bring them closer to their goals of health and fitness, no matter how outlandish they might be.

Not sure what I am talking about? Go flip on your TV any time after 11pm and pick a channel at random.

See that infomercial trying to sell you those magic pills?

Yeah, good luck with that.

Alkaline water is the newest of these pretend-science crazes out there and it drives me bonkers.

I get all riled up about this one because on one hand I am super happy that people are drinking more water because I tell everyone to drink more water. This stuff is the giver of life! The problem is that they are guzzling it down under false pretenses.

Alkaline water marketing gurus spew forth such outlandish claims as:

• It will give you more energy
• It is an anti-oxidant that fights the aging process
• It fights off diseases that are caused by an overly acidic body like diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and obesity

Holy cow, this stuff is a miracle cure-all!

Why haven’t I started drinking it sooner?!?

Oh, that’s right, I don’t believe everything I read on the internet. (Let that one sink in a little)


Allow me to dispel some of the alkaline water mythology for you:

• The whole concept of drinking alkaline water to neutralize the effects of acidic foods is just plain silly; we get rid of excess acid by exhaling carbon dioxide.
• If you do drink alkaline water, its alkalinity is quickly neutralized by the highly acidic gastric fluid in the stomach. Well, that didn’t last long.
• The absorption of water occurs mainly in the intestines, not in the stomach. But when stomach contents enter the intestine, they are neutralized and made alkaline by pancreatic secretions — so all the water you drink eventually becomes alkaline anyway.
• “Ionized”/alkaline water is falsely claimed to be an anti-oxidant. It is actually an oxidizing agent, as can be seen by its ability to decolorize iodine.
• If you really want to de-acidify your stomach (at the possible cost of interfering with protein digestion), why spend hundreds of dollars on magical water, when you can just pop a few Tums, Alka-Seltzer or some Milk of Magnesia?
• Let’s pretend that you can in fact modify the PH of the gastrointestinal tract with alkaline water, that still has NO effect on blood PH levels, which is what would have to be modified to have any of the claimed benefits on the rest of the body.

Stop buying expensive snake-oil alkaline water my friends.

Instead, buy a nice water filter for your sink tap so you can drink more of that perfectly fine tap water and cut back on all that pesky soda. You’ll feel better, lose some weight and probably have more energy just from that simple change.

Now, take all that extra money you saved up and buy yourself something nice, like a pound of thick cut, hickory smoked bacon.



Allen Gil
Allen Gil


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