Alkaline Water and Stomach Acidity
I'm often asked this question: "How is it that alkaline water will help my pH? After all, when I drink it, isn't it going into my stomach that contains (hydrochloric) acid? Won't the acid simply cancel the alkalinity of the water out?" The answer is NO, but you'll have to take a moment to understand why. Read on...
The pH of the stomach ranges from 2 to 4. This is due to the hydrochloric acid (HCL) that it produces. It becomes most acidic when digesting heavy proteins like meat. Please note that if the stomach does not secrete enough HCL, food goes into the intestines undigested and eventually ferments... this is a bad thing - one that ultimately leads to toxicity and acidification.
So, even though HCL is a very strong acid, it's a good acid with a very specific role; a role that's limited to the stomach. When you drink alkaline water, the pH of the stomach increases. When this happens, the body produces more hydrochloric acid in response - in order to bring the pH back down to 4. The more alkaline water introduced, the more hydrochloric acid produced.
Isn't that bad? Especially the "More Hydrochloric Acid Produced" part? No... read on. This does get a bit technical, so stick with me.
Contrary to what you might think, there is no "hydrochloric acid (HCL) pouch" in your body. The pH of HCL is so acidic, that it would burn a hole in the pouch (if there was one) . Parietal cells in your stomach wall create HCL on an as-needed-basis. They do this by splitting sodium chloride (salt) into two chemicals... HCL and sodium bicarbonate (an alkalizing buffer). The HCL remains in the stomach, and the sodium bicarbonate is sent into the blood stream to be delivered to the other organs that play a role in digestion including the liver and pancreas.
The liver produces bile, and the pancreas produces pancreatic juice, which contains enzymes and sodium bicarbonate.
So then... the more HCL that is produced, the more bicarbonate is produced. (Keep in mind also that the alkaline water is neutralizing this excess HCL in the stomach, so it's not building up.) The fact that more bicarbonate is being produced is important. Sodium (as well as potassium) bicarbonate acts as an acid buffer in the body. After the food in the stomach is digested into what's called chime, it is sent to the small intestine. At this point it is so acidic that it will damage the intestinal wall if it is not buffered or neutralized. To compensate, the pancreas secretes alkaline juice (containing bicarbonate) that brings the pH of the food back up to above 7.0. The process of digestion then continues in the intestines and colon.
Alkaline bicarbonates also act as buffers that neutralize excess acids in the body so that they can safely enter the blood as neutral salts. Alkaline water (like that made from Alkalive pH Booster) also contains many other alkalizing minerals that your body needs in order to neutralize excess acids that are stored in extra-cellular fluids, connective fluids, interstitial fluids and tissues. Until these acids are neutralized, they CANNOT ENTER THE BLOODSTREAM for elimination via the kidneys. The blood must remain at a pH of 7.36 - 7.39, so if the acids were simply "dumped" into the bloodstream prior to being neutralized, your body would shut down.
For example: Sulfuric acid (a strong acid produced from the break down of amino acids), can be neutralized by magnesium. The result would be a neutral salt called magnesium sulfate, which can safely enter the bloodstream for elimination. For every acid that is present in your body, a corresponding alkaline element/mineral is needed to buffer it... otherwise you become acidic. When acids build up in the joints, tissues, and organs they create irritation that leads to inflammation and then disease. So without an abundant reserve of alkaline minerals, the body's buffering systems become compromised, and acidity results. As you can see, drinking a lot of healthy alkaline water is vital if you plan to alkalize or maintain the proper pH of your body. Reverse osmosis and distilled water does not have an alkaline pH.These water filtration systems remove the minerals from the water.
Contributed by Dr Sang
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