by E.C. LaMeaux
Water, in general, has a neutral pH of about 7.0, which means it’s neither alkaline nor acidic. Anything above 7.0 is considered alkaline. The alkalinity of water is a measure of its ability to neutralize acids. Although the scientific evidence is sparse, some people believe that water alkalinity, or lack thereof, can have a profound effect on your health. Regardless of pH, the Mayo Clinic staff recommends that any water you drink first be as free from toxins as possible.
Step 1: Purify your water
Distillers offer a very effective method of eliminating the toxins from your water. Noted medical advisor Dr. Andrew Weil states that distillation virtually removes all bacteria, viruses, and contaminants. Distillers purify by first boiling the water, then collecting the steam, and finally condensing the water into droplets at the surface of the storage container. These droplets have been cleansed of heavier elements and are collected into the storage container. Some distiller units can be conveniently hooked to your refrigerator’s water and ice unit.
Step 2: Test the pH of your water
Once your water is purified, test its pH level. You can test water’s pH level by using pH test strips purchased at a local health food store or online. Knowing the starting pH of your purified water will give you a better idea of how much of an adjustment is necessary to achieve your desired pH.
Step 3: Choose one of these additives to make your water more alkaline:
- Baking soda: Researcher and author Dr. Robert O. Young has stressed the importance of pH balance for over two decades, and has considered ways to increase the alkaline levels in the diet by adding an alkaline ingredient to your purified water. Dr. Young recommends simply adding ½ a teaspoon of baking soda to a gallon of purified water and shaking it vigorously to ensure it mixes in completely. Because baking soda is highly alkaline, adding only a small amount to your purified water will result in a gallon of alkaline water.
- Fresh lemons: If you prefer not to use baking soda, a fresh lemon added to your drinking water will also, eventually, make your purified drinking water more alkaline. Though it seems counterintuitive to think that adding an acidic lemon to your purified drinking water could ultimately produce an alkaline result, it’s important to remember that fresh lemons are also anionic. Once you drink the acidic lemon water, it will become alkaline as your body reacts with the lemons’ anions during the digestive process. Use fresh lemons that haven’t been exposed to air for more than 30 minutes — not lemon juice purchased at the store or lemons that have been cut up and sitting out in the open all day.
- Drops: One other option to increase the alkalinity of your purified water is to add drops created specifically for that purpose. There are several over-the-counter drops on the market that can be purchased at health food stores or online. Follow the directions on the bottle to determine the correct amount to achieve your desired effect.
Step 4: Test the pH of your water again
After you’ve added baking soda or drops to your purified water, test the pH of your water again using a test strip to be sure the water’s pH level is where you want it. Remember, fresh lemon water will test acidic before you drink it but will become alkaline during digestion.