As someone who was “born” into the health and wellness industry, it was always a struggle for me to look the part. Even though I played sports year round, I was almost always 10-20 pounds overweight, continually felt sluggish, and never understood why. It was around that time that I finally had the realization that health isn’t just about the way you move your body, but also about what you feed it and how you treat it. The goal in my life is to teach everyone I come in contact with simple ways to create an astounding and full life through movement, a whole foods diet, and the practice of self-love.
As a fitness professional (I’m a head coach at Orangetheory Fitness and a personal trainer), nutritionist, and health coach, it’s important for me to continually learn what everyone’s body needs in order to improve each and every day. I always promote food as fuel, but we tend to forget how important WATER itself truly is. And not just any water, but pure, quality water.
Alkaline water has received an enormous amount of praise in the last few years. If you watch any professional athlete on the sidelines or in practice, you’ve probably noticed a bottle of fresh alkaline water in their hands. Lots of them, like LeBron James, have water shipped to their home on a regular basis. They don’t just do this for the hype-- they understand the benefits and continue to see improvements in their performance.
With the increase in refined sugars, excess sodium, chemical additives, hydrogenated sugars and processed food our society takes in on a daily basis, our bodies constantly struggle with staying balanced and healthy. When we exercise and sweat, our bodies rapidly lose water and electrolytes. Instead of reaching for a bottle of Gatorade, a naturally alkaline water is a much better option. You’ll get the electrolytes needed for muscle recovery-- say goodbye to muscle cramps, fatigue, and nausea -- along with minerals such as calcium, sodium, and potassium which aid in muscle contraction, maintaining blood pressure, and regulate energy levels.
What is Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water has a higher pH than regular water. When acidity is measured, a low pH level indicates more acidic substances and a higher pH is more alkaline. When there is a lower pH level, diseases can live and spread, which is why it’s important to keep your body at a healthy pH level. Our bodies pH levels should be around 7.365 on a scale between 0-14.
What are the Benefits?
1. Increases Hydration
A great reason to start drinking alkaline water is because of its hydration benefits. Staying well-hydrated is key to overall health and wellness. Not only will it help regulate your body temperature, but helps your body move around nutrients, eliminate waste, and promote clearer skin.
A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine shows that drinking alkaline water for two weeks not only increased alkalinity in the blood and urine, but also improved hydration more than regular tap water.
Outside of coaching, I workout at least 5x per week, with everything from HIIT training, running, boxing, and hot yoga, so it’s extremely important for me to keep hydrated. About 30 minutes before I workout, I’ll drink 8-10 ounces of Waiakea water to start the hydration process and 8-10 ounces during and immediately after to replenish the electrolytes lost during the workout. When I sweat more, I drink more. Not only will it help the recovery process, but I’ll keep my energy going throughout the rest of the day.
2. Reduces Acid Reflux Symptoms
Acid Reflux, also known as GERD, is a condition in which acid moves back up through the esophagus and causes symptoms like bloating, nausea, and heartburn.
One of the enzymes responsible for breaking down proteins and can be responsible for acid reflux symptoms, pepsin, may be neutralized by alkaline water.
As someone who continually suffers from acid reflux myself, I have noticed a major difference in my symptoms simply by making sure I’m taking in the best quality water possible. When I drink tap or purified bottled water, my bloating and phlegm (yum, I know) increases, which can prohibit me tremendously from performing at my best or even just functioning in everyday life.
3. Improves Circulation
Research done on alkaline water shows that it may improve circulation, which will allow blood to flow more easily through your body to deliver oxygen and important nutrients. When it reduces the thickness of the blood, it can move more efficiently.
4. Improves Digestion
Hydration of the body can improve the body’s natural digestion path, which in turn can increase the body’s elimination of waste. When the body rids itself of unnecessary toxins and nutrients, it can then focus on more important things.
Drinking alkaline water for me has kept my IBS at a minimum. When I throw my body off course by not watching the quality of my food and water, my symptoms come back with a vengeance.
Perfect. So What Now?
In order to make sure I get it in my daily water intake, I will wake up every morning and immediately pour a full bottle into a glass with half a lemon and 1 teaspoon of pink sea salt for some added electrolytes. On days I am working out, I’ll have an additional bottle afterwards to help speed up my hydration.
It’s important to keep in mind that drinking alkaline water is a supplement to a healthy lifestyle. As it will not cure disease or resolve all our health issues, it will help improve a healthy lifestyle. Most people tend to watch the quality of their food, but never their water. Water is an extremely important aspect of a healthy body, so pay attention to your hydration habits and you’ll reap the rewards.
Waiakea is a personal favorite of mine thanks to its natural alkalinity and taste. But if bottled water isn’t in your budget, using a reliable filter (that filters out both chlorine and prescription mediation found in most of our municipal water systems) and adding Himalayan pink salt and lemon is another great alternative.