The health and wellness industry is constantly abuzz with the latest trends, each promising unique health benefits. Two trends that have generated significant interest in recent years are hydrogen water and alkaline water. But what are they exactly, and how do they compare? This blog post seeks to illuminate the key differences between hydrogen water and alkaline water, their benefits, potential drawbacks, and scenarios where one might be preferable to the other.
What Are Hydrogen Water and Alkaline Water?
Hydrogen water is water to which molecular hydrogen (H2) gas released into the water. This hydrogen, acts as an effective antioxidant, helping the body counteract harmful free radicals. Conversely, alkaline water refers to water that has been ionized to increase its pH level, making it more alkaline. The theory behind alkaline water is that its higher pH level can help neutralize acid in the bloodstream, boost metabolism, and absorb nutrients more effectively.
The Benefits of Hydrogen Water
The primary selling point of hydrogen water is its potent antioxidant properties. According to research, the hydrogen molecules in hydrogen water may help neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, a primary cause of inflammation and chronic diseases. Other studies suggest that hydrogen water could improve athletic performance and reduce recovery times after workouts.
The Benefits of Alkaline Water
Alkaline water, on the other hand, is championed for its potential ability to balance the body’s pH level. Proponents suggest that it can neutralize excess acidity in the body, which can be beneficial for individuals who consume a high-acid diet or have certain health conditions. Some research has indicated potential benefits, such as helping with acid reflux by deactivating pepsin, the enzyme that causes the damage of acid reflux.
Hydrogen Water Vs. Alkaline Water
While both types of water boast their unique benefits, the scientific evidence supporting these claims varies significantly. It's important to note that both hydrogen water and alkaline water are generally considered safe to drink, but they shouldn't replace traditional medical treatments.
The antioxidant properties of hydrogen water are fairly well-documented, but more research is needed to understand its full range of benefits. Alkaline water, despite its popularity, has less scientific evidence backing its health claims. While it's true that it can help neutralize stomach acid, the body is typically efficient at maintaining its pH balance without the need for alkaline water. Moreover, drinking too much alkaline water can potentially reduce stomach acidity too much, leading to impaired protein digestion and nutrient absorption.
Choosing between the two ultimately depends on your individual health needs and preferences. For instance, athletes or individuals seeking an antioxidant boost may benefit from hydrogen water. Those with a high-acid diet or experiencing acid reflux might find relief with alkaline water.
As you navigate your way through the ever-evolving health improvement studies, remember that balance is key. While both hydrogen water and alkaline water offer intriguing benefits, they should not replace a balanced diet, regular exercise, and professional medical advice. Before making any significant changes to your hydration habits, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider.
LeBaron, Tyler W., et al. "Effects of Molecular Hydrogen (H2) on Athlete Performance: A Preliminary Report." Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, vol. 9, no. 1, 2019, pp. 36–43., doi:10.15280/jlm.2019.9.1.36.
Koufman, Jamie A., and Nikki Johnston. "Potential Benefits of pH 8.8 Alkaline Drinking Water as an Adjunct in the Treatment of Reflux Disease." Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology, vol. 121, no. 7, 2012, pp. 431–434., doi:10.1177/000348941212100702.