Does Stomach Acid Ruin Alkaline Water?
One of the questions we get asked the most about alkaline water is, “What happens to the alkaline water once it reaches the stomach, which is highly acidic?” Today we are going to answer that question for you with a little help from scientist, engineer and inventor Sang Whang.
The inside of your stomach is acidic in order to digest food and to kill different viruses and bacteria that come in with the food. The pH of the stomach is about 4, and it likes to stay there. When you drink alkaline water, the stomach secretes hydrochloric acid (HCl) to make it acidic again. The more alkaline water you drink, the more acid your stomach produces. Therefore, it seems that drinking alkaline water would only make you more acidic, right? Well, not quite!
Without getting too technical, through a series of chemical reactions, the byproducts of making hydrochloric acid are sodium bicarbonate (better known as baking soda) and potassium bicarbonate. These are alkaline buffers that neutralize excess acids in your blood. As they neutralize the solid acidic waste, your lungs expel the extra carbon dioxide.
When reading what happens to alkaline water in the stomach, you may think that it never reaches the rest of your body. However, you have to look at the big picture. When you drink alkaline water, the result is that your whole body becoming more alkaline. When the body creates hydrochloric acid to digest our food, it also creates alkaline buffers which help raise the pH of our blood. So the more alkaline water we drink, the more acid is produced and the result of this process is a higher pH of our blood.
As Sang Wang explains, “Alkaline or acid produced by the body must have an equal and opposite acid or alkaline produced by the body; therefore, there is no net gain. However, alkaline supplied from outside the body, like drinking alkaline water, results in a net gain of alkalinity in our body.”
You can, therefore, drink alkaline water at any time of the day. If you drink with a full stomach, the alkalinity is passed into your blood stream with the alkaline buffers. When you drink with an empty stomach, the water is entering a neutral environment so there is nothing to interfere with it and it is passed into the blood stream.
We hope this article has answered some of your questions about what happens to alkaline water in your stomach. Let us know if you have any more questions!