Demystifying the hype around Alkaline Water

Everyone knows that drinking water is vital to staying hydrated. But just how many are aware about the quality of the water they are drinking, what are its implications on their health.

Many companies have ads or marketing claims that Alkaline water can increase energy, hydrate better than regular water, prevent digestive issues and disease – or even slow down aging. Most of these advertisements are not true and can be considered as marketing gimmicks. In order to demystify the truth around Alkaline Water, let’s first understand what it is. 

Water is considered to be alkaline if it has a pH reading above 9 (7 is neutral on the pH Scale). The pH levels of some successful water purification brands vary between the range of 6 to 6.5. But most people just aren’t  aware of the fact that pH level is not the only thing you should be looking at. Extremely high pH levels in water is deemed unfit for consumption. If the pH of water ranges to around 8.8, it can lead to adverse effects on digestion. Therefore, it becomes necessary to look into the TDS levels of your water and determine whether it’s rich in alkaline minerals. Not many purification brands stress on the TDS level and only focus on the pH level of water, neglecting the best interests of consumers. 

Recently a new discovery in Alkaline Water has been made by FIN Water purifiers. Before we dive deep into it, let’s get a brief understanding on the history of Alkaline Water purifiers.

The History of alkaline water

In the early 50s, the first alkaline water ionizer was developed in Japan due to the probing of the Russian system of electrolysis. The full-scale development of the alkaline water ionizers had started a few years later in 1954 when several agricultural universities began looking into the effects of alkaline ionic water, especially the effects of acid water on plants. In 1958, the first commercial alkaline water ionizers were made available in Japan and very large units were used in hospitals back then. Come 1960, Japanese doctors formed a special medical and agricultural research institution in order to investigate ionized water. Six years later, the health and ministry of the Japanese Government acknowledged the alkaline ionic water ionizer as a legitimate medical device for improving human health. From then on, Japanese-made alkaline ionic water ionizers were introduced to neighbouring country Korea in the 70s and after that to the United States around 1985. Today, the alkaline ionic water ionizers are commonly called water purifiers and are available worldwide. These water ionizers were made in alignment with the objectives of the World Health Organisations (WHO) guidelines with public drinking water quality. 

A global perspective on alkaline water

The first WHO document dealing specifically with public drinking-water quality was published in 1958 as International Standards for Drinking-Water. One of the primary goals of WHO and its member states is to observe that, “all people, whatever their stage of development and their social and economic conditions, have the right to have access to an adequate supply of safe drinking water.” 

Taking into account the WHO’s guidelines of public drinking water quality, there is a misconception of whether Alkaline Water derived from alkaline water filters is beneficial or not. Some of the best Alkaline water brands claim to have the most up to date systems to provide you with the cleanest Alkaline water, which is often only a marketing gimmick. Normally when you buy bottled water, artesian water, well water or spring water, it is already alkaline. The reason –  alkaline minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, etc. But when you have a machine such as a water purifier that makes your water alkaline, it’s not done by adding minerals. It’s done by splitting apart the water molecules with electricity to artificially make the water alkaline. 

A study shows that people who had machine alkaline water would have a high pH level of 9 and above in their urine. Normally the pH level of urine should be between 5 or 6. The problem with having a high pH level in your urine is that you don’t have any protection against microbes as this ph level allows them to multiply at a higher rate. One of the main purposes of having acidic urine (pH 5 or 6) is so that we can kill off more microbes. Alkaline water alters the chemistry in our body and certainly not in a good way. There are three fluids in the body that are normally acidic – the stomach which should be extremely acidic, the large bowel, and the urine. These fluids need to be acidic in order to help you break down protein, absorb minerals and to kill microbes. So when you consume Alkaline water which is unnatural to the body, it can neutralize the different acidic fluids in the body creating problems with digestion in the large bowel and even in urine. As microbes in the body multiply, it affects the absorption of electrolytes which is one of the key components needed to pump your heart.Clearly, in order to gain the most benefits of Alkaline water, it needs to be naturally retained with the right amount of minerals. This brings us to the TDS levels in Alkaline Water

What is TDS, and how does it matter?

TDS or “Total Dissolved Solids” can be defined as the amount of organic and inorganic materials like metals, minerals and ions, dissolved in a particular volume of water. There are three techniques used to measure TDS levels in water. The first one is using a Digital TDS Meter, the second, is using the Electrical Conductivity Meter and the third, is using an old school method that uses a weighing scale and a filter paper. It is important to note that TDS is not one contaminant but a combination of different salts such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium among others which are essential for our health. The sources of water in India also usually contain other unwanted impurities such as arsenic, mercury and lead which are hazardous to our health. In a similar way, TDS levels of more than 500 ppm can also have a harmful effect on our health. Thus it becomes necessary to remove the excess TDS and retain the Alkaline minerals from the water before it is fit for human consumption.

TDS – Acceptability Levels

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) defines the acceptability levels of TDS in water. According to BIS, the TDS level of up to 500 mg/litre is acceptable. The table mentioned below provides the palatability quotient of TDS in drinking water and reasons for why the TDS level mentioned in water is not acceptable for drinking:

TDS level in parts per million (ppm)Palatability QuotientRemarks
Below 50Very BadUnacceptable as it lacks essential minerals
Between 50-150Excellent for drinkingAcceptable for drinking. The TDS level is ideal for areas where the water is polluted by sewage or industrial waste
150-250GoodThis water is ideal for people with cardiovascular disease
250-300FairThis water is ideal for people with cardiovascular disease
300-500PoorFairly acceptable as it falls under BIS certification
Above 1200UnacceptableNot acceptable and you should avoid drinking water which has a TDS level of 900 and above.

FIN Water purifier – A new discovery 

Fin water purifier has come across the latest method of measuring TDS level of water at home which is simple and automatic. FIN water’s LED display screen indicates TDS level and the real time status of each filter ensuring highest quality water for you. Equipped with the most up to date automatic TDS measurement device, it will ensure that adequate TDS levels for your home’s drinking water are met. This is why FIN is considered one of the best water purifiers for homes across India. 

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