It is very common to hear people say that drinking pure distilled water is harmful because it can be slightly acidic with a pH typically between 6 and 7. The truth of the matter is that the unique properties of this ultra-pure drinking water actually make the acidic/alkaline debate totally meaningless! This may sound too simple, but read on…
In science, pure distilled water is considered neutral, neither acidic nor alkaline, with a pH value of 7. Due to its degree of purity, distilled water is extremely sensitive to the environment and even a small amount of carbon dioxide from the air can combine with distilled water to make it slightly acidic.
When you drink distilled water, it immediately combines with the slightly acidic digestive enzymes in saliva and seconds later with very acidic digestive enzymes in your stomach. In fact, the pH of the much stronger hydrochloric acid in the stomach is between 1.5 and 3.5, about 100,000 times more acidic than the distilled water that it combines with.
Meat requires strong stomach acids for the complete digestion of protein and absorption of amino acids. Minerals are proven to be better absorbed in an acidic environment. As people age, they tend to produce less stomach acid, which means they also tend to absorb fewer minerals and other nutrients. Supplementation with hydrochloric acid tablets or apple cider vinegar is often recommended to increase the acidity in the stomach to help in the proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients from food.
Have you ever wondered why all fruits are acidic in nature? Yes, all fruits, including durians, papaya and bananas are acidic in nature. You may easily test their acidity using Litmus Paper. The reason that all food and drinks created by nature are acidic is because this makes them easier to digest, as their acidity enhances the digestive system.
Alkaline solutions which are used as food additives are detrimental to health because they neutralise the acidity in the stomach. The same goes for alkaline water, which has been widely promoted commercially. One may not feel the adverse effects of drinking alkaline water at the early stage, however, prolonged consumption of alkaline water will weaken the digestive system and impair the absorption of nutrients. It will also add stress to the pancreas, which has to work much harder because of the reduced acidity in the stomach due to the alkaline water. When the pancreas is stressed, normal metabolism is disrupted, which may lead to metabolic diseases.
Another issue that we should be concerned with is maintaining the balance of acidity/alkalinity in our cells and tissues. This acidic/alkaline balance is influenced directly by the food we eat, whether they are metabolised to form acid or alkali.
People are often confused with this: food’s or water’s pH value has nothing to do with whether it is metabolised as an acid or an alkali. For example, lemons, which are highly acidic in nature, are highly alkalising once metabolised. Meat, rice, and bread, on the other hand, are acid forming foods which make up the main bulk of one’s typical diet. In order to maintain a healthy acidic/alkaline balance in the body, one should consume a diet high in vegetables and tree ripened fruits, which are alkali forming.
The pH in the water (whether acidic or alkaline) has no effect on the body’s acidic/alkaline balance.
Dr. Andrew Weil, internationally known nutritionist, author and founder of the Integrative Medicine Program at the University of Arizona, has stated, “For reasons I don’t understand, any number of myths—some quite extreme— have grown up over the years about distilled water. As far as acidity goes, distilled water is close to neutral and has no effect on the body’s acid/alkaline balance. Distilled water is safe to drink, and the kind of water I use myself.”
Dr. Carey Reams, world renowned expert on the body’s acidic/alkaline balance, was trained in mathematics, biophysics and biochemistry and had six PhDs to his credit. Dr. Reams is best known for developing the Biological Theory of Ionization, a system to measure energy in the body, which he used in his practice for over fifty years with astounding success. The best water to drink according to Dr. Reams is distilled water!