A question that’s usually on everyone’s mind when they first start drinking ionized alkaline water is how it can alkalize their body if their stomach is acidic by nature. Wouldn’t it just neutralize the acid in the stomach before it even makes it anywhere? The short video below by Dr. Ben Johnson addresses this very question and explains exactly how alkaline water interacts with stomach acid.

Video Transcription

Hello, I’m Dr. Ben Johnson. I frequently get to speak on water, which is one of my favorite subjects to speak on because it is so importantly vital for us on an everyday basis. When I get to talk about alkaline ionized water, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is, ‘Does the alkaline water neutralize the acid in my stomach?’ Well, I have a lot of fun with that question, but, the truth is we watch too many anti acid commercials. There is just not normally a pool of acid liquid sitting in the stomach. That’s only on TV commercials. I’ve done hundreds of gastroscopes where you take a scope down into the stomach, and you examine the stomach, and the stomach is normally empty. So, when you drink alkaline water, it simply goes in the stomach and passes on through to the small bowels where it’s absorbed. Now, the mucous lining of the stomach is acid, but, if you understand there is a lot of villi, there are these little fingers and the mucous and acid is down in there. The liquid doesn’t disturb that, it just runs over the stomach wall and right on into the small bowel. This is not an issue. But, even if there were a pool of acid… let’s say you had a really bad day; a really stressful day and, there is this little bit of liquid acid in your stomach, and you drink alkaline water. Yes, this will neutralize that, but there is still a net alkaline event for the body because when it made that acid, it had to make alkali. You can’t just make acid out of thin air. You have to divide 2 organic substances, and when you do, you make acid, and you make alkali, just like how the water machines make an acid stream and an alkaline stream. So, your stomach when it makes acid has to make alkaline also. If it’s neutralized by the alkaline water, you still have a net gain of alkaline in the body, which is a healthy thing.

I do want to discuss one other thing and that is ‘what about drinking alkaline water with food?’ Well, first of all I don’t recommend drinking any water with food. We need to chew it thoroughly and use our digestive juices to masticate that food and to get it down. We shouldn’t be adding any liquids to our food when we eat it. But, if we’re going to drink liquids, we do not want to drink alkaline water with food because the stomach does have to produce acid to digest the protein in the stomach and to get it to a certain pH before it can exit the stomach and go into the small bowel for further digestion. You want to drink neutral water, or if you want to have a glass of wine with your meal, that’s fine. Neutral water, filtered water, or wine are a great idea with food. But, no I wouldn’t drink alkaline water with food. You want to drink your alkaline water before meals, or an hour/hour and a half after a meal, but not with a meal because your stomach will have to overcome that before it can finish with the food in the stomach and send it into the small bowels. So, alkaline water and alkaline food helps stay alkaline, and they are all healthy for us.

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