Alkaline vs. Acidic

This page provides links to information and resources that I’ve found helpful on alkaline versus acidic foods. 

What is Alkaline Water?

Alkaline water refers to water that has a pH usually between 8.5-9.5. Many people believe that there are health benefits to drinking alkaline water vs. regular water, some dispute the different brands of alkaline water, but I personally think it tastes a lot better. Water has never been my favorite drink and if I do drink it, it’s usually when I’m very thirsty or working out and it must be ice-cold. I do really enjoy water that has been flavored a bit, such as fruit infused water, but I really enjoy the way alkaline water tastes. My personal experience has been that it does help my stomach, but I will provide more details on that below the basics of alkaline water.

According to Mayoclinic.org, plain water is best for most people. However, “because alkaline water has a higher pH level than does plain tap water, proponents say that it can neutralize acid in your bloodstream, boost your metabolism and help your body absorb nutrients more effectively. Some even say that alkaline water can help prevent disease and slow the aging process. However, researchers haven’t verified these claimsSome studies suggest that alkaline water may help slow bone loss, but further investigation is needed to determine if this influences overall bone mineral density and if the benefit is maintained over the long-term.”

Why is alkalinity important?

According to one of the larger known alkaline water machine manufacturers, “the cells in our body need to stay at their natural alkaline balance for optimal health. Unfortunately, our Western diet and lifestyle can jeopardize our body’s original state. Dehydration, stress, acidic foods and beverages, and processed foods do not support a healthy alkaline body.”

The Kangan Systems by Enagic® are a series of ionizers that produce water with a pH level of 8.5 – 9.5, making it slightly alkaline and safe for drinking. Kangen Water® systems allow for various uses in your home – drinking water, cleaning and even cooking.

How can you return your body to its original alkaline state?

Alkaline water has a pH level of 8.5 – 9.5, making it slightly alkaline and safe for drinking. By maintaining proper hydration with alkaline water, such as with the Kangan system, and even cooking your food with it – you can help your body return to and maintain an alkaline state.

Additionally, many people have found success with following a diet that is full of alkaline foods versus acidic foods.  To learn more about following an alkaline diet, go here.

Wondering what my experience is?

Personally, I have had great success eating foods that are more alkaline vs. acidic, although I do eat acidic foods.  I just make sure that I balance them out and do not follow anything to an exact regimen.  Additionally, because of Gastroparesis (GP), I try to drink most of my food or eat food that is liquified.  I also have to watch for certain triggers due to Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), which is another comorbidity associated with EDS.  Many times, GP and MCAS go hand in hand either together or with EDS.  I cannot say which horse came before the cart, because all three issues have been problematic my entire life and each one of us is different (read disclaimer here).  However, many with MCAS and GP have found great results following a low-histamine diet.  A low-histamine diet seems to overlap quite a bit with a diet that is more alkaline, which can be a good thing when you are trying to simplify what you should and should not eat for your particular situation.

One thing is for sure, you can drive yourself crazy trying to “eat” the proper way for all conditions.  Throw in gluten-free for chronic pain/EDS, low-oxalate for Interstitial Cystitis and the appropriate diet for Thyroid conditions and you will be left with nothing that is “ok” to eat or even drink.  Again, finding what works for you and moderation is key.

My experience has been mostly centered around raw vegan tonics by a local company called Gouter.  Gouter tonics are sold in the cycling studio that I frequent and I quickly noticed how much more hydrated I was, that I had fewer headaches and I could tell that my body was getting the nutrients that it needed if I drank a few tonics a day.  Gouter also has tonics that are called “melks,” which are thicker, offering more protein and additional nutrients.  Gouter tonics are also made with alkaline water and to me, alkaline water just tastes better.  I am not a huge fan of drinking water and usually run pretty dehydrated, so Gouter tonics have been the perfect solution all around.  The combo of alkaline water and fresh juice has been my life line for a few years, but Gouter does not ship and they are not sold in stores.

Many people have had luck juicing on their own, using a juicer such as the Omega J8006 or a blender like the Vitamix to make smoothies and soups.   We have both at home and use them quite often for our entire family.

What is best when you have EDS and does drinking alkaline water help Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

I cannot answer that one and I do not believe that there is any research looking into this. When I did a quick google search, the only sites that I could find had sales and personal testimonial sites, versus actual medical studies.  I could be wrong, but I do not believe the research exists, unless you consider personal testimonials to be enough research.  I do feel that there is some good evidence to support how alkaline water can benefit those of us with EDS and of course, I have my own experience, but we are all so different.

The bottom line is — you have to find what works for you and it may require a lot of trial and error.  We are all so different.  Have I said that before?

Additional information: 

– Gouter’s website: http://www.heygouter.com

– To learn more about the benefits of alkaline water, please visit: your body is water

– YouTube video by Dr. Mercola on the benefits of alkaline water from the Kangan System: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tHJE1E7g8E

– Please remember to read the disclaimer.