Alkaline water is gaining popularity for its proposed health benefits, including preventing aging and reducing the risk of cancer. However, is this trendy drink safe to consume during pregnancy?
Overall, alkaline water is a safe beverage to consume during pregnancy. However, the body of research does not strongly show any favorable benefits from it and it may be better to simply consume regular water.
Have you heard of alkaline water and are now thinking of giving it a try? First, let’s dive into the facts about it.
Is Alkaline Water a Safe Drink for Pregnancy?
As we begin, it is vital to cover what precisely alkaline water is. The pH scale measures from one to 14 based upon how acidic or basic (alkaline) something is. If the pH is closer to one, it is acidic; if it is closer to 14, it is more basic/alkaline.
Water typically has a neutral pH of around 7. However, it is “electrolyzed” water, in which the water gains charged “ions” (specifically hydroxide ions) that raise the pH and make the water alkaline (source: Medical Gas Research).
Alkaline water is most commonly store-bought, however many go as far as to purchase a pricey ionizer to make this water from their very own tap.
You may see it marketed as “ionized” or “electrolyzed” on the product’s packaging. However, all alkaline water is ionized or electrolyzed.
Bottled alkaline water is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for safety and may even have some added vitamins and minerals to obtain the alkaline pH (source: Mayo Clinic).
It is safe for pregnant women and can encourage proper hydration, which is increasingly important during pregnancy. However, you would likely receive the same hydrating effects from regular water that is less expensive and easier to obtain.
Are There Benefits of Alkaline Water When Pregnant?
Alkaline water supporters often make bold claims about its miracle abilities of slowing aging, preventing cancer, and more. So, let’s discuss what evidence exists for these claims.
Many studies do not support the widely believed claims about its benefits (source: Cleveland Clinic). Therefore, being skeptical of the advertisements and marketing you may see about alkaline water is essential.
Overall, there are not many studies on it, so it is hard to say if there are any significant benefits (or drawbacks) to drinking this water, especially in large amounts and long-term.
A few studies have been conducted on alkaline water and showed interesting results. A 2012 study demonstrated that this water, specifically with a pH value of 8.8, may help those suffering from acid reflux disease since it buffers the excess acid in the stomach (source: Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology).
Therefore, it can be helpful to pregnant mothers suffering from acid reflux or heartburn.
Additionally, a study of participants in Japan found that drinking 500 milliliters of alkaline water a day for four weeks led to better sleep overall and an increase in feeling refreshed after waking (source: Medical Gas Research). I’m sure this sounds incredible, especially during pregnancy!
However, with the studies few and far between, and mostly from many years ago, more recent research needs to be conducted to determine if there is a treatment potential for this water and whether any of the claims are true.
Overall, alkaline water’s proposed health benefits may not be significant enough to warrant paying the extra couple of dollars per bottle. This is especially true since the human body is very good at regulating its own pH, especially in the stomach which is already full of acids, such as hydrochloric acid (source: Mayo Clinic).
Therefore, this water that you think is helping your body may not make a significant difference at all as it may become neutralized as soon as it hits the stomach.
Can Alkaline Water Help with Pregnancy Nausea?
Besides the study mentioned above regarding acid reflux and alkaline water consumption, there is no evidence that this water improves or worsens pregnancy-related nausea.
What’s the Best Kind of Alkaline Water for Pregnancy?
While most alkaline waters are created equal, if the pH exceeds 8.5, the water may have an unpleasant and bitter taste (source: University of California Los Angeles). Additionally, while not unsafe, you may experience itchy, dry, and irritated skin at this high pH level.
Therefore, if you are looking for a brand of it, keep the pH below 8.5.
I hope this article helped debunk some of the common claims about alkaline water to help you decide whether to consume it during your pregnancy.