Alkaline Water & Your Stomach Acid

Alkaline Water & Your Stomach Acid

On the internet you can read different stories about Alkaline water, alkaline food and even alkaline recipes. Among health professionals, alkaline foods and water are gaining more popularity. Slowly it becomes accepted that an alkaline diet may have a positive impact on health and vitality. However there is some confusion and you can read different things on internet about alkaline water and your stomach acids. People who have more knowledge about our human body, including medical doctors, are wondering what happens to the alkaline water once it reaches the stomach, which is highly acidic.. To explain this topic to you, we first like to explain you a few more things about alkaline acids, your stomach acids and the water PH, by simply answering you a few questions

What is alkaline water?

Water has different values and which vary from being acidic to alkaline. Alkaline water, also called ionized water or ‘Kangen’ water, is water with a PH level greater than seven. Some people might think that water is neutral, while most of the drinking water is acidic. Distilled water becomes neutral water. Water which gets filtered then electrically ionized becomes alkaline water. Ionised water or Alkaline water is also known as water with more oxygen.

What is pH level and how much is Water pH?

In chemistry, PH is a measure of the activity of the solvated hydrogen ion. pH level in water stands for ‘ potential of hydrogen’ and the ph scale ranges from 0 (acidic) till 14 (alkaline) and 7 being neutral. Pure water has a pH very close to 7, at a 25°C temperature.

What are the pH levels in your body?

pH levels in your blood are important to deliver and carry oxygen around your body. The PH value in your blood is around 7.6 when it comes into your body through your lungs and when it leaves your body again on a outbreath, around 7.3 or less. As blood travels around, the red blood cells loose some oxygen molecules and this gets replaced by carbon dioxide (CO2), during this process the alkalinity of your blood decreases. The CO2 contents some acidic waste which will be released in the kidneys or lungs. There is a balance between CO2 and alkalinity that must be maintained to ensure oxygen releases effectively through your body.

So what about the pH value in your stomach?

The inside of your stomach is acidic to digest food and kill bacteria and viruses in food. The stomach PH value lays around 4. When we eat or drink, especially alkaline water, this pH level goes up. We also have a feedback mechanism in our stomach to detect this happening and it commands the stomach wall to secrete more hydrochloric acid into the stomach. When it brings more hydrochloric acid into your stomach the pH value will value back to 4 again and becomes so more acidic again. The more alkaline water we drink, the more hydrochloric acid is secreted to maintain the stomach PH value.

How does your stomach wall make hydrochloric acid and what’s the relationship with our aging process?

There’s no hydrochloric acid pouch in your body, this would burn a whole in your body! The cells in our stomach wall much produce hydrochloric acid on an instantly-as-needed basis. The ingredients to make hydrochloric acid (HCI) are carbon dioxide (CO2), water (H2O) and sodium chloride or (NaCI) or potassium chloride (KCI).

NaCI + H2O + CO2 =HCI+ NaHC03


KCI + H2O + CO2 = HCI + KHCO3

For your body to produce hydrochloric acid, the by-product for this process is sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) or potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3), and these bicarbonates go straight into your bloodstream. These bicarbonates are the alkaline buffers which neutralize excess acids in the blood; they dissolve solid acid wastes into liquid form. Extra carbon dioxide is released by this process, but will be discharged through the lungs. As we’re getting older, these alkaline buffers getting low, this is called acidosis. It’s a natural occurrence because our body accumulates more acidic waste products. This is the relationship between the aging process and the accumulation of acids.

So my stomach can also relieve acids?

It looks like alkaline water never reaches the body by looking just at the pH value of the stomach alone. However there is a gain of alkalinity as we drink alkaline water. Our body cells are slightly alkaline. In order for them to produce acid, they must also produce alkaline, and vice versa. It’s the same for a water ionizer, it cannot produce alkaline water without this same water ioniser to produce acid water, since tap water is almost neutral. When the stomach pH value gets higher than 4, the stomach knows exactly what to do, to lower it. However, if the PH level gets lower than 4, the stomach doesn’t’ know what to do. That’s why we take Alka-Seltzer, which is alkaline, to relieve acidic stomach gas pain. In this case, hydrochloric acid is not produced by the stomach wall, therefore, no alkaline buffer is being added to the blood stream.

Do we have any other organs that produce acid in order to produce alkaline?

Yes, the pancreas. After the food in the stomach is digested, it must come out to the small intestine. The food now is so acidic that it will damage the intestine wall. In order to avoid this problem, the pancreas makes alkaline juice, also knows as pancreatic juice. This juice is sodium bicarbonate, and is mixed with the acidic food coming out of the stomach. From the above formula, it order to produce bicarbonates, the pancreas must take hydrochloric acid, which goes into our blood stream.

Why do we feel sleepiness after a big meal?

One more question you might find interesting after reading this article. Does the sleepiness after dinner has to do with the hydrochloric acids? You probably guess the answer already. We don’t feel tired during the meal or while the food is being digested in the stomach. When the digested food is coming out of the stomach; that’s the time when hydrochloric acid goes into our blood. Hydrochloric acid is the main ingredient in antihistamines and that’s causes tiredness or drowsiness. Alkaline or acid produced by the body must have an equal and opposite acid or alkaline produced by the body; there’s no net gain. However, alkaline supplied from outside the body, like drinking alkaline water, results in a net gain of alkalinity in our body.

reference: Sang Whang

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Ilonka Hofmann