Alkaline water in athletes: It is beneficial?


Midwestern University, College of Pharmacy Avenue Glendale, USA


Alkaline water is water with a pH above 7. Marketing claims suggesting that alkaline water can improve health have contributed to increased consumption of alkaline water. Current research surrounding alkaline water and athletic performance is focused on improving hydration, maintaining acid-base balance, preventing muscle fatigue, and increasing endurance. There are several small clinical trials that show mixed results related to alkaline water and athletic performance. Further randomized controlled trials should be done in larger patient populations before alkaline water can be recommended as a performance enhancer


Alkaline water, also known as ionized water, is water with a pH above 7. The pH can be increased slightly, or can be as high as 10 (1). Alkaline water is produced via a water ionizer which adds alkalizing compounds such as calcium, silica, potassium, bicarbonate, and/or magnesium to increase the pH of the water. Water can be purchased which has already been alkalized, individuals can alkalize tap water through ionizing water filters, or alkalization can be done via additives.

Acid-base equilibrium within the body is tightly maintained through three main mechanisms: blood and tissue buffering, the diffusion and excretion of carbon dioxide from the blood to the lungs via respiration, and the excretion of hydrogen ions from the blood through the urine by the kidneys (2). Each organ system has a unique pH range, and for most individuals; our body is able to maintain blood pH within this desired range. Many different disease states as well as dietary factors are thought to influence this acid-base equilibrium. If the acid-base equilibrium is unbalanced, the result can be a chronic low-grade metabolic acidosis that may be linked to different disease ...