Cupid's Pulse Article: Health Trend: Hydration HypeCupid's Pulse Article: Health Trend: Hydration Hype

By Mario Martinez

There has been a lot of hype surrounding new ways to hydrate that promise better results than just regular water. But do these new trends have the scientific evidence to back up their claims?

In this health trend, check out three varieties of water that are promising enhanced hydration:

1. Alkaline Water

Alkaline water refers to water with a higher pH than plain water. Tap water has a neutral pH of 7, whereas alkaline water has a pH of 8 or 9, meaning it is more basic, the opposite of acidity.

Proponents of alkaline water claim that it can reduce the acidity of your blood and, as a result, make you healthier, improve your performance and keep you hydrated longer. There are also claims that it can treat diseases like acid reflux or even cancer! Besides this, its supposed benefits include helping with weight loss, digestion, bone health, and detoxification.

However, there is not enough research to confirm all of the above claims. There are some studies that suggest alkaline water can treat acid reflux due to its ability to deactivate pepsin, the enzyme responsible for acid reflux. But for everything else, studies have either shown that alkaline water had no effect or the results were inconclusive. Yet, there have not been studies that suggest Alkaline water has long term negative effects either. So, while its health benefits may be exaggerated, alkaline water isn’t dangerous to drink either.

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2. Charcoal Water

Charcoal is a health trend that’s being turned into ice cream, toothpaste and hamburger buns. This form of charcoal is called activated charcoal and is made by exposing carbon to high temperatures and treating it with oxygen.

Before it became a health trend, activated charcoal has long been used to treat people who were poisoned or who overdosed on drugs. This is because activated charcoal can make drugs and toxins bind to its surface, preventing the body from absorbing them.

This has led some to believe charcoal could have benefits if consumed regularly, including in water. The supposed benefits include: whitening teeth, relieving gas, and preventing hangovers.

But, like with alkaline water, there is not enough research to back these claims up. Research does not suggest charcoal water is unsafe, but there is still little to no evidence for its health benefits. That said, activated charcoal can filter your water from harmful substances, so it might be worth looking into for that reason instead.

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3. Sparkling Water

Sparkling water, also called carbonated water, is water that has been infused with carbon dioxide giving it a fizzy quality like soda. Its been made popular with brands like Perrier and LaCroix. Unlike alkaline water that raises pH, the carbon dioxide in sparkling water lowers its pH, making it slightly more acidic. This has led to claims of both positive and negative health effects.

On the positive side, sparking water is less harmful than soda. As such, replacing soda in your diet with sparkling water, can help with losing weight and dental health. But it does not have any well documented benefits over regular water.

On the negative side, some studies have suggested that sparking water may cause gastrointestinal issues. But there have also been studies suggesting the opposite and that it might help with constipation. So, this remains inconclusive. Besides that, some think the acidic quality of the water makes it harmful to your teeth and enamel. Also, many brands add sugar to their water, which could lessen its weight loss benefits. Though, as long as sparkling water is consumed in moderation, these effects should not be a huge issue.

Overall, all these trends in hydration have been shown to have pretty exaggerated results, at least for now. Further research might prove the benefits that proponents of these trends have claimed they have are true. But for now, sticking with regular water is probably your best bet.