Although alkaline drinking water is considered safe, it may produce negative side effects.

Some examples of negative side effects include the lowering of natural stomach acidity, which helps kill bacteria and expel other undesirable pathogens from entering your bloodstream.

Additionally, an overall excess of alkalinity in the body may cause gastrointestinal issues and skin irritations. Too much alkalinity may also agitate the body’s normal pH, leading to metabolic alkalosis, a condition that may produce the following symptoms:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • hand tremors
  • muscle twitching
  • tingling in the extremities or face
  • confusion

Alkalosis can also cause a decrease in free calcium in the body, which can affect bone health. However, the most common cause of hypocalcemia isn’t from drinking alkaline water, but from having an underactive parathyroid gland.

Natural or artificial?

Water that’s naturally alkaline occurs when water passes over rocks — like springs — and picks up minerals, which increase its alkaline level.

However, many people who drink alkaline water buy alkaline water that’s been through a chemical process called electrolysis.

This technique uses a product called an ionizer to raise the pH of regular water. Makers of ionizers say that electricity is used to separate molecules in the water that are more acidic or more alkaline. The acidic water is then funneled out.

Still, some doctors and researchers say these claims aren’t backed by quality research. The water quality of the original source, before ionization, is crucial to ensuring contaminants aren’t present in the drinking water.

Some scientists advise using reverse-osmosis to adequately purify water before connecting an alkaline ionizer, which can raise pH and add minerals.

A study published by the World Health OrganizationTrusted Source cautions against drinking water with low mineral content, which is created by reverse osmosis, distillation, and other methods (without additional mineralization) on a regular basis.

Where do you get it?

Alkaline water can be bought in many grocery or health food stores. It can also be found online.

Water ionizers are sold in many large chain stores as well.

You can also make your own at home. Even though lemon and lime juices are acidic, they contain minerals that can create alkaline byproducts once digested and metabolized. Adding a squeeze of lemon or lime to a glass of water can make your water more alkaline as your body digests it. Adding pH drops or baking soda is another way to make water more alkaline.

If water is properly filtered to remove contaminants, ionized and re-mineralized, or purchased from a quality source, there’s no evidence to suggest a limitation on how much alkaline water can be consumed daily.

Is it safe?

The issue that many health professionals have with alkaline water isn’t its safety, but rather the health claims that are made about it.

There isn’t enough scientific evidence to support the use of alkaline water as a treatment for any health condition. Medical experts warn against believing all the marketing claims.

Drinking natural alkaline water is generally considered safe, since it contains natural minerals.

However, you should use caution with artificial alkaline water, which likely contains fewer good minerals than its high pH would have you believe, and may contain contaminants. Also keep in mind, drinking too much alkaline water may leave you deficient in minerals.