Beyonce, Tom Brady and Miranda Kerr have one thing in common (along with celebrity and high income): alkaline water.
The music icon, the football star and the supermodel swear by the bottled water.
She and the controversial physicians who support alkaline water claim that our diet is too acidic, causing inflammation that increases the risk of illness and generally contributes to worsening health.
However, there is no proven relationship between pH and inflammation – and even if alkaline water were, this would not change your balance, scientists say.
An expert explains why it takes gallons to basic water to move the needle acid, and why trying to drink your anti-inflammatory drug is wrong.
Beyonce believes in the special health benefits of alkaline water. However, experts say that drinking expensive bottles from brands like Essentia will do nothing for their blood pH
The various organs and systems of our body require different types of balances in order to function properly.
One of them is the pH, the relative measure of how acidic or alkaline (also called "basic").
A perfectly neutral environment has a pH of seven, just between very acidic, zero and very basic, at 14.
Not all body parts have the same optimal pH.
Our blood should be nearly neutral and its pH can only fluctuate within a narrow range of 7.35 to 7.45.
When the pH goes outside of this range, the blood can use nutrients we need for other purposes.
If the pH of the blood becomes too acidic, it is not necessarily due to the fact that a person's diet is incomplete, but because carbon dioxide forms in the blood and the conditioning is life-threatening.
"Metabolic acidosis only occurs when people are extremely ill," says Dr. Tanis Fenton, Epidemiologist and Registered Nutritionist at the University of Calgary in Canada and Head of Nutrition Research at Alberta Health Services.
A 12-pack of 1-liter bottles of Essentia water bottles costs about $ 20
"Only the sickest patients can not keep their pH in the blood within the normal range."
She says you could see this condition, metabolic acidosis, in the ICU, but rarely outside of this bleak environment.
These patients have difficulty breathing and need oxygen to rid their bloodstreams of carbon dioxide.
They need a respirator, the solution is not alkaline, it would not make any difference to change their diet or drink alkaline water, "explains Dr. Fenton.
"Our body keeps the pH in a very narrow range in which our enzymes and organs work. Diets and drinks do not change that.
The pH to which alkaline water gains refer is measured in the urine.
The acidity or alkalinity of urine can vary much more wildly, between 4.5 and 8, and the diet can influence this, as a small cadre of studies has shown.
"But it's a pretty simple job and it's not very important," says Dr. Fenton.
The most important function of urinary pH is the diagnosis of kidney stones.
Tom Brady is notorious for his bizarre health patterns. He swears that his severe alkaline diet reduces inflammation, but experts say the water he drinks has little to do with his blood pH and inflammation
Kidney stones are made of minerals that are not properly dissolved in the urine. Some deposits tend to clump together in acidic environments, while others tend to form in alkaline environments.
So dietary changes might be helpful, depending on what kind of kidney stones Brady, Beyonce or Kerr might have theoretically developed. Nevertheless, Dr. Fenton that drugs would work better and faster.
"Changing the diet to change the pH to prevent kidney stones would be a huge effort, and medications would make it easier," Dr. Fenton.
Switching to alkaline water or dieting is not only a problem but also largely safe.
"The only risk is in your paperback," scolds Dr. Fenton.
A 12-pack of 1-liter bottles of Essentia, the popular "ionized alkaline" water, will cost you about $ 20.
Another company, The Alkaline Water Company, posted sales of $ 12.7 million in 2017, an increase of 2,100 percent from the 2014 result, according to Equities.com.
"It's all marketing and advertising, and the beverage industry is a multi-billion dollar industry in the US and worldwide, and I'm not surprised people are using fads to get more sales, and they're currently using this alkaline Water concept for sale & # 39 ;, says Dr. Fenton.
For investors, the hype may be real, but Dr. Fenton has not seen any signs that Bey, Brady, Kerr, or others are getting anti-inflammatory effects from drinking alkaline water – and they should not.
"There is no truth to it [the claim that alkaline water reduces inflammation] at all, "says Dr. Fenton.
"It's very trendy to talk about inflammation right now, but it's part of the healing process. So you do not want to stop inflammation, and I have not seen anything that goes with it [pH and inflammation] in some causal way. "