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The Truth about Stomach Acid and Alkaline Water

July 22, 2017

The Truth about Stomach Acid and Alkaline Water

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This is my story that I had with a Medical professional

This is interesting, seems I am getting more medical professionals following my post; I must be hitting a nerve or something. Second, time this week I have had someone in the medical field question what I post.

He told me that drinking alkaline water would have no effect on changing the pH of the body and it will affect your digestive juices. Wait a minute you just told me alkaline water has no effect on changing the ph of the body how can it change the stomach acid am confused.

First of all, you need to know that not all alkaline water is the same, those alkaline bottle waters you are buying at the health foods stores are actually not safe to drink. The companies that make them put man-made minerals in them to boost the ph up to be alkaline so they are chemically induced and is missing the most important property.

Water that is therapeutic and safe for the body has hydrogen H2 (active hydrogen) the most powerful anti-aging antioxidant on this planet, and it is produced through an electrolysis device like Enagic with electricity the same way nature produced hydrogen rich water by lightning bolts hitting the earth and the water flowing underground over the charge rocks, because the active hydrogen dissipates very quickly you cannot bottle it. It is not about the ph of the water being healthy it is all about the active hydrogen in hydrogen rich water that is why I say not all alkaline water is the same.

Let’s continue my comment to him

Therefore, what you are telling me is the stomach has a pool of digestive acid (HCL) sitting there waiting for food to come down and be digested right, he said yes, I thought to myself “WOW” this guy has no clue how the stomach or the digestive system works, and yet he is in the medical field, I have to remember even with all the education and experience my wife and I have in the Health and fitness industry for 35+ years I also was not taught acid/alkaline imbalance, how important the pH of the body is for all around health, I am still learning about the body and I will always keep learning, I thought I knew a lot about how the body works I am not even close to knowing.

What the health professionals should be telling people, they should not drink any fluids with their main meals it is not only alkaline water that will dilute the digestive juices it’s and fluid you drink, then they need to tell the whole story why.

First of all, what I do know about stomach acid or hydrochloric acid (HCL) you do not have a pool of it waiting there to digest food, it is a little more complex than that. The body is pretty amazing when it comes to digesting foods, example, stomach acid is only used as needed and it starts when you start chewing your foods, that is when the cells in the stomach liner starts to produce stomach acid, does that make any since, still no comment.

In other words, if you always had hydrochloric acid sitting (Ph of HCL is very low) in your stomach waiting for food you would burn a hole right through your stomach; the pH of the stomach is 4 if ph starts to go up the stomach liner cells will secrete more HCI.

There are books out there written by Sang Whang great information about how alkaline water and the stomach works.
Here is the science of how the stomach acid works.

So many medical professions get this wrong, they actually give their patients the wrong information.

Among the people who question the validity of alkaline water, the biggest question is, “What happens to the alkaline water once it reaches the stomach, which is highly acidic?” People who have some knowledge of the human body, including medical doctors, ask this question. Let me answer that question once and for all to erase any doubts about the health benefits of alkaline water.In order to digest food and kill the kinds of bacteria and viruses that come with the food, the inside of our stomach is acidic. The stomach pH value is maintained at around 4. When we eat food and drink water, especially alkaline water, the pH value inside the stomach goes up. When this happens, there is a feedback mechanism in our stomach to detect this and commands the stomach wall to secrete more hydrochloric acid into the stomach to bring the pH value back to 4.

So the stomach becomes acidic again. When we drink more water, (I am talking about any water not just alkaline water that is why we recommend people do not drink any fluids with their main meals it will dilute the digestive juices) more hydrochloric acid is secreted to maintain the stomach pH value. It seems like a losing battle.However, when you understand how the stomach wall makes hydrochloric acid, your concerns will disappear. A pathologist friend of mine gave me the following explanation. There is no hydrochloric acid pouch in our body. If there were, it would burn a hole in our body. The cells in our stomach wall must produce it on an instantly-as-needed basis. The ingredients in the stomach cell that make hydrochloric acid (HCL) are carbon dioxide (CO2), water (H2O), and sodium chloride (NaCl) or potassium chloride (KCl).

NaCl + H2O + CO2Â = HCl + NaHCO3, or
KCl + H2O + CO2Â = HCl + KHCO3

As we can see, the byproduct of making hydrochloric acid is sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) or potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3), which goes into the blood stream. These bicarbonates are the alkaline buffers that neutralize excess acids in the blood. They dissolve solid acid wastes into liquid form. As they neutralize the solid acidic wastes, extra carbon dioxide is released and discharged through the lungs. As our body gets old, these alkaline buffers get low. This phenomenon is called acidosis. This is a natural occurrence as our body accumulates more acidic waste products. There is, therefore, a relationship between the aging process and the accumulation of acids.

By looking at the pH value of the stomach alone, it seems that alkaline water never reaches the body. But when you look at the whole body, there is a net 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. Just as a water ionizer cannot produce alkaline water without producing acid water, since tap water is almost neutral.

When the stomach pH value gets higher than 4, the stomach knows what to do to lower it. However, if the pH value goes below 4, for any reason, 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.
Here is another example of a body organ that produces acid in order to produce alkaline. After the food in the stomach is digested, it must come out to the small intestine. At this point in the digestive process, the food is so acidic that it will damage the intestine wall.

In order to avoid this problem, the pancreas makes alkaline juice (known as pancreatic juice). This juice is sodium bicarbonate, and is mixed with the acidic food coming out of the stomach. From the above formulae, in order to produce bicarbonates, the pancreas must make hydrochloric acid which goes into our blood stream.

We experience sleepiness after a big meal (not during the meal or while the food is being digested in the stomach), when the digested food is coming out of the stomach. That is when hydrochloric acid goes into our blood. Hydrochloric acid is the main ingredient in antihistamines that causes drowsiness.

Alkaline or acid produced by the body must have an equal and opposite acid or alkaline produced by the body, so there is no net gain.

However, alkaline supplied from outside the body, like drinking alkaline water, results in a net gain of alkalinity in our body.

Copyright 1997 by Sang Whang Enterprises, Inc.

Bill & Emily Mabry
Wellness Coach/ Strength and Conditioning coach/CMHS


From → Uncategorized

  1. Excellent Information.

  2. Shaun Sia permalink

    Hope to share with you what I know Sir.

    Our stomach continues to secrete small amount of acid even when there is no food ingested, but acid increases when food is detected. That’s how people get the “hungry” feeling when too much acid starts to accumulate in our stomach with no food, and contributes to stomach ulcers and gastric (corroding stomach lining) when not having food for long period of time.

    Our pH of stomach is around 5-6 when empty. After ingesting food, more acid is being secreted to digest the food, and the ultimate goal for our stomach is to reach pH of less than 3, so that our pyloric sphincter will open and digested food will flow into the small intestine. People having acid reflux thought (and many Doctors think that too) it’s because there’s too much acid in our stomach that overflows up the esophagus causing acid reflux, but it’s exactly the opposite – not enough acid for digestion in the stomach. When there’s not enough stomach acid for digestion, the pH level took too long to reach a level that requires the pyloric sphincter to open, and food remains in the stomach starts to ferment (remember stomach is meant to be acidic while digesting food to kill bacteria but bacteria not killed because not enough acid), producing gas that has to be released somewhere, so it goes up the diaphragm into esophagus causing the stomach acid to flow upward resulting in acid reflux.

    Drinking highly alkaline water (plenty of it) while eating food will cause disruption in proper food digestion, especially if you already have issue with acid reflux.

    • Thanks for the info, I teach my clients not to drink any fluids while eating a main meal, all fluids will dilute the HCL not just high pH alkaline water, also after digestion the chime does not go right into the small intestine it has to go into the duodenum to be cooled off to a pH of 8.0 by the gallbladder bile and pancreatic juices first, the only time HCL is secreted is when chewing begins, the cells in stomach liner gets a signal to secrete a mucus coating on the stomach liner to protect it from being digested along with the food, in other words with out that mucus you would burn a hole in your stomach. thanks

      • Shaun Sia permalink

        Yes after digestion the chime goes into the duodenum then the small intestine, great that you are very specific about details I should had put that in:-).

        If stomach only produces acid when chewing begins, then chewing chewing gums all the time without swallowing any food will render stomach producing acid all the time.

        And in your article the last part you mentioned “However, alkaline supplied from outside the body, like drinking alkaline water, results in a net gain of alkalinity in our body” I do have to disagree. If a person’s kidney is functioning properly, it will filter our blood to be in the tightly controlled pH range, regardless acidic or alkaline water you consume. That’s the function our kidney. People having acidosis will have kidney impairment to start off with. But of course if you are having too much food that are acidic or alkaline in nature, you are causing burden on your kidney to work harder to maintain normal blood pH. Balance is the key.

      • Shaun Sia permalink

        I include reference to the article from AAMCC on chronobiology of digestive diseases on FASTING volunteers where they found out that stomach acid secretion is 2-3 times greater at the hours of 22:00-02:00 than in the day. This alone shows that our stomach does not only secrete acid when chewing and having food. It’s a PDF file I cannot attach here but google the title I given you should be able to find. Have a great weekend!

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