Malaika to KJo, everyone’s having black water! But is it worth the hype?

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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Black water has emerged as the newest trend in the world of health and fitness. It is touted to be packed with health benefits, but is it really worth the hype?

Most of us look up to our favourite celebs for all the ‘fitspo’ or fitness inspiration, isn’t it? So, ever since yogini Malaika Arora was spotted with a bottle of black water post her yoga session, the world of health and fitness hasn’t been able to stop talking about it! Even celebs like Virat Kohli, Shruti Haasan and Karan Johar seem to swear by it.

Of course, there’s intrigue, but what is this black water and is it really beneficial? Or is it another fad that’s going to fade away with time?

Well, HealthShots got in touch with an expert to understand this better. Here’s what Parul Malhotra Bahl, Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator, and Founder at Diet Expression has to say about black water.

“It is an alkaline water, which appears to be black because of the presence of fulvic acid. The ‘alkaline’ in black water refers to its pH level. The pH level is a number that measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is on a scale of 0 to 14. For example, something with a pH of 1 would be very acidic and something with a pH of 13 would be very alkaline,” she adds.

Why is black water the new trend?

Bahl explains that alkaline water has a higher pH (above 8) than regular drinking water (neutral at 7), which is why many believe it can help neutralize the acid in your body.

black water
Alkaline water slows the aging process! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“Many also believe it can help slow the aging process, regulate your body’s pH levels, and prevent chronic diseases like cancer. BUT there is hardly any scientific evidence to verify the same,” she says.

That’s exactly why it is also important to exercise caution, before including anything as part of your diet. But does it have any side effects?

Here they are:

Even though it’s pretty safe to drink black water, it may produce some negative effects. “It could lower the natural acidic level of your stomach which could impact your digestion. And if consumed in excess, it may lead to gastric and skin issues like nausea, vomiting, hand tremors, and muscle twitching etc,” says Bahl.

So what is the expert advice? “ I would say do NOT replace regular water completely with alkaline water. If anyone wishes to have alkaline water sometimes, prefer natural alkaline water. Water that’s naturally alkaline occurs when water passes over rocks — like springs — and picks up minerals, which increases its alkaline level. Black water is infused with minerals and is artificial,” she concludes.

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