Alkaline Water 101
“Alkaline Water” is one of the biggest buzz words in health. Many companies are cashing in with claims of improved health, anti-aging and how alkaline water can cure everything from diabetes to cancer.
Before you buy into the hype it’s important to get the facts about this “miracle water.” While you can find water marketed as “alkaline” at many stores and across the internet you should understand exactly what’s out there so you can decide what’s right for you.
What is Alkaline Water?
By simple definition, “alkaline water” is water that is above neutral (7) on the pH scale, however the alkaline water associated with claims of improved health, longevity and treatment of many diseases is actually alkaline ionized water.
In many areas of the country you can get water that is “alkaline” right from your tap. As a large portion of the United States has what is known as “hard water,” alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium are so abundant that the water starts out alkaline. Factor in the chlorine – which is alkaline – added by most water companies as a disinfectant and “alkaline water” by its simplest definition is available at the tap.
In addition, savvy water bottling companies are cashing in by adding alkaline minerals to water during the bottling process so that it can be marketed as alkaline water. “Fuji” is one of the more common brands and can be found in most supermarkets – at a premium of course – after all, it is alkaline water.
The fact is, the “alkaline water” that is associated with health benefits is not just water with a pH above neutral. It is water that has been ionized. This type of alkaline water, the water that has been used by medical practitioners in Asia for decades to treat disease, the water that people are claiming has helped treat countless symptoms of disease is very different from what you get from your tap in a hard water area or the stuff you find bottled and sold at a premium both online and in local stores.
True Alkaline Water
The alkaline water associated with the health benefits you’ve heard about has gone through a purification and ionization process. Water first passes through a filtration system. Chlorine, chloramines, VOC’s, heavy metals and other common contaminants are removed prior to ionization.
The water then passes through the ionization or electrolysis chamber where the water receives an electrical charge. The charge is delivered through a series of electrodes or “plates” – some delivering a negative charge and others delivering a positive charge. The minerals in the water pick up the charge and are drawn, with the water, to either the positive or negatively charged electrodes depending on the mineral – some minerals are alkaline, others are acidic.
The alkaline water is then dispensed through one area of the water ionizer for drinking. The water holding the acidic minerals is dispensed through a secondary outlet which either goes down the drain or can be used for watering plants, household cleaning or topically for medicinal purposes.
During the ionization process, the water is restructured at the molecular level. This process of separation by ionization breaks down the water molecule clusters, which are normally found in clusters of 15 or more, come back together in smaller clusters which bind together in an hexagonal structure.
The Real “Alkaline Ionized” Difference
The electrical charge that facilitates the separation of alkaline and acidic minerals in the water also leaves the water with an electrical charge. The negative charge carried by the minerals found in the alkaline water produced works as an antioxidant in the body – reducing acidity in the system and helping the body eliminate toxins which lead to premature aging, a weakened immune system and age-related diseases like adult onset diabetes, obesity, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
Bear in mind that while your tap water may be “alkaline” courtesy of the mineral content of your source water and additives used by your local water company, the chlorine used to “disinfect” the water is a known carcinogen. Also, the larger water clusters prevent you from getting the full benefit of those minerals or the hydration you were looking for when you poured that glass of water.
Bottled alkaline water can offer a higher level of absorb-able alkaline minerals but at what cost? Can you afford for you and your family to drink bottled alkaline water exclusively all day, every day? And what about the environment and all those empty plastic bottles and forget the chemicals leaching into your water from plastics.
Drinking more water is good. Drinking alkaline water is better. But for the biggest health bang for your gulp, alkaline ionized water is the best you can do. Alkaline ionized water has been shown to better hydrate the body, reduce body acidity, and provide antioxidant benefits not found in water from your tap or any bottled source. Drinking alkaline water from your own water ionizer not only benefits you but ultimately benefits the environment by reducing the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfills. Over 28 million plastic water bottles were purchased in the U.S. alone in 2010.
To learn how you can have healthy, alkaline water in your own home contact a water ionizer dealer.