Artificially Alkaline Water
Lately there have been a lot of questions from consumers confused about the newly fabricated marketing term “artificial” or “unnatural pH” and water ionizers. This explanation should set the record straight about so-called “artificial pH” as well as provide insight on the source of this myth.
The “unnatural pH” stories are well written and quite convincing on the surface, but when you look into them deeper you find that they are blatantly misleading and cause confusion to consumers just looking for quality water with antioxidant properties.
I actually agree with some of the statements made by the author of these pH stories. Japan was the first country to begin widely using water ionizers. And “Kangen Water” representatives have done a good job at promoting ionized water while making a mess using the term “alkaline water.”
The misleading facts about the water produced by water ionizers and what types of water offer health benefits are where I take exception.
First – there is no such thing as “artificially alkaline” water. Water is considered either alkaline, acidic or neutral based on the balance of alkaline and acidic minerals it contains. Water with an abundance of alkaline minerals will test alkaline. Water with an abundance of acidic minerals will test acidic. Water with a good balance of alkaline and acidic minerals will test in the neutral range.
There is no such thing as artificial pH. Again, the type and content of minerals found in water are what make it alkaline or acidic. There is no “trickery” involved. Nothing is being added to the water and only contaminants are being taken away. The pH corresponds perfectly with the mineral content of the water.
Stable and unstable pH? Any alkaline water, when exposed to heat, light or free radicals in the environment will begin to breakdown. Whether that alkaline water comes from a stream, well, filtration system or a water ionizer.
Raw potatoes are very high in alkalinity – when you cut one open and expose the inside to the free radicals in the air, you’ll notice the texture changes over time. If you slice a few of those potatoes and leave them out, the pH will drop over time due to continued exposure to the environment. It doesn’t mean that potatoes are artificially alkaline or that the alkalinity is unstable. It’s just a result of free radicals in the environment. The same thing that turns apples and bananas brown is also responsible for water losing its alkalinity over time.
Alkaline Water or Ionized Alkaline Water
There are also claims that the alkaline minerals are what give you the health benefits. That’s true but it’s only half of the story. If it were solely the mineral content of alkaline water that offered health benefits, a large part of the country would be in great shape. In many parts of the country, the alkaline mineral content of the water in the area is so high that water from the tap will test at an 8.0 or higher pH. In St. Petersburg, Florida some days I can get 9.0 to 9.5 pH water right from the tap.
Just because water has an abundance of alkaline minerals does not mean that your body can absorb them. Water ionizers restructure the water, reducing surface tension making the alkaline minerals in the water more easily absorbed by the body.
About Those Negative Health Claims
What is true is that some people are more sensitive to the alkalinity of the water than others. Also, drinking alkaline water too close to meals can cause some digestive problems. That’s why responsible water ionizer dealers will advise customers that they should allow a 30 – 45 minute window between drinking alkaline water and eating a meal.
Most Americans have a “more is better” philosophy. If drinking alkaline water at 9.5 is good, then some may think that drinking it at higher pH levels is better. Again, responsible water ionizer dealers advise customers that drinking water with a pH higher that 9.5 on a regular basis is not recommended. Personally, about half of my alkaline water intake is at the 9.5 pH level and half is at an 8.5 or 9.0 pH. And despite advising customers not to drink above the 9.5 pH level I still hear from at least one person a week who says they drink water at the highest setting all the time. They are usually calling to ask about digestive issues. It’s an “aha” moment for them.
As for ionized alkaline water causing cardiac problems, this claim is based on study done on rats ten years ago. Since then, there have been changes in the filtration systems used inside water ionizers as well as the metals used in the plates. Let me explain…
The electrodes used in early water ionizer models were made of aluminum and steel alloys. Today, all major water ionizer brands use exclusively high grade platinum coated titanium inside their units. They also use materials that are non-toxic for components that come into contact with the water. The author of the study himself stated that he was unsure whether or not the cardiac issues found were related to the water or some element used in the particular water ionizer that was producing water for the study.
It is also important to note that in the studies referencing negative effects, the test subjects consumed ionized alkaline water 100% of the time – including at or with meals. It is also important to note that the overall conclusions of the studies referenced were positive though the links offered were only to excerpts of the full studies – which are quite long and very technical in nature.
There have been no reports of cardiac issues being prevalent in individuals drinking alkaline water on a daily basis. Otherwise, the industry would not have grown so quickly world-wide were these types of ongoing issues impacting cardiac health, nor would there be so many healthcare professionals advocating the use of this water.
The water ionizer industry has had a tremendous impact on water filter sales. Much of the negative information you find about water ionizers were written by individuals selling water filtration systems. While most water filtration systems that remove contaminants, including fluoride, sell for $200 to $300 tops.
These are good basic water filtration systems and many water ionizer owners opt to add a pre-filtration system to remove excess contaminants found in their local water. A water filtration system is just that – a water filtration system.
Please do not get lost in the confusion created by some of these companies. Water ionizers have been used for decades in Asia and for many years here in the United States. They are safe, effective and have very low customer return rates. Most come with 30 to 60-day money-back guarantees. Before you buy into the negative hype, look a little closer. Get the facts. Be a smart consumer.