Alkaline Water Benefit or Scam?
Understanding pH and Alkalinity?
Alkalinity is a measure of the buffering capacity of water - its ability to resist sudden changes in pH.
pH is a measure of how acidic, neutral or basic (alkaline) a substance is.
pH stands for potential of hydrogen.
pH scale is usually measured between 0 and 14 - anything around pH 7 is considered neutral, under pH 7 is acidic and over pH 7 is alkaline.
In general pH below 7 in water indicates that it is hard, above pH 7 indicates that it is basic.
Alkalinity is not the same as pH – alkalinity is a measure of the capacity of water to neutralize acids. The more alkaline compounds in the water such as bicarbonates (baking soda is one type) the more resistance or buffering capacity the water has. Alkalinity can be measured in mg/l.
It is possible to have high pH water with low alkalinity.
In Summary it is possible to have high pH water without it containing beneficial alkaline minerals such as magnesium. A good example of what we are trying to explain is distilled water or reverse osmosis water – the pH is generally 6-6.5, this is due to the fact that the water is extremely pure and has almost no acid-buffering capacity therefore it will readily absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It is important to note that Reverse Osmosis and Distilled water can also be neutralised with just a mere speck of baking soda.
To simply state that Reverse Osmosis Water and Distilled water is highly acidic is untrue, the carbonic acid formed has little or no buffering capacity and once ingested the body can easily and rapidly adjust the pH of the water.
Alkaline Water (Enagic / Kangen Ionizers)
Electric Ionizers how do they work?
Ionizers rely on oppositely charged plates where an electric current is passed through the water which separates the water into positive and negative ions, acidic minerals such as fluoride and chlorine are gathered on one side whilst alkaline minerals such as magnesium and calcium are gathered on the other side.
The source of water that you feed into the electric ioniser is critical to the quality of alkaline water produced for example; the typical calcium level present in the water coming from Tarago Reservoir in Melbourne contains 13.7 mg/l - the typical calcium level present in the water coming from Silvan Reservoir in Melbourne contains 4 mg/l. This would mean that a user of the same brand and model of ioniser using water supplied from Tarago would have much more calcium in their finished product than that of someone living in an area supplied from Silvan - an alkaline ionizer (or the electrolysis process), can make water have a high pH, but it doesn’t mean that your water will have a high alkalinity.
Furthermore the water entering into the electric ioniser when taken from the public supply are loaded with disinfection by products, fluoride and pharmaceutical drugs which can only be removed safely by using Reverse Osmosis or distillation; these may be transformed by the ionizing process into unknown compounds with unknown health risks.
ORP Oxidation Reduction Potential is another factor that must be considered, it is a measure, in millivolts, of the tendency of a chemical substance to oxidize or reduce another chemical substance. pH and ORP are not tied to one another. In other words you can measure ORP in two pH 9 waters and get two very different readings. Another factor to consider when comparing ORP is the level of pH you will drink.
Positive ORP indicates that a substance is an oxidising agent
Negative ORP indicates that a substance is reducing agent (anti-oxidant)
Negative Orp in water has the ability to reduce the damage caused by free oxygen (or free radicals)
An electric ioniser will produce water that has a negative ORP however this will depend on 3 factors
- Flow Rate
- The source water and its natural mineral content – as we have already shown, water varies widely in this respect
- The voltage applied to the water during electrolysis
The only way to compare ORP in ionizers is side-by-side, the same source water is required and each machine should be set to achieve the same drinkable level of pH. If you drink pH 9.5 then the ORP you get at pH 9.5 is the effective ORP in the ionizer. Not some "absolute" or even extraordinarily low ORP.
Alkaline Water Using Lemon or Baking Soda
Adding lemon to your drinking water will provide water that is alkalising to the body, to understand how an acidic citrus fruit can achieve this it is again critical to not confuse pH and Alkalinity as previously shown. Lemons contain a variety of beneficial alkaline minerals – here is a breakdown of the minerals in milligrams which can be obtained from 1 lemon.
Potassium 116 mg
Magnesium 7 mg
Calcium 22 mg
Zinc 0.05 mg
It needs to be noted that the water will be in an acidic state when first consumed therefore care should be taken with oral hygiene.
Adding Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda) to water will also increase the alkalinity of the water, if the water has been purified a very tiny amount is require to alter the state of the water.
It should be noted that some sodium bicarbonates have been found to have traces of aluminium.
In summary, if you want mineral rich alkaline water squeezing a lemon into pure water will be all that is required, however neither baking soda or lemon will provide the anti-oxidant benefits of negative ORP water.
Alkaline Water Natural Ionisation
Around the world there are famous hydrogen rich waters such as Nordenau in Germany, Hita in Japan or Tlacote in Mexico.
The water that is produced has been found to have remarkable healing properties, active hydrogen was shown to exist in Nordenau by Prof.Shirahata. The finding implies that miraculous recovery from a variety of diseases obtained by the intake of water in Nordenau should be brought about by the scavenging ability of the active hydrogen contained in it.
Natural Alkaline Water Filters are now available which mimic the conditions found in such areas, providing water that has negative ORP, increased alkaline minerals such as Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium and is rich in Hydrogen.
Our bodies require oxygen to survive, unfortunately, oxygen is very susceptible to free radical formation, and with aerobic organisms, this can be lethal. Oxygen free radicals are implicated in the overall aging process and are responsible for cancer and inflammation in the skin. Oxygen free radicals cause lipid peroxidation, which results in damage to cell membranes and this can cause premature aging, skin cancer and cell death.
Hydrogen is the perfect antidote as hydrogen combines with oxygen to form water, reducing free radicals.
Natural alkaline ionisers will provide molecular hydrogen, additional H2 in drinking hydrogen water is unambiguously effective. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC32577...
In summary we are of the belief that a reverse osmosis water filter is the best way to ensure that you are drinking pure water, this can be used with a squeeze of lemon to increase alkalinity or if you also want to enjoy the health benefits of anti oxidant water with low orp and increased molecular hydrogen you can combine the reverse osmosis system with an alkaline water filter.