120 Besides drinking water, Enagic's machines produce four other types of water. Enagic recommends using very acidic "sanitary water" for household disinfecting, such as sanitizing cutting boards and knives. "Beauty water" helps close facial pores after washing with it, the company says. Neutral water is intended for taking medications and making baby formula; and "strong" Kangen water, a very alkaline water, is intended for "cleansing power" in such tasks as removing toilet stains or floor stains.
, Some doctors and scientists say the companies' claims aren't backed by good high-quality studies. "Human evidence is lacking, safety profile is lacking and it's very expensive," says Catherine Ulbricht, co-founder of National Standard Research Collaboration, a Cambridge, Mass. scientist-owned group that evaluates natural therapies. "There is no basis for any health claims at all" for alkaline drinking water, adds Santa Barbara, Calif., gastroenterologist John Petrini, past president of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. After it is digested, food and water goes into the stomach and—no matter what pH it was when it entered—ends up leaving the stomach at a pH of about 6.8, Dr. Petrini says. And no matter what you eat, your body has effective mechanisms to keep your blood in a narrow range between 7.35 and 7.45, he adds. Chemists say it's logical that acidic or very alkaline water could be useful for cleaning, but there's no evidence that the pH of water has any specific effect on skin or pores, says Washington, D.C., dermatologist Tina Alster.
Plastic bottles are not sustainable, no matter what we've been told. Using vast quantities of fossil fuels and water, these bottles are manufactured, filled, and shipped around the globe. (Not a good carbon footprint!) Neither are bottles biodegradable in any meaningful way: what you drink in a few minutes can stick around for a thousand years. Even with recycling efforts, 6 out of 7 plastic bottles consumed in the U.S. are "downcycled"—sent somewhere out of sight and out of mind where, for the next millennia, toxins from degrading plastic containers can leach into watersheds and soil. That's just not something we need to give to global neighbors and future generations. Most bottled water is glorified tap water at 10,000 times the cost. The label on your bottled water may depict a peaceful mountain stream, but that doesn't mean the water inside is pure and pristine. Only some bottled water comes from springs or groundwater sources. It turns out that approximately 25% of bottled water is sourced from ... the tap. Sure, some companies filter or radiate the tap water with ultraviolet light before selling it to you at several thousand times the cost of municipal tap water. (Examples include Aquafina, Dasani, and many other brands.)
Moreover, studies show that bottled water samples can contain phthalates, mold, microbes, benzene, trihalomethanes, even arsenic. And only recently did the FDA start regulating bottled water for E. Coli, thanks to advocacy by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Upshot: bottled water markup is extreme. Health standards are often a wash and may even favor tap water. If you're concerned about municipal water supply and want to know more, check out this helpful resource, which can help you learn about your municipal water supply and decide if filtration or purification is right for you. Many bottled waters contain toxins, even if they've nixed BPA. Plastic isn't just bad for the planet, It's not good for you, either. Bottled water companies increasingly use BPA-free plastic, but laced into plastic bottles are other chemicals that can seep out if bottles are exposed to heat or sit around for a long time. Some of these chemicals are possible endocrine disruptors. No one knows for sure what the health outcomes are. Do you really want your body to undergo that experiment? . 325