119 It would be hard to improve the healthfulness or cleaning power of water without adding any chemicals or supplements to it. But companies are claiming to do just that by "ionizing" water. Enagic USA's Kangen Water Companies are selling machines that put drinking water through an "ionization" process. According to the companies, the process, also called "electrolysis," is accomplished using negatively and positively charged electrodes. In the process, water atoms give electrons to the electrodes or receive them, according to a graphic on Chanson Water USA Inc.'s website. The result is a chemical reaction that results in water becoming more acid or alkaline. Tap water typically has a pH of around 7, or neutral; alkaline water has a pH of more than 7; acidic water, less than 7. Companies say alkaline water has a variety of benefits, ranging from giving you energy to counteracting unhealthy effects of acidic foods you eat.
Some scientists, however, say there aren't any good studies supporting the ionized-water companies' marketing claims. Alkaline Water Machines, long sold internationally, have been generating increased interest in the U.S. during the past couple of years, says Pauli Undesser, director of regulatory and technical affairs at the Water Quality Association, a nonprofit trade group for the water-treatment industry. Earth Trade Water Inc., Carlsbad, Calif., posts testimonials from professional athletes who say its ionized alkaline water boosts their performances by providing better hydration and aiding "energy" and "focus." A Laguna Hills, Calif., unit of Chanson Taiwan LLC, says on its website that its ionized water has smaller clusters of water molecules than ordinary water and these "microclusters" are better able to "penetrate into more places in the body." In a marketing brochure, Enagic USA Inc., a Los Angeles unit of Japan's Enagic Co., says its "Healthy Kangen Water"—which has a pH of 8.5 to 9.5—"helps your body balance the acidic effects" of eating foods such as meat and eggs. Enagic's Leveluk SD501 model, which sells for $3,980, uses seven electrodes. Enagic also says Kangen water tastes better with "superior mouth-feel." In an informal blind taste test at a local spa offering Kangen water, I found the Kangen water tasted soft and velvety, but with a mineral aftertaste, compared with ordinary tap water. The machines, which typically range from $1,000 to $6,000, are generally attached to a faucet, but some models go under the sink. The alkaline water, which the companies say is ideal for drinking and cooking, comes out of one of the machines' spigots, while acid water, which can be used for cleaning, comes out of another. The degree of alkalinity is often adjustable. The machines have a built-in filter, which filters impurities just like any other water filter.
I first learned about alkaline water benefits many years ago from a natural health practitioner who had a background in macrobiotics. He taught me that most illnesses arise due to an acidic state in the body. He said that healthy human cells thrive in a slightly alkaline environment. In fact, the "normal" pH range for blood is between 7.30 and 7.45. Blood pH is a good indication of how much oxygen is available to the cells. This fact is really important! According to many doctors and health practitioners, lack of oxygen to the cells is one of the primary causes of most diseases, including cancer. My friend also said that we become more susceptible to getting colds and flus when we are more acidic because many unhealthy bacteria and viruses thrive in a slightly acidic environment. So I took his advice to heart and started studying about the acid-alkaline balance in the body macrobiotic books and lectures. At the time, I learned that the two primary causes of acidity in the body are stress and an animal protein diet.
Top 3 Alkaline Water Benefits I see as As a health and nutrition consultant today, I frequently experience how difficult it is for many people to change their diets or lifestyles toward a more alkaline way of living. So I am always open to finding solutions that are easier. Drinking alkaline water is certainly easy, but is it beneficial? Three of the most important alkaline water benefits include: Alkaline water can help neutralize acidity in the body. Alkaline water can reduce the amount of free radical damage. Alkaline water helps keep bones and teeth strong and dense. In summary, what I have learned over the years is that alkaline water does afford many health benefits - but it does not override all of our bad habits. My First Alkaline Water Cure was During my early years of researching alkaline water benefits, I discovered what seemed like a simple and quick way to alkalize my body. I don't remember for sure, but I think it was from an Edgar Cayce remedy for colds and flus. At the first sign of symptoms, I simply added 1 tablespoon of baking soda to a glass of water and drank it on an empty stomach every 2 to 3 hours throughout the day. To be honest, I have no idea if it helped or not but I have to admit that I never experienced a prolonged illness. Considering what I know now, I wouldn't recommend this approach to anyone. Drinking too much baking soda with water can be dangerous, especially when there is food in the stomach. In addition, I believe the alkaline water benefits from using baking soda are minimal and temporary at best. I certainly never saw any change in the overall alkalinity of my body fluids over time. Alkaline Water Benefits of pH Drops, Powders, or Tablets Today there are a number of products on the market, such as alkalizing pH drops, powders, or tablets, which are designed to be added to water and are supposed to provide health benefits. In my experience, the problem with these products is that they create what I call an "artificial alkalinity." People can easily become too alkaline with these products, creating other problems such as bladder and kidney infections. I wouldn't say these products have no value, but I believe they should only be used periodically, if at all, and certainly not on a daily basis. In addition, I think baking soda does essentially the same thing - and it's far less expensive. Even after the baking soda phase, increasing body alkalinity by drinking alkaline water made sense to me so I continued to pursue and learn more.
True Alkaline Water Choices that I've learned that water that is alkaline in pH (in a healthy range between 7.0 and 9.5 pH) has more alkaline minerals in it than acidic minerals. Tap water that is treated with disinfectants such as chlorine becomes acidic. However, laws require the municipal water to be alkaline in order to preserve the city pipes from acid corrosion. The problem is that the way our treatment centers handle this requirement is by adding lye and/or other unhealthy (i.e., toxic) alkalizing agents to the water. My question to them is, what do you think the chlorine and lye is doing to our body's "pipes" when we drink that water? Alkaline water benefits only come from water that is free of contaminants and contains more naturally occurring alkaline minerals than acidic minerals. Unfortunately, true alkaline water is hard to come by. Most bottled water is acidic. Water that is purified via distillation or reverse osmosis (both of which remove minerals in the water) is also acidic. Well water is a possible choice if the source water is consistently free of contaminants (or if used with an effective filter) and if the water is rich in alkaline minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. Drinking spring water is a good choice. Natural spring water often contains a level of minerals that is beneficial to health. Mineral-rich water will usually have a neutral or slightly alkaline pH. Ionized water is an even better choice because the water contains ionic alkaline minerals. The ionization process makes the alkaline minerals even more bio-available to the body because of their electrical charge. Water ionizers can be expensive. But when it comes to health, I have certainly learned that an ounce of prevention is worth much more than a pound of "cure" (i.e., the cost of medical expenses). In fact, with all due respect to the medical profession, most of the time the treatments don't cure anything; they just temporarily suppress the symptoms with medications. Thus I will continue to pursue natural solutions that support the body to heal itself