One of the most well traveled water myths is that of alkaline water and its supposed health benefits. These claims are simple pseudoscience. The claims sound good and you want to believe them, but they are not based on facts or science.
Dr. Stephen Lower is a retired chemistry professor of Simon Frasier University and the author of the excellent web-site called “The gallery of water-related pseudoscience and quackery”. He looks at the countless claims made by people selling water and tries to cut through the huge amount of misinformation that is out there.
Here’s a short snippet of what he has to say about alkaline water…
Here, in a nutshell, are a few basic facts that I believe anyone with a solid background in chemistry or physiology would concur with:
- “Ionized water” is nothing more than sales fiction; the term is meaningless to chemists.
- Pure water (that is, water containing no dissolved ions) is too unconductive to undergo signficant electrolysis by “water ionizer” devices.
- Pure water can never be alkaline or acidic, nor can it be made so by electrolysis. Alkaline water must contain metallic ions of some kind — most commonly, sodium, calcium or magnesium.
- The idea that one must consume alkaline water to neutralize the effects of acidic foods is ridiculous; we get rid of excess acid by exhaling carbon dioxide.
- If you do drink alkaline water, its alkalinity is quickly removed by the highly acidic gastric fluid in the stomach.
- Uptake of water occurs mainly in the intestine, not in the stomach. But when stomach contents enter the intestine, they are neutralized and made alkaline by the pancreatic secretions — so all the water you drink eventually becomes alkaline anyway.
- The claims about the health benefits of drinking alkaline water are not supported by credible scientific evidence.
- “Ionized”/alkaline water is falsely claimed to be an anti-oxidant. It is actually an oxidizing agent, as can be seen by its ability to decolorize iodine (see video)
- There is nothing wrong with drinking slightly acidic waters such as rainwater. “Body pH” is a meaningless concept; different parts of the body (and even of individual cells) can have widely different pH values. The pH of drinking water has zero effect on that of the blood or of the body’s cells.
- If you really want to de-acidify your stomach (at the possible cost of interfering with protein digestion), why spend hundreds of dollars for an electrolysis device when you can take calcium-magnesium pills, Alka-Seltzer or Milk of Magnesia?
- Electrolysis devices are generally worthless for treating water for health enhancement, removal of common impurities, disinfection, and scale control. Claims that “ionized” waters are antioxidants are untrue; hypochlorites (present in most such waters) are in fact oxidizing agents.
See Dr. Lower’s full analysis here. He goes on to warn people about believing that they can change the pH of their blood (click here to see the article he recommends on this subject).
Instead of trying to find the magic bullet, I recommend that you keep your priorities straight and focus on consuming clean water. That’s what we do. We produce the best water distillers for cleaning your water so you can protect your family from the increasing numbers of toxins that are in our environment.