Myths and Truth about Water Ionizers

What is it?

A water ionizer is an appliance that uses the process of electrolysis. This means the structure of the water is changed on the molecular level which will create antioxidant-rich ionized alkaline, as well as the oxidizing ionized acidic stream of water consecutively. Water ionization or also known as water electrolysis is the method of producing a concentration of alkaline and acidic minerals – separating the oxygen and hydrogen found in water. The produced alkaline water offers an antioxidant and electron rich medium for consumption while the acidic water provides oxidizing water that acts as an antibacterial and also cleanser for external use.

 

History

Water ionizer’s history is a story of how science encountered one of the mysteries of nature in a secluded, harsh part of the world where the natives showed exceptional Longevity and Good Health. They found that the cause of this exceptional health was due to the glacier water that was flowing into the valley that the locals drank. Then other scientists managed, by accident, discovered how electricity could be used to re-organize, re-structure as well as re-energize water same as what nature does. This discovery was the birth of The Water Ionizer, which is now considered the most substantial health care advance ever since the discovery of Penicillin by Sir Alexander Fleming. At least that’s what Water Ionizer Companies claim without any scientific proof. 

A water ionizer makes alkaline water by electrically splitting poorly filtered tap water into alkaline water and acid water. In the early 1950’s, the first ionizer was developed in Japan, and the experiments were first conducted on plants and animals. It was in 1954 that the development pushed through and was achieved by a number of Japanese in Agricultural Universities. They studied the effects of ionized water, particularly that of the acid water.

Today, acid waters are now being used by farmers who supply cut flowers to keep their flowers fresh and stay alive prior to its delivery to flower shops. On the other hand, experiments with the human body took for a longer time due to the fact that the experiments did not show consistent results. There were many experiments conducted by the Japan medical doctors. It was determined by the important data collected that alkaline water which is made by water ionizer was not toxic and can relieve a lot of adult diseases through sugar pill effect.

How does water ionizer work?

The water ionizer has a fairly straightforward process; these are the steps on how it works:

Step 1: Water passes through the internal water filter:

Water coming from your tap is directly fed into the ‘In” tube on the back of the water ionizer. The water runs through the in-built water filter once it is in there. It will remove as many of the contaminants as possible. The filter lasts for about a year and costs approximately £40/$50. It’s a very expensive filter taking into consideration that the quality of the filtered water is not the best. The purity of the water is not the goal of the water ionizer. Water ionizers require some impurities to remain in the water to work properly.

Step 2: The water ionizer undergoes a process called electrolysis wherein the water runs over positive and negative electrodes:

The water then passes over the ‘plates” in the ionizer. The plates are part of the ionizer which is really very clever. Once the water enters this section which has a very specific low voltage electric current that passed through it, it will cause the soluble minerals, heavy metals and other impurities in it to be attracted to either a positive ‘pole’ or a negative ‘pole’ depending on their own electrical energy signature. When this occurs, it will separate the water into alkaline and acid stream. The water from the alkaline water ionizer are the ones you are advised to drink while the acid water is the one used externally, like for the skin, plants as well as for disinfecting.

Step 3: Alkaline and acidic water are created through the ionization of electrodes which splits water into negative ions and positive ions.

In this process, the water is separated into H+ (acidic water) and OH- (alkaline water). This electrolysis is also responsible for giving you the huge antioxidant content in alkaline water and for micro-clustering the water.

To make it short and simple
1. The water is filtered for cosmetic purposes like taste and odor.
2. The water is split into two by the ionizer
3. The resulting waters will either be alkaline ionized water or acidic, oxidized water.

Benefits Listed below are no more than a Sales Pitch for an overpriced Countertop Water Ionizer.  

There are 4 main features and benefits of using an alkaline water ionizer and here they are in order of importance:

1. Antioxidant Rich Water: yes, even more, important than pH is the fact that ionized water is hugely rich in antioxidants! This is not to say the pH is not that important (which it is – pH is a 10 out of 10 in importance) but the antioxidant benefit is simply amazing. This claim came true when competing technologies which give you up to 90% pure water such as Reverse Osmosis began to offer alkaline post filter for great tasting water. As mentioned above, when tap water passes through water ionizer it gets a tiny electrical charge and becomes electrolyzed. The outcome of this is that the alkaline water that the ionizer produces is an antioxidant and the acid water is an oxidant. Antioxidants in liquids are commonly measured in oxidation-reduction potential or ORP. The water coming out from an ionizer may come out at anywhere between -50 and -350 and above. It is important to note here that the higher negative the better (up to around -350 where the benefit doesn’t really increase). High pH and ORP in water that we – humans consume play a very insignificant role because our digestive system is very acidic by nature and all the minerals and antioxidants come from high-quality food.

To give some perspective, here are some average ORP scores:

– tap water +300
– bottled water +350
– reverse osmosis water +200
– distilled water +200
– soda +400
And on the valuable side:
– alkaline ionized water -350
– juice (cranberry) -120
– tea (green) -180
– juice (orange) -50

You can see from these average readings that ionized water is actually more of an antioxidant than green tea and all of these other drinks that are championed for their antioxidant content! Isn’t this amazing? To think you could be getting a huge surge of antioxidants with every single glass of water you drink – imaging how amazing you’ll be feeling and in no time at all!

2. Perfect pH is anywhere between 7 and 8: of course, you probably know how important alkalinity in the diet is and that’s why you’re here, and when it comes to water, you want your water to be alkaline with a pH of 7-8. Using water ionizer or even high-quality reverse osmosis system, you can have the perfect pH 7-8.

3. pH from pH 3 to pH 12: with an alkaline water ionizer you get pH 9.5 water – of course – However, because water ionizer’s works by separating the H+ and OH- ions in the water you can select EXACTLY the pH you want to receive – from as low as pH 3 to as high as pH 12. This is something that no other alkaline water machine or source of alkaline water can give you – and it is THE ONLY plus for the ionizer.

There are SO many uses for the low and high pH water but here are just a few and most likely you will never use a single one:
1. A completely antibacterial (chemical free) cleaner for your household (ph 3-4)
2. A makeup remover (pH 4-5)
3. Hand sanitizer (pH 3-4)
4. An antiseptic and antibacterial mouthwash (pH 3-4)
5. Can be applied to acne, psoriasis, eczema (pH 3-4)
6. A cleanser and exfoliator
7. Eliminate pet smells (pH 4-5)
8. Adds extra antioxidants to fruits and vegetables (pH 11+)

4. Somewhat Filtered Water: this is such an important feature of the ionizer and something that is really a big part of the consideration when you choose which water system to buy. Adding different kinds of stuff to the water like salts, lemon, minerals, etc., and other cheap methods to drop the pH level, you are unfavorably missing out on the filtration which is very important. Let’s face it, we are all aware that tap water is just not clean enough and may sometimes cause harm to our bodies. Water Ionizers do a POOR job filtering water.

What are the shortcomings?

In recent years, a number of companies have begun marketing “water ionizers” online. These firms claim their products can produce pure alkaline water that can help prevent disease. Such claims, however, are unsubstantiated by scientific evidence and make little sense in light of the known laws of chemistry and physics. Several main disadvantages relate to purchasing a water ionizer.

Function in Question

Molecules of water can detach and will create a hydroxide ion (-OH) and a hydronium ion (H30+). In a reverse reaction, Hydronium ions, as well as hydroxide ions, can respond to form water molecules. The equilibrium strongly favors the reactants, which is why the reverse reaction is significantly faster. In comparison, an acidic solution has more hydronium ions than hydroxide ions while an alkaline solution contains a lot of hydroxide and less than hydronium ions. The pH of the pure water will not be altered by the process of electrolysis, additionally; pure water cannot be alkaline or acidic. As a result, it is rather unlikely that water ionization machines can do what their manufacturers claim.

Effect on Health

Even though it is claimed that water ionizers could produce pure alkaline water, it is still very questionable if it really has any effect on human health. The pH of blood is tightly regulated at about 7.4, and alkaline water would not have any effect on blood pH, nor would it be desirable to alter blood pH.

Possible Harms

Adding salt is one way to achieve electrolysis as well as making the water more alkaline. The two electrodes will react to each other once current is applied and will then produce hydrogen gas, hypochlorous acid, and sodium hydroxide. This mixture may react and can turn out into a sodium hypochlorite- aka Chlorine; the same compound that can be found in most laundry bleach. This can be dangerous if the water ionizer operates in this function since drinking dilute sodium hypochlorite (or bleach) is bad for the health.

Expense

A lot of water ionizers are very expensive.. They are all the more expensive in light of the fact that the devices are unlikely to function as claimed because the phrase “pure alkaline water” does not make sense based on current understanding of chemistry and physics.

Summary

A water ionizer is an appliance that uses the process of electrolysis. This means the structure of the water is changed on the molecular level which will create antioxidant-rich ionized alkaline, as well as an oxidizing ionized acidic stream of water consecutively. It has been developed in Japan following decades of research in water ionizer technology. Since early 1990’s, water ionizers have been imported from Japan and Korea.

The first thing a water ionizer does to your input tap water is, filter it using a combination of charcoal and particulate control through different media types (depending on the filter). Depending on which filter you are using, and your exact water quality needs, the ionizer filters are not capable of removing most pollutants from the water such as pharmaceuticals and other modern world pollutants.

Unlike distillers or reverse osmosis units, water ionizers don’t filter out soluble minerals. This means that you are not getting purest water possible. After all, EPA recommends 0-50 TDS as Perfect Drinking water. Which is impossible to achieve with a water ionizer. TDS is short for Total Dissolved Solids. For more information on TDS and Reverse Osmosis click here.

Remember, it’s not about how good your water filter is or how long it will last. It’s about how long YOU want to last and how good YOUR life will become when you have the best source of water for you.