You are probably aware that staying hydrated by drinking water is essential for good health. Perhaps you saw an advertisement or came across some clever advertising scheme claiming that ionized water can boost your energy, hydrate you better than regular water, prevent digestive issues and disease, and even slow down aging. And, with so many companies promoting it, you may have wondered at some point, “Does ionized water have more benefits for your health than regular water?” “, or “Is natural water better than tap water?”. Nonetheless, how much of the hype surrounding the health benefits of ionized water is true? Is it a worthy investment?
Read Also: What are Purifiers and How do They Work?
What is ionized water?
Ionized water is water that has been treated with an ionizer, a device that uses magnetic force or electricity to separate acidic and alkaline substances into their own streams. Ionized water is made by treating regular tap water with an ionizer, a device that uses either magnetic force or electricity to separate acidic and alkaline substances into their own streams. This process is called electrolysis.
To achieve the same effect at home, you can buy bottled ionized water or an ionized water filter. According to popular belief, ionized water can help improve your overall health and fitness. But, does the hype match the actual results?
Health benefits of ionized water
The most important reason to drink ionized water is the health benefits it offers. The theory behind the health benefits of ionized water focuses on the molecular structure of H2O. Water molecules are polar, which means that they have both a negative and positive charge at opposite ends—but in pure water, these molecules are randomly oriented so that there is no net positive or negative charge overall. In ionized water, however, the pH level has been altered (typically by adding an alkaline substance like calcium), resulting in negatively charged oxygen atoms that attract positively charged minerals and other compounds.
One company in the Philippines that offers water treatment machine installations, claims that drinking ionized water:
● Provides a higher level of antioxidants. Antioxidants are naturally occurring molecules that act as a defense against free radicals, unstable particles in the body that can contribute to aging and disease, stress, and help prevent cancer, among other benefits. Ionized alkaline water can contain ten (10) times more antioxidants than tap water.
● Helps with digestion and metabolic functions, because alkaline water increases hydration and neutralizes toxins in the body, it improves your metabolism and boosts energy levels. In addition, ionized water manufacturer IonWays reported that ionized alkaline water may detoxify your body by neutralizing acid salts (like sodium chloride) in the blood, while acidic ionized water may eliminate toxins from the blood (presumably by changing the pH of the blood). Alkaline ionized water is said to increase metabolism and support weight loss. Furthermore, Ray Sahelian, M.D., a California-based physician, and author of Mind Boosters, says that alkaline ionized water can be helpful for increasing energy.
● Improves skin health by helping rid your body of toxins through sweating. The better hydrated you are, moreover, the better your skin will look and feel.
Risks to health of ionized water
● Unfortunately, some of the chemical reactions that can occur when drinking ionized water can be harmful. For example, if you have an empty stomach and then drink alkaline water, it causes an imbalance in your blood buffer because it’s too basic. That leads to a change in your body’s pH balance—and according to Dr. Mercola, that can make you more susceptible to disease.
● Another thing: if you’re taking any kind of medication (from acid-reducing drugs like Prilosec or Prevacid to blood pressure medications), never drink ionized water with them. The alkaline nature will increase their side effects and lowers the effectiveness of the drugs themselves.
Purified water vs Ionized water
Purified water is water that has been filtered or distilled. Purified water is commonly manufactured for use in the pharmaceutical industry and for foods, beverages, and cosmetics. In cases of purified water being made available to consumers as bottled water, it is generally recommended by health professionals to drink purified water exclusively over tap or well water due to the risk of contamination from lead and copper pipes.
Water purification involves either removing impurities from the liquid or killing harmful bacteria with ultraviolet light. Reverse osmosis—a process that uses a semi-permeable membrane to retain solid contaminants that are too large to pass through it—is especially effective at removing fluoride and chlorine impurities. Distillation involves boiling contaminated liquids into steam, then condensing the steam back into clean drinking water while leaving behind unwanted impurities.
Ionized alkaline water is made by dissolving potassium bicarbonate or potassium chloride minerals into purified drinking water so that its pH level becomes higher than average (greater than 7). Ionized alkaline water supposedly has numerous health benefits beyond those provided by purified drinking water alone, including neutralizing stomach acidity and preventing gastrointestinal symptoms like indigestion, bloating, and constipation. However, research on this subject has not reached a definitive consensus on whether ionized alkaline water offers any significant health benefits beyond those conferred from regular consumption of purified drinking waters (i.e., avoiding many common diseases caused by contaminated tap waters).
Moreover, the National Resources Defense Council suggests that people drink water that is only proven to be safe in terms of contaminants and chemical contaminants. Many people want to be sure that the water they are drinking is healthy and safe. Fortunately, you do not need to buy a highly expensive water ionizer in order to get clean, contaminant-free water. Instead, it is easy to make a simple investment in a high-quality filter pitcher or other filtering systems which will help you avoid drinking harmful contaminants like pesticides, lead, or arsenic along with your regular tap water.
To sum it up, if you are not willing to spend thousands of pesos on an expensive water ionizer machine and then pay more money every month for replacement filters for that machine, there is no reason for you to bother drinking ionized water for its reported benefits. Filtered tap water is much healthier than drinking the acidic and potentially contaminant-filled waters from an ionizing machine. Our bodies are designed to function adequately when exposed to plain, neutral pH water. They are built to find their own equilibrium, and while many health trends come and go, the most important takeaway is that simple hydration is the key. The more water you drink, the healthier you will be, whether the water is slightly more ionized or slightly more acidic.
Aspiring to reap all of the benefits of ionized water? You are probably better off saving your money and drinking fresh, filtered tap water. You will likely benefit from getting your daily recommended ounces of water (the rule of thumb is at least 64 ounces per day or eight 8-ounce glasses) as long as the water you are drinking is free of harmful contaminants.
Worthy Tangible Investment for the Future
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