What is a Water Ionizer
A water ionizer is an electronic home appliance which ionizes water and makes it alkaline by raising its pH level. It also lowers the ORP (Oxidation Reduction Potential) of water. ORP is the tendency of water to oxidize or reduce other substances.
What is Ionized Water
Practically, ionized water is a meaningless term as pure water is not free of ions completely. Water consists of loosely bound molecules and shows a small tendency to dissociate into the positively charged hydrogen (H+) and the negatively charged (OH-) ions. Most of the time, the dissociation is retarded by an equally rapid reversible reaction. Still, on an average, two out of a billion water molecules get self-ionized. This makes water largely neutral, devoid of ions.
How do Water Ionizers Work
Tap water passes through a special attachment to the faucet into an ionizing chamber. Inside, the water is filtered by activated charcoal. Next, the water is transferred to an electrolysis chamber containing positive and negative electrodes. An electrochemical process ensues when an electric current decomposes water into its constituent elements, hydrogen and oxygen. The negative ions or acidic water accumulate(s) at the anode and the positive ions or alkaline water, at the cathode. The machines work by drawing the water towards the cathode to make it alkaline, as stated in the company websites.
The ionization of water equation is as follows.
H2O (l) ⇌ H+ (aq) + OH- (aq)
The effectiveness of the above mentioned process in achieving the end, though, is neither accepted by scientists nor validated by the manufacturers.
Ionized Water Health Benefits
The system manufacturers claim that ionized water brings a plethora of health benefits along with it. It provides an alkaline medium capable of neutralizing the acidity of certain food materials that we intake.
In case of acidity, minerals stacked in our teeth, bones and organs are borrowed by our system to restore the normal pH level of the body. Very high acid levels cause diarrhea, anxiety, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and immunity impairment. Such a medical condition, also known as acidosis reduces the cellular healing ability and prevents it from producing sufficient energy. Research has shown that an acidic medium also offers a favorable environment for thriving of cancer cells. However, some doctors do not recommend the use of water ionizers to address these health concerns. According to them, these machines use metals like platinum or titanium to achieve ionization of water, something far inferior to introducing natural minerals good for our body. Spring water becomes naturally alkaline while passing over rocks providing a better alternative.
Water molecules come in the form of large clusters making it difficult to get absorbed into the body. Going by the water ionizer company claims, their products are capable of bringing down the size of the clusters thereby making water absorption cakewalk for the body. This, however, has been rubbished by many scientists of reputed universities. According to these learned men, the process of breaking down huge molecule clusters and forming microclusters has not yet been fully understood and demands further investigation and research. No satisfactory proof of such exhaustive study could be provided by any water ionizer company.
Alkaline ionized water is also said to act as an antioxidant. If the proponents are to be believed, they are a massive storehouse of free electrons shielding the body parts from unnecessary oxidation by unstable free radicals. The latter are a major cause of cellular and DNA damage leading to premature aging and onset of various diseases.
Ionized Water Filters for Cleaning
Ionized water has long been used as a cleaning agent in food processing plants, hotels, and restaurants. Now with the water ionizer, keeping your home germ-free is no distant dream. It’s basically because of the low electric field carried by the water which on being transferred to a surface, attracts bacteria and dust particles. Very alkaline water can remove toilet and floor stains as well. In this respect, it is way better than chemical disinfectants that leave behind residue potentially harmful for the environment.
Side Effects of Alkaline Ionized Water
Consumption on a daily basis results in high alkalinity of the upper bowel. This can be as dangerous as acidity. Common side effects include hypertension, digestive problems, nervousness, erratic behavior of the heart, acute side pains and urinary tract and bladder infections. Scientific observations reveal that normal cells die an unnatural death when subjected to highly alkaline media and that cancer cells also remain unaffected by this. Moreover, water ionizer filters are not the best of the breed and are ineffective in removing toxic chemicals like fluorides.
Do Water Ionizers Really Work
If water ionizer consumer reports are anything to go by, drinking ionized water has improved diabetes, cured depression, reduced signs of chronic eczema, treated kidney diseases, lowered cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Athletes find it to be a great help in boosting their performance since it prevents acid buildup in the body at times of intense physical exertion.
Certain review websites rank water ionizers higher than reverse osmosis water filters since although both provide healthy purified water, the former makes the water easily absorbable in the human body and also offers a good cleaning solution.
Water Ionizer Variations
With the introduction of bottled ionized water, the bottled water industry has made its foray into the ionized water market. The consumers seem to like the idea of getting the so-called superior water on the go. Tapping into this demand, a category of portable alkaline water ionizers has also cropped up. Water ionizer pitcher and spray bottle are befitting examples of the said class that offer a cheap alternative to the electrolyzed water enthusiasts. The said spray bottles can cater to most counter cleaning needs. The shower head variation for bathing with ionized water is also a major draw.
Ionized Water: Is it All a Hoax
Some people like to term the sale of commercial ionized water systems as a scam. They say that no matter what we eat or drink, the stomach always maintains a steady acidic pH level. If acid level runs low, the stomach reinforces with some more acid. Tap water in the US cities is anyway made alkaline to ensure the safety of the pipes carrying it and also to prevent it from dissolving unwanted materials. Also, once ionized water enters your stomach, the gastric acids neutralize its pH almost immediately, shunning it from its effects. Hence, many people dismiss the ionized water hullabaloo as sheer falsehood.
In spite of the debatable claims, if you feel inclined to buy one for your home, do a proper market review of the top brands to zero in on the best one for you. Don’t stop yourself from making a meticulous brand comparison as well, before going the whole hog.
Article was last reviewed on Wednesday, December 6, 2017