I have been a big fan of water ionizers since I first began drinking the water two and a half years ago. My water ionizer changed my life for the better… a lot better. I have been blogging a lot about the antioxidant filters lately, so you might think I have changed my thinking about water ionizers. That would be a false assumption because you don’t turn your back on an old friend. However,the introduction of antioxidant filters is changing the landscape of the alkaline water industry because the low cost effective machines have made healthy drinking water affordable for everyone.
How Water Ionizers Work:
Water ionizers work by the process of electrolysis. That means that when water is run over the electrically charged plates, the water is separated into two steams. One of the streams is rich in hydrogen ions (H+) and is called acidic water, and the other is rich in hydroxyl ions (OH-) and is called alkaline water. People drink the alkaline, or negatively charged water for its health benefits. People use the weaker forms of acidic water as a “beauty water” for their skin, or the stronger acidic water for cleaning.
When an electrical current (Amps) is run through the plates in the ionization chamber, the ionization process is enhanced. As the power is increased, the ionization increases.
A water ionizer won’t ionize unless there are cations such as calcium or magnesium in the water, or anions such as salts or bicarbonates. Most of the water ionizer companies place calcium or magnesium in their filters to insure that the ionization process is very strong.
In fact, the minerals that are introduced by the filters in water ionizers will ionize the water on its own without adding the electrical current that is supplied during electrolysis. The water ionizer companies that are selling the “bigger is better” scam would never want you to believe it, but it is true. How do I know this to be true? If you talk to anyone who has worked in the industry on the technical support or customer service side of the industry, they will tell you that a common complaint is that when customers receive a new water ionizer, they find that when they put the pH reagent drops in the water from different levels of ionization, the water turns purple for all settings. When the water turns purple with the pH test drops, that means that the pH of the water is 9.5 or higher. In fact, the water often turns purple when the pH reagent is used on the “purified” water that has not even been ionized when a machine is new. How could that be when there no electrolysis has taken place? The answer is simple: when the minerals introduced by the filters interact with the water supply, ionization occurs which causes the test drops to turn purple.
Purple water test results across the board are a nightmare for the tech support people. The tech support people at the various water ionizer companies tell their customers that when they run about 200 litres of water through their machine, the customer will start to see that different pH levels can be achieved and they are right. After the small amount of calcium or magnesium that is packed into the filters has been worked off, the filters will provide more normalized results. What they don’t tell you is that in soft water conditions, the performance of the water ionizer machines begin to lose their performance after 6 to 8 weeks unless customers install an inline re-mineralization filter before the water ionizer. Most people stop checking their test results after the first week or two so they never realize that their machines are not producing the desired results. It is important to test you machine with the pH reagent drops every week or two.
How Antioxidant filters work
Antioxidant filters perform two functions. They remove contaminants from the water, which is the water filter part. They also create powerful antioxidants by creating alkaline ionized water.
The Purification Process
The purifying process is fairly simple and can be achieved in one of two ways.
The Alkastream people use an ion exchange system which acts like a very efficient miniature water softener plus it uses some of the standard contaminant removal media. The ion exchange system is similar to what you will find in a Brita filter. The combination of the ion exchange system and a the standard removal media provide for very effective removal of chlorine, fluoride, VOCs, lead and mercury, which are the main contaminants in our water as well as other stuff that you don’t hear too much about.
The Revolutionizer doesn’t use the ion exchange system, but it does use the standard media known in the industry to remove contaminants.
I don’t know what the Ion Ways products will be using for purification as they haven’t announced anything yet. The fact Ion Ways hasn’t provided any information about their machine other than telling us the price indicates to me that they are a few months away or more.
The Antioxidant Process
Now lets turn to the antioxidant function of the antioxidant filters.
The process is really simple and I started to discuss it when I described the fact that most of the water ionizer companies put a small amount of calcium or magnesium in their filters to assist in the ionization process.
Dr. Hayashi, M.D., the “Godfather” of water ionizer research spent 15 years from 1985 to 2000 researching how and why water ionizers worked. By the year 2000, Dr. Hayashi came to the conclusion that you didn’t need to use electricity to ionize water through the process of electrolysis at all. In fact, Dr. Hayashi has requested that the great research paper that he published in 2000 that appears on many water ionizer websites be removed. Dr. Hayashi stands by his 15 years of research, but he found a low cost method of producing the same powerful antioxidant results.
Dr. Hayashi determined that it was free hydrogen that produced the beneficial health results, and you didn’t need electrolysis to achieve free hydrogen. He has officially requested that the high priced water ionizer companies stop using his research to promote their products when there is a much lower cost and effective alternative.
Dr. Hayashi discovered that if you run water through a media that contained magnesium, alkaline ionized water could be created that would be ideal for health drinking water. The low cost method of creating the water would produce the same health benefits as a water ionizer. The scientific explanation is that the water is the universal solvent because the hydrogen bonds that join the hydrogen atoms to the oxygen atom is a very weak bond. When you introduce a water molecule to a magnesium atom, the hydrogen bonds break and the oxygen attaches to the magnesium forming magnesium hydroxide and free hydrogen. Gabe Hunninghake has created a good illustration of this that can be seen at: http://nextgenionizer.weebly.com/video.html
I know, this stuff seems complicated and I bet nobody cares, but I had to learn about it so you have to read it… so there! The bottom line is that if you want healthy drinking water, you don’t have to purchase an expensive water ionizer.
Which machine should you purchase?
If you want purified water that provides the benefits of antioxidant alkaline water, all you need is an affordable Antioxidant Filter.
If can afford a water ionizer and a pre-filter system, you can have the added benefits of receiving strong and weak acidic water, and very high alkaline water that will remove pesticides from the surface of fruits and vegetables. The additional three benefits are great to have.
My wife loves the 5.5 pH “beauty water” as she uses it to wash her face and even to rinse her hair after she has used shampoo in her hair. You can buy 5.5 pH water very inexpensively from a grocery store in the form of Aquafina bottled water which is made by Pepsi, but it is not as convenient.
Some people use the strong acidic water as a disinfectant. We have tried it and it works, but we never seem to get around to it. The strong acidic water is definitely a “green” solution that we should all aspire to.
Soaking fruits and vegetables in 11.0 pH alkaline water does help remove pesticides from fruits and vegetables. However, it does take a long time to fill a sink with the water and the operating manuals do suggest soaking the fruits and vegetables for 20 to 30 minutes. At our house, we don’t seem to use this great feature very often because we never seem to have the time, which is more of a comment about our busy lives than a criticism of water ionizers. Typically, my wife just buys organic fruits and veggies now that they are more competitively priced.
As always, personal choices are what makes us all unique. You should choose which type of machine suits your needs and then select the brand and the retailer that feels right for you. Whatever choice you make with be a good decision because it will lead to a healthier life.
The comments and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and are not intended as medical advice. Always consult your health care provider for health issues.