I get a lot of comments from readers asking me which alkaline water ionizer they should buy. I normally answer the questions with private responses because the answer invariably depends upon the specific needs of the person who asked the question. I decided to publish a reply to a reader today as I think the response may be of interest to others. Here is my reply:
Trying to figure out which alkaline water ionizer to buy has always been tricky because every company claims to be the best. The more research you do, the more confused you get.
Based upon testing most of the leading alkaline water ionizers extensively over the years, I would have to say they pretty much all of the various brands produce alkaline water at similar levels, so it doesn’t really matter which one you buy.
Now for the bad news before I get to the good news
The scientific and medical communities have never backed the claims made by the alkaline water industry. The reason is that alkaline water itself doesn’t offer any benefits beyond the simple fact that drinking water is a smart decision compared to most if not all of the other choices (juices, soft drinks, etc.). The alkaline claims (cancer can’t exist in an alkaline environment, drinking alkaline water will make your body more alkaline, microclustering, etc) are all a marketing hoax that have never been substantiated.
Anyone that has been involved in the alkaline water industry knows that many people who begin drinking alkaline water experience benefits, especially in the first few days or weeks. So, if the alkaline water claims are a hoax, why do people who start drinking alkaline water experience benefits? The answer is hydrogen gas, which has been shown to benefit more than 170 diseases from over 700 studies and reviews. Alkaline water ionizers produce hydrogen gas at the cathode during electrolysis.
So….alkaline water ionizers produce hydrogen gas which helps people….no problem….right?
Not so fast. During electrolysis, the water becomes more alkaline. Unfortunately, when water becomes alkaline, the calcium in the source water precipitates out of the water and scales up the cathode. When the cathode gets scaled up, the alkaline water ionizer will continue to produce alkaline water, but the production of hydrogen gas slows down as the scale builds up until the unit doesn’t produce any hydrogen gas at all.
Q. How long does the scaling process take?
A. It depends upon how hard your source water is, which really means how much calcium is in the source water. Hard water (high calcium content) can scale up the cathode side of the plates in as little as a week while soft water (low calcium content) will take longer.
Q. How do you get rid of the scale?
A. You can soak the plates with citric acid or acetic acid (white vinegar) to clean the plates. This can be achieved by learning how to do it yourself which requires purchasing a pump and citric acid or vinegar, or you can typically buy cleaning filters from the company that manufacturers your machine.
Q. How often should the plates be cleaned?
A. To be safe, you should clean the plates once a week. If you have soft water, you might only have to clean the plates every 2 weeks or maybe once per month in really soft water.
Q. Is there any alkaline water ionizer that makes cleaning the plates easier?
A. Most alkaline water ionizers offer cleaning filters. However, they are expensive (usually about $40). As you can see, cleaning the plates gets prohibitively expensive. Enagic/Kangen has the best of the bad solutions as they sell a reusable cleaning filter that allows you to add citric acid (which they sell in pouches for a couple of dollars each). The biggest drawback to cleaning the Enagic machine is that each cleaning takes 5 hours.
Q. Is there a better solution?
A Yes. You can now buy hydrogen generator machines which are designed to produce hydrogen instead of the machines that produce hydrogen gas as a byproduct when the machines are creating alkaline water. These machines are vastly superior to alkaline water machines in terms of producing hydrogen gas because the plates don’t scale up during electrolysis. They are also designed to mix the hydrogen gas produced during electrolysis back into the water as opposed to the gas being lost into the air as soon as the water leaves the alkaline water ionizers.
Q. Is there a “best” hydrogen generator?
A. When the hydrogen generators first hit the market, the units were capable of producing hydrogen enriched water, but the delivery systems had many problems (leaks, insufficient power, etc.) One company in America (see www.tryh2.brilliantz.com) spent a ton of time fixing the problems. Brilliants now offers their HIM2 (above counter) and HIM3 (under counter) units which are very efficient and reliable. They work with virtually every type of potable (safe to drink) water. The “2” in the HIM2 model stands for “second generation” as the reconfigured units effectively represent a new generation even though the units look the same.
Q. What do the HIM units cost?
A. Brilliantz offers both the above counter and under counter units for $2,000. At a price of $2,000, the HIM units are by far the best value on the market in my opinion because they have fixed all the bugs that still plague other copy-cat units that are now appearing on the market. The fact that Brilliantz offers the under counter version at the same price as the above counter unit seems like incredible value in light of the fact that the alkaline water companies all seem to add an upcharge of at $500 to $1,000 for their under counter units. One partial explanation is that the above counter unit comes with water filters while the under counter unit does not include the filters. When I asked about this, the company told me that they wanted to give customers the option to add under counter filters as many customers that already have pre-filters under their kitchen sinks or for their whole house. For those that don’t have a pre-filter system, Brilliants offers what I consider to be an “industry best” pre-filter system for $240 which includes the filters which last for a year and the replacement filters cost $150 (or $180 for the fluoride filter set).
It probably sounds like I’m pitching Brilliantz pretty hard. Well, after writing my blog for 7 years without joining a company (other than on a consulting basis to test and upgrade units for companies) I recently signed up with Brilliantz as a Branch Affiliate. They have a system that is essentially a hybrid of the best of Direct Selling and Franchising. They sell brilliant products at great prices and they are all about educating their people, so I have no problem recommending them.
I hope this long explanation helps.