Water ionizers don’t enjoy the level of approval from the scientific community nor the general populace, that water filters do. There are just too many question marks regarding their effectiveness and purported health benefits.
Understanding how an ionizer works will give you a strong basis upon which you can decide whether you should invest in one or not.
An ionizer has an electrolysis mechanism within it, that electrolyzes the water. The water is then separated into two compartments; one containing acidic water and the other, alkaline water.
Alkaline water contains a cluster of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, which are ideal for cooking and drinking. The acidic water, which contains such elements as chlorides, fluorides and nitrates, is good for sterilizing things or washing fruits and vegetables.
An ionizer can be easily connected to your cold water tap on your counter top or under sink. If connected under the sink, you may need a plumber to do it for you.
It is claimed that ionized water (alkaline) is a powerful antioxidant that fights oxidation (free radicals) within your body. Oxidation is what causes metal to rust and also causes a fruit that is cut open to change color.
Oxidation is responsible for the visible signs of aging and for your organs working at less than optimum as you get older. As your body ages, its oxidation reduction potential (+ORP) increases, which is a bad thing.
Ionized water, which is higher in pH, has more “reducing agents” (-ORP), which is something that inhibits or slows the process of oxidation. Hence the claim that water ionizers turns ordinary water into “miracle water.”
It is also claimed that drinking alkaline water helps to dissolve and dispose of acidic waste that builds up within your body when you consume sodas and junk food. This is said to be a good thing, since acid waste creates an ideal environment for all types of diseases to take hold. So should you buy an ionizer? This Q&A presents the “don’t buy” argument:
Q: Can water ionizers electrolyze regular tap water?.
A: Pure water is not a good conductor of electricity so it cannot be electrolyzed to any significant degree. Same for your tap water if has no mineral impurities in it.
Tap water that is hard (meaning, it contains minerals like calcium or magnesium) can be electrolyzed but the question is what happens when to this water when you drink it. When it reaches the stomach, the highly acidic fluids there removes any alkalinity created by the water ionizer.
Q: Can Ionized water change your body’s pH level?
A: There is no such thing as body pH since throughout your body, there exist varying pH levels. Ionized water doesn’t change the acidic levels of your stomach or bloodstream. Even if it did, it would only do so for a couple minutes until your body corrects itself and restores the original acidity.
One example of this correction is what happens when you eat a lot of protein. The body can’t store the excess so it turns into amino acids which would alter blood acidity. But this doesn’t happen because calcium is released from your bones to neutralize the acidity and prevent any change in the pH balance.
Only your urine’s acidity or alkalinity can be changed and that isn’t important since it’s in your bladder and doesn’t affect the pH balance of the rest of your body.
Q: Is ionized water good for preventing diseases?
A: Indeed, cancerous cells cannot survive in an alkaline environment but neither can any of your body’s cells. Your body operates within a certain range of acidity so that it can function properly. Why would you want to use an ionizer to interfere with this balance?
Q: Are ionizers effective water filters?
A: No. Ionizers are not water filters and therefore are generally very ineffective in removing the contaminants that drinking water filters are designed to do. Water ionizers are designed to make water more alkaline, not for their filtration abilities. Some ionizers may have water filtering capacities but these must be judged on their own merits.