Frequently Asked Questions about Water Ionizers and Alkaline Ionized Water
Here are some common questions about water, produced by an ionizer, also known by researchers as, "reduced electrolyzed water."
- Do water ionizers filter out pharmaceutical drugs commonly found drinking water?
- What's does alkaline electrolyzed water taste like?
- How do I store alkaline water?
- What's the best containers for traveling?
- What are measurable properties of alkaline ionized water?
- How do"free-radicals" effect our health?
- Can free-radicalsbe beneficial?
- How about removing fluoride?
- What's the lowest ORP available from a water ionizer?
- How best to start drinking alkaline ionized water?
- Effects I've noticed when drinking alkaline ionized water?
- It's possible to drink to much water?
- What's the difference between the .1 micron Biostone replacement filter and the .01 micron Biostone replacement filter?
Do Water Ionizers Remove Toxic Pharmaceutical Drugs From Drinking Water?
Reporters from the Associated Press’ National Investigative Team reviewed hundreds of scientific reports, federal databases and environmental studies and interviewed more than 230 officials, academics and scientists and private water suppliers in all 50 states. Following this exhaustive project, it was concluded that a surprising array of pharmaceuticals have been found in water supplies across the United States.
Partial Findings of Pharmaceutical Drugs in Drinking Water:
- Philadelphia: 56 pharmaceuticals or byproducts in treated drinking water, including medicines for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness and heart problems. Sixty-three pharmaceuticals or byproducts were found in the city’s watersheds.
- Southern California: Anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety medications were detected in a portion of the treated drinking water for 18.5 million people.
- Northern New Jersey: Drinking water treatment plant, which serves 850,000 people, found a metabolized angina medicine and the mood-stabilizing carbamazepine in drinking water.
- San Francisco: A reproductive hormone was detected in drinking water.
- Washington D.C.: The drinking water for Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas tested positive for six pharmaceuticals.
- Tucson AZ: Three medications, including an antibiotic, were found in drinking water supplied to Tucson, Arizona.
The Federal Government does not mandatemunicipalities and well owners to test for pharmaceuticals in water nor does it set any maximum contaminant levels. Of the 62 major water providers contacted by an investigative team, the drinking water for only 28 was tested. Among the 34 that haven’t: Houston, Chicago, Miami, Baltimore, Phoenix, Boston and New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection, which delivers water to 9 million people.
Health Risks For Pharmaceutical Drugs Found In Drinking Water:
Researchers do not yet understand the exact risks associated with persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals, however some studies uncovered dangerous effects on humans and animals.
To nobody’s surprise, the Pharmaceutical Industry had initially gone on record to state that: "Based on what we now know, I would say we find there’s little or no risk from pharmaceuticals in the environment to human health," said microbiologist Thomas White, a consultant for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
But at a conference last summer, Mary Buzby — Director of Environmental Technology for drug maker Merck & Co. Inc. — said: "There’s no doubt about it, pharmaceuticals are being detected in the environment and there is genuine concern that these compounds, in the small concentrations that they’re at, could be causing impacts to human health or to aquatic organisms."
The reaction from the Federal Government is: "We recognize it is a growing concern and we’re taking it very seriously," said Benjamin H. Grumbles, assistant administrator for water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Removal of Pharmaceutical Drug Contaminates:
It's difficult todetermine the optimal solution for large scale removal of pharmaceuticals in drinking water, due to the need for extensive testing. However, as with removal of other contaminants in water, if more treatment barriers are installed, then more contaminants will be removed. Studies indicate areduction in pharmaceutical drugs are achieved from granular activated carbon. Another widely used filter media is KDF.
Here's a list of independent lab tests showing a the reduction and, or removal of water contaminates using a water ionizer. A capable water ionizer will have at least three levels of protection, activated carbon, KDF, and physical ionization. The ionization process produces two streams of water, one that concentrates alkaline minerals for drinking, and the other concentratesacidic chemicals for cleaning.
Reverse osmosis treatment was specifically designed to provide a way to remove up to 98% of all dissolved and suspended materials in water. The disadvantages? Reverse osmosis produces water virtually mineral free and acidic. Reverse osmosis systems can waste between 5 to 20 gallons of water for each gallon of drinking water produced. However, alkaline mineral reverse osmosis systems are available.
Some consumers may see bottled water as an alternative, but bottled water can come from sources that are contaminated too and is typically treated with Reverse Osmosis. Bottled water also has disadvantages due to leaching of platicides into the water inside. Environmental damage is created by the manufacturing process and disposal of the plastic bottle itself.
Effect of pH on the taste of alkaline electrolyzed water
Original study published in the Journal of Food Science, June, 2007 by researchers conducted at Yamawaki Gakuen Junior College, Tokyo, Japan.
Abstract: The pH dependence of the taste of alkaline electrolyzed water (AEW) made by electrolyzing bottled mineral waters was examined by sensory evaluation. For water with a calcium concentration of 79 or 93 mg/L, the taste of AEW with a pH of 9.5 was considered better than that of the un electrolyzed water. In contrast, for water with a calcium concentration of 10 mg/L, the taste of the un electrolyzed water was preferred to that of AEW with a pH of 9.5. Electrolysis reduced the calcium concentrations in waters with calcium concentrations of 79 or 93 mg/L, but did not change the calcium concentration in water with a calcium concentration of 10 mg/L.
Conclusion: Electrolysis probably improved the taste of water with a higher calcium concentration by reducing the calcium concentration; however, the effect of electrolysis on water with a calcium concentration of 10 mg/L is likely to be the result of the pH increase alone. PubMed ID: 17995745
How long will ionized water maintain its pH Level when stored?
All consumer sized water ionizers are designed for immediate "point of use" consumption. If alkaline water comes in contact with air over time, then the water's pH will start to harmlessly revert to back to a neutral pH of 7. Simply put, the calcium, magnesium and potassium minerals contained in the ionized water, will start to precipitate into solid form when the water comes in contact with carbon present in the air.
According to a study published in the Journal of the Japanese Society for Food Science and Technology, "It was found that Acidic Electrolyzed Water could be preserved for one year under shaded and sealed conditions. However, Acidic Electrolyzed Water became inert after three days when exposed to light, although pH remained stable for one year. It was found out that the quality of Alkaline Electrolyzed Water changes easily regardless of preservation conditions."1
A study published in the Biochemical Biophysical Research Communications reveals, "The super oxide dismutase (SOD)-like activity of reduced water is stable at 4 degrees C for over a month and was not lost even after neutralization, repeated freezing and melting, deflation with sonication, vigorous mixing, boiling, repeated filtration, or closed autoclaving."2
What about containers for traveling?
After repeated long term use of any container filled with alkaline water, minerals will start to create a thin harmless coating of calcium and magnesium inside the surface of your travel container. These minerals can be easily wiped clean with a soft cloth if they build up after long term usage of the container. If the container is only rinsed with soapy water, especially containers with a narrow opening, then soap will tend to stick to any minerals left on the inside surface. Overtime, this can impart a soapy taste back into the alkaline water when the container is reused. As a result, it's good to be able to reach inside your container to physically wipe the inside surface clean. You may not notice any mineral build-up until after refilling the container for about 20-30 times or more, otherwise you may want to get in the habit of wiping and drying the container after each use.
Wide-mouth glass jars or BPA free bottles work well. Larger containers having a narrow mouth size can be cleansed by rinsing the inside with strong acid water, then include a final rinse with alkaline water to neutralize any acid water left inside. Also, there is lots of research pointing to the disinfecting properties of acid water.
Does ionized water have any other measurable properties besides pH?
"The superoxide dismutase (SOD antioxidant)-like activity of reduced water is stable at 4 degrees C for over a month and was not lost even after neutralization, repeated freezing and melting, deflation with sonication, vigorous mixing, boiling, repeated filtration, or closed autoclaving, but was lost by opened autoclaving or by closed autoclaving in the presence of tungsten trioxide which efficiently absorbs active atomic hydrogen." - View clinical research results
How do free-radicals effect our health?
There seems to be no shortage of "free-radicals." Oxygen and oxidation is constant. Rust never sleeps. And, there appears to be no shortage of fear, greed and stress, causingoxidative stress within the body. Plus, let's include the shortage of clean air, food and water, now loaded with contaminates. Alkaline minerals contained in ionized water offer a convenient way to balance our constant exposure to acidic, free-radical, oxidation processes.
It says on your website that "free-radicals are of great benefit due to their ability to attack and eliminate bacteria, virus and other waste products." What does this mean?
Chlorine is a free-radical used to kill microorganisms in drinking water. Chlorine molecules will attach to and destroy microorganisms, yet it stilll retains it's negative "free-radical" charge as a toxic chlorine byproduct.
Positively charged "activated carbon charcoal" can attract and remove these chlorine byproducts, present in chlorinated drinking water.
Our body's own white blood cells capture and employs toxic free-radicals for viral defense. Once the internal microorganism or virus is destroyed, our white blood cells help flush these free-radicals and unfriendly microorganisms from the body.
If the body is exposed to excessive amounts of free-radicals, then they can attach to health cells, creating damage. Ionized water behaves like an anti-oxidant. And, by providing the body with plenty of alkaline minerals, such as those found in ionized water, and alkaline foods, it helps balance the damaging acidic effects of excessive free-radical oxidation.
We also have friendly microorganisms that flourish in our digestive tract under the right conditions to strengthen our immune systems. One peer reviewed study reveals how alkaline ionized water works to create better conditions for these friendly microorganisms to flourish. Selective stimulation of the growth of anaerobic micro flora in the human intestinal tract by electrolyzed reducing water.
What type of filter is needed to filter out fluoride?
Pre filters can target the removal of fluoride. However, water ionizers have been tested by independant labs showing that fluoride is removed to non detectable levels.
What's the lowest ORP available from a Water Ionizer?
For example, the Melody's water flow can be slowed down to a trickle, without causing the unit to automatically shut-off. The Melody's flow valve can govern the amount of water passing through the unit regardless of the tap's pressure. This allows the Melody to be calibrated to a specific pH.
pH 10+ and -800mv ORP can be achieved as long as the source water isn't acidic from the start. When more minerals are present in the source water, a higher pH and a lower millivolt charge can be achieved.
Flow rate (flow lever) x Mineral content (source water) x Electric current (front panel buttons) = pH and ORP
pH and ORP can behave independently based on mineral content and electrical current. The Melody has a feed port for adding extra minerals such as Calcium (Ca) for making strong alkaline water, or salt (NaCl) for making strong acidic water
To get the highest pH/ORP possible, set the unit strength to maximum and reduce the amount of water flowing from the tap into the unit. A slower water flow will give the electrolysis process more time to effect the source water.
Are high pH and high ORP valuesimportant?
1. Clinical studies of ionized water with a strength of -200mv / pH 8-9 show positive effects.
2. Even the most inexpensive unitswill achieve close to pH 9 and lower than -200mv ORP values.
How Best To Start Drinking Alkaline Ionized Water?
Better to start off with a lower pH and gradually move to a stronger setting. To get stronger alkaline water decrease the flow rate and/or increase the strength setting on the contro panel.
Go slow and listen to your body (and listen to your doctor if you are working to improve a medical condition). My experience with drinking ionized water suggests drinking pH 9 consistently over the long run, rather than force a higher pH for a short term benefit.
Dr. Batmanghelidj, author of the book "Your Body's Many Cries for Water," notes that it can take up to 6 months of consistent hydration to bring the body back to an optimum level of tissue hydration. I'm reminded how a fern plant can become dehydrated, showing leaf die-off, then after pouring lots of water (in a short amount of time) the distressed plant doesn't respond. Similarly, it takes many months of consistent watering in small amounts to create the proper environment, allowing the repair and rebuilding of new cells.
Recommended drinking levels range from pH 8-10. If you're exercising and sweating out minerals on a regular basis, then pH 9-10 has worked very well for me over the years. When clocking real exercise time, I've experienced great results with ample amounts of pH 9-10. On the other hand, sedentary or bed ridden folks, faced with long term dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, can aim for the pH 7-8 range, as well as, consult their doctor for any electrolyte conflicts, such as excessive potassium levels, (see Hypokalemia). All water ionizers allow for neutral water, pH 7 setting, recommended when swallowing medication.
I aim for:
Two glasses first thing in the morning before breakfast. (pH9)
Continue drinking a glass or two, between meals.
Drink a glass before bedtime.
Things I've Noticed When Drinking Alkaline Ionized Water
Increased sense of thirst, (this essential feedback loop can break down with age).
Reduced need for liquids during meals, as you start producing much more saliva for better digestion.
Faster recovery from exercise.
New Issues in Hydration - Drinking Too Much Water?
By Jason E. Barker, Naturopathic Medical Doctor
Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Everywhere you read lately, it’s all about hydration. Americans have become well educated about the need to hydrate. The standard of ‘8 glasses of water per day’ is well ingrained, and this is good. Active people have this one down even better than most people, which raises other issues. Don’t get me wrong, drinking plenty of water is great for your health, and it is of course essential. But, industrious people we are, we tend to overdo what is good for us. And yes, too much water (too much of any good thing for that matter) can cause problems.
Issue #1: Hyponatremia
Hyponatremia is a condition where there is too much water in the bloodstream and it dilutes the salt content. Normally, your body regulates the amount of salt in the blood within a very tight range. Consuming too much plain water, too fast will lead to dilution. When this happens, your body cant ‘hold’ water inside the bloodstream, and it seeps into the other tissues of the body, including the brain. This is not good, and most of us have probably done it to some degree at one time or another. At its worst, hyponatremia can lead to death. Each year, a runner or two dies at an event because of this problem. However, there are certainly more cases of this that happen, but go undetected because the person wasn’t so ill they sought/attracted attention. And while it is very rare for someone to die from hyponatremia, many people probably suffer from some degree of this condition during events than we may be aware of, given the huge quantities of water that people think they should consume.
Who gets it?
Mainly women who spend 4 hours or more on the course. Why? There are a few theories, but one is that women just take better care of themselves, and therefore drink more water. Also, you can blame it on estrogen. Scientists believe that estrogen affects the way the brain absorbs water. And, the longer one is out exercising, the more they will drink. But, this doesn’t mean that a man who walks for 2 hours cant get it either.
What are the symptoms?
Swelling of the hands and feet. Confusion, dizziness, and headache. Nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath and wheezing. Symptoms can be confused with dehydration, and sometimes people are treated for dehydration when in fact they have hyponatremia. The key here is they feel worse during or after treatment.
How do you avoid it?
Learn how much water you really need by doing a simple test: Weigh yourself before you go out. Drink what you normally would, then weigh yourself as soon as you get back. If you gained weight, that means you drank too much. If you lost weight, that’s good. Yes, it can be hard to predict how thirsty you may be, or external factors like the weather that influence fluid intake and sweating. But, by getting a good idea of how much water you should drink in a given period of time during exercise, you will have more control. Also, try to avoid taking NSAID pain killers-ibuprofen, allieve, motrin etc., they can hurt your kidneys and keep them from processing water. And guess what-the amount of NSAIDS people take is directly correlated to time spent in the medical tent, dealing with hydration issues. Lastly, drink something other than plain water during exercise. Add some electrolytes or diluted sports beverage. You can add a pinch of salt, a pinch of baking soda, and some lemon or lime juice to your water for electrolytes. (Editor's note: Alkaline ionized water contain selectrolytes in the form of calcium, magnesium and potassium.) But, before you start guzzling sports drinks, read on…
Issue #2: Too many Calories
Among other things, we exercise to stay healthy and maybe loss some weight. If your goal is to loose weight, you may want to watch what you drink. Consuming high-calorie beverages with additives like protein may actually keep you from burning fat. Here's how it works: When you exercise, your body uses energy stores to keep moving. Using energy stores uses up those extra stored calories in your body. But, consuming extra energy during a workout will keep this from happening. Rather than using its energy stores during exercise, your body is smart, it will use the newfound source of energy for fuel, and save what you are trying to get rid of for another day. In reality, your body doesn’t require any extra fuel during the first hour of exercise.
What the difference between the Melody and Orion water ionizers?
The Orion is more automated and offers a beautiful exterior case, but the Melody JP104 is the best buy for the money. Here are some reasons why:
Proven track record. Melody water ionizers have been the most popular selling water ionizer over the last several years, with almost no returns. The Melody also includes the recent mesh-type electrolysis plates and electronic upgrade features.
The Melody is more flexible in it's use over the Orion
- Includes manual flow control lever for more precise adjustments.
- Can achieve Higher and lower values via manual flow control.
- LCD numerical filter life display.
- Flow sensor allows on-demand use allows under the sink installation.
Both the Orion and Melody offer "single button push" automation, but the Melody goes further, allowing for manual flow control.
What's the difference between the .1 Biostone replacement filter and the .01 Biostone replacement filter?
The extra carbon in the .1 micron filter is designed to absorb the chlorine found in treated municipal/city water. Chlorine will attach to, and kill any microbes, resulting in the creation of free-radical molecules. These free-radicals, by nature, are acidic and negatively charged and are best removed by binding to the carbon.
The .01 is designed for non-chlorinated well water. There's less carbon, with more .01 filter fabric to remove any living microbes found in the well water.
Also at issue are Giardia spores which the US Center for Disease Control recommends a filter with 1 micron or less to eliminate this occasional contaminant. According to the Center for Disease Control, during the past 2 decades, Giardia infection has become recognized as one of the most common causes of waterborne disease (found in both drinking and recreational water) in humans in the United States. Giardia is found worldwide and within every region of the United States.
Cut-away of the .1 and .01 Biostone replacement filters, showing the differening amounts of carbon.
Heartspring Staff are assistants of board reviewed doctors that are medical editors, authors, and reviewers, providing oversight for Heartspring.net. This article is currently undergoing doctor review.
Clean Drinking Water
Topics include filtration systems, mineral water and health affects.