What is Alkaline Water?
You’ve heard of alkaline water, but what is it? Get the facts about the benefits, history and more.
Alkaline water (otherwise known as electrolyzed reduced water) is water with a pH of greater than 7. The amount of hydrogen mixed in with the water is known as Potential Hydrogen (pH). The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14; A pH of 7 is neutral, meaning the water is neither acidic nor alkaline. A pH of 7 through 14 indicates the water is alkaline, and a pH of 0 through 7 indicates the water is acidic.
In nature, water gets alkalinity from the minerals it absorbs. The most common minerals found in alkaline water are calcium, magnesium and potassium. These minerals are commonly found in tap water as mineral carbonates such as calcium carbonates and magnesium carbonates. Tap water rich in mineral carbonates is considered to be hard water.
Did you know? Hard water with its mineral carbonates can also be alkaline water if it has a pH of greater than 7. But it’s not the same kind of alkaline water that you get from a water ionizer!
Water ionizers make tap water more alkaline by separating the minerals from the carbonates. Once freed of the carbonates, the minerals chemically combine with hydroxyl ions taken from water molecules – to form mineral hydroxides. These mineral hydroxides – calcium hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide are recognized by the FDA for their contribution to human nutrition (FDA GRAS)
Alkaline water from a water ionizer has been in the USA for about 20 years, but has been studied and consumed in Asia for over a 50 years. The US FDA has not evaluated alkaline water for health purposes since it is not considered a drug; the information on this page about alkaline water comes from Japan and the Mayo Clinic in the USA.
Voluntary Drinking Guidelines: Alkaline Water in Japan
The Association of Alkaline Ionized Water Apparatus (AAIWA) of Japan defines alkaline water as: “Alkaline ionized water is slightly alkali electrolyzed water with a pH of 9 to 10 created on the anode side by direct-current electrolysis of drinking water
In Japan, voluntary guidelines regarding the use of alkaline water have been established by the AAIWA based on standards set forth by the Japan Home-Health Apparatus Industrial Association and Japanese Standards Association. Some recommendations are:
- Individuals receiving medical attention or believe they have health problems should consult their doctor before drinking alkaline ionized water.
- A pH of 9.5 is recommended for daily use
- Don’t take medication with alkaline water, instead use the purified mode on your ionizer to create purified water. (Association of Alkaline Ionized Water Apparatus 2010)
This information is provided for educational purposes only; these guidelines have not been evaluated by the US FDA.
Alkaline Water and the Mayo Clinic
According to Mayo clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky: “Some studies suggests that alkaline water may help slow bone loss, but further investigation is needed to determine if this influences overall bone mineral density and if the benefit is maintained over the long term.” (Zeratsky, K)
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Is Alkaline Water right for you?
LIFE Ionizers urges you to talk to your doctor if you are considering alkaline water. Make sure that you contact a doctor who has knowledge of water quality. Be careful, doctors that don’t understand water quality may suggest you drink tap water that has contaminants in it. Most doctors are unaware that there is even a difference in the many types of water available.
FDA, . “Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Opinion: Calcium hydroxide.” U.S Department of Health and Human Services. U.S Department of Health and Human Services. 18 Apr 2013. Web. 16 Aug 2013. http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/SCOGS/ucm260885.htm.
FDA, . “Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Opinion: Magnesium hydroxide.” U.S Department of Health and Human Services. U.S Department of Health and Human Services, 18 Apr 2013. Web. 16 Aug 2013. http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/SCOGS/ucm260463.htm.
Association of Alkaline Ionized Water Apparatus: Alkaline ionized water generation methods and characteristics: http://www.3aaa.gr.jp/english/alkali/wa.html#pagetop
Association of Alkaline Ionized Water Apparatus: Research results for alkaline ionized water: http://www.3aaa.gr.jp/english/alkali/kl.html
Zeratsky, K. “Nutrition and healthy eating.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 20 Mar 2012. Web. 6 Aug 2013. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alkaline-water/AN01800