Artificial Alkaline Water: The Dirty Little Secret

Drinking artificial alkaline water can actually cause the body to deplete its own alkaline mineral reserves.

Glass of water in front of a white background

Manufacturers of artificial alkaline water developed ionizing machines in order to replicate the healthful water found in the natural springs of places like the French Alps, the Himalayas, the Andes, Hawaii, and some of the other Polynesian Islands. While they were successful in replicating some of the properties of natural alkaline water, the characteristics that can be artificially mimicked are not the ones that are actually healthful to the human body.

It is true that artificial alkaline water does usually have a high pH and is highly alkaline, but this does not manifest in healthful effects on the body. Just because a substance has a high pH does not mean that consuming it will raise the body’s pH accordingly. In fact, in some cases drinking water with an artificially increased pH can actually lessen the body’s alkalinity.

While the specific effects of drinking artificial alkaline water depend on an individual’s personal biochemistry, the presence of toxins in the tap water that is ionized, and even the degree to which the water has been alkalized, there are some major problems that can potentially arise from drinking ionized water.

Missing Minerals

All of the problems that arise from drinking artificial alkaline water stem from one major issue: a lack of natural minerals. The water that ionizer manufacturers are trying to replicate—that found in natural, remote springs—is highly alkaline because of the minerals that it collects from the porous and rich rock through which it runs. It contains any combination of dissolved calcium, magnesium, silica, sodium and potassium, among others. It is these alkali minerals that give the water its high pH and alkalinity, and it is these that can neutralize excess acidity in the human body and thereby restore the acid-alkaline equilibrium.

Is It Even Alkaline Anymore?

On the lowest end of the spectrum in terms of harmful heath effects is the fact that water advertised as highly alkaline may actually have reverted back to its original pH by the time it is drunk by the consumer. This is because water constantly works to maintain a stable pH—one that corresponds to its mineral content. Water can be processed through an ionizer and emerge with a very high pH, but if it contains no alkali minerals, it will eventually revert back to its original pH.

This is less harmful than irritating. Consumers believe that they are drinking a healthful product and pay a premium accordingly. In reality they are simply drinking ordinary tap water (complete with its toxins and contaminants) that has been cleverly and deceitfully marketed. Customers who drink bottled artificial alkaline water may also believe their problem of excess acidity has been sufficiently addressed and may consequently neglect to address a very real and very harmful health issue.

Toxins Abound

Although most ionizers come with carbon filters, these are usually not sufficient to filter out the harmful toxins in tap water. Most tap water can be fairly considered a toxic substance. It contains any combination of chlorine, aluminum, fluorides, pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, and disinfection byproducts. Consumers who trust that their ionized water is a healthy substance are being duped into drinking water that is neither beneficially alkaline nor any cleaner than the water that runs from their bathroom sinks.

In addition to the toxins that ionizers fail to filter out, the machines may actually add toxic metals to the water during the electrolysis process. Many ionizers run water over platinum and titanium plates. During this process, platinum and titanium ions are released into the water. While they do increase the water’s alkalinity, both platinum and titanium are extremely toxic metals. While the amounts of these harmful products in ionized water are minimal, their level of toxicity makes any exposure dangerous.

Disrupting the Balance

Ionized water has a direct and negative effect on the body’s acid-alkaline balance. In some cases, drinking artificial alkaline water actually causes the body to deplete its own alkaline mineral reserves. This is because the body recognizes that an alkaline solution is being introduced and assumes that the alkalinity is the result of alkaline minerals. As it is constantly striving to maintain an acid-alkaline balance, it begins to excrete its own alkaline reserve minerals (such as calcium from its bones) in response to what it registers as an influx of alkalinity. Since the body is already too acidic, the release of alkaline reserve minerals has drastic health implications.

In other cases, artificial alkaline water can cause localized excess alkalinity. Artificial alkaline water only effectively neutralizes acid when it comes into direct contact. This means that it is only neutralizing the acids in the first parts of the digestive process, in areas like the upper bowel and the stomach. Not only is it not combating excess acidity at the cellular level (where the real problem resides), it is actually causing the upper bowel and stomach to be overly alkaline. This may manifest in symptoms like hypertension, anxiety, and urinary tract infections, among others.

Excess alkalinity is not a potentiality when drinking natural alkaline water. The body is able to recognize and properly utilize alkaline reserve minerals (the things that cause natural alkaline water to be alkaline). If a certain area of the body is too alkaline, the body can effectively release or reallocate excess minerals.

Learn more about Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water and its naturally alkaline pH and mineral content.