The quality of the water we drink is as important as the quantity of water we drink. Other than purity, there are three important properties of healthful water: oxygenation/antioxidant potential, micro-clustering, and alkalinity.
When water has been ionized it is more alkaline, contains a higher oxygen to hydrogen ratio than normal H2O, has extra electrons (a healthful negative charge), and contains millions of natural antioxidant bubbles called hydroxyl ions, which are free radical scavengers. Negative ORP (Oxidation-Reduction Potential), a characteristic of ionized water and fresh uncooked foods, is beneficial to our body in that it decreases oxidation and aging. Positive ORP, found in tap water, some bottled waters, and cooked foods, increases oxidation.
Water molecules come in clusters rather than single molecules. Tap water has very large clusters of molecules, whereas research has demonstrated that the ideal size for water to get into our cells is under six clustered molecules. Because the ionization process breaks the electrical bonding of water molecules and restructures the water down to smaller clusters, the resulting micro-clustered water is more easily absorbed into the cells, thereby providing superior cellular hydration and detoxification.
Water is the most crucial factor in establishing and maintaining proper acid-alkaline balance. Potential Hydrogen (pH) is a measure of relative acidity or alkalinity, with 0 at the extreme acid end of the scale and 14 at the extreme alkaline end. The blood stream seeks to maintain a consistent pH balance of 7.3 or 7.4, but poor quality diet, stress, environmental toxins, and medications can cause our metabolic pH to become too acidic. Because disease thrives in acidosis, drinking alkaline water is the fastest way to positively impact health and eradicate inflammation caused by excess acidity. High pH water (about 9.5) can alkalinize the body at the cellular level and help the blood stream maintain its appropriate pH. This, in turn, helps to increase energy, improve sleep, reduce pain, eliminate acid reflux, normalize blood pressure and weight, and resist disease.
Some fascinating Japanese research with 40,000 chickens illustrates the health benefits of alkaline water. All received the same feed, but one group was given regular ground water and the other group mineral alkaline water. After one month, the mortality rate of the chicks on the alkaline water was one-eighth the rate of the regular water group. After two months on the alkaline water, diabetic animals demonstrated a 34% reduction in blood sugar levels as compared with the regular water group; also noted were drops in cholesterol values. Most impressive were the cancer results. After only 15 days, the number, size and weight of cancerous tumors were 50% lower in the alkaline water group than they were in the regular water group (McMillan FD, J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999; 215(7):992-9).
High alkalinity and high oxygen are two factors of particular interest to us in our cancer work. Research has shown that the best way to prevent cancer or to keep it from recurring is to provide an inhospitable environment in which cancer cells cannot grow. Nobel prize winner Dr. Otto Warburg showed that cancer thrives in a low oxygen, highly acidic environment. Oxygen destroys cancer cells as well as bacterial and viral invaders. Alkaline ionized water helps increase the level of oxygen in the body by enabling more oxygen to attach to hemoglobin binding sites in the blood.
Ionized mineral alkaline water acts as a conductor of electrochemical activity from cell to cell. It can help the body resist disease and slow aging by increasing intracellular hydration, replenishing essential minerals, and protecting cells from free radical damage. However, not everyone wants to purchase an ionizer. For convenience and accessibility, bottled water is still in high demand. But which brand is best?
There are at least eight factors to take into account before answering that question, including the water’s source, purity, pH, oxygenation, hydration, bottle, taste, and cost. Many brands score high in some areas but low in others. However, very few, if any, score high in all areas.