Alkalinization is a process that reduces the concentration of hydrogen ions in a compound. Alkaline water has been shown by researchers to have many potential benefits on human health. Making alkaline water can be as simple as adding a bit of baking soda or as complex as using a Kangen water machine.
Water is only ever pure H2O in laboratory situations and even then likely contains some trace amounts of non-H2O compounds. Natural water is full of all sorts of trace minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and bicarbonate salts. These minerals are very important for your body and play a vital role in many cellular processes. These types of minerals all represent a class of elements considered to be ‘basic’, which is a synonym for alkaline, and the opposite of acidic.
What is Alkaline Water
Acidic compounds are things such as acetic acid, ethanol, and other nasty things that sound like they’d burn a hole right through your tongue! Alkaline compounds are equally as volatile in a chemical sense and you wouldn’t want to get near them either. As a general rule, you don’t want to be exposed to anything too far away from the 7 and 8 range in the above diagram. That is, anything below a 6 or above an 8 can get pretty uncomfortable!
Water can be seen in either acidic, neutral, or alkaline states depending on the type of trace elements found within. For example, a spoonful of tri-salts would alkalize water—while a few drops of lemon juice would acidify it. Each of these two variations would still be very close to the above neutral position but would be slightly leaning in one direction. Alkaline water is thought to offer many of the same benefits of an alkaline diet and is thought to be an effective way to reduce the overall risk of many chronic diseases (R).
How to Make Alkaline Water
Alkaline water is made through a process referred to as water ionization. Truthfully, this is more of a buzzword to help people sell more water filters. The actual process by which alkaline water is made is called water electrolysis and involves exposing water to a current of electricity. Much in the same way that batteries are configured, water ionizers use a cathode and an anode to conduct an electric current through the water. While batteries siphon out electricity from these parts, water ionizers pump electrons in. This process is outlined in the diagram below.
When water is exposed to this type of electrical current, water molecules nearest the anode and cathode begin to undergo a chemical transformation. Water nearest the anode becomes slightly more acidic, while the water nearest the cathode becomes slightly more alkaline. Once this process has had time to produce the desired effect, water can be siphoned off from the area containing the most basic water. While simplified, this is how just about every water ionizer works. While it may sound like some crazy science experiment, it’s a really safe and manageable process that is utilized by Kangen water machines, as well as other water ionizers by simply being plugged into a household outlet.
Benefits of Alkaline Water
Research suggests there are many potential health benefits of regular consumption of alkaline water. Alkaline diets have also been studied for similar effects. These are diets high in fruits and vegetables which provide the body with a constant stream of alkalinizing minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Below, you’ll find some of the many health benefits of drinking alkaline water, whether you’ve made it yourself or relied on a more robust method such as a Kangen water machine.
Acid Reflux Disease
Acid reflux disease, as well as momentary heartburn experiences, are largely tied to a compound called pepsin (R). Pepsin is regarded as being what does actual damage to the larynx and esophagus in patients suffering from acid reflux disease. Pepsin requires an acid component to be activated and, unless exposed to stomach acids, will usually remain fairly harmless.
Having acidic foods or beverages can activate this compound and is thought to play a key role in the progression of chronic acid reflux disease. In one study, researchers found that ionized water with a pH of 8.8 was able to instantaneously deactivate pepsin molecules (R). This suggests that ionized water, such as a Kangen water, is an effective treatment against acid reflux disease.
Bone Density Support
Your bones are largely comprised of calcium in its many forms. All these forms of calcium are very alkaline, typically of a pH 9.5 and higher. For example, one large component of bones is calcium carbonate, which has a pH value of 9.9. Our bodies are very susceptible to pH changes and require a very narrow pH range (7.35 to 7.45) to survive. When the overall serum pH of your body shifts towards the acidic side of this range, it signals your body to compensate and help restore a healthy pH balance. One of the ways your body does this is by signaling calcium salts to be released from your bones to help alkalize your system (R). Keeping an overall alkaline balance in one’s body can help reduce the need of pulling additional minerals from one’s bones.
Growth Hormone Production
It has been well established by research over the years that children suffering from states of metabolic acidosis present with low levels of growth hormone. One study examined the effects of a sustained alkalizing treatment on children that were smaller than normal from lower levels of growth hormone. Of the children that received the alkalizing therapy, every single one was able to reach a normal size for their age (R).
Another study found that in the supplementation with potassium bicarbonate (another very alkaline compound) in postmenopausal women was able to effectively increase growth hormone levels. Specifically, this was seen through the stoppage of muscle loss, and regaining previously-lost muscle (R). There are several growth hormone stimulating supplements on the market but having a few glasses of alkalinized water seems much simpler.
Kangen Water Machines
Kagen water machines are weapons-grade water ionizers that can operate safely from one’s kitchen counter. They are made by Enagic, come in various models, but the most popular is the Leveluk SD501. This Kangen water machine hooks into your existing household water pipes, and acts as a filtration circuit. You are able to adjust the types of settings on this machine to provide 5 different ‘types’ of Kangen water. For a complete outline of the Leveluk SD501, you can visit the Enagic website. The following types of water pH are available from this machine:
- Strong Kangen water (approx. pH 11.0)
- Kangen water / 3 levels (approx. pH 8.5-9.5)
- Clean water (pH 7)
- Acidic water (approx. pH 5.5-6.5)
- Strong Acidic water (approx. pH 2.4-2.7)
Power of Water
Water is regarded by many as the lifeblood of human existence, following shortly after shelter from oxygen. Your body is around 75% water and without it life as we know it would not exist. One very intriguing qualitative study of water that has been taking place among several laboratories, is the investigation of water’s memory. Researchers have managed to capture images of water molecules after freezing them, and have seen remarkable differences between different water sources.
Water droplets placed under a specially calibrated microscope have been shown to produce vastly different structures depending on the source of the water. Every single drop of water from one glass will produce a similar image, and every single drop of water from another glass will produce a similar shape—although completely different from the first glass. The patterns made by water were shown to change based on where the water came from, what the water was exposed to beforehand, and—even who had placed the water under the microscope. Check out the demonstration of this phenomena below for yourself:
Alkaline water has shown itself as a powerful addition to a healthy lifestyle and diet. It can help prevent heartburn, helps regulate hormones, and has even shown promise as a conjunctive cancer therapy. Technology such as Kagen water machines can generate alkaline water on tap while other less expensive options can offer convenient access as well.
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