Alkaline Water Ionizers: What Are They?
When I first started on the alkaline diet and learning about alkaline water I had NO idea what a water ionizer was, whether it was different to a distiller, a reverse osmosis or why I couldn’t just use pH drops in my tap water. The whole thing about water ionizers just confused me.
And to be honest, it fell into the ‘too-hard basket’ for many years. It all seemed too complicated to understand and there was no clear information on what it was or what it did.
I thought that if it just makes alkaline water then why bother with anything other than pH drops?
Oh, how foolish. Alkaline water ionizers are amazing.
As you might know by now, I built Energise on the belief that getting healthy and alkaline is easier than we were being led to believe and my driving passion is to make it simple, easy and enjoyable – and alkaline water is no different.
So here it is, my Ultimate Guide to the Alkaline Water Ionizer
In this guide I am going to cover, in simple terms, the following:
- Why drink alkaline water (especially from an ionizer)
- What an alkaline water ionizer is and how it works
- The features of an alkaline water ionizer
- How an alkaline water ionizer is installed
- How to choose the alkaline water ionizer that is right for you
- The upkeep and ongoing costs of an alkaline water ionizer
- The difference between an alkaline water ionizer and reverse osmosis, distillers and pH drops
Why Drink From an Alkaline Water Ionizer?
I truly believe that drinking alkaline, ionized water is one of the very best things you can do for your health & vitality. The benefits I have seen in my own life have quite frankly blown me away and from all of my research & experience in the alkaline diet world – I think that this could be the most important thing you can do.
While I am not one to promise miracle-cures and I never say there is a magic bullet that can fix everything, I truly believe that the three biggest contributors to illness and health issues are:
- Oxidation (free-radical damage) of cells
Ionized, alkaline water addresses all three of these issues:
- Dehydration – Microclustered Water – the ionization process breaks down the water structure so there are 4-6 clusters rather than tap water which has 12-15 clusters – the smaller cluster size means the body can better absorb the water making it much more hydrating (click here for more about microclustered water)
- Over-acidification – consistent high pH water – the ionizers (talking particularly about the Chanson Ionizer range) deliver consistent pH at the level you select on a huge range of pH 3 to pH 11.
- Oxidation - Antioxidant rich water – the Chanson provides water that is hugely antioxidant rich, meaning it prevents free-radical damage. With a Chanson you get an ORP of -450 (ORP is the measure of antioxidants in liquid and the lower the better – to give context tap water is +200 and green tea is -125) – click here for more on antioxidant water and ORP.
So while I truly believe that health is a combination of hydration, diet, exercise and emotion – alkaline, ionized, microclustered water from a water ionizer moves you massively towards your health goals. There is absolutely no doubting that.
So let’s get onto…
Alkaline Water Ionizer: How it Works
How Do Water Ionizers Work?
I want to keep this concise and straightforward. The overwhelming feedback that I get is that this is what you prefer – so here goes!
The alkaline water ionizer works by a fairly straightforward process:
Step 1: Water passes through the internal alkaline water filter:
So the water feeds from your tap directly into the ‘In’ tube on the back of the alkaline water ionizer. Once it is in there the water runs through the in-built alkaline water filter to remove as many of the impurities as possible (in case you’re wondering, these filters last about a year and cost about £40/$50 to replace each year).
UPDATE: in this recent interview I conducted with Alkaline Water Filter Expert Ronnie Ruiz we cover, in-depth the ins and outs of how alkaline water filters work.
Alternatively you can click to watch this “ALkaline Water Filter” Interview on YouTube.
Step 2: An alkaline water ionizer runs water over positive and negative electrodes in a process known as electrolysis:
From there, the water then passes over the ‘plates’ in the ionizer. This is the really clever part of the ionizer. The water, once entering this section has a very specific low voltage electric current passed through it, which causes the soluble minerals in it to be attracted to either a positive ‘pole’ or a negative ‘pole’ depending on their own valiancy, or electrical energy signature.
When this happens, the water separates into alkaline and acid streams. We drink the water from the alkaline water ionizer and we use the acid water externally, for skin, healing, plants and disinfecting.
Step 3: The electrodes ionize the water into negative ions and positive ions—creating acidic and alkaline water:
So this process (as seen in the diagram above) separates the water into H+ (acidic water) and OH- (alkaline water). This electrolysis is also responsible for giving you the huge antioxidant content in the alkaline water and for microclustering the water.
So to keep it simple
1. The water is filtered
2. The ionizer splits the water into two
3. Out of one tap comes the alkaline, ionized, microsclustered water and out of the other comes the acidic, oxidized water
I hope this makes sense! Please let me know if this needs more explanation for you in the comments below. I’m always happy to help!
The features of an alkaline water ionizer
There is SO much more to a water ionizer than just alkaline water! I only wish I knew that back in 2004 when I first learned about the alkaline diet! For so long I relied on pH drops alone and was only getting a fraction of the benefit…
There are 4 main features and benefits of using an alkaline water ionizer and here they are in order of importance:
- Antioxidant Rich Water: yes, even more important (in my opinion) than pH is the fact that ionized water is hugely rich in antioxidants! This is not to say the pH is not that important (which it is – pH is a 10 out of 10 in importance) but the antioxidant benefit is simply amazing. As mentioned above, when tap water passes through the water ionizer it gets a tiny electrical charge and becomes electrolyzed.
The outcome of this is that the alkaline water that the ionizer produces is an antioxidant and the acid water is an oxidant.
Antioxidants in liquids are often measured in ORP (oxidation reduction potential, also sometimes referred to as REDOX) and the water from an ionizer can come out at anywhere between -50 and -350 and above.
It is important to note here that the higher negative the better (up to around -350 where the benefit doesn’t really increase).
To give some perspective, here are some average ORP scores:
– tap water +300
– bottled water +350
– soda +400
– reverse osmosis water +200
– distilled water +200
And on the beneficial side:
– alkaline ionized water (from a Chanson Ionizer) -350
– cranberry juice -120
– orange juice -50
– green tea -180
You can see from these average readings (video on this to follow!) that ionized water (in my readings I’m using a Chanson Miracle MAX) is actually more of an antioxidant than green tea and all of these other drinks that are championed for their antioxidant content!
This is amazing! To think you could be getting a huge surge of antioxidants with every single glass of water you drink – imaging how amazing you’ll be feeling and in no time at all!
- Perfect pH 9.5: of course, you probably know how important alkalinity in the diet is and that’s why you’re here, and when it comes to water, you want your water to be alkaline with a pH of 9.5.At pH 9.5 you are drinking water that is over 300x more alkaline than tap water and over and when compared to pH 8 water from pH drops which is just 10x more alkaline than tap water you can see the difference!
An alkaline water ionizer allows you to set the pH at the level YOU want so you know you are always getting the perfect pH 9.5, antioxidant rich water.
Why is this important? Check out this low-down on alkalinity from Robert Young of the pH Miracle
- pH from pH 3 to pH 12: with an alkaline water ionizer you get pH 9.5 water – of course – and this is just amazing for your health and wellness. However, because the water ionizer works by separating the H+ and OH- ions in the water (see above) you can select EXACTLY the pH you want to receive – from as low as pH 3 to as high as pH 12.This is something that no other alkaline water machine or source of alkaline water can give you – and it is a MAJOR plus for the ionizer.
There are SO many uses for the low and high pH water but here are just a few of my favourite:
- a completely antibacterial (chemical free) cleaner for your household (ph 3-4)
- a makeup remover (pH 4-5)
- a cleanser and exfoliator
- an antiseptic and antibacterial mouthwash (pH 3-4)
- incredible for acne, eczema, psoriasis (pH 3-4)
- Chemical free hand sanitizer (pH 3-4)
- Deodoriser for pet smells! (pH 4-5)
- For infusing fruits and vegetables with extra antioxidants (pH 11+)
- Cleaning and removing all chemicals and pesticides from shop bought fruits and vegetables
- And many more!
You would not ever drink the super strong acid or alkaline water (only drink it up to pH 9.5) but these other pH waters have SO many uses.
To get you started and for more understanding, here is Ronnie Ruiz describing more of the acid water uses and how they work:
- Super Filtered: this is such an important feature of the ionizer, and something that is really a big part of the consideration when you choose which water ionizer to buy (which brand and model) and is one of the main reasons why I only recommend Chanson Water Ionizers – because Chanson have been making incredible filtration systems for 20+ years, so the internal filter in the ionizer is simply the best out there.With pH drops, adding stuff to the water (like lemon, minerals, salts etc), water sticks and the other cheaper methods – you are critically missing out on the filtration, which is SO important. Let’s face it, we all know tap water is just not clean enough (unless you like heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides, fluoride, chlorine, chloramines etc in your body).
The beauty of the filter in the Chanson is that it does an amazing job of trapping harmful properties but allowing the beneficial alkaline minerals through. Ionizers NEED these minerals to work, and your body needs them too!
How an Alkaline Water Ionizer Is Installed
There are two types of water ionizer – the under sink ionizer (such as the Chanson VS70) and the countertop ionizer (like the Chanson Miracle MAX). I’ll explain how both are installed now…
Counter Top Alkaline Water Ionizer
The installation of the counter top water ionizer is incredibly simple and quick. As you can see from the short video below, it really takes less than 5 minutes and is simply a case of:
- Unpacking the box
- Putting the ionizer on your kitchen bench
- Screwing the tap diverter onto your tap (you need to unscrew the small tap end/mesh if you have one)
- Plugging the rubber tube onto the diverter and into the ‘in’ hole on the back of the ionizer
- Plugging the other rubber tube from the ‘out’ hole on the back of the ionizer and putting it down the sink
- Plugging the ionizer into an electrical point
- Switch it on and turn on your tap!
Now – this is very basic and very simplified but I can do it! And if I can do it (I’m no plumber as you can probably tell from me calling them ‘in’ and ‘out’ holes) then anyone can do it.
Of course, if you are REALLY not up for this, a plumber can get it done on a half hour job. Make sure he doesn’t round up to the hour though
Under Counter Water Ionizer
The under counter unit is exactly the same technology as the counter top, but it simply sits under the sink and attaches to a new ionizer tap (faucet) that you install on your bench top.
Generally speaking I recommend a plumber to install this, simply because most people do not have the equipment needed to cut a small round hole in their kitchen bench or sink!
But it is a case of just:
- Cutting the hole
- Putting the faucet over the hole and tightening from below (there is a simple screw mechanism for this
- Putting the ‘in’ and ‘out’ tubes (they’re labelled) into the in and out holes on the back of the ionizer unit
- Turn off your mains water supply
- Under the sink, unscrew the cold water line from the sink and insert the water diverter you get with your unit
- Run the cold water diverter line into the ionizer
- Plug in, switch on and enjoy!
The first under sink unit I had was installed by a plumber. And the second. I’m comfortable with it now though!
A note on the hole in the sink – a lot of people a freaked out by this idea, but there is no downside to having this hole! If at any point you want to uninstall your unit – you can fill the hole with a handy soap dispenser like this.
Of course, if you do decide to get yourself a Chanson ionizer from us we have full telephone support to guide you through the process step-by-step.
How to choose the ionizer that is right for you
Choosing an ionizer is a big decision. It’s a big investment and one you want to get right. Here are the main decision points that I think are most important. I am going to remain entirely unbiased.
Aside from where I specify about ‘cheap’ brands, I am going to assume that you will be looking at a proper company like Chanson, Jupiter, Life etc. not a eBay knock off. I’ll explain why below.
- Reputation: please, please, please stick with the main brands such as Chanson, Life, Tyent, Jupiter. These brands have all been around long enough to know what they’re doing! Research the history of the company, make sure they are the end-to-end manufacturer rather than just a company who assembles other peoples parts, or just re-badges it, and make sure they have ample ways to contact IN YOUR COUNTRY should anything go wrong.
- Reliability: some ionizers are just more susceptible to breaking down than others, so ask (before buying) what the defect/return rate of their units is. Ensure that there is a local service centre and a policy of replacing rather than fixing within the first 30 or 60 days (as this is when 99% of problems arise).
- Performance: almost all ionizers (from the brands mentioned) will get you the pH 9.5 water. The true test is whether this is achieved through ionization or mineralisation. Many units out there add extra minerals to their filter to ‘bump’ the alkaline pH. This is great for the testing meter, but almost worthless for your health. You need a machine that gets the different pH through electrolysis and ionization alone. How can you tell? Easy – the units that don’t use ionization alone will not be able to produce the super-strong acid water. The level of acid water that comes out of the machine is a direct reflection of the level of alkaline water produced (see the ion separation description above). So if the ionization is only getting pH 8 and then the added minerals are artificially bumping this up, then the acid water will only be about pH 6.5. Believe me – you really want your acid water!
- Customer Support: you will, at some point, without question, need support. Make sure the company you buy from is knowledgable, has a support line and is in your country. Lots of resellers don’t offer this, so be aware.
- Look and Feel: what does the unit look like, will it be nice in your kitchen, how big is it? This is important. If you hate it you won’t use it. And be warned – ask for dimensions – some units are VERY big!
- Price: ok, so this is the biggie. My only advice is – DON’T PAY LESS THAN £1000 ($1600USD) – these units are almost always very poor quality, unreliable, have no support or ability to repair, and to be honest are usually very unsafe. Sorry – they are incredibly unsafe. I have tested about 4 cheap units and in all of them the plates are corroded – meaning that the metal from the plates has leached into the water – meaning heavy metal poisoning for the drinker. That is quite serious, so don’t take it lightly.
You are going to be drinking 3-4 litres per day of this water, feeding it to friends and family and it is a complex piece of equipment. Please research it well, do your homework and make sure it is money well invested!
The upkeep and ongoing costs of an alkaline water ionizer
I can’t speak for all ionizers, but again, for the Chanson the upkeep and ongoing costs are…..wait for it….$50 per year.
It’s so easy!
Basically every 12 months you need to replace an internal filter. To replace it you need about as much skill as replacing the battery on your TV remote – you just unscrew the old one and put the new one in!
It is this cheap and easy because the Chanson has an internal self-cleaning mechanism that keeps everything in tip-top condition!
The difference between an alkaline water ionizer and reverse osmosis, distillers and pH drops
This is something I have covered in huge depth in my Definitive Guide to Alkaline Water which you can download for free by clicking that link.
But in summary:
PROS: filters the water and it comes out of your kitchen tap.
CONS: Makes acidic water with a +ORP meaning it oxidizes your cells (not good). It is also incredibly bad for the environment, using about 10 parts water to make 1 part RO water (9/10ths of the water is wasted down the sink).
PROS: excellent purification.
CONS: leaves the water with a +ORP, doesn’t alkalise the water, very time consuming and energy inefficient. You will still need pH drops.
PROS: they do increase the pH of the water you add them to and are very portable so great on the go.
CONS: cost between £30-40 per month and I would still recommend filtering your water before usage. Given the cost, you also do not get the benefits of ionized water from a water ionizer including the added antioxidants that ionized water provides.
Alkaline Water Ionizer
PROS: makes pH water from 3-12, gives you -ORP, antioxidant rich water, filters
CONS: up front cost
Alkaline Water Ionizer Summary:
My life changed dramatically when I started to drink 3-4 litres of alkaline, ionized water from my Chanson Ionizer on a daily basis. Just some of the benefits I experienced were (and bear in mind I was pretty darn alkaline and healthy already!)
– way more energy
– clearer skin
– no coughs, colds or flu since
– much faster recovery from exercise (esp resistance exercise)
– much better athletic performance (faster 10k and able to lift heavier)
– better sleep
…others have reported weight loss, skin conditions clearing, digestive problems easing, candida clearing up and heaps more.
I cannot recommend it enough and I hope that my guide has helped demystify what an alkaline water ionizer actually is!
As always, if you have any questions please feel free to ask them below!
Alkaline Water Ionizer Review – read this before you buy an ionizer
Water FYIs Recommended Reading on everything to do with buying an alkaline water ionizer
Robert Young’s ‘Truth About Water’ article