After my most recent Alkaline Water Training Series, a few questions came up more than others. So over the next few days I’m going to post these for you here, separated out, so you have the answers in a handy reference guide!
The biggest, most asked question by far was posted here yesterday, and here is the next big alkaline water question:
Question 2: Best Way to Make Alkaline Water
Note: you can get a full breakdown of these methods in my Definitive Guide to Alkaline Water here.
So here is my quick run down of every type of product, substance, machine, liquid or powder that has ever claimed to make alkaline water, so that you can make the best decision on how to make alkaline water at home.
How to Make Alkaline Water at Home
Lemon (& Lime) Water
Cheap, Easy – But Not For 24/7 Use
Lemon (or lime) water is quite simply, a glass of filtered, lukewarm water with fresh lemon juice squeezed into it. As I explain here, the lemon water, despite being citric acid, has an alkalising effect on the body because it is a low sugar fruit rich in alkaline minerals.
It should be used first thing in the morning when you first wake up as it is a great cleansing drink that will hydrate, stimulate your metabolism and digestive system and will get your body moving. It also tastes great first thing.
You can drink it at other times during the day, but it does not replace the more sophisticated ways of getting your alkaline water, for reasons you will find out further down this article as you carry on reading.
I would certainly never rely upon lemon water as my sole source of alkaline water. It really shouldn’t even be classified as alkaline water because it misses almost all of the benefits that the other alkaline water methods listed below provide. It really is just a nice, refreshing, cleansing drink that is healthy and pleasant to drink first thing in the morning instead of hitting the coffee.
I repeat – this is not a sufficient method and I would not recommend drinking it all day, every day if you are looking to make alkaline water a big part of your lifestyle. Lemon water doesn’t really hit the mark.
It is tasty, and it is refreshing and it is healthy – but see it for what it is – a great start to the day.
PROS: cheap, delicious and a great start to the day.
CONS: not of sufficient quality to use all day every day and is not really an alkaline water. Does not provide the benefits that the other methods described below provide.
Get 70% of the job done – very effectively. Great on-the-go!
pH Drops such as Dr Young’s PuripHy and pHion Balance’s pH Booster are my 2nd favourite method of creating perfect alkaline water (you’ll find my favourite method if you read on…!)
pH drops work in by infusing the liquid with highly alkaline minerals to raise the alkalinity of the water and give you a real alkaline boost!
Each different brand has a different technique but the effect is similar across all of them – you get high pH water.
The extent of the alkalinity depends on your source water pH, but with an average tap water pH of 6.8-7.2 you should expect to get a pH of between 8-9 from using pH drops, especially Dr Young’s PuripHy.
I personally love to use these drops when I’m on-the-go and away from home as they are brilliant for making any water alkaline. PuripHy also helps to decrease the acid bacteria in the water.
If you do not have, or cannot afford a water alkalising machine, such as a water ionizer, then these drops are, in my opinion the next best thing.
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.
Not An Option – These Supplements Are Not Meant For This!
I’ve recently had a few people emailing me asking if it is safe to make alkaline water by adding alkaline powders (such as Alka-Clear and baking soda) to their tap water.
The bottom line is – no – this is not a safe or recommended way to make alkaline water.
Remember, you are aiming to drink 3-4 litres of alkaline water each day and this method not only does not cut it, in terms of water quality – but it is also quite unsafe.
I would never recommend you try to get your alkaline water quota by adding, what is effectively, a supplement to your water that could push your intake of specific nutrients WAY past the safe levels.
Treat supplements such as pHour Salts as supplements, not as water treatment powders. pHour Salts is an incredible supplement, one of my absolute favourites without question – but it’s not an alkaline water method – you’d use the whole tub in a couple of days if you were trying to get the pH of your water up to 9.5 with this.
PROS: there are none. They serve different purposes.
CONS: expensive and also very inefficient. This isn’t a way to make alkaline water, it’s a way to supplement with alkaline minerals, but they are two very different things.
Mainstream Water Filters
Minor Benefits, But They Make Acid Water
Now, I am not totally opposed to these high-street filters, because they do actually do a reasonable job of removing some impurities from your tap water, but they do, somehow, manage to make the water more acidic than tap water.
So you could potentially combine the use of a desktop filter with pH drops to get a reasonable job done, but the water, after filtration would sit at around pH 5.5-6.5 meaning that the pH drops would only take your water up to around pH 7.5-8, not the pH 9.5 that Dr Young recommends for optimal health.
Plus having owned one of these filters many years ago, it is amazing how expensive it is to continuously replace the filters, that only seem to last a few weeks.
PROS: cheap and reasonable at removing impurities.
CONS: lowers the pH of water and you miss out on the antioxidant benefits and small cluster size benefits of the ionized water. Also have quite expensive cartridges.
Great Filtration, Very User Unfriendly & Needs pH Drops
Distillers use the most effective method of water purification: distillation. Water is boiled, killing bacteria and viruses, then vaporized to separate out minerals, lead, bacteria, nitrates and other contaminants. The vapor is then condensed back into liquid form that is 99.9 percent pure.
So this does a fantastic job of solving 1/4 of the puzzle – it purifies the water. However, it leaves you needing to do a lot more for it to become the perfect alkaline water as it is not only left at pH 7 (mildly acid/neutral), but it is also lacking the antioxidants and smaller water cluster (for better hydration) that other alkaline water machines provide (read on).
You can couple a distiller with pH drops to get yourself half way there and, of course, this does provide very pure water with a reasonable pH. However, I believe that there are better methods.
Regardless of the other benefits of the other machines (machines such as the water ionizers) distillers have a few drawbacks. They take an awfully long time to product 4 litres of water (around 3-4 hours) which is an issue if you are wanting to water yourself, your partner and your kids (the machine would basically have to be running all day) and due to this I consider it to be quite energy inefficient. Boiling 4 litres of water for 4 hours and then collecting the condensation does not seem the most environmentally aware method of water purification – but it is very effective.
PROS: excellent purification.
CONS: doesn’t alkalise the water, very time consuming and energy inefficient. You will still need pH drops.
Not Recommended At All
Reverse osmosis does a fine job of filtering tap water, but is more beneficial to large scale water filtration needs. It is incredibly energy inefficient and provides you with acidic water.
Therefore it is not worth the effort or expense because there are simply better alternatives out there.
PROS: filters the water and it comes out of your kitchen tap.
CONS: Makes acidic water. So not suitable for our aim.
Alkaline Water Ionizers
The Best Way To Get Alkaline Water – Hands Down
Alkaline water ionizers are, without doubt, the best, most efficient way to make alkaline water. There are obviously the up front costs of buying an ionizer, but I can honestly say that this was the best investment I have ever made.
Alkaline water ionizers provide the four key benefits of alkaline water:
- High pH: you can set the pH you want from 3-12.5 and can guarantee yourself the perfect pH 9.5 water on tap
- Antioxidant Rich: the ionization process (separation of H+ from OH- ions) not only alkalises the water, but it also makes the water rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are measured by something called ORP, (click here for a full definition of ORP) and to give you something relative – the ORP of cola is +300, tap water is +125, green tea is -150 and ionized water is -450. Obviously, the lower the number the better!
- More Hydrating: the ionization process also makes the cluster size of the water smaller. To keep this as non-technical as possible, tap water has around 20 clusters and ionized water has around 4 clusters – this means that when you drink ionized water it is able to permeate your cells more easily, giving you increased hydration and less bloating. Click here to read more about how ionized water is more hydrating.
- Filtered: the in-built filter in the ionizer removes bacteria, yeast, chemicals, heavy metals and pesticides
To bring this back from the slightly scientific angle I just took there (!) these machines give you high pH, antioxidant rich, ultra-hydrating, ultra-filtered water on tap. You can have as much of it as you like. All day, every day.
None of the other methods above give you the high pH – plus these other benefits of the antioxidants and increased hydration. It may seem obvious – but I love my ionizer.
Plus (and this is a whole other article) – the ionizer also gives you ultra high pH water (which can be used to wash pesticides from plants, clean stains and more) and low pH water (which can be used to sterilize surfaces, remove makeup, tone the skin, reduce the symptoms of eczema and more – click here for a full list of acid water uses).
Summary of Alkaline Water Techniques
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