In my never-ending campaign to critique the countless products claiming to deliver the best drinking water, I came across a company called Vitev. From what I have gathered these folks promote the benefits of what they call alkaline water, contesting the negative effects of what they call acid water. Specifically, it seems that their objection is to purified bottled waters such as Dasani and Aquifina; water processed by reverse osmosis (RO).
In their sales pitch they make a few scientific claims and give scientific citations that support their philosophy. Vitev also spends some time comparing their non-electric “ionizer” to competitive electric ionizers. Right off the bat, this strikes me odd because in the world of water purification, “ionizers” are not exactly a major technology. Vitev would have you believe that the scientific community is buzzing with ionizer talk.
A few things in the Vitev presentation don’t sit well with me, and I thought I would bullet point them.
- RO water is not acidic. The water produced by Dasani and Aquifina is not acidic. By scientific definition it doesn’t have enough of anything in it to have a pH that is much far from neutral. Because purified water is void of minerals, the water is indeed aggressive and will absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, and if left out very long, form carbonic acid and become acidic.
- Most labs are not equipped to measure the pH of pure water. Due to the lack of ions in the water, the ions in the pH electrode become disturbed due to static charge interference.
- Vitev comments that the negative ORP value of their filtered water means that their water is better for you; something to do with the amount of oxidants in the water. ORP, or oxygen reduction potential is a way for industry to measure how clean water is. It measures the ability of water to “kill” undesirable organisms. In tap water, chlorine causes the water to have a positive ORP number. In bottled water, it is usually ozone that causes a positive ORP number. Make no mistake, a positive ORP is your best guarantee against bacteria, viruses, molds, years and fungi growing in your water. The low ORP number in Vitev filtered water tells you that this water has very little resistance to the growth of harmful organisms. In my mind, using ORP as a health benefit to drinking water is a stretch.
- All tap water, by government regulation has a pH greater than 7, and accordingly is called alkaline. Finding alkaline water is not hard. It’s everywhere.
- Water is water. The human body does not rely on water as a nutrient. It does not care if the water comes from an apple, a chicken leg, a cola, or a glass of water.
- The pH of the stomach is anywhere from 1.5 – 3.5. Drinking alkaline water has an impotent effect at best on the body. Vitev makes some assertion that even in an acidic environment there is an alkalinity portion of the chemistry. This is true but meaningless. An acid-base reaction is always a two-direction equation that can be altered by adding more acid or base. By adding large doses of base (alkalinity) to an acid solution, the solution will eventually become alkaline. However, one could never drink enough alkaline water to make the stomach pH change to any significant amount.
- Somewhere on the Vitev site I read something to the effect that drinking alkaline water over time will help the body in achieving an alkaline pH. Again, this is not true. The pH of our blood is only slightly alkaline at an average of 7.4. That pH is maintained by our kidneys and lungs. Acidosis (acid blood pH) can be metabolic or respiratory in nature. There are many causes of this, including dehydration, kidney failure, obesity, lung or heart trauma and others. The pH of our drinking water is not at all, not in any way, shape or form, a cause of acidosis.
Let me close with a few comments. Ponce De Leon discovered the fountain of youth in Florida. It is a fraud, and offers no health benefits over and above the basic benefits of water to the body. So too, is it with any product that claims to improve health through presenting the “perfect” water. There is no perfect water. There is only water. H2O. Any minerals or other substances in the water are contaminants. Whether it be the minerals bottled water companies add to give taste to purified water, or any minerals added to water by any other water company; these minerals are contaminants.
If you drink a processed water, chances are you are drinking a water that has minerals added to it. Just understand, you are allowing someone to select which contaminants they believe are best for you. With 35 year solving water problems, I still like tap water best. As written elsewhere in this blog, I am also fine with bottled water, as long as a few storage and expiration rules are followed.
Good drinking to you all!