Alkaline water is a term often used to identify water that has been passed through an ionizer. Many people praise alkaline water because of its alkaline-based health benefits, but they may not know what exactly alkaline water consists of or how it becomes charged with high alkalinity.
Alkaline water is based on the pH scale and is essentially on the opposite end of the spectrum when compared to acidic water. The pH scale, or the level of potential hydrogen, ranges from 0 to 14. The lower the number, the more acidic the solution is. The opposite is also true; therefore, alkaline water is usually anywhere from 8 to 14 on the pH scale. 7 is the number at the middle of the pH scale and represents a neutral substance, with most tap water sources coming in at 6 to 7.5 on the pH scale.
Alkaline water and other water based solutions measured on the pH scale are rated by the amount of hydrogen and hydroxyl ions they contain. An acidic solution will contain more hydrogen ions than hydroxyl ions. An alkaline solution such as alkaline water will contain more hydroxyl ions than hydrogen ions. A water based solution will assume a pH level based on which type of element is more abundant. This is why is why alkaline water will always register a pH level greater than 7.
Alkaline water isn't simply standard water with a greater amount of hydroxyl ions than hydrogen ions. Alkaline water is also effectively smaller in molecular shape than normal tap water. Ionizing water requires the process of electrolysis, which separates water into two types - one abundant in hydrogen ions and another abundant in hydroxyl ions. The process of electrolysis also alters the composition of water, essentially turning the clusters of molecules into smaller hexagonal formations. This creation of reduced water alters the substance's oxidation potential to approximately -250 to -350 mV.
Your body performs the oxidation process on a constant basis. This process helps break down oxygen molecules and it is integral in the standard functions of tissue cells. However, 1% to 2% of the oxidation process results in the creation of damaged molecules that are missing an electron. This results in instability, as the free radicals wreak havoc on nearby tissue, imposing the oxidation process on other cells. This malicious behavior turns some cells into free radicals and damages other cells, causing mutations that promote disease, inflammation and other assorted health problems.
Alkaline water's reduction-oxidation potential of -250 to -350 mV is nearly as important of a characteristic as its pH level because it drastically impacts bodily health. Standard tap water is usually rated as slightly oxidative, with an oxidation potential of +300 to +500 mV. This means that it mildly contributes to the oxidation process that is directly related with free radicals.
Alkaline water, containing a negative oxidation potential of -250 to -350 mV, helps your body combat the negative effects of the oxidation process. With an abundant quantity of extra electrons, the smaller sized alkaline water molecules travel more efficiently through cellular tissue and essentially contribute electrons to free radicals. By presenting much needed electrons to roaming free radicals, the alkaline water molecules can stabilize them and allow them to decay naturally or to be destroyed by the immune system. Most importantly, the presence of alkaline water stops free radicals from creating or continuing dangerous oxidative chains that transform ordinary stable cells into free radicals themselves.
Through the properties of micro-structured water that is high in hydroxyl ions, alkaline water can ultimately be referred to as a substance that can give you a variety of health benefits that acidic or neutral tap water simply cannot provide.