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by Mark Timmons August 30, 2017 92 Comments

I still get lots of questions about Alkaline Water and Water Ionizers in particular. I was getting ready to write a blog about that issue when the question popped into my head: "How can I write anything better than what Robert Slovak did on this subject? The answer is that I cannot, so I am going to publish a blog he did back in 2012. Essentially, the ionizer industry is a scientific misconception that has spawned a billion- dollar industry. Enjoy, but if you have an Ionizer, you are not going to like it. The truth hurts.

The Truth Behind The Alkaline Water Marketing Hype

The reason people are convinced to buy an alkaline ionizer is that they are told there is a premium on neutralizing acid in the body to make the proper acid-alkaline balance. And according to the alkaline ionizer theory at least (and I accept this), the alkaline water has the ability to neutralize stomach acid temporarily. You may have been taught that during the neutralization of stomach acid, that your body will recover by replenishing the acid in your stomach and allowing your body to produce an equal amount of bicarbonate buffer (alkaline buffer) into your bloodstream. So let's accept that this is a positive reaction: your body has released bicarbonate buffers, and you've alkalized your bloodstream, which will have the consequence of alkalizing your tissues and the organs, etc. Unfortunately, the science is much more complicated than that...and drinking water from alkaline ionizers may do more harm than good.

Alkaline Water 101: 2 Basic Must-Know Science Concepts To Help You Understand How Alkaline Ionizers Work

Concept #1: Alkaline Water and pH

Here is a place where terminology is almost everything. The term alkaline water is referring to the pH of the water. Alkaline has a pH of over 7. So if the water is 7.5, you can say it's alkaline water. If it's 8.5 it's alkaline water. If it's 9.5, it's alkaline water. If it's 13, it's alkaline water. So it's just a term that means what's the pH of the water.

What pH really Means:

  • You may already know that pH actually stands for the potential for hydrogen. That's what the P and the H mean. So it determines a certain quantity, referred to as hydrogen ions in the water.
  • pH is a parameter that can be applied to anything: there's the pH of the skin, the pH of the hair, the pH of water, the pH of milk, anything.
  • A lot of hydrogen ions = an acid pH.
  • Few hydrogen ions or none = an alkaline pH.

Concept #2: Electrolysis

Alkaline ionizers use a process called electrolysis. If you were to take a battery and hook it up to a glass of water and just put two terminals in the water, you'll see the bubbles coming out of the water. And this is the process of electrolysis.

In alkaline ionizers, the electrolysis process separates the constituents of the water into two parts or sides, so to speak:

  • One side is alkaline minerals - this stream of water is reserved for drinking and consumption and the pH is over 7.
  • The other side is acid minerals - this stream of water has a pH below 7 and is reserved for other purposes.

So when water goes through an alkaline ionizer, two streams of water that emanate from this device. Now that you know these basic concepts, let's move on to alkalinity of water.

Alkalinity of Water: Alkaline Water Does Not Mean It Has Substantial Alkalinity

People are convinced that alkaline water is sufficient to neutralize the acid, but it's just not true. The only thing that neutralizes acid is alkalinity, not the water being alkaline. So let me rephrase that: Alkaline water does not mean that it has substantial alkalinity. There must be alkaline minerals in the water -- to begin with -- in order to produce alkalinity in your water. So if someone is on a water supply that is marginal in the amount of alkaline mineral content, such as Seattle, Washington, Albany, New York or Denver, Colorado or any of the thousands of towns and cities with low alkaline mineral content water…an alkaline ionizer (or the electrolysis process), can make it have a high pH, but it doesn't mean that your water will have a high alkalinity. The truth is, people are being hoodwinked into thinking that this high pH is guaranteeing the neutralization of the acid in their stomachs, but in fact, it's not doing anything at all! It's simply being neutralized in just seconds. Only a drop of acid would neutralize, say, a pH 9 water produced on a water supply in Seattle, Washington. Clearly there is a deception going on here. And the marketers have convinced the entire customer base that alkaline water is the same as water with alkalinity when in fact it is not. I find this reprehensible, although I don't know if it's intentional. As a scientist, I'm really trying to decipher why alkaline water sellers can just say, "Hey, if your pH is over 9, you've got it covered." Because when you look at the science, it's just totally untrue.

Don't Be Duped - Alkaline Ionizers Don't Make Safe Drinking Water

Most people don't realize that the actual source of water is important when it comes to using an alkaline ionizer. In fact, the source of water you attach your alkaline ionizer to is critical.

High Potential For Unsafe Drinking Water Because Alkaline Ionizers Don't Remove Contaminants

Here are common contaminants you may find in alkaline water:

  • Chemical Contaminants - The quality of water alkaline ionizers produce is very dependent on the water it is put on. Are you using tap water, well water, or bottled water? First, take the opportunity to learn more about the type of water you're using in your alkaline ionizer. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified hundreds of contaminants that are allowed to be in your water, such as aluminum, fluoride, chlorine and more. These are contaminants that the EPA considers must be in water to keep it safe and healthy on their terms, not our terms. To learn more about drinking water safety and contaminants in your water, click here.
  • Mineral Contaminants - Alkaline ionizers have to re-mineralize the water with filters. And even though it's beyond the scope of this discussion, I'm very skeptical of re-mineralizing filters. Re-mineralizing filters typically use natural minerals for various reasons. And those natural minerals, which are from the earth, can also contain contaminants that are re-released into the water, creating yet another complication.

So alkaline ionizers just don't make good water purifiers. They don't have sophisticated technology and they have very limited filtration, which sellers overhype.

Why Alkaline Ionizers Are An Expensive Proposition And What You Can Do Instead

So let's face it, if you are reading this article, you are likely interested in safe drinking water. You want the highest quality and healthiest options. If you were considering an alkaline ionizer, like Kangen, Jupiter, Life Ionizer, IonLife, etc., and you wanted truly pure water, you'd have to add a reverse osmosis water purifier to your water source, then connect the alkaline ionizer. And those who can economically afford it are tending to do this, but now you're looking at somewhere between $5,000 - $7,000 for a water system. This is expensive and unnecessary.

There are easier, more affordable and better solutions for restoring the acid-alkaline balance in your body. Here are a couple of simple solutions:

  • Use baking soda.
  • Drink Gerol Steiner sparkling water (you will see, right on the bottle), it has 1,800 milligrams per liter of acid-neutralizing alkalinity.


  • Alkaline ionizers do not create substantial alkalinity of water. Alkaline ionizers are highly dependent upon the source of the water supply for alkalinity. There has to be enough alkaline minerals in the source water supply (e.g., tap water) to create alkalinity of water.
  • Alkaline ionizers do not contribute to acid-alkaline balance in your body (or alkalizing your blood stream). There have to be enough acid-neutralizing minerals to create alkalinity in your body.
  • Alkaline ionizers do not have good filtration. Your drinking water may still contain contaminants that are unsafe to drink.
  • Alkaline ionizers are unnecessarily expensive. Why spend thousands on an inadequate water filter when you can have more success with pure, clean water and baking soda?

*Update 07/20/2020

Our Answer To Water Alkaline Ionizers

For years now customers have asked us for a high quality solution to alkaline ionizers. The requested requirements were simple, but required a ton of research and testing to perfect. Our customers needed a product that could provide pure water with high alkalinity, that was relatively inexpensive. Our first endeavor into this is the All American 6 Stage Reverse Osmosis System. This undersink RO system features 100% American made parts and is paired with our trademarked Livation Hydration Chamber.

which does the following:

  1. Uses far-infrared balls to emit minerals
  2. Increases the pH of the filtered water typically to between 8.5 - 10.0
  3. Changes the oxidation-reduction potential of the water (ORP) to between -100mV and -200mV
  4. Reduces the sizes of the clusters of water molecules (re-structures) so that the water is easily absorbed in the body
  5. It also puts beneficial alkaline minerals into the water, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium.
  6. Adds molecular hydrogen with antioxidant potential

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July 31, 2021 Ken K

I am 78, been drinking a glass of vinegar water in the morning and a glass of baking soda water in the evening for years. No meds, great physical condition, no complaints. I get my good health from Almighty God and give all credit to Him.

October 27, 2022 Rachel

Too much alkaline water even if it was filtered beforehand can give you liver stones because over time it crystalizes in your body. Look at a faucet, if the water is too alkaline it will have a build up a white crust on the outer part that you can see and it can do similar in your body overtime.

October 31, 2022 Mark Timmons

I hate to ruin your story, but the white crust that builds up on your faucets is hardness minerals, not the result of alkaline water.

November 12, 2022 Steve Huddleston

Hey Mark, you say a lot about alkaline water having little benefit but you don’t address ORP. I’ve been using ionizers for 10 years. I do use an RO system that feeds my ionizers, and a remineralizer. You couldn’t feed strict RO water into an ionizer and get ionized water out because it’s the minerals “electrolytes” in the water that give water the ability to carry an electrical current. And my ionizer can produce over a -500 orp which to me means it has a powerful ability to neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidation within the body. Why don’t you mention oxidative stress or talk about orp? I use these machines more so for the purpose of negatively ionized water which I believe has a higher value than just the ph of the water. There are a lot of ways to get alkaline water but tell me an easier way of getting water with this level of negative ions.

November 26, 2022 Mark Timmons

I am not against ionizers. I have tested many and have found that many ionizers work well in the beginning, but over a fairly short time, the alkaline stream is not so alkaline. They use energy, require constant monitoring, require an RO ahead of them and then requires a remineralizer. I prefer simplicity and recommend this: As you can see, not only does the Reverse Osmosis System remove the widest spectrum of contaminants, but it also provides alkaline water. It does not make -500 ORP, but neither do most alkalizers after the “break-in” Period. Here is what our Livation Systems does: 1. Uses far-infrared balls to emit minerals 2. Increases the pH of the filtered water typically to between 8.5 – 10.0 3. Changes the oxidation-reduction potential of the water (ORP) to between -100mV and -200mV 4. Reduces the sizes of the clusters of water molecules (re-structures) so that the water is easily absorbed in the body 5. It also puts beneficial alkaline minerals into the water, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium. 6. Adds molecular hydrogen with antioxidant potential

November 27, 2022 Brian

US Water systems is speaking against water ionizer machines but yet it makes a water purification system out of plastic! I find that extremely hypocritical. Also marketing that their system is BPA free is duplicitous because they know that even the PBA substitutes in plastic pose their own health risks.

November 30, 2022 Mark Timmons

It’s easy to make accusations, but I would like to know what credentials and qualifications you have that allow you the leeway to call someone a hypocrite without any proof. I happen to be a Master Water Specialist with over 50 years of water treatment experience. One of our biggest markers is laboratory water… which has to be 100% pure H2O. It cannot have anything in the water… including chemicals. We take it all out and use plastic. According to you, that is not possible. So, smart guy, here is your chance to explain how you are right… or just shut up! Your choice!

November 30, 2022 USA Vein Clinics

Thanks for this interesting article to share with us. This is very grateful to read your content on this website. Good Work! best of luck with the next one
Metro Vein Center Bronx NY

USA Vein Clinics Bronx
February 14, 2023 Dennis Moreau

Thanks very much for sharing Robert’s clearly thoughtful explanation.

The insistent marketing messages and faith-based testimonials/critiques, have driven, and continue to drive a lot of unfortunate behavior and implausible expectation.

A lot of the recrimination in this thread is driven by the multi-level marketing programs, that turn hopeful buyers, into invested evangelists ( necessarily ejecting objectivity along the way).

Those voices with vested interests, should not be the only voices we hear.

Thanks again.

February 23, 2023 Donna

Great article! I have had a Jupiter Melody for 7 years. I thought it would be great. My mom still got cancer while drinking this for several years before she passed. I have a friend who has an Athena for over 10 years and she has had cancer on and off. I was having stomach issue this past year, couldn’t figure it out. When I went to change my filter I saw red rust water coming out the bottom of it. I was shocked, I spoke to the alkaviva people who said the Jupiter Alkalizer could not be traded in as it was over 5 years old, but they were happy to sell me a sediment remover and other items to test the PH. I said I’m not as worried about the PH as I am about the possible bacteria built up in the machine I can’t view. I had bought a Waterdrop filter while my machine was in the shop the other year. I put it on the faucet and the water tasted better than the alkalizer. Those people are making tons of money from the filters and such. Since deciding I did not want to use my Jupiter filter I tore it apart to see if I could see any issues. I did find some black possible mold in the container housing the titanium plates, oh and it’s self cleaning! The screens around the plates were matted with calcium and mineral deposits. I have pictures. Since I stopped drinking the alkaline for 10 days now my stomach issues have disappeared.

February 27, 2023 Steve

After reading this, I don’t think I’ll get an ionizer or alkalizer. Im on a well not city water, so I think it’ll be fine. Besides I was mainly gonna install it for my dogs as I heard alkali water helps their coat shine and reduces their allergies. But I think we’ll all be okay without it.

March 06, 2023 Mike Doran

My intention is to make this a scathing review. I hope I succeed. With a lifetime of battling my weight I was looking for anything that might help. Also, I am tremendously concerned about the quality of water, I drink a lot. I learned from a trusted source that alkaline water was a really good choice. So, I looked for an alkaline water purifier. In my search Tyent kept popping up. Reviews and “scientific studies” led me to purchase the 13. You can look up the various models and you’ll see what I am talking about. I called the company and got a sales lady who was more than a little pleasant. She quoted alleged reviews telling me of the many successes that people had in losing weight while only changing their water to alkaline. She reported the scientific studies but didn’t give me access to them. I wanted to see for myself. I was excited, I was sure she had told me the truth. That was Feb 2023. Now, today, October 2023, I have learned from an even more trusted friend that alkaline water eliminates acid in your stomach. It makes your digestive system work harder and guess what, you gain weight if you regularly drink alkaline water. Well since February instead of losing weight that Misty said I would, I had gained over 30 pounds. Nothing else in my diet changed except the water. My health was seriously deteriorating. Every afternoon I would find myself lying in bed for three hours napping. I had constant headaches, and then my blood pressure spiked. I went to the doctor, got a blood test, now I have type 2 diabetes, my liver is fatty, my sodium is low from the water, I’m dizzy and it’s time for a change. This was August 24, 2023. On August 27th I was in the hospital with a myriad of tests. They believed I had had a stroke, I couldn’t speak without stuttering. That was new. By the next weekend I was jabbing myself with a diabetes drug once a week and trying desperately to lose weight before I stroked out. Around that time my life saving water filter needed new filters, so I went to the Tyent website to purchase the filters I need, there are 4. I put in my model number then ordered what I believed to be the correct ones, 2 came in my box from Tyent. Where are the other 2? I suppose they don’t need to be changed because I could not find in my exhaustive search how to purchase the other two. Back to my health, I’m sticking myself once a week and the prescription runs out. I continue my Keto diet and I plateau. I’m back to where I was with the water and the diet. I guess the prescription will be coming soon. My health consultant Laura posted on FaceBook that alkaline water inhibits weight loss this past Monday, 10/8 and I quit drinking it. I’ve lost 3 pounds since I quit drinking it. So, I spent $4,200 for a water purifier that has hurt my health. I spent 20 times the cost of my sink top reverse osmosis system and it made me gain weight, put in danger of diabetes and liver failure plus seizures from low sodium. It raised my blood pressure and sent me to the hospital. I used Tyent’s financing and stretched out the costs for so much interest but I stopped paying them. Tyent needs to give them the money back plus reimburse me for the payments I’ve made plus my medical bills. Tyent has ruined my life albeit temporarily as I’ve learned to reverse it but now I have mounting medical bills. This company won’t likely do anything, but I an warning you, if you expect wonders, they lie, my whole family gained weight instead of their claim in losing.

October 06, 2023 Mark Timmons

I do not know who Tyent is, but they have no connection with US Water Systems.

June 06, 2024 todd

Been using Jupiter alkaline water machine for 10 years. It finally had to be replaced. I got it when my wife got Parkinson’s and for myself along with many other outside the box items I use three 10 inch prefiters with different carbons for NYC water. I first use a Doulton 10-inch filter that removes all the dirt and microscopic creatures living in the water. Pipes are old so a lot of rust clogs it up after making ten gallons of it. Reusable after scrubbing it many times. I turn down the speed as slow as possible as Carbon only works effectively if it has time to absorb the toxins. My older worn-out machine I would run through the filters again without the machine at a drip drip speed as the worn-out machine had to be run fast to turn on the Alkaline. After reading other comment, I am going to do a metal urine test to see if all that I do actually works. Water tastes amazing is all I can say. It is a bit of work but what isn’t to live virile and young at 70. I have the drops to test its alkaline level to make sure on that at least.

June 06, 2024 Rachna

This blog helps me a lot by providing information about alkaline water filters and which one is best. You must more of these types of blogs.

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