Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health

Alkaline Ionised Water

What is alkaline water?

Is alkaline water good for you?

Research shows that alkaline-promoting / acid-reducing medicines and drugs are harmful

The simple cure for acid reflux (GERD, GORD)

Other Warnings

Unidentified toxins


You can install an alkaline water ionizer / ioniser on your kitchen sink. It takes tap water, filters it and then using electrolysis, splits it into water containing mostly acid minerals and water containing mostly alkaline minerals. The two types of water come out in two separate pipes. Those models with titanium electrodes or platinum-coated titanium electrodes have an expected life of ten years, much longer than any other type of electrode.

What is alkaline water?

Several health writers maintain that the key to health and longevity is the management and disposal of acidic waste products. Alkaline ionised water can be rich in alkaline minerals, though of course it depends on what's in your tap water to start with. These alkaline minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, zinc, nickel and manganese help make your body more alkaline and remove acid waste products from your body, they claim.

Some models have a cartridge that lets you add crushed coral or other alkaline minerals. This is a good idea, especially if you live in an area with poor mineral content in the water supply (such as West Australia, where I live).

The ionizer removes some but not all of the acid-forming minerals from the alkaline water, depending upon the pH level you select. For example, at a pH of 9.0 about a third of the harmful added fluorides are removed. The same applies to the other acid-forming minerals.

The sediment and carbon pre-filters remove the chlorine and particle matter.

The alkaline water supposedly has another characteristic - the water molecules are reconfigured into a lighter, simpler form that are more easily absorbed by your body and your cells. However, I have found no scientific evidence that this is possible.

Another claim is that ionised alkaline water gives you an additional source of oxygen, provided in a body-friendly way. The effect is similar to deep breathing, exercise or sleeping in fresh air. Oxygen is an important degenerative disease treatment and anti-aging therapy. Insufficient oxygen leads to many degenerative diseases.

I heard one scientist say that yes, ionised water provides a raised level of oxygen in your blood, but it would not be much more than you would get from a few deep breaths. In defence of alkaline water, I did feel slightly energised after drinking it, and it did tend to keep me awake if I drank a glass before going to bed. Oher people I know who have drank alkaline water did not report this effect.

Many plants thrive on alkaline ionised water.

The acid water has some properties similar to the water from a natural hot mineral spring. It will restore skin acidity after washing, and you can use it as a hair conditioner. Some people say it protects you from acne. However, I was always reluctant to use it on my skin because of the high level of acidic pollutants in municipal water, such as fluorides. It is a versatile disinfectant both on your body, and for domestic tasks such as cleaning vegetables or washing the toilet. It adds substantially to the life of cut flowers.

Is alkaline water good for you?

Here is my experience after drinking alkaline water for 10 years. What I have to say here has cost this website many referrals. Alkaline water is a large and organised industry, and my being truthful about the long-term health problems caused by alkaline water has not earned me friends in the industry.

For ten years I drank alkaline water almost exclusively. The pH was between 8 and 9, usually closer to 8. The alkaline water tasted sweet and good, but I cannot attribute any health benefits to the alkaline water over this extensive period.

When I used to drink alkaline water, I tried not to drink it within an hour before or after a meal. This is important for high protein meals, which need an acid stomach in which to digest. Most people need more acid in their stomachs, and can improve their digestion by drinking lemon juice in water, or supplementing with apple cider vinegar or other acid foods and drinks. A glass of alkaline water does not help with the digestion of your protein food!

In early 2010 I was diagnosed with severe acid reflux and GERD / GORD. I suffered blockage, heartburn, and infection of the lower oesophagus. Typical symptoms that others suffer include:

Whilst investigating why my stomach was digesting poorly, and my lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) was not closing efficiently, I discovered that both the LES and the pyloric sphincter are pH sensitive. In simple terms, the valves for entry and exit to your stomach are confused by ongoing alkalinity. One of the keys for efficient digestion is a strongly acid stomach. I stopped drinking alkaline water, and started treatment with apple cider vinegar. There was an immediate improvement in my digestion and the reflux disappeared within days.

I believe that long-term use if alkaline water causes acid reflux and other health problems.

Research shows that alkaline-promoting / acid-reducing medicines and drugs are harmful

Conventional medicine and the drug companies promote alkaline tablets and acid blockers to treat stomach reflux problems. The standard medical treatment for dyspeptic symptoms such as acid reflux is to try to reduce acidity in the stomach. The most common way of doing this is using a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors. They include: aciphex (raberprazole), kapidex (dexlansoprazole), nexium (esomeprazole), prevacid (lansoprazole), prilosec (omeprazole) and protonix (pantoprazole).

In the short-term, alkalinity provides fast and temporary relief of the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. However, the opposite is needed for a cure. For good health and long life your stomach needs to be constantly and strongly acidic. The research (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) proving this has been conveniently ignored for 50 years.

Several new studies (10, 11, 12) published in the journal Gastroenterology show that these drugs actually cause the problems they are prescribed to treat! After a two-month course of esomeprazole (Nexium), 44% of the healthy volunteers developed heartburn, acid reflux, or dyspepsia. Even worse, the researchers showed that the rebound acid secretion could lead to dependence on the drugs.

The simple cure for acid reflux (GERD, GORD)

I got genuine relief from my acid reflux within a couple of hours. My acid reflux was completely healed after two weeks, and has not recurred.

For most people the cure for acid reflux / heartburn is easy: make your stomach more acidic. The traditional and most effective remedy is apple cider vinegar (ACV). Whey made from raw milk (preferably using kefir), lemon juice and Swedish bitters are also effective. The whey I am referring to here is the acidic, clear liquid that remains after you make curds or cheese from milk (NOT whey powder). You can make the best whey yourself, using kefir. I know several people who have healed long-term degenerative diseases with this single remedy.

Take a between one and four teaspoons of ACV in a glass of water before a meal. A lesser quantity of acidic water after a meal helps to wash out any food particles that may be stopping the LES from closing properly. The acidity also helps it to close correctly, and helps with digestion.

If you take an acid such as ACV between meals or before going to bed, rinse your mouth to avoid damaging your tooth enamel.

Kombucha, kefir and rejuvelac are acidic and help heal stomach acidity problems. They also contain natural probiotic microorganisms, essential for healing digestive problems.

The simple and clear logic behind all this, and a more detailed discussion are available in my ebook Grow Youthful.

Recipes and a detailed discussion of suitable foods are available in The Grow Youthful Recipe Book.

Other Warnings

Do not consume alkaline water with any medicines, supplements, or other additives. The alkaline water is reactive, and can form potentially dangerous by-products when mixed with a drug or other chemical compounds.

You should store ionised water in sealed glass bottles rather than plastic bottles, because it is reactive and can react with some plastics. It also reacts with the air and loses its ionisation if it is left exposed (of course, the alkaline minerals remain).

Unidentified toxins

James P McMahon of Utah writes: "If your tap water contains unregulated contaminants such as pharmaceuticals these may be transformed by the ionizing process into unknown compounds with unknown health risks. Tests have shown that ozone converts some pharmaceuticals into other unknown compounds as opposed to removing them. The electrical process in alkaline ionizers also produces reactive peroxides."

In Perth, Australia, where I live, the water has fluorides added in the mistaken belief that it improves the dental health of the population. I explain in Grow Youthful how these fluorides are harmful to your health. My tap water is also high in chlorine and other toxic pollutants.

For six months I did an experiment where I used my ioniser on the maximum setting. I filled glass bottles with water at a pH of about 10. I then added 2 ml of 5% apple cider vinegar into each bottle. This brought the pH down to 6.5, so my drinking water was neutral to very slightly acidic. This also removed most of the toxic fluoride from my drinking water.

My logic was that on the maximum setting, my ioniser will get rid of most of the acidic toxins, especially the fluorides. (Few other water filters can remove the fluorides in municipal water - only a water distiller, some reverse osmosis filters, and a new generation of special fluoride removal gravity-fed ceramic cartridges).

My experience: sometimes my ionized water tasted good, other days it was weird, even unpleasant. Over the months it did not feel good, and I did not feel well drinking it during this experimental period. My conclusion is that there are unknown compounds in my tap water that the ionising process converted into unknown toxins, and this water was not healthy.


1. When there is sufficient acid, the LES opens easily with only 5 mm Hg of pressure from above (swallowing) yet 80 mm Hg pressure from below will not force it open. A burp or a lack of acid will cause it to open. It instantly closes again at the first sign of acid.
Dornhurst, A.C., Harrison, K., and Pierce, J.M. Observations on the normal oesophagus and cardia. Lancet 1: 695-98, 1954.

2. Lastaste and Conthier. Removal of the acid secreting portion of the stomach causes failure of sphincter inhibition and reflux. ? 1967

3. Cannon, Walter B. Acid closure of the cardia. Am. J. Physiol. 23: 105-14, 1908.

4. Collis, J. Liegh, The causes of the variable response to gastric reflux in hiatus hernia. Royal Col. of Surg. of Edinb. : 77-87, 1969.

5. Alwin, J.A., Thorax 8:38, 1953. Cited by Collis op. Cit.

6. Dougherty, R.W., and Meredith, C.D., Cinefluorographic studies of the ruminant stomach and of eructation. Am. J. Vet. Res. 16:96-100, 1955.

7. Dougherty, R.W. and Habel, R.E. and Bond, H.E., Esophageal innervation and the eructation reflex in sheep. Am. J. Vet. Res. 19:115-28, 1958.

8. Dougherty, R.W., The physiology of eructation in ruminants. In Digestive physiology and nutrition in the ruminant, Ed. Lesi, D., Butterworth & Company, London, 1960. (Proceedings of the University of Nottingham seventh Easter school in agricultural science, 1960)

9. Dougherty, R.W., Bloat in ruminants, In: Forages, Eds. Hughes, H.D., Heath, M.W. and Metcalf, D.S., The Iowa State University Press, 2nd Edition, 1962.

10. Peter Bytzer et al, Copenhagen University and Koge University Hospital. Gastroenterology, July 2009.

11. Gastroenterology. Reimer C, et al "Proton-pump inhibitor therapy induces acid-related symptoms in healthy volunteers after withdrawal of therapy" Gastroenterology 2009; 137: 80-87.

12. Gastroenterology. McColl KEL, Gillen D "Evidence that proton-pump inhibitor therapy induces the symptoms it is used to treat" Gastroenterology 2009; 137: 20-22.