“Did you know that most of the water you drink every day may actually be damaging your health?” No, neither did I. But this is the shocking claim made by the people at Real Water™, the newest US health sensation. Real Water™ is alkalised and filled with negative ions, contrasting with highly positive and acidic tap water, which “pulls away life force” from your cells causing them to become damaged, allowing “unwanted toxic material and crud to attach itself inside our bodies.”
It sounds terrifying, but there is rarely any substance in such reams of pseudoscientific advertising. What is particularly clever about Real Water™, is that they throw in just enough real science – like an explanation of pH as a measure of acidity – and facts – such as the body is 70% water – that you could almost believe that it’s all true.
The idea behind Real Water™ is that normal water is damaged when moving through pipes and undergoing filtration. This causes a loss of electrons (the negatively charged particles in all atoms) from the water producing positive charge, acidity and worst of all: free radicals. This water apparently clumps together, overcoming the scientifically predicted repulsion between positive charges. All of this prevents it from entering our bodies, so we all stay dehydrated. Any water entering our cells is so desperate for electrons it’ll tear our cells apart to get them.
By contrast, Real Water™, which is normal water with added free electrons, is claimed to be good because it is negatively charged and alkaline. The material claims that “most fresh vegetables are alkaline” and therefore alkaline things are beneficial. However, acidity is just a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions and has nothing to do with nutritional value. Published data also shows that most fruits and vegetables are actually acidic: lemons are an obvious example.
They also state that acidic conditions promote bacterial growth and disease which can be prevented by using Real Water™ to make your body more alkaline. However, the body is extremely good at self-regulation so will keep the same acidity or alkalinity irrespective of what we eat or drink: it just excretes any excess of either. All that Real Water™ is likely to do is make your waste more alkaline. Also, bacteria are extremely adaptable so can survive under most extreme conditions including both acid and alkaline.
These are just a few example of Real Water™ getting their science wrong, but there are many others and the website is well worth a read, for those with a critical mind set.
The Not-Sci blog is written by people from BlueSci, Cambridge University’s leading science magazine. The aim is to address some of the pseudoscientific ideas that plague modern society. Communicating good science accurately is hard to do, but it is becoming increasingly vital in the modern world, from government policy-making to what you eat for breakfast. We hope to show you how to weed out the good science from what is not science.
This week’s article was written by Jonathan Lawson.