Wat-er load of crap!

Posted: 6th March 2007 by Jacky Yong in Silly me
Tags: , , , , , ,

A week before Chinese New Year of 2007, my relative, my father’s brother to be exact, who stays way over in Ijok (somewhere in Kuala Selangor, for those who are geographically challenged), expressed their intention to come over to my place. Their over-eagerness seems very suspicious to me. My baby girl was already 6 months old at that time, and they have never come over to look at her before, so why now?

It was when my mum told me that they are selling a sort of water alkaline machine that confirmed my suspicion. Their machine costs up to RM3400, while I saw a decent Panasonic water alkalizer machine for only RM2200! What a rip-off!!

As with all the other direct-selling tactics, they made themselves comfortable around us. They joked with us, asked us how we have been, and they being our close relative, we easily fell into their comfort zone. Then I went to the kitchen to prepare some more water for them (to drink, no more). When I came back to them, I was surprised at what they have already arranged on the table! Bottles of clear water, labeled with mineral water, energy water, RO water and their alkaline water. Stacks of brochures were also presented neatly, as if I was suddenly standing on a Citibank credit card booth in Tesco! Only this time there was no pretty girl giving me the brochures!

They started doing all sorts of experiments on the water. The standard stuffs, pH test, neutrality test, mixing water with oil test. Those tests will surely generate a lot of ohhhs and ahhhhhs from those aunties, but come on! You can do much better than that!

It took me a while to nail it into their thick skull that I will never purchase their machine. They had all sorts of dirty tactics. They claimed that Panasonic’s version uses aluminum plates, not platinum, and rants about platinum being so strong, it is used in space shuttles (to that I say “Bullshit!”) and stuffs like that. They even quickly offered to “put the machine there and you don’t need to pay us money [yet]”. To that I slowly explained to them, I do not want them to come back here all the way from Ijok to dismantle the machine again. Nice try Uncle, but you’re getting on my nerves. After much haggling, pushing and shoving (my uncle actually went outside to light up his cigarettes a few times!) they finally gave in, and went back with their machine, like a droopy-eared puppy.

Not satisfied with my own arguments, and to give them a benefits of doubt, I went online again, searching for the alkaline water. And the truth hit me right between the eyes.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ALKALINE WATER!!!!

Alkaline water takes advantage of people like us who learn about pH, alkali and acidity and how to neutrality works back in school. But look further and you actually find more erroneous claims. Such as the acidity of water itself. Pure H2O cannot be split into H+ and OH components just like that and expect them to keep their liquid state. If they do, that is electrolysis. In order for them to keep an acid or alkaline state, some sort of ions must be present. Where does this ions come from? From dissolved matters in the water, like calcium chloride. The alkaline water that the machine produce, is actually no other than calcium hydroxide. The acidic water, get this, is a dilute solution of hypochlorous acid, HOCl. This acid is a powerful oxidizing agent and disinfectant. In the presence of sodium ions, the resulting solution is known as sodium hypochlorite. This is the main ingredient of ordinary household bleaches such as Chlorox. Their user manual recommends using this acid water to wash toilets, your food and even your face. Of course it cleans well, you are using BLEACH to clean your face!!

Another simple argument. What is the alkaline level of their water? About pH 10. Do you know the acid level of our stomach’s gastric juice? pH 2!!! By the time that water arrives at the stomach, all of it would have been neutralized!! In fact too much of alkaline level in our digestive system will only disrupt the normal amino acid and other enzyme activity too. Of course my uncle argues that since this water molecule is small, it gets absorbed so fast, 50% of it never reaches the stomach! What an absurd claim!

Which brings me to another one of their silly myth. That their water molecule is very small, they form covalent bonds with 6 in a group, forming what looks like water crystals. Err….. if my form 5 teacher teaches me correctly, and I’m sure she does, water only forms crystal when they are in solid form, e.g. ice or snow. Well to be fair, they do form covalent bonds in groups of 6, but only for like pico-seconds. Duhhh!!!

(http://www.chem1.com/CQ/ionbunk.html)

(http://www.wellness.com.au/Home/Comparisons/AlkalineIonisers/tabid/37/De…)

To sum it up, alkaline water is nothing but a deliberate marketing ploy, concocted by some wacko “health experts” who just wants to cash in on the fad. Yes, it is true that the technology came from Japan , technology that has long since been abandoned by their government 10 years ago and banned as misleading the consumer. Bear in mind that not all things Japanese are high-tech. They are also the same people who still believes that your personality and destiny are determined by your blood type!

There are rebuttals on those who are staunch supporters of ionized water. I never bother to read them though.

So there, read the articles, read your chemistry and measure your own wallet. As for me, I am settling for the RM300 carbon based filter anytime. I have been drinking that water for the pass 20 years, and so far there are no side effects. I am most likely to die from some freak airplane accident than from sickness of consuming too much non-alkalized water anyway. So why bother?

Quack science or miracle elixir? You decide.

Edit 26 Feb 2009: To be fair, I read the rebuttal claim above, and believe me, try as I might to read it with an open mind, I still do not find any solid convincing proof to say that alkaline water (if it exists at all) is beneficial to a human’s health. All the cells in my body that has ever attended the previous 20 years of chemistry lesson of my life could not come to agree with the existence of this water. If you understand ionization, it’s a highly unstable process of stripping an atom of its electron. Ionization happens easier in gaseous state than it does in liquid state, due to the simple fact of distance between each molecule. Once a molecule or atom becomes ionized, it quickly re-attaches itself to an oppositely charged molecule to attain electrical equilibrium. The fact that the distance between water molecule is so close to one another greatly reduce the chance of these H+ and OH ions separating from one another. That is another reason why I think an air-ionizer might be better for us than does a water ionizer. Hmmmm …..

Edit 17 March 2009 : More comments are coming in to defend the credibility of this miracle water. And I shot them all down like moths flying near a candle. Why are all these people so concerned about this alkaline water? One reason I can think of is that they are the losers who bought this crap home and they are now in their post-purchase withdrawal symptom. You can find them in consumer behavious that says that they need assurance that what they bought (perceived performance) is what they had intended to receive (consumer’s expectation). So they come browsing the internet and saw my website denouncing the existance of such product and became furious! Can’t blame them.

I relate this alkaline water thing to the hydrogen fuel thing for cars. A lot has been researched and developed on this technology. This technology works, but not in the way that you think that it works. Contrary to popular belief, hydrogen DOES NOT power your internal combustion engine (unlike the BMW Hydrogen 7, which by the way, is real and cost over USD$118,000!). All it does is to make your existing hydro-carbon combustion more complete, and thus, you get a more powerful and fuel efficient engine. However due to some over-enthusiastic people who hopes to make a quick buck out of this hype, souped up all sorts of false information to convince unsuspecting consumers. The problem with these (the alkaline water thingy and this hydrogen as fuel thingy) are that they are sprinkled with a few simple scientific facts that sounded intelligent and makes a lot of sense to the simple minded consumers. They are simply not aware that the actual thing making them work are not what it seems (more complete burning of their fuel, or in the case of the alkaline water, simple filtering of impurities and germs), or just plain simple placebo effect. Believe it or not? Measure your own wallet and your need, and make a wise decision from there.

  1. Ikhwan says:

    Hehe, I hate it too when some distant friends or relative do that. Long time no see, than suddenly visit. Actually, ada udang sebalik batu.

    I’ll go memorize that paragraph about calcium chloride, sodium hypochlorite, and calcium lactus acidophilus now. Might come in handy later. Thanks for the heads up.

  2. JiaJack says:

    Maybe u could invite our beloved form 6 chemistry teacher Mrs Yee into this forum. She might be able to shed some light…

  3. Hing Nyap says:

    Ouch straight punch on their face hehe

    thanks Jacky you triggered me to find out more on Ionizer product and to my surprise it also another marketing gimmick where the ionizer actually also called the ozonizer… ozone is toxic and it can damage lung…

    Breath harder in my non-ionized room’s air

  4. Jacky Yong says:

    Thanks Hing Nyap, for that info. Never thought they were related. A quick search through Wiki reveals both arguments for and against air ionizers. Interesting. Maybe u can write a posting about that too 😉

  5. Leslie says:

    And you people never bothered to read the rebuttal. Your ignorance is astounding.

  6. Jacky Yong says:

    Hi Leslie,

    To be fair to the rebuttal, I read it. But I still am not convinced of the existence of this alkaline water. You ought to know that the rebuttal claim came from a website that sells that damn thing, of course it will do all it can to refute the claim!

    But of course, if you are one of those who swear by the health benefit of drinking ionized water, please, by all means, buy the damn ionizer already and knock yourself out!

  7. John Wang says:

    You must read Dr Young

    PH Miracle Living

    http://www.phmiracleliving.com

    A lot of you have no understanding whatsoever of PH

  8. Jacky Yong says:

    Ohhhh puuh-lezzz John, give me a break! If you want to give me a more credible website to defend the authenticity of this so-called “miracle water”, you should at least give me a more convincing website! Not another one of your “buy-this-now-and-get-a-70-percent-discount” website! Just look at the website already! It’s littered with “scientific claims” and “users testimonials” and smiling pictures of the founders receiving their certificates, shaking hands with VIP’s. Ohhh look, he’s got a lot of those indecipherable acronyms behind his name. Makes him look intelligent, doesn’t it? Millions of us who has acronyms work as a janitors in schools. (No pun intended at those holding diplomas and degrees. I myself holds a B.Sc. (Hons). So what?) One look at the website and I know that it is trying to sell you something. BIG HINT: look at the Visa, Mastercard and American Express logos that is constantly at the footer.

    Why does everyone seems to be defending their alkaline water lately? If you want them, just go ahead and make the alkaline water makers rich already. I couldn’t care less!

  9. Leslie says:

    What do you mean, “not convinced of the existence of this alkaline water.” duh, all it takes is some pH drops and an ORP meter to PROVE that it EXISTS. Hellllllooooo, and you are supposed to be a scientist?

    So, just what exactly is causing all those people to have all those results? Placebo? Wow, if that’s true, then we just found a way to get a near 100% rate of PLACEBO BENEFITS!

    Oh, and how do you explain my DOG who could barely walk because of SEVERE ARTHRITIS, and was BLIND, and now can RUN and SEE? Placebo? Helllloo, dogs don’t have placebo! And if it were just a placebo, why didn’t he get results when I had that cheap knockoff Jupiter machine? 2 and 1/2 years with that machine, with high hopes…NOTHING. He went arthritic and blind, I went gray and developed many symptoms, then it broke, I bought the Enagic machine, my hair turned blonde again, the cyst disappeared, my dog can now run and SEE.

    Seriouly, Jacky, why don’t you try an experiment and just rry the water for youself? You can get some water for FREE. We GIVE IT AWAY.

  10. Leslie says:

    Jacky, you said, “Pure H2O cannot be split into H+ and OH− components just like that and expect them to keep their liquid state. ”

    Can you please DEFINE ‘pure water?’

    Is tap water ‘pure water?’

  11. Leslie says:

    BTW, if you “couldn’t care less” then why did you take the time to put this on your website? Who’s paying YOU, Jacky?

    Sill waiting to hear your reply about my dog.

    Oh, and the Japanese hospitals…

  12. Leslie says:

    Hing, an ionizer is NOT the same thing as an ozonizer.

    Jacky, are you calling 6600+ MDs who belong to the Japanese Association for the prevention of Adult Diseases wacko?
    http://www.itshealthywater.com/lealdragon/
    (click on ‘certification’)
    You said: “Yes, it is true that the technology came from Japan , technology that has long since been abandoned by their government 10 years ago and banned as misleading the consumer.”
    FALSE. The Enagic machine has had these endorsements for many consecutive years, up to the present.
    Why do you tell lies?

  13. Jacky Yong says:

    *YAWWNNN!!* Ohh Leslie, it’s you again. And oh…. lookie here. You have chosen the lowly method of spamming my site in order to get my attention. *Roll eyes* Hummph…. okay, I can choose to shoo your comments away with a click ……. but ….. I choose to keep them. To be fair to you and your comments. A gentleman always welcomes a good round of word-fight. (But seriously Leslie, you think you can get away with the last words? Err…. news-flash, this is MY site?)

    BWUUAAAAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!!!!…..

    *Roll my ass on the ground laughing my ass off! Wipe tears off my face! =D Gosh I can’t stop laughing*

    YOU ACTUALLY FEED YOUR DOG ALKALINE WATER?

    *ROLL MY FUCKING ASS ON THE FUCKING GROUND LAUGHING!*

    Omigod Leslie, you are either a very weird dog owner or a big ass liar. Just how the fuck do you make sure that your blind dog don’t go drinking from other sources like the toilet bowl too? Ohh right, your dog is blind and has severe arthritis, and you have to IV drip into his blood stream!

    *BWUAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!!*

    No, no, bad doggie, drink that alkaline water only! Not that poo water! It’s supposed to heal you. Yeah, go bath in the acidic by-product of the alkalizer while you’re at it. That will heal you of that zit infested skin that you have!

    What next Les? It can power your TV too? Will it heal AIDS? Will the ozone layer miraculously reappear and rid the world of the global warming? Dude, THINK!! If that water is so good, medicine companies would have long gone bankrupt! There will no longer be a need to manufacture drugs and surgical procedures to cure arthritis and glaucoma. People can just buy one of these machines and live forever! Bye bye cancer, bye bye death, hello fountain of youth! But has that happen yet? Think man, THINK!

    Don’t give me that crap about the pH water test man. Yeah, I’ve seen it turn blue, but it still does not tell you anything. It only says that you have a high content of other dissolved metal in it. You obviously did not read my post carefully before you make that stupid statement. I ain’t no scientist, but I’m pretty hell sure that I pass my pre-University chemistry with flying colours!

    Why are you so concerned about who’s paying me? Who’s paying you to spam my site? You are the what-cha-ma-call-it water machine inventor, right?

    You make me laugh Les. You just hit yourself right in the foot with that website. “http://www.itshealthywater.com/lealdragon/ (click on ‘certification’)

    Well, did you click on “Disclaimer“? Excerpt from the link:

    US FDA Disclaimer
    The products and the claims made about specific products on or through this site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

    What is this fart endorsement are you rambling about? Why do YOU tell lies?

    As I said, if alkaline water works for you, by all means, create a website to support it, go on a roadshow, with your imaginary blind dog of course, be their goodwill ambassador, find a life and stop spamming on other people’s websites!

    And oh Les, you should have used a better example, like your old blind mom for example! Your blind dog story is just too much! =P

    Ohhh, don’t take it too hard Les. I really enjoyed talking to you. (I had a good laugh! 🙂 But all your petty arguments just don’t hold, err… water! Ahem)

  14. eddie says:

    Jacky,

    I think this product is good enough for everybody. http://www.aquasana.com. They don’t have mumbo jumbo alkaline or RO thingy. I have my eyes on Coway, Diamond and Panasonic and after do some ‘research’, I think I might go ahead and buy this Aquasana but I need to know what is your opinion on this product based on their info on their website

  15. Dan says:

    Hello Jacky,

    Came in here through Google.. OK, you’ve established “alkaline water” is crap, and anyone who can use Google knows Diamond and Elken are also loads of MLM overpriced crap. And R.O. water supposedly not natural and too pure for our bodies.

    I’m using a RM300 Panasonic filter (the red one). And wondering if I am doing myself any disservice..

    What water filter do you currently use?

  16. Jacky Yong says:

    Hahaha …. what a coincidence, I am also using that red coloured Panasonic filter. Please don’t say that you’re doing yourself disservice. (otherwise I’ll feel bad about myself too :P)

    Despite such a long time has passed since my post, my opinion about alkaline water is still unwavered. I still think it’s crap. My argument for using the Panasonic filter is that it filters harmful bacteria, which is good enough. If millions of Japanese use it without adverse effect, why not us?

  17. Dan says:

    Hahaha.. you are using the same also!

    Well the blue/red indicator on the top seems to never show red. Even then, I try to replace the filter every 6 months or so, but sometimes up to a year @.@ Not cheap also, almost same cost as the BacFree filters replacements. And can’t find that darn filter sometimes, cos it seems not so many people use the red filter. They usually go for the lower-cost white one.

    Ah, the thing is though – Japanese water might be much cleaner than ours.
    And also.. Panasonic also makes an alkaline water machine (I think can get for RM2,000 nowadays).. so I’m wondering that, if they can make this scam machine, will they misrepresent the effectiveness of their other filters too.