It seems that the alkali diet fad has generated a Far-Eastern spin-off – a plastic bottle that allegedly ‘alkalises’ whatever is put in it and retails for £19.75. Twenty quid might seem a bit steep for a plastic bottle but according to its sellers, this bottle works miracles.
Soul-i is the world’s first portable alkaline water bottle that does not require any additional devices. The bottle itself has alkalizing properties and will turn the water content of any liquid drink alkaline.
And how does it do this?
Soul-i is made up of polyactide [sic] (PLA), alkaline earth metals, and various other natural materials. Due to the makeup of the product, Soul-i will bring the pH level of water up to anywhere between 7.7 and 9.5.
According to this, PLA is polylactic acid – a polymer which will break down under certain circumstances. Assuming it does in fact have an alkalising effect on water I can only assume that substances such as calcium hydroxide aka slaked lime and magnesium hydroxide aka milk of magnesia are embedded in a PLA matrix and as the plastic degrades, they are released into the water within. I don’t know why it doesn’t raise the pH beyond 9.5. Perhaps tha’s the point where the PLA is degraded so much that the bottle disintegrates.
A number of claims are made for the benefits of alkalised water:
1. Ionized water gives plenty of energy by providing a lot of oxygen
Dissolving the hydroxides of of alkaline earths in water does not produce oxygen, it produces metal ions and hydroxyl (-OH) ions. At room temperature the solubility of oxygen is 7.6 mg/l, so even if these bottles were miraculously introducing oxygen into the water, one bottle would provide about 4.6 mg of oxygen. Using the data provided here, I calculate thata single lungful of air contains about 1.7 g of oxygen, about 370 times as much.
2. Balances our body’s acidic state caused by various factors such as diet
Our bodies maintain their pH without random doping with alkalised water, otherwise we’d be dead.
3. Overall improvement in body constitution
No evidence is provided that drinking alkalised water is any more beneficial than any other kind of water. The same is true of claims 5, 6, 8 & 9.
4. Anti-oxidant; eliminates free oxygen radicals by increasing Oxygen Reduction Potential (ORP).
This is a good one in that it completely contradicts claim 1.
5. Helps with post-workout recovery
6. The optimum natural health solution
7. Has a sterilizing effect on the water
Possibly true. Although if you’ve filled the bottle from the tap in any First World country, the water will already be sterile.
8. Positive effects on skin care and weight loss
9. Helps alleviate complications associated with the atopy skin condition
10. Contains and releases minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, among others
Maybe. If it is constructed as I suggest above. Of course you can get all these minerals from your diet without spending twenty quid on a plastic bottle.
11. Lowers cholesterol
This is a medical claim for which no evidence is provided. It is the most dangerous claim in that it might encourage people who are on statins to reduce cholesterol to stop taking them – with potentially serious effects on their health. Such a claim could not be made if the site were based in the USA or UK.
12. Breaks down water molecule clusters into smaller ones for better absorption into the body
According to this, water molecules do cluster but the clusters last from a pico second to a nano second (quntillionth to a billionth of a second) so magic bottles are not necessary for this.
13. “Activates” water and produces high OH and Calcium ions
Apart from the undefined claim to “activate” water, this is a repeat of claim 10.
Pure water is said to have a pH level very close to 7.0 while our body’s ideal pH level is around 7.4. In order to maintain this pH level and avoid illnesses caused by an acidic body composition, drinking alkaline water is a must.
Your body is pretty good at maintaining its pH. If it turned acid you’d be dead so I can safely say that drinking alkaline water is not a “must”. This whole acid-bad alkali-good meme echos the alkali diet shills in this country and is clearly aimed at the same people. You do not need to spend twenty quid on a plastic bottle to stay healthy. Seriously, you don’t.