According to some experts, choosing to drink alkaline water benefits your overall health in a meaningful way. While this may certainly be the case, other experts hold that the Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP) of your water is even more important (1). At this point you may be wondering what ORP is, and how it can help boost your personal health and vitality. So, let's examine the question of what is Oxidation Reduction Potential in more detail below, to help you understand how important this value can truly be.
Before delving into what Oxidation Reduction Potential is and the benefits it provides, you first need to learn the water filtration process to which it relates. Using electrolysis, it is possible to separate plain H2O from your tap into reduced and oxidized water. How does this work?
The water from your faucet runs over an electrode which is usually comprised of platinum-coated titanium, and depending on the charge of the electrode, different types of ions will be attracted from the water. The negative electrodes accumulate cations (positive ions) and the electrodes with a positive charge accumulate anions (negatively charged ions) (2). Why does this matter?
This process of separating the water into positive and negative ions, actually creates two distinct kinds of water. These types are:
Made up of the negatively charged ions, oxidized water does not have any Oxidation Reduction Potential. In fact, it goes the opposite way, being a powerful oxidizing agent which can be harmful to your body. The ability for oxidized water to harm cells has been clearly demonstrated, with research showing that highly concentrated oxidized water can actually be used to sterilize wounds and even kill MRSA (3).
It is able to achieve these results by killing any bacteria which is present, by oxidizing and causing the cells to die. This highlights how important it is to reduce the oxidative stress on your body, as you don't want your cells exposed to these damaging effects.
One excellent way to lower your oxidative burden, is to drink reduced water that has been produced by an alkaline ionizer water filter. Reduced water is made up of positive ions from your tap water, and can also be termed cathodic water. Why is it so beneficial?
Reduced water has an abundant number of electrons, which it is able to easily donate. This is important, because active oxygen molecules want to steal electrons from healthy cells (oxidization), and reduced water can effectively neutralize these molecules - by providing the electrons they seek (4). Thus, the cells within your body are spared the oxidizing effects they'd otherwise be subjected to.
With the information covered above, you know now the answer to the question of “What is Oxidation Reduction Potential?” You've learned that the alkalinity of water may not be the most important factor, when you're determining the type of water filter to purchase. Interestingly, the Oxidation Reduction Potential may be the more critical factor, as water with a high ORP can have a powerful antioxidant effect in your body.
By donating electrons to active oxygen molecules, reduced water can neutralize their harmful impact. How so? Active oxygen molecules can oxidize your cells and cause them damage, prematurely aging them or even causing cellular death. High ORP water can effectively combat this threat, and provide you with another tool in your arsenal - for better health overall.