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Which is better - Reverse Osmosis Systems or Alkaline Water Filters?

Posted by Tai on 7/30/2012

Everyone is trying to have better, cleaner, and healthier water.  There are tons of companies who promote the use of drinking water produced from reverse osmosis systems or from water filters that produce alkaline water.  Many people ask if there is a difference and if it really matters what kind of water you drink.  To be honest, there is not enough evidence to support that either water is healthier than the other.  However each system has its own benefits.

Reverse osmosis (ro) systems are produce highly purified water with very little impurities and minerals in the water.  Drinking water from ro systems is completely safe.  Most of the time RO water is acidic (acidity is a pH of 1-6.9) because of the lack of minerals to buffer the pH in the water.  Even though it is acidic, there is completely nothing wrong with this water – it’s safe, clean, and very pure.  RO water is something that many people drink and many beverage companies use reverse osmosis technology as a stage of purifying before it is further treated for bottling.

Reverse osmosis works very well with many industries like beverage, hydroponics, and even marine or aquarium enthusiasts.  Each of these industries require highly purified water in order to create the best product possible for their situations.  In the beverage industries, soda companies require very purified water in order to mix it with their syrup so they do not have to waste extra syrup with untreated water to create their drinks.  Hydroponics and marine/aquarium enthusiasts require ro purified water in order for them to feed their plants or fish and even to mix additives to their water.

Alkaline water filters create water that is typically basic on the pH scale (7.1-14 pH) with a very negative oxidation reduction potential (ORP).  Alkalinity and basic are two different things.  Basic is a measurement of pH while alkalinity refers to the how well a solution can release bases or alkali elements in the water to act as buffers.  Alkaline water is not just a basic pH but it must have a very good ability to buffer and stay basic when it reacts with other elements and this is measured using the ORP. 

There has been a lot of talk lately with alkaline water and what it can do health wise.  People have many claims that it keeps you feeling fresh, helps with lactic acid build up, and some even report the use of it with fighting cancer.   Is it all true?  There really isn’t enough evidence to support most of these claims but alkaline water has a better PR than reverse osmosis water.  Just because water is called “alkaline”, it doesn’t mean it is filtered.  It’s best to combine alkaline systems with a good water filtration system.

Alkaline water is also good but it should be combined with some sort of filtration system like reverse osmosis to help remove impurities.  In all honesty, the better water is reverse osmosis if you are comparing impurities.   Reverse osmosis water is extremely purified for any application or drinking purpose while alkaline alone is best used as a wellness additive.  However, that doesn’t mean you can combine the two in order to get the best of both worlds.

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