The alkaline water produced by a water ionizer does have antioxidant potential, which is why electrolyzed reduced water is valued for it’s health benefits.
So, how does it work?
Redox: Reduction is one-half of a chemical reaction that also includes a reaction called oxidation. A substance is oxidized when it loses electrons. A substance is reduced when it gains electrons. When a substance is reduced by accepting electrons, the substance that gave up those electrons is oxidized at the same time. These two reactions are known to chemists as a redox reaction.
Reduction: Happens when a substance gains electrons, the reason that the substance is said to be reduced is that it’s ability to oxidize another substance has been reduced.
Oxidation: Happens when a substance loses electrons. When a substance loses electrons, it’s ability to take electrons from another substance increases. That increase in ability to take electrons means that the substance’s oxidation state has been increased.
Example of a Redox Reaction: Iron rusting
One of the most common redox reactions happens when iron rusts. The process of rusting is called oxidation because the substance being oxidized gives up electrons to the substance oxidizing it. In the case of iron, the iron is being oxidized by oxygen, because the oxygen is getting electrons from the iron. At the same time that’s happening, the iron is reducing the oxygen, because the oxygen loses some of it’s ability to take electrons.
Oxidation Reduction Potential:
The ability of a substance such as electrolyzed reduced water to give – or receive – electrons in a redox reaction is called Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP). Since redox reactions involve the movement of electrons, ORP is measured electrically as voltage. A substance with electrons to give in a redox reaction will have a negative ORP because electrons have a negative charge. A substance that can take electrons from another substance in a redox reaction has a positive ORP, because it has a positive electrical potential. The ORP of any substance is measured in millivolts (mV) because ORP is a measure of electrical energy potential.
Oxidation Reduction Potential vs. Reactive Oxygen Species:
Healthwise, oxidation reduction potential measures the ability of a substance like alkaline ionized water to reduce the damage that reactive oxygen species (ROS) – substances that have highly reactive oxygen ions – can do. ROS’s do damage to tissues and DNA by oxidizing them. ROS’s in the body that do this include the free radicals that doctors recommend eating a diet rich in antioxidants to fight against. The easiest way to think about the kind of damage ROS’s do to the body is that they cause your tissues and DNA to rust – just like iron – and fall apart, just like rusty iron.
Antioxidants have oxidation reduction potential, they stop the damage done by reducing the oxidation potential of ROS’s and free radicals by reducing them. So the reaction inside your body that saves your tissues and DNA from damage is a redox reaction.