Ionized Water Explained – Water, the chemistry of life

by Dr. Hayashi

Whenever we attempt to determine whether there is life as we know it on Mars or other planets, scientists first seek to establish whether or not water is present. Why? Because life on earth totally depends on water.

A High percentage of living things, both plant and animal are found in water. All life on earth is thought to have arisen from water. The bodies of all living organisms are composed largely of water. About 70 to 90 percent of all organic matter is water.

The chemical reactions in all plants and animals that support life take place in a water medium. Water not only provides the medium to make these life sustaining reactions possible, but water itself is often an important reactant or product of these reactions. In short, the chemistry of life is water chemistry.

Water, the universal solvent

Water is a universal, superb solvent due to the marked polarity of the water molecule and its tendency to form hydrogen bonds with other molecules. One water molecule, expressed with the chemical symbol H2O, consists of 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom.

Standing alone, the hydrogen atom contains one positive proton at its core with one negative electron revolving around it in a three-dimensional shell. Oxygen, on the other hand, contains 8 protons in its nucleus with 8 electrons revolving around it. This is often shown in chemical notation as the letter O surrounded by eight dots representing 4 sets of paired electrons.

The single hydrogen electron and the 8 electrons of oxygen are the key to the chemistry of life because this is where hydrogen and oxygen atoms combine to form a water molecule, or split to form ions.

Hydrogen tends to ionize by losing its single electron and form single H+ ions which are simply isolated protons since the hydrogen atom contains no neutrons. A hydrogen bond occurs when the electron of a single hydrogen atom is shared with another electronegative atom such as oxygen that lacks an electron.

Polarity of water molecules

In a water molecule, two hydrogen atoms are covalently bonded to the oxygen atom. But because the oxygen atom is larger than the hydrogens, its attraction for the hydrogen’s electrons is correspondingly greater so the electrons are drawn closer into the shell of the larger oxygen atom and away from the hydrogen shells. This means that although the water molecule as a whole is stable, the greater mass of the oxygen nucleus tends to draw in all the electrons in the molecule including the shared hydrogen electrons giving the oxygen portion of the molecule a slight electronegative charge.

The shells of the hydrogen atoms, because their electrons are closer to the oxygen, take on a small electropositive charge. This means water molecules have a tendency to form weak bonds with water molecules because the oxygen end of the molecule is negative and the hydrogen ends are positive.  A hydrogen atom, while remaining covalently bonded to the oxygen of its own molecule, can form a weak bond with the oxygen of another molecule. Similarly, the oxygen end of a molecule can form a weak attachment with the hydrogen ends of other molecules. Because water molecules have this polarity, water is a continuous chemical entity.

These weak bonds play a crucial role in stabilizing the shape of many of the large molecules found in living matter. Because these bonds are weak, they are readily broken and re-formed during normal physiological reactions. The disassembly and re-arrangement of such weak bonds is in essence the chemistry of life.

To illustrate water’s ability to break down other substances, consider the simple example of putting a small amount of table salt in a glass of tap water. With dry salt (NaCl) the attraction between the electropositive sodium (Na+) and electronegative chlorine (Cl-) atoms of salt is very strong until it is placed in water. After salt is placed in water, the attraction of the electronegative oxygen of the water molecule for the positively charged sodium ions, and the similar attraction of the electropositive hydrogen ends of the water molecule for the negatively charged chloride ions, are greater than the mutual attraction between the outnumbered Na+ and Cl- ions. In water the ionic bonds of the sodium chloride molecule are broken easily because of the competitive action of the numerous water molecules.

As we can see from this simple example, even the delicate configuration of individual water molecules enables them to break relatively stronger bonds by converging on them. This is why we call water the universal solvent. It is a natural solution that breaks the bonds of larger, more complex molecules. This is the chemistry of life on earth, in water and on land.

Oxidation-reduction reactions

Basically, reduction means the addition of an electron (e-), and its converse, oxidation means the removal of an electron. The addition of an electron, reduction, stores energy in the reduced compound. The removal of an electron, oxidation, liberates energy from the oxidized compound. Whenever one substance is reduced, another is oxidized.

To clarify these terms, consider any two molecules, A and B, for example.

When molecules A and B come into contact, here is what happens:

  • B grabs an electron from molecule A.  Molecule A has been oxidized because it has lost an electron.
  • The net charge of B has been reduced because it has gained a negative electron (e-).

In biological systems, removal or addition of an electron constitutes the most frequent mechanism of oxidation-reduction reactions. These oxidation-reduction reactions are frequently called redox reactions.

Acids and Bases

An acid is a substance that increases the concentration of hydrogen ions (H+) in water. A base is a substance that decreases the concentration of hydrogen ions, in other words, increasing the concentration of hydroxide ions OH-.  The degree of acidity or alkalinity of a solution is measured in terms of a value known as pH, which is the negative logarithm of the concentration of hydrogen ions:

pH = 1/log[H+] = -log[H+]

What is pH?

On the pH scale, which ranges from 0 on the acidic end to 14 on the alkaline end, a solution is neutral if its pH is 7. At pH 7, water contains equal concentrations of H+ and OH- ions. Substances with a pH less than 7 are acidic because they contain a higher concentration of H+ ions. Substances with a pH higher than 7 are alkaline because they contain a higher concentration of OH- than H+. The pH scale is a log scale so a change of one pH unit means a tenfold change in the concentration of hydrogen ions.

Importance of balancing pH

Living things are extremely sensitive to pH and function best (with certain exceptions, such as certain portions of the digestive tract) when solutions are nearly neutral. Most interior living matter (excluding the cell nucleus) has a pH of about 6.8.

Blood plasma and other fluids that surround the cells in the body have a pH of 7.2 to 7.3. Numerous special mechanisms aid in stabilizing these fluids so that cells will not be subject to appreciable fluctuations in pH. Substances which serve as mechanisms to stabilize pH are called buffers. Buffers have the capacity to bond ions and remove them from solution whenever their concentration begins to rise. Conversely, buffers can release ions whenever their concentration begins to fall. Buffers thus help to minimize the fluctuations in pH. This is an important function because many biochemical reactions normally occurring in living organisms either release or use up ions.  NOTE: Dr. Hayashi is a Heart Specialist and Director of the Water Institute of Japan.
Dr. Hayashi has no affiliation with the Good Water Company.

Oxygen: Too much of a good thing? Oxygen is essential to survival. It is relatively stable in the air, but when too much is absorbed into the body it can become active and unstable and has a tendency to attach itself to any biological molecule, including molecules of healthy cells. The chemical activity of these free radicals is due to one or more pairs of unpaired electrons.

About 2% of the oxygen we normally breathe becomes active oxygen, and this amount increases to approximately 20% with aerobic exercise.

Such free radicals with unpaired electrons are unstable and have a high oxidation potential, which means they are capable of stealing electrons from other cells. This chemical mechanism is very useful in disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide and ozone which can be used to sterilize wounds or medical instruments. Inside the body these free radicals are of great benefit due to their ability to attack and eliminate bacteria, viruses and other waste products.

Active Oxygen in the body

Problems arise, however, when too many of these free radicals are turned loose in the body where they can also damage normal tissue.  Putrefaction sets in when microbes in the air invade the proteins, peptides, and amino acids of eggs, fish and meat. The result is an array of unpleasant substances such as:

  • Hydrogen sulfide  Ammonia  Histamines  Indoles  Phenols
  • Scatoles

These substances are also produced naturally in the digestive tract when we digest food, resulting in the unpleasant odor evidenced in feces. Putrefaction of spoiled food is caused by microbes in the air; this natural process is duplicated in the digestive tract by intestinal microbes. All these waste products of digestion are pathogenic, that is, they can cause disease in the body.  Hydrogen sulfide and ammonia are tissue toxins that can damage the liver. Histamines contribute to allergic disorders such as atopic dermatitis, urticaria (hives) and asthma. Indoles and phenols are considered carcinogenic.  Because waste products such as hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, histamines, phenols and indoles are toxic, the body’s defense mechanisms try to eliminate them by releasing neutrophils (a type of leukocyte, or white corpuscle). These neutrophils produce active oxygen, oddball oxygen molecules that are capable of scavenging disintegrating tissues by gathering electrons from the molecules of toxic cells.  Problems arise, however, when too many of these active oxygen molecules, or free radicals, are produced in the body. They are extremely reactive and can also attach themselves to normal, healthy cells and damage them genetically. These active oxygen radicals steal electrons from normal, healthy biological molecules. This electron theft by active oxygen oxidizes tissue and can cause disease.
Because active oxygen can damage normal tissue, it is essential to scavenge this active oxygen from the body before it can cause disintegration of healthy tissue. If we can find an effective method to block the oxidation of healthy tissue by active oxygen, then we can attempt to prevent disease.

Antioxidants block dangerous oxidation

One way to protect healthy tissue from the ravages of oxidation caused by active oxygen is to provide free electrons to active oxygen radicals, thus neutralizing their high oxidation potential and preventing them from reacting with healthy tissue.  Research on the link between diet and cancer is far from complete, but some evidence indicates that what we eat may affect our susceptibility to cancer. Some foods seem to help defend against cancer, others appear to promote it.  Much of the damage caused by carcinogenic substances in food may come about because of an oxidation reaction in the cell. In this process, an oddball oxygen molecule may damage the cell’s genetic code. Some researchers believe that substances that prevent oxidation — called ANTIOXIDANTS — can block the damage. This leads naturally to the theory that the intake of natural antioxidants could be an important aspect of the body’s defense against cancer. Substances that some believe inhibit cancer include vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, and glutathione (an amino acid). These substance are reducing agents. They supply electrons to free radicals and block the interaction of the free radical with normal tissue.

How we can avoid illness

As we mentioned earlier, the presence of toxic waste products such as hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, histamines, indoles, phenols and scatoles impart an offensive odor to human feces. In the medical profession, it is well known that patients suffering from hepatitis and cirrhosis pass particularly odoriferous stools.  Excessively offensive stools caused by the presence of toxins are indicators of certain diseases, and the body responds to the presence of these toxins by producing neutrophil leukocytes to release active oxygen in an attempt to neutralize the damage to organs that can be caused by such waste products. But when an excess amount of such active oxygen is produced, it can damage healthy cells as well as neutralize toxins. This leads us to the conclusion that we can minimize the harmful effect of these active oxygen radicals by reducing them with an ample supply of electrons.

Water . . . the natural solution

There is no substitute for a healthy balanced diet, especially rich in antioxidant materials such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and other foods that are good for us. However, these substances are not the best source of free electrons that can block the oxidation of healthy tissue by active oxygen.  Water treated by electrolysis to increase its reduction potential is the best solution to the problem of providing a safe source of free electrons to block the oxidation of normal tissue by free oxygen radicals. We believe that reduced water, water with an excess of free electrons to donate to active oxygen, is the best solution because:

  • The reduction potential of water can be dramatically increased over other antioxidants in food or vitamin supplements.
  • The molecule weight of reduced water is low, making it fast acting and able to reach all tissues of the body in a very short time.

Oxidized Water

Oxidized water with its redox potential of +1100 mV is an oxidizing agent that can withdraw electrons from bacteria and kill them. The oxidized water from the Water Ionizer unit can be used to clean hands, kitchen utensils, fresh vegetables and fruits, and to sterilize cutting boards and minor wounds. Tests have shown that oxidized water can be used effectively to treat athlete’s foot, minor burns, insect bites, scratches, and so on.  Other apparatus are capable of producing super oxide water with a redox potential of +1,100 mV or more, and a pH lower than 2.7. Tests have shown that this superoxide water can quickly destroy MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).  Although super oxide water is a powerful sterilizing agent, it won’t harm the skin. In fact, it can be used to heal. Superoxide water has proven effective in American and Japanese hospitals in the treatment of bedsores and operative wounds with complicated infections.  Another application of superoxide water is in the field of agriculture where it has been used effectively on plants to kill fungi and other plant diseases. Superoxide water is non-toxic, so agricultural workers can apply it without wearing special protective equipment because there is no danger of skin or respiratory damage. An added benefit of using superoxide water to spray plants is that there is no danger to the environment caused by the accumulation of toxic chemicals in the ground.

Even advocates of the importance of vitamin C in diet staples have to admit that its potency, namely, the redox potential of this important vitamin, rapidly diminishes with age and preparation for the dining table. Carbohydrates, the main consistent of vegetables and fruit, has a molecular weight of 180 whereas water has a much lower molecular weight of 18.


Upstream and downstream theory

Prevent disease at the source

According to Dr. Hidemitsu Hayashi, Director of the Water Institute of Japan, “To eliminate the pollutants in a large stream that is contaminated at its source, we must work on the problems upstream at the headwaters — the source of the pollution — not downstream where we can only try to treat the evidence of damage caused by the pollution.”


According to our model, we consider the digestive tract upstream where we intake water and food. Although many people today in developed countries are growing more skeptical about what they eat, they tend to concentrate more on what the food contains rather than the metabolized products of foods in the digestive tract.


For example, consider the typical balanced diet of meat and vegetables. Meat protein is metabolized into amines while nitrates from fertilizers used to grow vegetables metabolize into nitrites in the digestive tract. These amines and nitrites combine to form nitrosamine, a recognized carcinogen.  We’ve already discussed that odoriferous feces are evidence of excessive fermentation in the digestive tract, so reduced water performs a very important function upstream in the digestive tract by reducing this excessive fermentation as evidenced by cleaner stools within days of starting a steady regimen of reduced water.



Downstream from the digestive tract, starting at the liver, reduced water quickly enters the liver and other organs due to, first, its lower molecular weight, and, secondly, the size of its clusters. At tissue sites throughout the body, reduced water with its safe, yet potent reduction potential readily donates its passenger electrons freely to active oxygen and neutralizes them so they cannot damage the molecules of healthy cells. Normal cells are protected from the electron thievery of active oxygen and allowed to grow, mature, function and regenerate without interference from rogue, oddball oxygen radicals which tend to steal the electrons from the molecules of normal, healthy biological molecules.

The water boom

We are now in the midst of a water boom. In Japan and other countries consumers are buying various kinds of bottled and canned water even though water is one of our most abundant vital resources. Research data reveals that mineral waters may have an ORP of +200 mV, slightly lower than the general +400 mV measured for ordinary tap water. We can say that at least mineral water is marginally better than tap water from the viewpoint of ORP. Compared to any processed water for sale, however, Water Ionizers with its general reduction potential of -200 is beyond comparison due to its ability to scavenge active oxygen radicals.

About Bob McCauley

Bob McCauley, ND (Robert F., Jr.) was raised in Lansing, Michigan and attended Michigan State University (BA, 1980 in Journalism). He is a naturopathic doctor, Master Herbalist and a Certified Nutritional Consultant. He has traveled extensively, both domestically and abroad, visiting over 32 countries. He published Confessions of a Body Builder: Rejuvenating the Body with Spirulina, Chlorella, Raw Foods and Ionized Water (2000), Achieving Great Health (2005), The Miraculous Properties of Ionized Water, (2006) which is the only book on the market that exclusively addresses Ionized Water, Twelve (Fiction, 2007) and Honoring the Temple of God (2008). He considers himself a Naturalist, meaning he pursues health in the most natural way possible. He studies and promotes nature as the only way to true health. From 2002-2004 he hosted the radio program Achieving Great Health, which was heard by thousands of people each day. His guests included some of the most well-known and respected names in the natural health world. With the help of his father, Dr. Robert F. McCauley, Sr. (Doctorate in Environmental Engineering, MIT, 1953) they started Spartan Water Company in 1992, which sold vended water machines in supermarkets. Robert Jr. founded Spartan Enterprises, Inc. in 1993. He is a Certified Water Technician with the State of Michigan. He is also a Type II Public Water Supply Specialist and has the certifications of S-5 and D-5. The McCauley family has a long history in the water industry. Bob's father pioneered environmental issues regarding ground water and drinking water quality. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1953 for his thesis on removing radioactive strontium from water. He earned his doctorate in Environmental Engineering in less than 2 years, one of the shortest doctoral studies in the history of MIT. He taught civil, sanitary and environmental engineering at Michigan State University for 18 years before retiring to run Wolverine Engineers & Surveyors of Mason, Michigan, for 17 years. His reputation throughout Michigan as a water quality expert was legendary. Bob worked for his father's company for 12 years learning the water business, which dealt primarily with municipalities, including water quality and sanitary sewer issues. After apprenticing with his father, Bob moved on to the bottled water business. He established greater Michigan's biggest selling bottled water: Michigan Mineral – Premium Natural Water. He was introduced to Ionized Water in 1995 and has done more to promote Ionized Water than anyone else in the industry. Bob often lectures and offers seminars on his Seven Component Natural Health Protocol . Bob is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and a Certified Master Herbalist. He is also a 3rd Degree Black Belt and Certified Instructor of Songahm Taekwondo (American Taekwondo Association).
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12 Responses to Ionized Water Explained – Water, the chemistry of life

  1. Hafidz Permana,MD says:

    Dear WWC..!
    My name is Hafidz and I am a physicians from Indonesia. First at of all, I want say that I has interested with ionizer water and alkaline waters. But, I need some medically rasional reason about your product especially. My questions are;
    1. How you can sure that the ions in this water will not combine to be a molecule? As I know, ions are very unstable, and they will combine each other to make a stable state as we called molecule. Please, help me if I was wrong.
    2. This product offer us to consume an ionized alkaline water, is there any side effect of consume an alkaline water? And, Is there any chance that can make an “alkalosis metabolic” state in our body? Please, give me some logically explain.
    3. Then this products offer us the water which has be more small molecule, my question, how smallest? and what the real effect of small size molecule water for our body absorption? And where this waters can be absorbed in our esophagus, gaster, duodenum, ileim or where?
    Thanks for your attention.

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  7. redox water says:

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  8. John Rothacker says:

    I have just finished your book about water given to me by a friend.
    Since you are a water specialist, I would like to know the chemical composition of say a normal tap water, and then the analysis in both the acid and alkaline waters that are produced from it in your ionization.
    Appreciate your book. Thanks, John.

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  10. Andrew says:

    Is there fact that water that is ionized can reduce brain tumors and stop cancer.
    Can I find studies on this.


  11. Milisa says:

    I have loved this article, but now Hayashi does not recommend ionizers? He says H2 is stable only when made with his special magnesium stick? Have you looked into this claim … how do we measure the presence of active H/molecular H2 in ionized water and how long is it there?

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