248: Alkaline and Ionized Water: Healthy or Hype? – With Thai Cabados 248: Alkaline and Ionized Water: Healthy or Hype? – With Thai Cabados

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Katie: Hello, and welcome to “The Wellness Mama Podcast.” I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com, and in this episode, I am going to have my guest answer so many of the questions that I have gotten from you guys about alkaline water, and ionized water, and everything related to that. Because I am here with Thai Cabados, who left a successful financial sector job to follow his dream of helping people achieve health goals. And now for over 15 years, he has been educating the public on the benefits of water and the alkaline diet. He co-founded Alkaline Lifestyle, which is a website that incorporates alkaline water, alkaline diet, and mindfulness. And like I said, I know that so many of you have sent along questions like this and I can’t wait to tackle this today. So Thai, welcome and thanks for being here.

Thai: Thank you so much. I appreciate you having me on.

Katie: And I feel like with a bio like that, we need to start with hearing a little bit about your story and how you left this probably very lucrative job to join the health industry. Was there an impetus for that? Did you have your own health struggle or what sparked that?

Thai: I mean, knock on wood, I’ve never had any health struggles, and that’s something I’m always very glad that I’ve never had anything go wrong. It was more along the lines of doing something that was more fulfilling, and helping people, and believing in something rather than just pushing paper and, you know, making money. It feels a lot better at the end of the day when you go home and you know you’ve done something good rather than just, you know, increase people’s debts and, you know, it’s just a lot more fulfilling, this job is.

Katie: Absolutely, certainly we can be so grateful that we get to do work that hopefully helps many people. So to start off, let’s define some terms because I feel like a lot of terms kind of get used like in place of each other or kind of bunched all together. So to start off, walk us through what alkaline water is, what ionized water is, and if they’re the same or different, and if so, what are the differences?

Thai: Definitely. When I first came and started here, there was no bottled alkaline water on shelves. Over the last 15 years, the general public’s understanding of the benefits of alkalinity in the body and drinking alkaline water has increased, you know, manyfold. So, go to any health food store, you can go to 7-Elevens now, you can go to Target, Walmart, they’ll have bottled alkaline water on the shelves, which is great. I mean, if you’re on the go, and you’re traveling, and you don’t have any access to ionized water, that is definitely the next best thing. All of the brands you’re gonna see except one are just mineral-rich water. So with mineral-rich water, it’s great to have minerals in your water. We’ve evolved streams, lakes, every, you know, source of water that we had had mineral content in it. So the difference being is that a lot of that water that you’re gonna get in a store shelves for $2.50 a liter is made alkaline by mineral injection.

So when you get that many minerals in the water, it is good for you up to a certain point. With calcium, take one of the things that they use, your body can only absorb 1,000 milligrams of calcium on a daily basis. So if you’re drinking three, you know, three liters a day or drinking enough alkaline water a day to hydrate you, if you’re getting over that amount so it’s not all absorbed and after a certain point, it’s actually not good for your kidneys and liver to take in, say, three or four times the amount of minerals that your body can absorb. The reason why ionizers are very unique is two different things, it is the hydrogen content of the water, it’s molecular hydrogen that’s created through the ionization process. And when you’re splitting the water into acid water and alkaline water, the reason why the alkaline water is alkaline is not because of the mineral concentrate, it’s because of this molecular hydrogen, which is a light hydrogen gas that your body doesn’t have an uptake limit on. So as much as you consume, your body can take in.

The second thing is the antioxidant properties of the water which are made by free electrons. Free electrons are created through the ionization process, they actually go into your body and those binds have free radicals and they lend that free electron to the free radical that causes cell damage, cell mutation, and cellular aging. So no side effects that you can get from alkaline water other than, you know, drinking too much of it. Any water, you can drink too much of, but other than that, there’s no uptake limit on free electrons or molecular hydrogen. So it is much more beneficial to have. Of course, your, you know, system at home and then you’re not having to, you know, go out and get bottled water. You have it for cooking around the house. There is a lot of uses for the acidic water as far as like a natural facial toner, you can wash your face with it. Also your hair, it’s a really good astringent for your face and hair. And then also watering plants around the house, they love the acidic water. And then also mopping, it’s great to mop with, like, a chemical-free kind of mop for hardwood floors. I use that in my house, works really well.

Katie: That’s fascinating. And to touch on a couple of points that you just made, I think, that were so important, I wanna highlight them. So technically, chemically speaking, you could make water alkaline by just, for instance, adding baking soda, but that wouldn’t…

Thai: Absolutely.

Katie: …be doing the same thing in the body. And I’ve read entire books basically about the calcium paradox and how if you have too much calcium, which became even a dietary issue in the U.S. when they were adding it to a lot of foods, you can actually throw your K2 out of balance, your fat-soluble vitamins, and actually do the opposite of what you’re trying to do in strengthening your bones and actually create problems. That’s an important point that you made. The body exists as a whole and you can’t just add one thing or one input without potentially messing something else up. If you’re just creating, like you said, alkaline water by adding something alkaline to water. I think that was a really important distinction. And my audience definitely knows my stance on plastics as well, so I’ll add that to the list of potential problems with bottled water. It’s just that we know, I think it’s 1,500 per second that are getting put in landfills, just from the U.S. alone. So another good reason to avoid the bottles and to make your own water at home and filter your own water. Before we go any deeper, let’s go a little bit more into the physiological side of this. So when someone drinks this water that’s created in the correct way, that has these components of the ionized water, what is that doing in the body? And what are some of the benefits that we see?

Thai: Some of the benefits right away are better hydration, it’s shown to hydrate you quicker. The water actually goes into your cells quicker as it has a negative charge. It has those free electrons in the water so that actually goes into your body quicker. Your body’s energy production is increased when you drink alkaline water, you’re also, you know, of course, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol issues are helped out with alkaline ionized water. It helps out with weight management which is a really big thing, helps out with bone density and as we get older, a lot of people know, I mean, that’s one of the reasons why people, when they get to their 60s and 70s, have bone issues, is your body’s actually balancing off its own pH in the blood by stealing the calcium, magnesium out of your body. And so that’s a really good thing that it helps avert bone density issues, kidney and liver function. And I can personally speak to that. When I… As you know, Katie, a lot of people, especially guys, don’t like to go the doctor. My first blood panel was done when I was 40, which was two years ago, and I was very surprised to learn that my kidney function was as good as a 25 to a 28-year-old. Actually, the antioxidant properties are shown from the water to help out with your kidney and liver function. So that’s a really huge thing on its own.

And one thing that I think is a reason why to drink alkaline water by itself is that the antioxidant properties in the water, the molecular hydrogen break your blood-brain barrier which is this barrier that’s kept around our brain’s circulatory system to prevent, you know, illness and such from getting to the brain and the antioxidant properties from, say, spinach or blueberries have a hard time passing that. And the antioxidant properties in the water are actually shown to help ROS damage. Basically, like your cellular aging and then within your brain and by the time we hit 80, one out of two people has some sort of brain degradation. So that’s really huge and our brain does consume a lot of oxygen, so it’s like really a big place for ROS damage, is in the brain. And alkaline water does help prevent that. So that alone is a, like, awesome reason why to drink alkaline water.

There’s also when you’re…for me at the gym, like when I go to the gym, when I was in my younger years, I used to drink these really caffeinated, crazy pre-workout drinks and that would help me power through my workout. And as you get older, of course, you know, those things aren’t as appealing and I drink the higher pH water, I actually drink 10 pH water when I go the gym and it gives me a little bit of a boost. So better hydration, of course, acidosis is a big thing and there are, you know, many different symptoms of it. Acid reflux, you know, as far as inflammation and when your body’s in a more alkaline state, it helps prevent that. And that’s part of the reason, as you know, most your listeners are probably following some sort of clean diet and, you know, less acid-forming foods, of course, you know, proteins, a lot of, too much meat, you know, alcohol is very acidic, white flour, all these things are really acid-forming in the body. And that’s one of the really neat things about alkaline water is that when people initially get on it, if they’re drinking enough of it, it makes an immediate impact because you really do feel a difference, like, right away with your body’s adjusting alkaline level.

Katie: That’s interesting. And I know, a question I get often that I’d love some clarity on from you is to do with pH in the body in different parts of the body. And then where it’s being impacted, because I know from the little bit of medical background that I have, that blood pH hovers right around 7.4 and that’s not very variable, like if it goes below 7.35 or higher than…..

Thai: 0.2, you’re dead. Yeah, 0.2 down, you’re dead.

Katie: Yeah, exactly. So when we’re talking about alkalinity in the body, are there different ways to measure that or what part of the bodies are being affected?

Thai: There’s actually a study that was done that showed it affected the blood’s pH in a positive way. So it actually moved the blood pH, even though slightly by, like, 0.1, it still moved the blood’s pH up, which is really good. And another thing that comes up a lot, “Well, if I drink alkaline water, my stomach acid’s gonna negate it.” The thing is that your stomach doesn’t have this big boiling pot of acid in it all the time. When you’re not digesting anything, you have a very small amount in and then, you know, if you start drinking alkaline water, that’s buffered, like, right away and then it passes into your system and into your digestive tract. And there are some components in your digestive tract that are positively affected by pH, so that does help out. And, you know, just like we need greens or anything else, those do end up affecting your overall body’s pH. You know, how you eat and what you put in your body. And when we think about, like if we lay everything on the table that we consume for that day or we’re gonna consume for that day, really, a big part of it should be water. You know, like three liters for the average person is what you should be drinking as far as volume.

So when you’re getting something that’s really you can absorb all of it, it’s a very high pH, and the pH scale is kind of tricky, too. When I’m saying 9.5 pH water or 10, and 7 is the neutral point, it doesn’t seem that much higher. But each point you go up on the pH scale, just like the scale of an earthquake is tenfold. So the 7 to 8’s actually 10 times the amount, 7 to 8.5 is 50 times the amount, 7 to 9.5 is 500 times the amount, and when you’re drinking 10 pH water, that’s 1,000 times more alkaline than regular water. So having something like that that you’re consuming on daily basis, you know, definitely will affect your body’s pH.

Katie: That makes sense. And I know my listeners are always curious if, like what studies have been done on alkaline water and specifically in the body. And I know that you mentioned that there are several studies, so can you walk us through what the literature is saying about this?

Thai: Definitely. There was a University of Pittsburgh study that was the one I was telling you about helping out with your inflammation markers coming off your kidney and liver, which showed positive improvement in that. The same studies showed good cholesterol went up, bad cholesterol went down. There’s been a study on the brain health which, the antioxidant properties of the water going into your brain. There is a weight loss study that was done over two months. It was people that weighed about 250 pounds average weight and over a two-month span, by only drinking two liters of the alkaline water per day, they lost 12 pounds on average. So that was really good. And there’s also been some studies on mice as well, which they divided the mice into three separate groups and gave them, one water was just tap water, one water was alkaline ionized water, and then one water was all from mineral content. And they found that the mice control group with the alkaline ionized water outlived and outperformed the other mice as far as longevity. They actually lived a year or longer than the rats that drank the tap water.

And the reason why you see studies with rats a lot is because they have a very similar DNA makeup as us and they have a shorter lifespan so it’s easier to test stuff on them, you know, as far as, you know, do a whole lifespan test as well. So, yeah, really kidney function, blood pressure, blood sugar, antioxidants going into the brain, kidney health, liver health, bone health, the weight management, and really just getting antioxidants to all parts of your body and really having no side effects. So it’s very, very impactful. Sports performance as well, fatigue, your body’s energy levels are spurned, your body’s ATP levels are spurned by the alkaline water and the hydrogen within it. And there’s a lot of studies coming out on molecular hydrogen. And that’s what our models are made to produce, is molecular hydrogen and that goes into your body and your body is able to uptake as much as you put in.

Katie: Yeah, definitely seen all of the literature coming out right now about molecular hydrogen. And just to make sure I fully understand, the difference you explained between just water that’s been alkalinized by adding minerals that affects the pH, and this process that actually changes the water to be alkaline ionized. So I’m curious, for instance, I’ve consumed lemon water in the morning as part of my morning routine for a really long time. And I was curious, I would think if you were just having an alkaline water that was created with minerals and then you added lemon juice, you’d pretty much, acid-base, you equal it out, is…but you mentioned with the alkaline ionized water, it can help cross the blood-brain barrier and has other benefits. So I’m curious just for my own knowledge, could I add lemon water to alkaline ionized water without canceling out the benefits?

Thai: Well, yeah. That’s a good thing about having your machine at home. You can actually pour a higher level of water to kind of cancel out the acidity from the lemon. So you can do up to a 11 to a 12 pH water with our machines that you’d be able to do that with. I would probably recommend about a 10 pH for your lemon water in the morning. For me, I drink 10 pH in the morning, I drink about a liter first thing when I get up. I’ve been fasting since the start of 2018, so I usually try to get a liter to a liter and a half before noon when I start eating. So yeah, you can definitely do that and that’s why they have higher settings on it as well.

Katie: Got it, and then just to circle back to another point you made about the stomach acid because that’s, I think, one of the most common questions I get and especially people with any kind of reflux or indigestion or heartburn. There’s such conflicting advice on, “Is it too much stomach acid?” “Is it too little stomach acid?” “Do they need HCL and more acid?” or, “Do they need acid blockers?” So just to make sure for people, that segment of the listeners, there aren’t any concerns as far as it affecting either direction as far as their stomach acid if they’re dealing with one of those conditions?

Thai: Yeah, no. There are studies to back up that it does completely help and I’ve had very, very good reactions when people have had acid reflux and GERD that go on alkaline water. It’s the TUMS effect of the water where it just pretty much it cancels out the acidity that’s in their body. That’s a symptom, as we know, like things that come up like acid reflux are kind of a symptom of your body being overly acidic. So it’s systematic and would definitely help out with that.

Katie: Got it. And then the other question that comes up, I think, regardless of anything I talk about, is any specific cautions, protocols, etc., for people who are pregnant, nursing, or for children, can they use this type of water? And do they need to know anything different?

Thai: Very good question. So nursing, we do not advise drinking high alkaline water at all, probably just a neutral water as it does cause cellular detoxification. And you wouldn’t want that when you’re breastfeeding. Kids three and under, typically, unless kids have health problems, they’re pretty, you know, healthy and their pH levels are in check when they’re, you know, when they’re young. Three and above, they can drink an 8.5 pH water to about 13. And then they can start drinking the 9.5 after that. 8.5 pH water, just like if they were to drink mineral water, it’s completely fine, three and above. And if you’re making baby formula, that machine does have a purified setting on it so you can make purified water out of it as well.

Katie: Got it. That’s really good to know. Okay, so I wanna go a little deeper on the science of the machine. specifically because you mentioned in nature, for instance, we would have come across alkaline water sources from rivers and lakes, and I would guess the minerals in rocks and just the components of the water. And it sounds like when it’s created in our homes with this filter, it’s a different process. So can you walk us through how it’s created, and then are we still getting the same benefits that you would get from, for instance, natural spring water?

Thai: Definitely. There’s, I believe three places in the world that have really, really high alkaline water. One is in the Himalayan mountains. There’s Lourdes in France, and then there’s Okinawa in Japan. And those places, and there was a study done that people that live in very mineral-rich places as far as the water streams have better longevity. So those minerals that are in pretty much every, especially in the United States, there’s not a lot of places that don’t have minerals in the water and actually if you look at…there’s a map you can look up online as far as the hard water areas in United States. It’s pretty much everywhere has above average mineral content. So, with our filter system, we don’t strip out everything in the water, you’re not getting reverse osmosis water, which is a very small membrane that would take everything out of the water. But we’re having a filtration media that would leave some of that in. And then from mineral water, once again, it is good mineral water, there’s nothing wrong with it at all. But the process of what you’re doing with ionizers is you’re passing the water over these platinum plates that are inside the machine. And the reason why we use platinum, it’s a very good conductor of electricity, especially in water, and it’s a noble metal that has a very high melting point of over 2,000 degrees, so the plates won’t erode.

So water passes over these platinum plates, the electric current goes into the water. And then just like with a battery, a positive and a negative side of the plate, a different kind of water is going to pass on each side. The negatively charged side is gonna pass the hydrogen-rich alkaline and the oxygen-rich water. And then the positive side of the plate is gonna pass through acidic oxidative water. So what we do is we just keep repeating that process of running the water over these platinum plates and then at the end, you have a very observable form of hydrogen-rich, antioxidant-rich alkaline water. So both are good, but definitely you’re gonna get a lot more benefit from water that’s done with electrolysis and ionizing it, because there’s nothing added that your body can’t absorb.

Katie: Gotcha. And you mentioned that hydrogen is a gas. So how long does the hydrogen stay in the water? Do we need to drink it within a certain amount of time or will it eventually evaporate from the water?

Thai: Yeah, it will, definitely. And it is not, you know, it’s not the most stable thing in the world. That’s why there’s one form of bottled water you can get, it’s called Essentia. And that’s my go-to if I, you know, I’m on a vacation or I can’t, you know, get alkaline water, Essentia is actually alkaline water that’s ionized. And they do use BPA-free bottles. But we’ve tested it, and it’s bottled at 9.5, but you end up with, you know, at a 8 pH. And a lot of the bottled alkaline waters have been tested and the pH levels on them are really varied. So from, like, 7.5 pH to, you know, higher than what’s on the bottle as well.

Katie: Good to know. And I know another area that my audience is pretty well-educated on and that I’d love to get your take on is fluoride in water. I’m assuming that the system removes fluoride, but I’m curious, can you speak to fluoride at all? And is there any impact of that?

Thai: Yeah, so one of the things we do as a service when you look into an ionizer with us is we look up your city’s water quality report on two different sites. We look on the city’s website, which you can always go to your local city’s website and they should have a search bar on there and you can look for your water report. And then there’s another place called the ewg.org, which is the Environmental Working Group. ewg.org/tapwater. And they have a, I would say a more complete database and they do test for a bit more chemicals and such than your city government does. So we’re gonna be able to see as far as fluoride levels, chromium hexavalent 6, which everybody remembers the Brockovich movie about the lawyer that did a class action lawsuit about them letting this chromium hexavalent 6 in the water. Chlorine levels, whether they’re using chloramines, which is ammonia and chlorine together, we’re gonna be able to see if there’s things like atrazine and benzene in the water that are industrial solvents and pretty much get a clear picture of what’s in the water.

And then fluoride itself is, it’s not something we should be ingesting. There’s an argument, of course, on whether it’s okay in toothpaste that you’re not ingesting, but I always point people to the side of the toothpaste. If you get, like, Crest or something, it says right on the side, “If swallowed, call, you know, call poison control,” because it’s, you know, it’s toxic for the body. It’s shown to lower IQ in children. It’s shown to cause ADHD, messes with your thyroid as well. You know, fatigue can happen from that, bone intolerance, constipation, there’s a bunch of different things that can happen with, you know, your body having too much fluoride in it and it’s a heavy metal. And a really interesting thing is back in the ’20s, there was an aluminum manufacturing company called Alcoa. And they had the scientists that they hired to do a study on fluoride and, you know, the effect of it on people’s teeth. And before that, they actually had to pay to get rid of the fluoride.

Now, after the study came out, they were selling it to the cities to put in the water. And you look across Europe and they don’t have fluoride, Canada, in, like, 90-plus percent of the cities don’t use fluoride, and in the U.S., it’s about 60-plus percent. And there’s been some big fights like, I have Google news alerts and I have it set for “fluoride” and other things. And I’ve seen where towns have pretty much gone, you know, gone after the city for putting the fluoride in the water. So we definitely always look for fluoride when we make our filter systems. If you want fluoride, great, have it in your toothpaste kind of thing, but definitely shouldn’t be in the water. We shouldn’t be ingesting it.

Katie: Yeah, absolutely. I agree. The analogy I use with people on that is that the limited data that shows it may have some benefit, it is applied topically to the teeth and there is no data showing that if you drink it, it’s gonna improve…so it would be akin to you cut yourself so you can eat Band-Aids. It doesn’t confer the same benefit at all if you ingest it. And we put this in our water supply, I know many listeners are very frustrated that this is something that we have to actively work hard and spend money to opt out of when it was something that was added to our water without our consent a lot of times. And, yeah, it’s really striking to me that the majority of our water supply has this added. Hopefully, it’s something we’ll see changes on in the future.

This podcast is brought to you by Butcher Box, a great source of high quality grass fed and pastured meats. This month, they’ve got a spectacular deal with their breakfast bundle. If you go to ButcherBox.com/wellnessmama you can Get $20 off your first box + 2lbs of Breakfast Pork Sausage and 2 packs of Bacon for FREE. This means that in every order you’ll get 2 pounds of breakfast sausage and 2 packs of bacon. Their bacon is uncured, free of sugar and nitrates, non-GMO verified, hormone free, made from pasture raised heritage breed pigs AND it’s whole30 approved! You also get their breakfast sausage which is made from pasture-raised heritage breed pigs. It’s simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and sage. No added sugar. A delightful, protein-rich way to start the day! I personally love getting their box each month and meal plan around it. My husband’s favorite is their steak and I love roasting their chicken for salads and soups. Go to butcherbox.com/wellnessmama to get $20 off + 2lbs of Breakfast Pork Sausage and 2 packs of Bacon for FREE in your first box!

This episode is brought to you by Branch Basics. They are one of my favorite companies because they are tackling two major problems with one simple solution. We’ve all heard about the problems with single use plastic and how they are polluting the environment, how overuse of plastics is bad for us as humans. And if you’ve read my blog, you’re also well aware of the potential pitfalls of harsh household cleaners, especially if you have kids in the house. Branch Basics helps on both of these fronts. They have the world’s safest non-toxic cleaning concentrate that is plant-based and biodegradable so it’s safe for the environment, it’s non-GMO and not tested on animals. Since it is a concentrate, a single bottle lasts a really long time which drastically cuts down on extra plastic bottles that you would get if you bought cleaners already pre-made. It’s gentle enough to be used on skin, even on babies, but strong enough to clean floors or greasy messes and even treat paint stains. And I use it to make an all-purpose cleaner to treat stains in the laundry and even use it as laundry soap. Their bottles are all reusable or you can do what I do and mix everything in reusable glass bottles instead. And when I say it is good for everything, I mean it! I carry a travel-size foamer pump when I travel for use as hand soap instead of using nasty soaps in bathrooms, and I use it as a face wash, shampoo, eye makeup remover, stain treatment, and so much more. I use the same concentrate at home to make practically every cleaning product in my home. You may have seen on my IG how I used their cleaning concentrate and oxygen boost to wash my white couches naturally. I use Branch Basics in some way every single day. Check it out and grab some of your own at branchbasics.com/wellnessmama and save 15% with the code MAMA15.

Katie: So are there any contraindications with alkaline ionized water? You mentioned, you know, kids don’t really need it and you don’t want to detox while breastfeeding. But other than that, are there any conditions or contraindications that people need to know about?

Thai: No. It’s just hydrogenated water at the end. So there’s, you know, just don’t drink it with food. It depends on the size of your meal. Like if you eat Thanksgiving dinner that’s gonna take, you know, an hour and a half to two hours probably to pass your gut. When you have like a small lunch, that’s probably gonna take, you know, 45 minutes or an hour to get past your stomach. But right before you eat, you can start using it, you know, that’s fine. It’s just as long as you’re not using it with food. And from my understanding from talking to people that are, done a lot more research like yourself and other people that you’re supposed to drink minimal fluids when you eat anyway to let your stomach acid kind of do the work and fully digest everything. But other than that, there’s really no dangers of drinking water.

Katie: Yeah, I definitely have seen that. The data seems to support, like you said, not drinking a lot of fluids in general of any kind while you’re eating and letting your stomach acid do its work while you’re consuming food like it’s supposed to. And if anything, like your tip of drinking a lot of water first thing in the morning seems to be really backed by evidence because overnight, they say we can lose up to a liter of water just in exhaling while we’re sleeping, or sweat, or various other processes. So we kind of actually wake up a little bit mildly dehydrated. But I’ve also seen a lot of data that many Americans especially are sort of chronically dehydrated, because of not consuming enough water or not balancing that correctly with how many diuretic-type things we’re consuming, like coffee, and tea, and wine.

Thai: Yeah. And I was guilty when I was a young man and I came to work here, I drank maybe a liter of water a day, and I drank, like, Powerade, and just sports drinks and all that. And you don’t realize that you’re dehydrated a lot of the time and when you’re dehydrated, sometimes your thirst mechanism will tell you you’re hungry, too. So that’s probably part of the reason I think that, you know, when you’re properly hydrated, you’ll eat less because your body’s not telling you, you know, you wouldn’t confuse that for being hungry as well. So that’s a big thing and I know for me, like my body’s trained at this point to, when I get up, I immediately, first thing I’m looking for is to drink some water and it definitely makes a big difference when you drink that water first thing in the morning to get your day started, really.

Katie: Is there any data specifically on alkaline ionized water and helping with dehydration? Because I’ve seen a couple things or a couple sources that mentioned that. But if so, can you explain that mechanism?

Thai: Yeah, yeah. It actually, as it is, the antioxidant properties in the water actually let the water into your cells quicker so that it’s proven to actually help get the water into your body quicker. And I was actually lucky enough to go to high school with a gentleman, his name is Barry Zito, and he was a star pitcher at the University of Southern California. He went on to pitch for the Oakland As and a lot of accolades, Cy Young Award winner, world champion, and he was one of the first people I called when I started doing this. I said, “Hey, Barry,” because he’s the type of person that would get macrobiotic meals that are exactly made for his body’s makeup. Very into his health. And I had him try out one of these. He loved it. He absolutely loved it. And he’s the reason why we’ve been used by the San Francisco Giants, the Colorado Rockies, the, let’s see, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles use our systems in their locker room. The Atlanta Falcons use us, the University of Connecticut, University of Alabama. It’s sports performance and hydrating these athletes quicker. So that’s one thing that’s kind of a neat thing, especially if you’re really healthy, and you’re active, and you cycle, or you go to the gym, and you play basketball, whatever the sport is, it definitely does help you hydrate quicker.

Katie: That makes sense. And then also the things you’ve talked about with the hydrogen, it would seem like it also has a reduction of inflammation component, which probably is helpful post-workout. Does it act on inflammation or lactic acid at all?

Thai: It does help with lactic acid. Absolutely. Yeah, that’s a big thing that helps cancel out is the lactic acid. It’s a really good thing to have when you go to the gym, pre and post, for sure.

Katie: Okay, so on a really practical level, for anybody listening who may be, especially we’ve talked about fluoride in the water filtration aspect alone, knows that this is something that they need to address in their own life and in their own home. Can you walk us through the practical aspects of figuring out what kind of system like this you would actually need and how it can be installed, how difficult that process is?

Thai: So with the filtration, we take care of the water reports, we take care of recommending the right filtering for you. Even if you’re on well water that has sulfur and nitrates in it, we have a solution for that. So the filtering is all taken care of by us. Countertop systems that we sell are pretty easy to install, it’s screwing a little diverter valve over the end of your faucet that, when you close this valve, water goes into this tubing that goes into the ionizer that’s on your countertop. We have really nice-looking under the cabinet systems that mount underneath your counter to your cold water and then they have their own separate faucet for controlling your ionizer and getting all the water out of that has two spigots. One for your alkaline water on top, and then one on the acid water on the bottom. We have a generous amount of models. We have six different countertop models, five under the cabinet models that have various strengths and performances. Most of them have full lifetime warranties and we want people to have it as like a one-time purchase and then you’re good and you’re taken care of.

Katie: Is there a lot of upkeep on the system, like do you have to change out filters all the time or, like, is it pretty low-key once it’s installed?

Thai: Yeah, you do have to change filters. The good thing, because we do use a minimum of four filters on the ionizer, that it’s about every 12 months for the average family, or 1,500 gallons, whichever comes first. So a typical family, that will last about a year and you have to do the filter changes every year. We don’t use any kind of mineral buffers or, like, additives to make the water so you don’t have to worry about adding any of that. So they’re pretty maintenance-free and they do have UV light so you don’t get mold or bacteria buildup inside, which is good. Yeah, so pretty maintenance-free.

Katie: Got it, and I will say from personal experience, and we installed one of the under counter models, and I was super proud I actually figured out how to drill through my granite and put a spigot in, but it wasn’t that difficult. That was definitely the hardest part, was figuring out how to drill a hole and beyond that, it’s pretty slick, plug and play. You just connect to the pieces and there’s a chart and it’s pretty easy.

Thai: You score way above the readiness scale that I would not even attempt that. So that’s awesome.

Katie: I should probably add that disclaimer. Do not try this at home. Do not drill into your granite. That’s awesome. So any other things people need to know when it comes to alkaline water or specifically if they want to put one in their own home?

Thai: They’re not really too hard to operate, there’s not a lot of settings on them. You don’t have to constantly mess with them. It’s kind of like once they’re installed, you just have to change your filters out. It’s going to be the biggest thing you put in your body, really, on a daily basis, you’re gonna be putting water and you’ll have good water for not only drinking, but cooking. You’ll have clean alkaline water for cooking which you can… It’s really cool. You can use the high setting on it and you can take off, if you soak, like, tomatoes or produce, even organic produce has pesticides on it and a lot of them are oil-based. They just come off with the high alkaline water so you can wash your produce off in it, has a bunch of different uses around the house. But really the reason why you get it is for the best drinking water, but there’s other things that you can use it for and you’ll fall in love with it. There’s a very cult-like following around these people that use them, they, like, rave about them and there’s a reason because they work well.

Katie: And I’ll make sure to link to all the different ones, the options are in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm. So if you guys are driving, you can check it out there. Don’t worry about writing down a link now and also when this airs, I will make sure we post them on Instagram with a swipe up so you guys can find them directly. But yeah, I think, and I loved your tip about using the acidic version of the water or the, I guess, deionized water for plants, and for mopping, and for other uses around the house so it doesn’t have to go to waste as well. That’s a great tip I didn’t know.

Thai: Clean off your countertops with the low acid water, you know, rather than using bleach and, because a lot of those… I mean, there’s a lot of sources of VOCs in the house like, you know, chlorine gas, and cleaning agents, and all these things that we end up breathing in and, you know, aren’t the best for us. So any kind of way you can lower the chemicals that you use in your house is definitely really good for your health.

Katie: Yeah, absolutely. Hundred percent with you on that one. And towards the end of episodes, there’s a couple questions I love to ask and I’d love to hear your answers to. The first being if there is a book or books that have really influenced your life, and if so, what are they?

Thai: I came from a household where I had, I would say, hippie parents. And as much as you don’t want to be like your parents when you’re growing up, you end up kind of, you know, resembling them in some way, shape, or form. So my dad gave me “The Four Agreements” back when I was in my early 30s. And I really loved the book, and I adapted some of the things and try to follow “The Four Agreements” and to really not stress out as much in life because it’s really, you know, when you’re younger, you think it’s gonna last forever. But then you start, then you’re like, “Oh, wow, I’m 40 now.” And you’re not going to live forever and to kind of just take it easy and not take anything personal and don’t get upset. That’s the biggest thing I’ve taken away from “The Four Agreements,” and it’s a book I recommend to everybody and I’ve definitely given it out numerous times as Christmas presents and birthday presents.

Katie: I love that book as well. Definitely, it’s an easy short read, but very, very impactful. And lastly, if there’s a piece of advice that you could spread far and wide, what would it be and why? It doesn’t have to be necessarily related to alkaline water at all, but just life advice that you’d love to pass on.

Thai: Take care of yourself. Take care of yourself, take care of the people that are around you, take, you know, take steps so 10 years from now, 20 years from now, you know, you wanna walk up right into your golden years rather than with a cane kind of thing. And don’t think your body’s bulletproof, take care of it. We get one and that’s pretty much it.

Katie: Awesome. Thai, this has been such a fun episode. I’ve learned a lot and I appreciate your time and for teaching us today.

Thai: Thank you so much for having me on and I appreciate your time, Katie. Thank you.

Katie: And thanks to all of you for listening and for sharing your most valuable asset of your time with us today. We don’t take that lightly. We’re grateful for you and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of “The Wellness Mama Podcast.”

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

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