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Should you get an alkaline water dispenser and is it really good for your health?

Alkaline water dispensers that claim to produce healthier, cleaner water are everywhere now. We find out how they work and see if you should get one for your home too.

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We know that water is essential to life, and staying hydrated could offer a host of benefits, from maintaining your complexion to keeping your energy levels up. But how much do you know about alkaline water and, more interestingly, the special dispensers that claim to turn regular tap water alkaline, believed to offer greater health benefits?

While tap or regular mineral water usually has a pH level of seven and below, alkaline water has a pH above seven, and contains alkalising compounds such as potassium and magnesium. Its purported benefits include reducing acidity, improving gut health and even stimulating metabolism.

Perlin Wong, business development manager at AOX, which distributes antioxidant alkaline water dispensers here, says, “Drinking alkaline water daily helps probiotic bacteria, which needs an alkaline balance to survive and thrive over harmful gut bacteria.

“Although it is not totally endorsed by mainstream medical research, there are many independent researchers who support alkaline water for health.”

David Hoo, corporate marketing manager of H2O Life Source, a leading water specialist company that provides innovative, value-added speciality water and water-related solutions, says alkaline water helps counteract oxidative damage to our cells by hunting down free radicals in our system and neutralising them.

MAKING WATER ALKALINE

Dispensers, says David, produce alkaline water through ionisation or the use of a filter cartridge.

With ionising machines, water undergoes electrolysis to create alkaline ionised water. Some machines even provide LCD displays of the pH level, and allow you to choose different levels of alkalinity for different purposes.

With a filter dispenser, alkaline minerals in the filter help change the pH level in water and supposedly provide antioxidants as well. At the same time, contaminants such as sand, chlorine and even bacteria are removed from the water.

INSTALLING A SYSTEM

Most companies provide installation services and after-sales maintenance. Perlin says standard installation is inclusive when you buy an AOX water dispenser. An expert will help you put your dispenser in place, which includes including sourcing assistance for, say, drilling, electrical or plumbing works.

David adds that buyers can also try installing the system themselves, which should take 10 to 15 minutes. Youtube demo videos show you the equipment you’ll need, like scissors, pliers and a faucet diverter – usually included in your purchase.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT ONE

Perlin advises selecting a dispenser with filters that have been cer tified by relevant authorities such as the Health Sciences Authority and quality control companies like SGS, a global inspection, verification, testing and certification company.

Also check the following:

• The prices of the dispenser and consumables such as filters

• When the filter needs to be changed and the cost involved

• Whether the company provides after-sales service such as installation and maintenance. This last one could save you a lot of trouble and time.

• Find out who the manufacturer is and the countr y of origin, adds David. Countries such as Korea and Japan produce leading dispenser brands.

• Finally, ensure that the levels of alkalinity the dispenser can produce are compatible with your needs. “Some are able to produce water with a pH of more than 10. This is not only unnecessary, but also unsuitable for drinking,” says David.

As for the lifespan, you can expect your alkaline water dispenser to last for at least three years to more than five years, depending on the size of the system and usage.

WHAT’S OUT THERE

Star 5

Winner of the Singapore Good Design Award, this ioniser has a multi-stage filter and electrodes made of platinum-coated titanium. An LCD display indicates different colours for each pH level, and a voice guide helps you choose your desired pH level. It produces alkaline water from level one (pH 8.5) to level four (pH 10), purified water at pH 7, beauty water at pH 6 and acidic water at pH 4. The electrolysis chamber comes with a five-year warranty and a one-for-one exchange policy during the first two years of warranty.

$2,488, from Metro Centrepoint, Takashimaya D.S., Live It Up (#B1-83P/83Q Parkway Parade), Star Wellness (Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, #02-22 Tower A, 1 Jurong East Street 21), and online at www.starwellness.sg.

AOX Lite

Compact, sleek and modern, this will fit right into your kitchen. It uses a four-stage natural filtration process to turn water into alkaline water of pH 8.5-10. A blue LED light is useful for night-time dispensing. AOX uses 100 per cent natural bio-minerals in its machines.

$2,031.93, from AOX showroom (#03-143 Midview City, 28 Sin Ming Lane).

H2O Renaissance

This lightweight model dispenses up to 10 litres of boiling alkaline water and up to 5 of cold alkaline water at a go. It has special UV sterilisation, with a sensor to ensure your water is always safe and clean, and a Hot Water Safety Lock to prevent accidents.

$1,299, from M38 @ 38 Jalan Pemimpin, #06-02, and online at www.h2olifesource.com.

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