Occasionally an ad for a new product pops up in my email inbox that’s so ridiculous, I have to share it. Being involved in the health and fitness world for many years, I feel like I’ve seen it all – until the next scam comes along that is so blatantly dishonest, it’s almost funny. Almost – except that innocent people are too often the target of such useless health products.
The latest scam is something seemingly innocuous: water. Yes, water. Who knew water could be improved upon? Well, according to the hydration “experts,” the average bottle of water needs a lot of help. Of course, it’s going to cost you.
I’m not talking about fancy French water or sparkling seltzers. Expensive though such beverages may be, they aren’t making any wacky claims. Water, in just about any form, is beneficial for your health (not to mention necessary for life). The more you drink, the better you tend to feel.
However, there is a cottage industry of designer waters that you should be wary of. These waters typically go by names like penta-water, super oxygenated water, cell water, living water, coherent water … As the old saying goes, truth truly is stranger than fiction.
These water manufacturers all claim the same things in so many words. The basic promise is more potent, better-hydrating, “living” water. If the back of the bottle talks about cellular structures, living versus dead water, ionic processes or oxygenation, run for the nearest public water fountain. It’s quackery at its finest.
My personal favorite? One water manufacturer actually claims to use “platonic solid inversion geometry” to formulate their aqua. (Funny, I don’t remember that being covered in calculus class. I guess it’s new math.)
These water hucksters will go so far as to talk about “vibration” and “frequencies” of water. Of course, any 15-year-old in chemistry class can explain that these terms are irrelevant to drinking water.
As far as oxygenation is concerned, there’s simply no such thing. You cannot “oxygenate” water. You can certainly add extra oxygen during the filtering or bottling process, but you cannot fundamentally change the molecular structure of water. If you do, it’s no longer, well, water. Water is, of course, two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. “Adding” oxygen atoms would mean we’re no longer talking about water.
The “oxygenated” water flooding the store shelves is regular old water with a scientific-sounding name. Swirl a glass of tap water, and you’ll see some oxygenation, too.
Don’t fall for these fake health waters. Water will boost your health, but the latest incarnation will only drain your bank account.
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.