Bartos, Hans Peter. Is alkaline, ionized water unhealthy?


Hiltrut G.: When staying many years ago in Bad Fussing I learned at a lecture by Dr. Walter Irlacher about alkaline activated water and acquired a water ionizer. I drink alkaline water regularly ever since and have also recommended this water to others and even given it away. Now my son in law came across an article on the Internet: “Alkaline water – a business idea with harmful consequences” published on 09.11.2013 by VISION AQUA by Hans-Peter Bartos, in which alkaline water is depicted as unhealthy and harmful. We are now totally confused whether we can continue to drink alkaline water.


On the mentioned website that you visited, Best-Water distribution, I was not able to find this article. Such sniper actions against activated water by advocates of reverse osmosis and swirlers have a certain tendency to migrate, since they could also be prosecuted under competition law because of their false allegations.

Nevertheless, I know this article, because it was also repeatedly sent to me with a similar request. I have already gone into detail with the core arguments in the articles: Tödt, Roberts, Mister Water,Twister, and reverse osmosis. I now will certainly only grapple with new arguments presented by German Engineer Hans-Peter Bartos.

I can’t blame Mr. Bartos that he deals critically with “alkaline water”, since newly so many inflationary terms have flooded the market terminology. He says in his article quite rightly, that everyone could produce such a water without expensive electrolyzers very cheaply even by admixing pure water with a few crumbs of caustic soda or caustic potash.

But the alkalinity is just the saturation side dish of electrochemically activated water and certainly not what is on the main menu. Also a lye, like the one Mr. Bartos wants to make with caustic soda, one could refer to as “alkaline water”. But there is something missing in this equation: Activated Water. This arises solely from electrolysis.

Bartos continues: “Tap water contains naturally, depending on the area, other substances such as calcium sulphate (gypsum), which is then decomposed by electrolysis into calcium hydroxide (slaked lime) and sulphuric acid.”

Here Bartos overlooks that gypsum and hydrated lime are solids, while calcium cations and sulphate anions are a completely normal part in an aqueous solution in many German mineral, medicinal or tap waters. You can find this on practically every bottle of mineral water when you look up anions and cations in the content.

Yet this has nothing to do with water ionizers! The ions are only the means to an end, to produce a very high surplus of electrons, an ORP in the water which is therefore called activated water, or “electrochemically activated water” (ECA).

Bartos does not recognise what is involved with activated water when he writes: “It is even argued that a liter of treated “alkaline water” has the antioxidant power of ten lemons, even though lemon juice is not at all alkaline, on the contrary extremely acidic (pH 2,4). Such a comparison is not convincing but rather proves the opposite.”

Bartos has indeed understood that a lemon is not alkaline (alkaline acting foods). But because lemons contain citric and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), they are very rich in antioxidants, although not nearly as rich as alkaline activated water.

But he has confused sour lemons with rusty screws. Because the antioxidant power of alkaline activated water is in a class of its own that is completely independent of the alkaline character of water. Using electrolysis you can even produce an acidic or neutral water with antioxidant properties . So Bartos has not understood at all the basic idea of alkaline activated water, that it can be alkaline and antioxidant simultaneously.

The core of Bartos’ thesis structure lies in his following statement: “Why “alkaline water” is not healthy.” An alkaline effect would not even go beyond the stomach, because the digestive juice of the stomach is highly acidic and would neutralize the alkaline water immediately. Rather this would weaken the gastric acid and the body would have to respond by producing more stomach acid.


To this end, I wish to highlight: Our stomach, when it is not busy digesting a meal, has a pH value of 4 which is less acidic than a glass of orange juice. Only the gastric juice, which is injected into the stomach only during food intake, has a pH of about 1,5. It is therefore about 10 x more acidic than a soda with a pH of 2,5. However, this gastric juice has a high acidic buffer so it is hardly changed by neither neutral tap water nor alkaline activated water.

This has been thoroughly researched in Russia in 1997 and confirmed scientifically. (FAQ: Russian research, stomach acid). Blocked protein digestion, pepsin inactivity, parasite promotion – everything Bartos lists, according to current scientific knowledge, has been proven wrong.

Alkaline activated water for drinking has mostly a pH of  9,5 , which the German Drinking Water Ordinance permits even for tap water. Natural waters, for example long mountain rivers such as the Inn, are often very alkaline. Water with this pH can not remotely disturb the production of gastric acid, unlike certain agents such as Alka-Seltzer or proton pump inhibitors do.

It is important that our drinking water is preferably alkaline and that we can replace the many harmful acidic drinks. This is an important, constant step towards beating hyperacidity.

Precisely for this reason are electrolysis cells in a water ionizer for drinking purposes designed, so that they produce an antioxidant alkaline water. You could also create an antioxidant neutral or acidic water, but the experience, the physiology and the flavour speak for alkaline water. But primarily with alkaline activated water its about the energy wealth in the form of a negative ORP.

If Bartos writes about the redox potential, it shows his whole misunderstanding of the relationships. The core concept of relaxation time is not even familiar to him. That alkaline activated water does not have a permanent antioxidant effect he considers a disadvantage. But precisely this is its attribute, because a fresh apple is also healthier than an old one. So its redox potential also has a relaxation time, albeit longer. Just like us when we age. With alkaline activated water we can evidently extend this process of ageing.

About the erroneously illustrated relationship by Bartos, in the context of minerals in the water and risk of heart attack, as well as the WHO assessment, please read further details under the headings: risk of heart attacks and stomach acid.


Excerpt from the book “Karl Heinz Asenbaum: Electrically activated water – An invention with extraordinary potential.”
Copyright 2016

About Karl Heinz Asenbaum

The Munich-based journalist has been working on the topic of "alkaline activated water" since 2004. For 12 years he worked closely with the alternative physician Dr. Walter Irlacher, with whom he wrote two successful books: "Service Manual for Humans” (Service Handbuch Mensch) (2006) and "Drink Yourself Alkaline” (Trink Dich basisch) (2008,2011). Since 2014 he has been contributing his knowledge and experience to Aquacentrum and giving lectures worldwide. “Electro-activated Water", the world's most comprehensive book on the subject, was published in 2016. View all posts by Karl Heinz Asenbaum 

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