Structured Water: Is It Worth the Hype?
Structured water, sometimes called magnetized or hexagonal water, refers to water with a structure that’s been altered to form a hexagonal cluster. This cluster of water molecules is believed to share similarities with water that hasn’t been polluted or contaminated by human processes.
The theory behind structured water suggests these qualities make it healthier than tap or filtered water.
According to structured water proponents, this type of water exists naturally in mountain springs, glacier melt, and other untouched sources.
Others believe you can turn regular water into structured water by:
- magnetizing it through a process called vortexing
- exposing it to ultraviolet or infrared light
- exposing it to natural heat and energy, such as sunlight
- storing it in gemstone water bottles
But does structured water really live up to the hype? Read on to find out.
It has a range of purported health benefits
Supporters of structured water believe that it offers many health benefits, claiming that it:
- increases energy
- improves concentration and memory
- promotes weight loss and weight maintenance
- promotes better sleep
- supports a healthy immune system
- helps detoxify the body
- promotes good digestion and reduces constipation
- promotes longer life
- improves skin complexion and circulation
- helps stabilize blood sugar
According to the theory behind structured water, vortexing water charges it, allowing it to hold energy. This energy then may allegedly recharge the body and hydrate it more thoroughly than ordinary drinking water.
But there’s not much evidence to back up these benefits
There aren’t any high-quality human studies that support the many health claims made about structured water.
Some proponents cite a 2013 study on magnetized, structured water. According to the study, magnetized water seemed to decrease blood glucose levels and reduce damage to blood and liver DNA in rats with induced diabetes after eight weeks.
While these results are promising, the study was small and the results haven’t been replicated in humans. In addition, the water used in the study was provided by Korea Clean System Co., a company that sells structured water.
Plus, current scientific knowledge can counter most claims made about structured water.
- The chemical formula for water is H2O, which means each water molecule contains two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. The formula for structured water is said to be H3O2. But water’s chemical formula has always been H2O. A different chemical formula would indicate a different substance that chemists haven’t identified.
- Proponents of structured water claim that it holds a unique hexagonal shape. But water molecules are in constant motion. This means that its structure is frequently changing.
- A 2008 study conducted by undergraduate students and published in the Journal of Chemical Education looked at the water before and after it was magnetized to see if magnetizing the water actually altered its composition. According to their results, the magnetized water didn’t show any significant variations in hardness, pH, or conductivity.
Regular drinking water has still plenty of benefits
Medical research has long supported the health benefits of water. And it doesn’t have to be structured to support good health.
You’ve probably heard the recommendation to drink eight glasses of water per day, but this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule.
For example, you may need to drink more water if you:
- are very active
- are pregnant or breastfeeding
- live in a hot or humid climate
- have an illness, including a viral or bacterial infection
But generally, you’re most likely getting enough water if you:
- drink water throughout the day or whenever you feel thirsty
- eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which naturally contain water
- aren’t thirsty often
- usually have pale or clear urine
Staying hydrated is important, but it’s possible to drink too much water. Overhydration — the opposite of dehydration — tends to affect athletes, especially those training in warm weather.
To avoid overhydration, limit yourself to two or three cups of water right before exercising, after exercising, and each hour you spend exercising. This will help to keep your body hydrated without overdoing it.
The bottom line
Companies selling structured water make some compelling claims about its benefits. However, there’s not much evidence behind them. Regular drinking water, both filtered and tap, offers many of the same benefits at a fraction of the price.