Weird Water Scams

Why does H2O inspire so much exploitation and corruption? Whether through the use of pseudoscience, absolute nonsense or pure trickery, scams surrounding your drinking water are rife.

There are water testing scams, water treatment scams, scams promoting devices that supposedly produce water with special health properties, but perhaps the most outlandish are health quackery scams, especially directed towards those interested in alternative medicine. Here are a few of the water scams you should be on the lookout for.

The highly oxygenated water scam

The claim that oxygenated water has certain health benefits has been around for a while, and is especially targeted at athletes because it’s supposed to give you energy. Oxygenated water is for the most part not accepted as credible by the scientific community as little evidence has been shown to prove claims that increasing the O2 content in drinking water leads to an increased O2 absorption in the blood for various benefits. In any case, the oxygen would dissipate as soon as you open the bottle. Even if you were to consume extra oxygen, it’s your lungs that are designed to absorb oxygen, not your digestive tract.

However, this has been taken further by some who claim they have developed super water with a special way to “trap” oxygen in water molecules so that it doesn’t escape before being absorbed into your body’s cells. This water either comes from remote mountain streams, or requires a unique processing method. Either way, it’ll cost you.

Polymer water from special mountain springs

This is water that apparently can only be found in remote springs, usually in some hard-to-reach region in the mountains. This water has long been a well-guarded secret of indigenous tribes, who enjoy health and a particularly long life. This water energises your body by promoting call hydration and increased absorption of nutrients into the cells, and improved removal of toxic waste.

Ionised water

There is a pseudoscientific claim that as the body ages there is an accumulation of acidic waste products, a process known as acidosis. Drinking ionised water apparently cures this. First you buy the machine of course.  A machine that that uses electrical energy applied through electrodes to create ionized that’s separated into its acidic and alkaline components. The alkaline component can fix up your acidosis, no problem.

Hydride Ion Water from Glaciers

Hundreds of water vendors are selling this water that allegedly contains micro-clustered colloids. These oxide-containing colloids apparently alter the structure of the water to trap ions, particularly hydride ions. Apparently hydride ion water is a powerful anti-aging antioxidant. This water can only be found in special glacier waters in certain mountainous areas. Scientists have yet to actually confirm the existence of these hydride ions in water, however.

Magnetised water clusters

This scam involves water that has been treated with a “unique” magnetic device. Phrases to look out for are “colloidal groupings of water molecules to form small icebergs”, “liquid crystalline water”, and “micro-structured water”. It improves ion exchange in cell membranes, vitamin and mineral absorption and the removal of toxins. If you can’t afford an actual a magnetizing machine you can go for a magnetic drinking mug or magnetic instead.

Why do people keep falling for these scams?

For any one of these scams, there are numerous sites dedicated to scientifically disproving them. Nevertheless, people continue to fall for them, spending a lot of their money on rubbish. Why is that? Perhaps because of ignorance, wilful avoidance of the facts, or simply the placebo effect. If people really want something to work, and believe it will, they probably will feel better. That’s great for them. It’s just a pity that they’ll be throwing away money and supporting swindlers to get that positive feeling.

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Queenie Bates is an avid reader and researcher. After spending some time working in the water industry, especially in water delivery London, she took a particular interest in the diverse myths and facts surrounding drinking water.

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