Structured Water: What’s All the Hype?

structured water

In the expansive sea of trending diets, miracle pills, and revolutionary fitness ideas, a new player has emerged: structured water. This new type of water is touted as a “healthier” alternative to what comes out of your tap at home. Claims range from superior hydration to enhanced nutrient absorption and a host of other benefits.

But as with anything, it’s worth pausing when something sounds too good to be true. Is structured water a true beacon of hope for better health? Or is it just another trend with little to no support—that’s here today, gone tomorrow?

Let’s take a deep dive into the science—or lack thereof—behind the new trend of structured water to uncover whether it holds water against its claims or if you’re better off sticking with good, old-fashioned H2O.

What Is Structured Water?

In case you haven’t come across it as of yet, structured water refers to water molecules that are arranged in a specific, organized formation. Typically, it refers to the structure of natural spring water, but there are also devices that claim to mimic natural processes to create structured water.

The basic idea is that water can form molecular structures that enhance water’s life-giving processes. So, it’s more beneficial for hydration and overall health when compared to regular old water.

Other terms given to structured water include magnetized or hexagonal water, purported to have altered physical properties or molecular arrangements. These terms, however, refer to specific “types” of structured water. For instance, magnetized water refers to water that’s been exposed to magnetic fields. The belief is that, somehow, this exposure alters the properties of the water to make it more beneficial for health and even agricultural uses as they interact with substances like minerals or contaminants differently.

Hexagonal water, on the other hand, is when water is claimed to form a hexagonal cluster, which mimics the structure of water found in living cells. This supposedly enhances cellular functions to promote better hydration and health. This structure is one of the most frequently cited when structured water’s claimed benefits are discussed.

Why All the Hype About Structured Water?

There is genuine intrigue about water’s complex nature. We also know the importance of water in general for improving so many aspects of our lives. Yet the behavior of molecules of water is complex and not fully understood. So, there’s some room for theories to gain traction.

In general, the biggest drivers of the structured water trend are the manufacturers that sell devices claiming to create structured water. These products often come with compelling and exciting marketing that promises surprising health benefits, such as:

  • Enhanced hydration
  • Improved energy levels
  • Better nutrient absorption
  • Detoxification
  • General improvements in health
  • Increased oxygen levels
  • Balanced pH levels

Often, though, the explanations are pseudoscientific. They sound plausible, but they lack scientific validation. And they can make the concept of structured water seem revolutionary, even if it’s not.

In addition, many people within alternative or holistic health communities have embraced natural and non-traditional health solutions. These people are more open to exploring the promise of being able to harness the natural properties of elements like water to enhance health.

We are seeing very real benefits arising from complementary or integrative therapies that take a whole-person care approach, such as acupuncture, massage, lifestyle modifications (e.g., diet and exercise), and quality supplementation. Unfortunately, other alternative therapies have little to no evidence of effectiveness.

Anecdotal evidence, such as personal testimonials, has also been used to spread the hype. Individuals who have tried the products may share their (at times) unbelievable stories, which can encourage others to try the water or device. However, it’s difficult to know if it’s the specific type of water providing benefits or if they were perhaps dehydrated and are now drinking more water.

In essence, when effective marketing is combined with the mystique around natural health solutions and anecdotal stories without a full understanding of how water behaves, you’ll find fertile ground for new concepts to thrive even without substantial evidence.

The Science Behind Structured Water Claims

Yes, some researchers have examined structured water, but before you get too excited about the claims, it’s important to note that the scientific community is pretty skeptical about them. In fact, there’s only a limited amount of evidence supporting structured water, and many researchers consider the area pseudoscientific rather than well-researched data.

For instance, there’s a lack of peer-reviewed evidence. The idea of structured water is neither widely accepted nor validated in well-respected journals. Researchers, for example, suggest that structured water demonstrates a misunderstanding of water science.

Water molecules do naturally form clusters due to how hydrogen bonds. However, the structures are short-lived and constantly changing. There’s no evidence that water can maintain the structures claimed long enough to have specific health benefits after being consumed. The idea isn’t supported by the basic principles of chemistry or physics, at least as we currently understand it. (Though we do understand science is ever evolving as we learn new information.)

Rather than true science, the claims surrounding structured water are coming from companies that are selling devices to structure water. Or, they’re relying on anecdotal claims, which are not the same as scientific substantiation.

The limited research that has been done has not been performed as rigorously as needed and so far has often only been performed by the companies selling the devices, so there’s no third-party confirmation of the results. In short, there are no high-quality human studies that support any of the claims.

structured water

Is Structured Water Cleaner?

Another common claim about structured water is that it’s less likely to be polluted or contaminated. Again, however, there’s no scientific evidence that this is true. Whether water is structured via magnetic, vortex, or other means, the process does not remove pollutants, contaminants, or pathogens from the water.

Effectively removing contaminants, such as chemicals, heavy metals, bacteria, and viruses, involves a process of filtration and treatment that is not part of the structuring process. Unless water treatment specifically filters or purifies the water (with carbon filters, reverse osmosis, or UV light), pollutants will remain in the water.

To ensure water is safe from contaminants, use a proven purification process, such as boiling, filtration, ultraviolet purification, or chemical disinfection. Be careful with any water sold as natural or “raw” as water-born illnesses can make you seriously sick and can even be life-threatening.

Benefits of Drinking Water

There’s a lot of hype around structured water that has little backing. What does have a ton of well-supported scientific research is plain old drinking water. Some of the key benefits of maintaining proper hydration by downing several glasses of the clear stuff throughout the day include:

  • Hydration, which is essential for virtually every function in the body, from regulating body temperature to maintaining blood pressure to ensuring the proper function of internal organs to enhancing cognitive function.
  • Digestion and excretion, as water helps dissolve fats and soluble fiber, which aids digestion, prevents constipation, and flushes waste products from the liver and kidneys.
  • Improved energy levels and performance, as water fights fatigue and helps the body battle stress.
  • Weight management, as water can help increase satiety and boost metabolic rate. When combined with a healthy diet and exercise, this can help you maintain weight loss.
  • Skin health, as hydrated skin looks healthier and fuller. Although you can’t completely turn back the clock, hydrated skin maintains elasticity and moisture balance to look softer and smoother.
  • Joint lubrication, as water is a key component of synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints and allows them to move smoothly.

Water may seem boring, but it’s the best choice for regular hydration. And unlike sugary drinks, plain water provides essential hydration without added calories and sugars. It’s one of the simplest, most effective, and least expensive ways to support overall health.

Structured Water: More Hype than Hope

Sure, the concept of structured water sounds intriguing. A novel approach to increased hydration with promises of enhanced health benefits offers hope. Unfortunately, the scientific basis for the astounding claims is weak and largely unsubstantiated. The proponents of structured water (though likely well-meaning) are being met with a lot of skepticism from the scientific community.

Fortunately, the benefits of drinking plain water are well-established and backed by extensive scientific evidence. So, unless and until more conclusive evidence for structured water is presented, plain water remains the most effective and safest choice for your hydration needs.