First of all, it claims to be Purified (15 times!), Remineralized, Ionized, Microstructed and Oxygen Rich with MBO technology (whatever that means). Lets tackle each of these claims one at a time.
Purification is just the process of removing impurities from the water, pretty straightforward. The problem is, most purification systems are based on a size factor, not a "how many times did you run it through" factor. Think of it this way, would you rather drink water out of a river that was run through your kitchen strainer 15 times, or a charcoal filter that filters out down to .1 micron impurities but it was only ran through that filter 1 time? They both are technically "purifying" the water, the kitchen strainer will surely catch any fish, rocks, and most of the mud that is in the water... but sadly no matter how many times you run it through the kitchen strainer you aren't going to be removing micro-organisms that exist in the water. Sadly, Perfect Water doesn't feel inclined to tell us what sort of filtration and purification system they use, just that they use it 15 times. They could use it a bazillion times, but until they tell us what size filter they are running the water through we have no way of juding how "pure" the water is.
From their FAQ:
There’s a lot of hype going around about the source of bottled waters with companies claiming their water is better because it is from a spring, a deep well, an aquifer, a glacier, distilled water, artesian water, or other sources. Regardless of the source and individual preferences, none of it is good enough for our high quality standards. We start with safe water sources tested to be suitable for drinking water and then give it a clean slate with our proprietary 15-step purification process and other technologies so that the water that goes into the bottle is nothing less than “perfect.”
Let me translate the key line there: "We start with safe water sources tested to be suitable for drinking water." Translation: "We use a municipal water supply from whatever city we are bottling in." Their water won't "harm" you, but I would be skeptical of any claims that it is MORE pure than your local tap water. As Perfect Water is a bottled water, it falls under the juristiction of the Food and Drug Administration. Your local water supply is governed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The FDA requires one test per week on bottled water and it's safety, the EPA requires HUNDREDS of tests per week on your tap water... and on top of that the FDA estimates it is only able to regulate about 40% of the bottled water in the US (I don't know where Perfect Water's standing is on the list) while the EPA conducts it's tests on 100% of the water systems in America.
From their FAQ:
Are there Vitamins in Perfect Empowered Drinking Water™? We developed Perfect Empowered Drinking Water™ to be a pure, clean, and natural tasting drinking water.
Why is there Sodium in Perfect Empowered Drinking Water™? The Sodium in Perfect Empowered Drinking Water™ is to help enhance smoothness and flavor.
Ionizing the actual water molecules themselves makes no sense. Water molecules do spontaneously break down into ions such as H+, OH-, H3O+, and OH- every now and then, but it’s only something like one or two out of every billion molecules that do that, and it doesn’t really last long as it’s a reversible process that tends to remain at equilibrium.
What is very common is an ionized solution with water. Basically, that’s what all the water we ever deal with is. All the tap water, rain water, bottled water, ocean water, and all those other waters we ever come in contact with have ions of other chemicals dissolved into them. Pure water doesn’t have those, but then pure water (de-ionized water) is generally only found in some laboratories and large industrial plants (I worked with it at Intel making computer chips). So really, having water being “ionized” can be said to be the normal condition of water. It’s not anything special.
So saying “ionized” is basically this company saying again that they’ve added electrolytes and other minerals to the water. They’re just saying the same thing twice, with different words.
I have to admit, this was the hardest section to write. The reason: this makes no sense at all to me. Here is their “explanation” of the process:
Some call it science, others call it pseudo-science. The only thing really certain is that there is no certainty among the scientific community on microstructuring. . . .While we have and will continue to engage in scientific research because we believe in it, we know what our customers tell us which is that they can feel the difference with our water.”
So in other words, even they say that they have no idea what it is. Reassuring. Above the molecular level, liquid water has no fixed structure. And if you re-structure the molecules, then you get something other than water. The only logical means I can think of to “structure” water is to freeze it. So they’re saying that they’ll sell you ice cubes?
Oxygen Rich (With proprietary MBO technology)
Okay. . .water does, of course, already contain oxygen. Pure water would have one-third of its composite atoms being oxygen, although as I’ve already said we’re not likely to see pure water anywhere but in labs or at Intel. Ordinary water with the usual solution of H2O and a scattering of other odd chemicals mixed together could very well have some more oxygen atoms bound up in those extra chemicals. All of these oxygen atoms are going to be bonded, though, since oxygen is very reactive and you basically never find individual oxygen atoms floating around alone in nature (even if you had a tank filled with nothing but oxygen atoms, they’d combine with each other into molecules of paired atoms).
They also claim that heating or cooling the water won’t have any effect on its ability to contain this extra oxygen, which is rather strange seeing as how raising the temperature of a water solution reduces the amount of gases that can be dissolved in it.
So there’s really no way to have free oxygen mixed into water long enough to have it bottled, shipped, and sold, especially seeing as how they claim a shelf life of two years. You have to bind it to other molecules. And bonding oxygen to water molecules gives you hydrogen peroxide, which is not something you want to go around drinking lots of.
And to top it all off, I don't know how many of you have gills, but I sure don't. I think I get plenty of oxygen from breathing. What is the point of having extra oxygen in your water? We aren’t fish.
A few other dandy's from their FAQ page:
Perfect Water will flush out Fat
Any fat that is already a part of your body is not going to be in any position to be “flushed out” by water you drink. Besides, fat isn’t water soluble.
Many of our customers do report that drinking Perfect Empowered Drinking Water™ seems to provide them with more energy than other waters they have tried.
As most of you know, I am currently dieting. The "science" behind dieting is quite simple: reduce the energy you intake and increase the energy you output, your body needs extra energy to make up the difference and so it consumes fat (idealy, sadly your body will also consume muscle, hence why when dieting you have to workout to retain your muscle, but thats a story for another time). But the point is that in our advanced scientific age, we have a way to measure that energy. It's called "calories." Perfect water claims to have no calories. Sorry, but you can't have it both ways. Granted, they don’t actually come right out and plainly state that their water gives you energy. . .but they subtly make the suggestion that it can. Which seems to me like a rather sneaky way to try to give people the idea that their water has extra properties without actually facing the risk of legal action if it’s found that the water doesn’t do what they hinted.
Please note that Perfect Empowered Drinking Water has not been designed, nor tested, for treating, diagnosing, mitigating, curing, or preventing any disease or medical condition, nor for specific performance enhancement in any category, and no claims are made. Nor are any such claims authorized regarding the use of the water for any purpose other than as a drinking water.
So after all the claims of what Perfect Empowered Drinking Water will do for you, if you read far enough down the page (and it's a LOOOONG page), they make sure to cover their bases and tell you: it won't actually do anything for you.
It seems like Perfect Empowered Drinking Water is sadly neither Perfect, nor Empowered. But it does live up to it's claim to be drinking water, so I supposed it at least got one thing right. Most American's don't drink enough water and are underhydrated (we consume diaretics like caffiene left and right, coupled with our large intake of sodium the typical American is definitely underhydrated, and borderline dehydrated) so drinking more water is never a bad thing. But as many have heard me rant before (I will save the long winded post for another time) our municipal water systems are under stricter controls and better purity requirements than bottled water, so paying $2 for a bottle of water that is AT BEST as good as your local tap water seems... silly. The container for Perfect Water is kinda cool, so I suppose if you need a nice container to carry around with you at work to keep hydrated (which would be a good thing) I suppose there is some value in that. But if you feel the "magical" effects of Perfect Empowered Drinking Water, sadly that has more to do with the much studied and proven "placebo effect" than any actual properties of the water.