Kangen Water Review: Is Alkalized, Ionic Water Better For You?
This Kangen water review is an opinion piece.
Kangen is a Japanese company that produces a water ionizing machines that change the pH of water by running it across metal plates in a process called ‘electrolysis.’ Proponents of ionized water believe that it hydrates our body better than normal water, and can improve health, detoxify your body, and keep you younger for longer. They also believe that Kangen and other ionized waters are antioxidants, which can help prevent disease.
Without a doubt, Japan has contributed a ton of incredible things to the world. Groundbreaking electronics, beautiful ceramics, martial arts, the best chef’s knives ever, and even general anesthesia was developed by a Japanese scientist. With Kangen, Japan has created a water purifier and ionizer with a cult following.
But one thing it hasn’t done is change human physiology. This is an important consideration when you’re looking at the efficacy of a Kangen water system: human physiology, especially our acid-base system, isn’t up for grabs. It is what it is, and ultimately, we need to work within its confines.
What is pH?
Acidity and alkalinity, or pH, are measured on a scale of 0-14.
The pH of pure water is 7, and Canadian tap water is between 7-10.5. Tap water in the US is probably around the same.
Kangen machines produce 5 different ‘types’ of water, aka pH options:
Strong Kangen water has a pH of 11 (very alkaline), and isn’t meant for drinking. According to the company, this water type is best for food prep (‘removing the rawness from vegetables’) and cleaning.
Kangen water has a pH of 8.5-9.5. Kangen’s claim about this water type is that “this electrolytically-reduced, hydrogen-rich water works to restore your body to a more alkaline state, which is optimal for good health.”
Clean water has a pH of 7.0, which is neutral and ‘easily absorbed by your body’ (their claim, not mine). Kangen says this water is best for making baby food and taking medication.
Beauty water has a pH of 4.0-6.0. Apparently, “this slightly acidic water is recognized for its astringent effects. It’s terrific to use for gentle cleaning and beauty care.”
Strong acidic water, with a pH of 2.7, is for disinfecting. According to Kangen, “This water has disinfecting properties. Use Strong Acidic Water to sanitize kitchen utensils, countertops, and more to prevent cross-contamination.”
I have a lot to say about all of this.
Let’s start with the alkaline water and health theory, which, I’m sorry to tell you, is total bullshit. Much of the Kangen sales pitch depends on the hypothesis that alkaline water can promote health.
Although some Kangen reps will tell you that there are numerous studies that prove the benefits of consuming alkalized water for health, this is false. In an interaction I had with a Kangen salesperson, they directed me to ‘check Google’ for such studies, which is a sure indication that 1. the studies don’t exist and 2. the person has zero clues about science. Hey, if you’re going to sell something that you claim is backed up by research, you sure as hell better be able to produce said research upon request. And it better be solid.
So yeah, that’s not happening. Current studies about alkalized water are small and unconvincing, but I guess if you can’t interpret research or don’t bother to look at it in the first place, you might believe someone’s claims that ‘good research exists’ about a product. Don’t make that mistake!
We don’t need alkaline water to detox or balance our bodies.
Human physiology is a wonderful thing, involving complex processes to ensure homeostasis within our bodies. Balancing pH is one of those processes, which is done entirely by the kidneys and lungs and has ZERO TO DO WITH WHAT YOU EAT, OR WITH KANGEN WATER!!
OMG do I need to say it one more time for those of you in the back?
YOU CAN NOT CONTROL THE pH OF YOUR BODY WITH FOOD OR WATER!!
Our blood is tightly controlled at a 7.4 pH. Period.
A lot of alkaline water pushers will argue about say that a poor diet can cause ‘systemic acidosis,’ which is another bullshit scare tactic (oooh, acidosis!!) that I absolutely can’t stand.
Systemic – or metabolic – acidosis will put you into the ICU, and is not caused by eating ‘acidic’ foods.
Here are the most common causes of metabolic acidosis:
Ketoacidosis from diabetes type 1.
Excess lactic acid buildup due to shock.
Fistulas and other conditions causes GI losses.
Consumptions of toxins (and I mean, real toxins, not ‘toxic’ GMOs *eyeroll*)
Notice that you don’t see, ‘eating acidic food’ on the list. That’s because the concept of ‘systemic acidosis’ in terms of acid-alkaline diets is completely made up.
If you could control your body’s pH by what you eat, you’d die from having a normal meal. Turns out, you can’t and you won’t.
As soon as water hits your stomach, it turns acidic because of your gastric juices. It’s called, ‘the digestive process.’
And no, having an unbalanced body pH is NOT causing all sorts of horrible diseases. The important points of acid-base balance are simple, and there’s no excuse to make a mockery of basic physiology and twist it just to make a buck.
There is also no science behind the claim that alkaline water is better absorbed and that it hydrates ‘on a cellular level’ better than more acidic water. Totally untrue and without scientific merit. Normal water out of your tap does just as good of a job, or we’d all be walking around dehydrated.
FYI: the phrase ‘on a cellular level’ is a dead giveaway of a scam. It’s meaningless, and the only time I have ever heard it used is to sell something bullshitty, like vitamins and supplements.
Everything we consume affects us ‘on a cellular level.’ That’s just the way our bodies work.
Another misleading claim that Kangen makes is that their ‘acidic’ water can disinfect and sanitize surfaces. This is not only impossible, it’s also really effing dangerous.
Let’s put it this way: Kangen’s ‘strong acidic water’ is a pH of 2.7. To put that figure into real-world terms, lemon juice has a pH of 2, and orange juice’s pH is 3. So, Kangen’s ‘strong acidic water’ is somewhere between lemon and orange juice in its acidity.
Would you use lemon or orange juice to disinfect a contaminated countertop?
I dare you to spill raw chicken juice onto your kitchen counter, wipe it with lemon juice, then make a salad on the same countertop.
Don’t want to do it, right? Why not?
BECAUSE 2.7 pH DOESN’T DISINFECT ANYTHING, AND TELLING PEOPLE THAT IT DOES IS COMPLETELY NEGLIGENT.
And here we have Kangen’s site actually saying, “Beauty salons, hair salons, restaurants, agricultural colleges, daycare centers, pet shops, and nursing homes all benefit greatly from the use of Strong Acidic Water.:
Daycare centres and nursing homes?
I’m not really believing this right now.
Please do not use water of any type to clean contaminated surfaces, unless you’d like a raging case of e-coli or salmonella.
And while I’m at it, Kangen water is not an antioxidant. Please don’t even.
And even if it was, research shows that getting too many antioxidants isn’t even healthy.
Kangen users post all sorts of crazy fear-mongering shit online, like the following:
What’s the common denominator in all of these (besides my inability to properly hide the accounts that they came from, oops! ha ha!)
They are all fear-based, talking about toxins, government conspiracies, and chemophobia.
They are all nonsense. Washing your vegetables with basic water does nothing. Mixing meat and starch is safe (although not surprising that someone with an alkaline diet social feed would make this claim), and that is NOT colon cancer in that disgusting photo. Also: Kangen water doesn’t cure cancer.
Despite their ‘toxic’ claims, tap water isn’t poison (unless you live in Flint, in which case, all bets are off). It’s highly regulated, and anyone who tells you otherwise is probably using fear tactics to try and sell you something. Namely, a $5000 water ionizer that does absolutely nothing. Evil.
Oh, did I mention that Kangen is an MLM company? Shocking!
In short? If you want filtered water, Kangen water machines can do that for you. But the health claims made by both Kangen and its users about acid and alkaline water are false.
The use of fear tactics to sell a product is never okay, and the spreading of untruths about physiology and ‘research’ isn’t either.
You don’t need to drink alkaline water for anything at all.