Kangen Water Review: Is Alkalized, Ionic Water Better For You?
This Kangen water review is an opinion piece.
I first published this post several years ago, and immediately got a flood of evil, angry messages from Kangen salespeople. Most of them wanted to tell me how wrong I was, and that their uncle/mother/neighbor/whoever cured their cancer/can now walk/healed their autoimmune disease with Kangen water from their Kangen water machine.
People in my comments have said that Kangen water has prevented them from getting the flu for 10 years, and has cured their friend of AIDS and cancer.
A lot of them sound like this:
Have u ever tested the water??
Gave u ever drunk the water ?
How dare you give your opinion about something that u have not even tried
Do u know how many people are drinking the water and the water helped them to heal themselves from cancer even and many other illnesses
This is a medical device and approved by over 7000 doctors
So. Test the water before u waste your time to write no true articles
That’s all fine, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
But what everyone is NOT entitled to, is their own science. And in my opinion, Kangen water salespeople and users have really lost sight of that fact.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
What is Kangen Water?
Kangen water machines are produced by a company called Enagic. These machines change the pH of water by running it across metal plates in a process called ‘electrolysis.’ The company can then say that their water is ‘ionized’ and ‘alkaline.’
The machines are very expensive – like thousands of dollars. But for what?
Proponents of Kangen water believe that it hydrates our bodies better than normal water, and can improve health, detoxify, and keep us younger for longer. They say it can make our hair thicker and help us sleep better.
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 Kangen water in doing everything people claim it does: 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 water machines produce 5 different ‘types’ of water, aka pH options:
Strong Kangen water
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
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.”
Is Kangen water healthy?
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 garbage. But unfortunately for them, much of the Kangen water machine 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. A lot of Kangen salespeople have sent me the same couple of Japanese studies about ionized water. So yeah, I’ve seen those, and if you’re a Kangen rep reading this, those studies aren’t convincing. So no, I don’t need to read them again.
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 heck better be able to produce said research upon request. And it better be solid.
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!
Do we 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 crazy 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, we’d all be dead by now. Turns out, we’re all very much alive, no thanks to the alkaline diet and Kangen water. Having an unbalanced body pH is NOT causing all sorts of horrible diseases, because nobody is walking around just living their life in that situation. They’re in the hospital being treated…and not with ionized water.
The important points of acid-base balance are simple, and there’s no excuse to ignore this very basic physiology just to make a buck.
There is also no science behind the claim that alkaline water is better absorbed and that it hydrates better than ordinary water, and does this ‘on a cellular level.’
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 huge red flag. Everything we consume affects us ‘on a cellular level.’ That’s just the way our bodies work.
The only time I have ever heard that phrase being used is to sell something useless, like other nutrition MLM products. So. it’s not surprising that it’s used to sell Kangen water ionizers.
Can Acidic Water Disinfect or Sanitize Surfaces?
Another misleading claim that Enagic makes is that Kangen ‘acidic’ water can disinfect and sanitize surfaces.
This is not only impossible, it’s also really 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. That doesn’t even make sense.
Kangen users post all sorts of crazy fear-mongering trash 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.
It’s 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. No food or beverage does. If they did, cancer wouldn’t exist.
There’s nothing about Kangen water that’s going to help your hair, your sleep, your disease risk, your skin, or anything else, more than regular water.
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….like a $5000 Kangen water ionizer that does absolutely nothing. Evil.
Oh, did I mention that Kangen is an MLM company? Shocking!
Funny enough, I found a Kangen water sales page that claimed that people online are putting up fake bad reviews for Kangen water machines, and that a lot of these people are biased. I’m assuming that they’re talking about people like me, which doesn’t surprise me in the least – I’ve never met a more biased group of people, stuck in their own little cognitive dissonance echo chamber, than Kangen people.
Of course they’re going to accuse everyone else of being biased. Can I say it again for those of you in the back?
YOU CAN HAVE YOUR OWN OPINION, BUT YOU CAN’T HAVE YOUR OWN SCIENCE.
My Final Kangen Water Review
In short? If you want filtered water, Kangen water machines can do that for you. But you can get cheaper water filters.
The health claims made by both Enagic and its users about acid and alkaline water are false, and research on the benefits of ionized water are sorely lacking.
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.
Hard pass on Kangen.
Want more reviews? Check out this Juice Plus Diet Review!