Although many diet and nutrition topics are controversial and hotly contested, one of the most universally-accepted health facts is that drinking water is extremely beneficial for your health. From plain water to lemon water and pineapple water, drinking water is important for maintaining your health and can provide numerous performance and health benefits.
But what about Kangen Water? What is Kangen Water? What are the benefits of Kangen Water? Is Kangen Water good for you?
Kangen water is a type of alkaline water, which is water with a higher pH than normal tap water.
In this article, we will discuss the potential benefits of Kangen water and alkaline water, if alkaline water is safe, and whether you should consider drinking alkaline water for your health.
More specifically, we will cover:
- What is Kangen Water?
- What Are the Benefits of Kangen Water?
- Does Alkaline Water Work?
- Is Drinking Kangen Water and Alkaline Water Safe?
Ready? Let’s jump in!
What is Kangen Water?
Kangen Water® is one of the most popular brands of alkaline water. Like other types of alkaline water, Kangen Water is formulated to be electrolytically-reduced, hydrogen-rich water that is supposed to help “restore your body to a more alkaline state.”
As a type of alkaline water, Kangen Water has an alkaline pH, which means that it is higher than 7.0.
Most tap water and bottled water has a pH of approximately 7.0, which is neutral.
The pH scale is a logarithmic scale that runs from 1.0 to 14.0, with lower numbers representing acids or “acidic” products and higher numbers representing bases or “alkalizing“ substances.A substance with a pH of 3.0, for instance, is a fairly strong acid, whereas a substance with a pH of 12.0 is a strong base. A pH of 7.0, which falls right in the middle of the pH scale, is a neutral substance.
Kangen Water has a pH of 8.5 to 9.5, which is higher (more alkaline) than regular drinking water or tap water.
What Are the Benefits of Kangen Water?
Kangen Water is said to have a lighter taste, no undesirable odor, and a more pleasant mouth feel compared to regular tap water.
These are all subjective Kangen Water benefits.
Ultimately, because Kangen Water is a type of alkaline water, the actual Kangen Water benefits are the same as the reported benefits of drinking alkaline water.
With that said, the actual health benefits of drinking alkaline water are somewhat controversial, and it isn’t clear if many of the reported benefits are simply touted perks used as marketing tactics for alkaline water products or actual evidence-based benefits attributable to the higher pH of alkaline water.
For example, the Kangen Water company reports that drinking alkaline water, such as their product, may help provide better hydration, improve energy and focus, neutralize the acid in the body to counteract the effects of eating acidic foods, cleanse the colon, boost the immune system, support weight loss, and even reduce the risk of certain cancers.
However, ultimately, the research supporting the health benefits of drinking alkaline water is relatively lacking.
Does Alkaline Water Work?
In order for alkaline water to truly have an alkalizing effect on the body, meaning that it can help reduce the pH of your blood from a more acidic state, the alkaline water must not only have a pH that is at least 8-9, but it must also contain alkaline minerals and have a negative oxidation-reduction potential, known as ORP.
An ORP value indicates the ability of the alkaline water to act as an antioxidant. The more negative the ORP number, the stronger the antioxidant properties of the alkaline water.
For example, green tea, which is known to have strong antioxidant effects on the body, has a negative ORP value. On the other hand, sodas and soft drinks, which are acidic in the body, have positive ORP values.
Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium seem to have an alkalizing effect in the body, so alkaline water should contain these natural minerals in order to actually have a pH-lowering effect in your body.
In theory, at least several of the potential purported health benefits of Kangen Water and other high-quality alkaline waters make sense.
It is conceivable that drinking enough of an alkaline substance would help decrease the overall pH and acidic state of the body.
Diets high in foods that have an acidic effect on the body, such as meats and other protein-rich foods, soft drinks, and other processed foods, have been linked to adverse health effects such as obesity and weight gain, blood sugar dysregulation, the risk of heart disease, and even the risk of certain cancers.
There is also concern that acidic foods may cause a decrease in bone mineral density and increase the risk of osteoporosis, but most scientific research does not really support this thought.
However, it’s unclear whether it’s possible to drink enough alkaline water to have an appreciable alkalizing or acid-neutralizing effect on acidic foods.
With that said, there is a small amount of evidence suggesting some health benefits of drinking alkaline water.
- Test tube studies have found that drinking naturally alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 may help deactivate pepsin. Pepsin is the primary enzyme responsible for acid reflux.
- Animal studies suggest that drinking alkaline water may help protect liver cells from further damage in those with fatty liver disease.
- A human study found that drinking alkaline water can improve stool quality and digestion compared to drinking regular tap water with a neutral pH.
Interestingly, subjects in the study also recorded sleeping more soundly and feeling more energized after drinking the alkaline electrolyzed water for four weeks.
- Finally, and perhaps most suggestive of possible impactful health benefits of drinking alkaline water, one study found that drinking alkaline water decreased blood viscosity compared with drinking regular neutral tap water after exercise.
Viscosity refers to the thickness of a liquid, so blood that has a reduced viscosity is thought to flow more easily through blood vessels, potentially improving blood flow and oxygen delivery.
This is potentially why manufacturers and proponents of alkaline water tout that drinking alkaline water can increase energy, improve cellular health, decrease cellular aging, and boost overall health.
Still, it’s important to note that much more research is needed to truly substantiate many of the claims made by Kangen Water and other alkaline water brands, such as the ability of alkaline water to aid weight loss, decrease the risk of certain cancers, and improve longevity.
Is Drinking Kangen Water and Alkaline Water Safe?
In general, it should be completely safe to enjoy Kangen Water or other types of alkaline water.
To date, there is no evidence to suggest that there are any negative side effects to drinking alkaline water. Even though it has a higher pH than regular tap water, your body is able to maintain homeostasis in terms of the normal physiological acid/base balance where necessary.
For example, the stomach has a naturally highly acidic environment with a low pH to help begin the digestion and degradation of proteins and other macronutrients that you consume. The stomach can produce more hydrochloric acid, as necessary, even if you are drinking a lot of alkaline water.
Therefore, you shouldn’t experience any negative side effects or digestive difficulties just because you switch to drinking Kangen Water or alkaline water instead of regular drinking water.
When buying alkaline water, it’s important to note that some bottled alkaline Water is naturally alkaline water, whereas other alkaline water products have been artificially alkalized using a chemical process called electrolysis.
Water that has a natural alkaline pH is formed when spring water passes over rocks and picks up alkaline minerals, which increases its alkaline level.
Artificially alkalized alkaline water that uses electrolysis employs an ionizer to increase the pH of regular water.
This alkaline water is thought to be not as healthy as natural alkaline water, as it may be particularly low in minerals, which have to be removed during the ionization process.
The good news is that according to the manufacturer, Kangen Water contains all natural minerals and is not artificially alkalized. Additionally, it has a negative ORP value.
Overall, there is a lack of evidence surrounding the many health claims of drinking alkaline water. However, there is also little to suggest that drinking alkaline water is dangerous or bad for your health.
Therefore, if you like drinking Kangen Water or want to try alkaline water, it should be safe to do so. With that said, if you have any chronic health conditions, it is a good idea to speak with your healthcare provider before switching all of your regular drinking water to alkaline water.
If you would like to check out the health benefits of drinking other types of water, please take a look at our nutrition guides about the benefits of drinking lemon water, pineapple water, and hot water: