It has been drummed into our ears on how beneficial water is for our overall health, which is true. And now Kangen water? Is Kangen Water safe to drink too? Is it safe for people with diabetes and high blood pressure?
We are about to find out answers to those questions.
My sister, Stef, is obsessed with Kangen water. She uses it to wash her face, drinks it, cooks with it. She has been listing the numerous health benefits. That I wondered if this water is just over-hyped or was there any truth in it? So, I had to do my research and then buy and explore it myself too.
What is Kangen Water? What are the benefits of it? Is it safe for diabetics? Is it a scam? In this article, you will get to see the answers to these questions and a lot more.
What is Kangen Water?
It is a brand of alkaline water made by the company, Enagic. The name “Kangen” is a Japanese word that translates to “return to origin”. It is water that is alkaline, free from impurities, safe, and has a negative oxidation-reduction potential (ORP).
ORP means the ability of a substance or liquid to play the role of an anti-oxidant or pro-oxidant.
This alkaline water is produced by filtering normal tap water using the company’s innovative alkaline ionizer and water filtration machine.
This machine filters or demarcates tap water into different PH – from alkaline to acidic. The 5 classes of water filtered out by the machine are as follows:
● Strong Kangen water
With a PH of 11. It is not for drinking but cleaning and other purposes. That is because it has a dissolving effect.
● Kangen water™.
PH 8.5 – 9.5. This is safe for drinking and can be used for other purposes.
● Clean water.
● Beauty water
PH 4.0 – 6.0
● Strong acidic water
The whole process involves a process called electrolysis. I am sure even with a basic knowledge of chemistry, you remember that water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen. This means that in the case of producing Kangen water, oxygen is removed.
This process produces the trendy Kangen water, whose PH level is high (8.5 – 9.5).
However, do you notice that apart from Kangen water, alkaline water was also mentioned in the section above, are the two the same?
Differences between Kangen Water and Alkaline Water
There is no much difference between Kangen water and the other types of alkaline water sold in the market.
Both water types are ionized and purified to provide that rich and healthy drink. The only slight difference lies in the type of machine making it and the PH range.
For Kangen water, we mentioned earlier than the Kangen machine used to produce this water is from a corporation called Enagic, and this machine is expensive. It filters tap water into different classes, with Kangen water being one of them. While for other brands of alkaline water, a different type of ionizing machine is used.
Another difference is that Kangen water has a PH between 8.5 to 9.5. While alkaline water from other brands may have a PH between that same range or higher.
You should also note that there are two types of Kangen water. They are Strong Kangen Water and Kangen Water™.
Refer to the section above, where I explained the Enagic Machines product range.
Common Users of Kangen Water
Kangen water is a top product that is used by celebrities, influential people, and everyday people. People who are drinking it have good testimonies and swears by the amazing health effects in their bodies.
Powerful and people like:
- The Obamas
- Jennifer Lopez
- Tom cruise
- Bill gates
- Donald Trump
- Jimmy Carter
- Angelina Jolie
- Oprah Winfrey
- Tiger Woods
- Tom Brady etc. all seem to drink Kangen water regularly.
So, what properties of Kangen water make it so special?
Properties of Kangen Water
- It is ionized
Ionization is a process whereby a substance becomes positively or negatively charged either by gaining or losing electrons. In the case of Kangen water, it is negatively charged.
- It is an antioxidant
An anti-oxidant is a chemical compound that stops oxidation. By oxidation, we mean a process or reaction that produces free radicals. These free radicals are capable of forming a chain reaction that can damage our cells.
It is the cluster or coming together of very small molecules, which in this case is water molecules.
Alkaline water molecules are way smaller than normal water. This causes alkaline water to taste better and also enhance hydration (meaning that your body takes up water without feeling bloated).
With these properties in mind, what are the acclaimed benefits of Kangen water? Let’s find out.
Tip: Here are the best protein-based drinks, especially for those with diabetes.
Health Benefits Claims of Kangen Water
There is insufficient research backing up the claim that Kangen water is beneficial to our health or that it has the power to restore our body to an ‘alkaline state’.
Despite that, here are some of the possible health claims which supporters of Kangen water swear by:
- Skin health
Kangen water hydrates and detoxify the skin, which leads to clearer skin and possible acne reduction.
- It has an anti-aging effect
Since this Kangen water has antioxidant properties, what it does is that it absorbs free radicals floating in our body which causes illnesses or diseases.
Think, for instance, you kept a half-eaten banana overnight, the next day you will see that it has turned brown meaning that it is ‘aging’. It is the free radicals that cause this. Similarly, people argue the antioxidant properties of Kangen water reduce aging.
- It encourages water drinkability
Kangen water has a great taste that increases the quantity of water intake.
- It prevents cancer
- It boosts the immune system
What Does The Research Say About Kangen Water or Alkaline Water?
There are conflicting answers to whether Kangen water or alkaline water benefits the body healthwise as supporters and the creators of them claimed.
Some say that there is no concrete scientific evidence backing those claims up. While others opined that Kangen Water may be helpful for some disease condition
We will look at the little research on alkaline water and its benefits in the body.
In one study, 100 people healthy adults (50 males, 50 females) between the age of 25 to 37 years were asked to exercise to induce mild dehydration. Some of the participants were given alkaline water, and the others were given normal purified water. It was found that alkaline water reduced blood viscosity by an average of 6.30% compared to 3.36% of normal purified water. What this means is that blood flowed more smoothly when they drank alkaline water.
In another study, the results showed that drinking alkaline water lowered blood pressure, blood lipids, and blood glucose/sugar to normal levels. So, it may be beneficial for people suffering from the disease such as: diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension.
A 2012 research tested the effect of drinking water for people with acid reflux. They found out that drinking alkaline water may have deactivated the enzyme, pepsin, responsible for acid reflux.
These research finds are few to confidently confirm that Kangen water has health benefits. It also needs to answer directly whether there is some truth in those health claims.
Tip: Control your salt intake, regardless it’s a healthy salt (e.g. Chinen salt) or an alkaline salt (e.g. Dead Sea salt).
However, if you want filtered water, Kangen water can serve that purpose. But the health claims promoted by the company and their supporters are not sufficiently backed up by research, as of today, in our view.
How Does Kangen Water Taste Like?
Kangen water tastes smoother and better than the standard water. That may be because of what is called micro clustering, which we learned earlier. The shape of the Kangen water molecule is smaller and hexagonal; hence, it will taste smoother.
Another reason, tap water which contains chlorine, and sometimes its odor will be removed when passed through the process of filtration in the Kangen machine. This removes the odor, specific odor from chlorine, that’s also why it will taste different.
Can Kangen Water Be Boiled?
Yes, Kangen water can be boiled. Though, one thing you should be aware of is that when Kangen water or any type of alkaline water is boiled, its alkalinity is reduced.
However, here is a small hack. When boiling Kangen water for use, either for tea, when cooking, etc. it is advised to use Strong Kangen Water, or when you are asked by the Kangen machine what level, you can choose level 4.
Tip: Here are the best coffee creamers to diabetics.
This is because this Kangen water is designed for boiling since they have high alkaline levels of 10 or 11. This means that even if the alkaline level is reduced, it won’t be that much. That is since the normal Kangen, or alkaline water has a PH of 8.5 to 9.5.
You can also microwave it. It is not different from boiling water in a kettle or pan. Just remember the key is to choose Strong Kangen Water or level 4 Kangen water like I mentioned earlier.
How Much Kangen Water Should I Drink in a Day?
Usually, it is advised to drink a minimal of 8 glasses of normal water a day, which is up to 2 to 3 liters of water. You should do the same for Kangen water only that you need to start gradually.
How do you do that? Start with drinking 3-4 glasses of Kangen water a day whether you are a regular water drinker or not. As your body adjusts to Kangen water, you can increase the glasses of water every day until you are drinking at least 8 glasses of Kangen water.
Also, start with drinking Kangen water of 8.5 PH then graduate to drinking a higher level of PH, say, 9.5, etc.
How Long Would Kangen Water Last?
Kangen water may last 4-5 days or 12-54 hours depending on the material used to store it and the strength of the machine producing it. However, the Stronger Kangen Water may last 1-2 weeks.
How To Store Kangen Water?
When storing Kangen Water, choose containers that are dark and fill the container to the brim, so that air won’t enter.
Also, make sure the environment you are storing it is cool for, e.g. refrigerator.
Is Kangen Water Safe To Drink?
Kangen water is safe to drink, it does not lead to any serious health problem. The only problem health professionals have with it, is because of the innumerable health claims the company and their enthusiasts are ‘claiming’ as a part of their promotion strategy.
As mentioned earlier, the only thing you should not do is to switch immediately to drinking Kangen water when all you were drinking before was normal water. Start gradually. Switching immediately may change the normal PH balance of the body and can lead to mild side effects like muscle aches, tiredness, headaches, etc.
Kangen Water Side Effects
Kangen water is generally considered safe to drink, but possible problems may arise and may be due to drinking Kangen water that is too alkaline or of a very high PH.
Here are the possible side effects:
- Weight loss
- May lower stomach acidity which may lead to decreased digestion.
- Skin irritations
- Metabolic alkalosis, which shows symptoms like the twitching of the muscle, vomiting, nausea, etc.
When You Should Not Drink Kangen Water
- You should not drink Kangen water at least 30 minutes before a meal or even between 1-2 hours after a meal. That is because it may lower the acidic environment of your stomach, which is needed for digestion.
- You should not drink water with medication, 30 mins before and within 2 hours of taking your medicine. This is because the Kangen water is smaller and can be taken up by cells faster, interfering with the mode of absorption of your medication.
- Do not drink alkaline water if you have gastric achlorhydria. People with this disease condition have little or no hydrochloric acid (HCL) secretion (in the stomach), which is needed to keep the stomach acidic for digestion and killing bacteria. They have a high PH level; therefore, they shouldn’t drink Kangen Water.
Now, let’s look at how Kangen water affects people with diabetes. Perhaps, it’s best to cover some diabetes background, so you understand the Kangen’s effects better.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious disease condition that is becoming more and more pandemic now. It is a condition that is characterized by high sugar (i.e. glucose) in the blood.
Insulin is a hormone that lowers blood sugar level, and if it is not produced enough or if it is insufficiently used, that leads to diabetes.
This disease, as it advances leads to serious complications like heart disease, high blood pressure, foot ulcers, stroke, etc. That is why a lot of studies are currently on the works to find a cure for this disease.
However, while scientists are at it, there are several interventions, therapeutic products, etc. to help diabetics manage their condition better.
There are two main types of diabetes which are well-known as type I and type II diabetes. With other types like gestational diabetes found in pregnant women that may or may not disappear after giving birth.
Type I diabetes is the type of diabetes that occurs when our immune system attacks the cells (beta cells) in the pancreas that produces insulin, as a result, no insulin is produced.
Type II diabetes is the type of diabetes that occurs later in life, and it is often a result of insufficient use of insulin or that the body resists insulin produced.
Now, let’s turn on to effects of Kangen water on diabetics.
Is Kangen Water Safer for Diabetics?
How then do drinking alkaline water and diabetes connected? The type of diabetes that we will be referring to here is diabetes type II. As explained before, when there is a high level of sugar in the blood, it means that Insulin is not working, which leads to diabetes.
Kangen water enthusiasts explain it this way:
‘Acids in the bloodstream, which can be from junks or starchy foods, cause diabetes through inactivating insulin. By that, I mean that Insulin will fail to do its job due to the acidic environment; hence; diabetes will be the result.’
‘Alkaline water has been said to control sugar levels through lowering acid levels in the blood so that Insulin can start doing its work.’
So, according to them, alkaline water does benefit diabetics, and it is safe for them.
One thing that you should note is that there is not enough research to back up these claims. So far, there has been no report on any complication by diabetics drinking Kangen water though.
Now, let’s look at how Kangen water affects people with high blood pressure.
Is Kangen Water Safe If You Have High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is when the pressure or force of blood in your blood vessels is high.
Kangen or alkaline water lowers blood pressure in two ways:
- Through hydration
We learned earlier that micro clustering of alkaline water enhances hydration. This means that our body takes up and retains more alkaline water which can help lower blood viscosity (thick blood) and hence lowered blood pressure.
- Through mineral supplements
Our body usually takes in or absorbs minerals from water at an increased rate than they do from the food and supplement. Some minerals that help stabilize or lower blood pressure are usually deficient in people with high blood pressure. Fortunately, Kangen water is mineral-enriched; hence, it can be beneficial and even safe for people with high blood pressure.
Again, more research needs to be done to validate this, though.
Why Do People Think the Kangen Water Trend is a Scam?
This is because of the many health claims spouted by the company and their supporters alike. Most of these health claims, while it has not been scientifically proven to be wrong, has also not be backed up or validated by enough or reliable research. Therefore, it is misleading to say a product can do something that has not to be proven or backed up by enough research. That is what the company producing Kangen water is doing at the moment, in our view.
What are Kangen Water Myths?
There are many myths and untruths surrounding Kangen water. We are going to deal with them one by one below.
1. Kangen machine is expensive because it is superior and better than other brands.
This is not true because there are other brands of water ionizers that are cheaper and they do the same thing as a Kangen water machine. Sometimes, possibly even better. That does not mean that the Kangen machine is not good. It’s just that it is overhyped. If you have money for a Kangen machine, buy it. If not, you can always buy another type of water ionizer at a cheaper rate.
2. Kangen water is more alkaline and ionized than other alkaline water brands.
Again this is not true. Two criteria are used to measure the effectiveness of alkaline water: (a) PH level (b) negative ORP (ionization).
The PH level and strength of the ionization of Kangen water are good. However, when they are hyped as better, then it is wrong, because some other brands even have higher ORP than Kangen water.
3. That Kangen machine and water is specifically approved by the Japanese Ministry of Health.
Japanese Ministry of Health agreed that alkaline water may have health benefits. They also said that water ionizers are medical devices. However, they haven’t specifically approved or said that Kangen machine or water is better than other brands.
4. Lowers our body’s acidity and makes it more alkaline.
First of all, our body has varying PH in different areas, and this is for a reason.
For instance, our stomach is acidic because it needs to be that way to be able to chemically break down the food we eat. While our blood and intestine are neutral (7.4) and alkaline, respectively. Therefore, our body can never have a uniform PH and even at that the body has systems that regulate our PH level.
Today, more and more people are dropping beverages for healthier alternatives like water, as they become intentional about their health. This has resulted in a rise in the sale and production of Kangen water and other healthy beverages.
The company and its supporters are promising all kinds of health benefits for just drinking Kangen water. Whether or not those claims are true is yet to be backed up by research.
Kangen Water is safe enough to use, but if you have a serious medical condition, please do well to consult your doctor first.