If you’re interested in experimenting with ionized water, you may be confused by the terms people use to describe water of different ph levels. The terms alkaline water, Kangan water, and ionized water are often used interchangeably, but what do these terms actually mean?

In this article, we’ll answer a few of the most common questions regarding alkaline water. For instance, are alkaline water and ionized water the same thing? How can you make your own alkaline water? And, are you missing out on the benefits of ionized water?

What is Alkaline Water or Ionized Alkaline Water?

making alkaline water through electrolysis

Quite simply, ionized water is water with an altered pH.

The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is. A pH of 7, which is the pH of pure water, is neutral. Acidic substances have a pH lower than 7, with 0 being the most acidic. A pH of more than 7 shows that the substance is alkaline. Although pure water has a pH of 7, tap water is often on the slightly acidic side with a lower ph level. Alkaline water, on the other hand, usually has a pH of 8 or 9. 

Ionized water is the final product after plain water has been put through an ionizer. An ionizer is a machine that passes an electric current through the water to change the pH. It does this by splitting the acidic molecules away from the basic (or alkaline) molecules in the water.  

What’s the difference between alkaline and ionized water?

Because the difference between these two types of water lies in the method of making them, they are in most cases interchangeable. Alkaline water and ionized water are much more similar than they are different. Both kinds of water have a higher pH than normal, making them basic waters.

Alkaline water can be store-bought or made at home by adding basic minerals such as baking soda, magnesium drops, and so on. Ionized water, on the other hand, is made through a unique process in an ionizer machine.  This process is called electrolysis and it involves passing an electric current through the water to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. This leaves the acidic water on one side of the ionizer, and the alkaline water on the other. Commercially bought alkaline water that is ionized through this electrolysis process will say “Ionized Alkaline Water” on the label.

What is Kangan Water?

You may have also heard of Kangan water. Kangan water is one of the most popular variations of ionized water. It is ionized water made from a specific set of machines created by the company Enagic. These machines produce five kinds of Kangan water, two of which are made for drinking - the Kangan Water with a pH of 8.5-9.5, and Clean Water with a pH of 7.

Are ionized Alkaline water and Kangan water the same?

There is no tangible difference between Kangan water and ionized alkaline water except that Kangan water is branded, produced by the Enagic machine. For all intent and purpose, unbranded alkaline water and Kangan water work and act in the same way.

What are the benefits of ionized water?

Doctor with a stethoscope
Photographer: Online Marketing | Source: Unsplash

The benefits of ionized alkaline water and alkaline water are yet to be proven. However,  there are many claims that ionized alkaline water is good for skin health, acid reflux, and even reducing the risk of cancer. These claims are often supported by a lot of anecdotal evidence. Here are some of the most common benefits that fans of alkaline water swear by:

  • Anti-aging
  • Colon-cleansing
  • Immune system support
  • Weight loss
  • Detoxification
  • Cancer prevention

Looking at this impressive list, you may be thinking that alkaline water is nothing short of miraculous. However, some studies have begun to show that these purported benefits might not all be true.

If you look at the science, high alkaline levels can actually dry out the skin, which will render the anti-aging properties of alkaline and ionized alkaline water useless. 

Although alkaline water is said to be free of the contaminants that are most often found in tap water and bottled water, there is not enough scientific evidence on that either. A cheaper, and effective option for contaminant removal will probably be to install a water filter faucet or under sink filter.

The benefits of ionized alkaline water or alkaline water for athletes 

While some of the benefits of alkaline water listed above might not be factual, there are some other benefits of the beverage specifically for athletes. Many athletes are turning to alkaline water for its high sodium content.

Baking soda is salty so it is can be an additive to water or other drinks especially for athletes, as it replenishes the salt lost in sweat. Drinking slightly salted water can be a means of staying hydrated for longer as the kidneys will excrete excess water immediately, but the sodium slows down the process.

Salty water or water with baking soda can increase endurance as it wards off the production of lactic acid, which the body produces when doing a high-intensity workout. So for athletes or people who are very active, alkaline water might be worth a try to replenish salt lost through sweat.

How to make ionized water at home

make alkaline water at home

If you want to make ionized alkaline water, then you need to invest in an ionizer. This can also be useful if you would like to use the acidic waste water for cleaning, or as a toner for your face. 

Alternatively, you can make your own alkaline water by adding baking soda, lemon juice, or pH drops. Although not ionized, this still produces alkaline water with a high pH.

The Best Alkaline Water Brands

If you don’t want to spend the time making your own ionized water at home, but you still want to try it, why not try a few of these excellent brands.

Essentia Alkaline Water - This comes in a pack of 24 and is popular with many well-known celebrities. This brand produces water with a high pH of 9.5. It contains chlorine and fluoride which contributes to its sharp, fresh taste.

Flow Alkaline Spring Water - This brand produces alkaline water sold in recyclable cardboard containers, so you won’t have to worry about your carbon footprint. Their water is around 8.1 pH and comes in a range of refreshing flavors such as cucumber and mint, and lemon and ginger.

AQUAhydrate Electrolyte Enhanced Alkaline Water - This brand is targeted mainly at athletes and active people. It was founded by Mark Wahlberg and Sean Combs (P. Diddy) as an electrolyte-enhanced beverage to rehydrate the body after a heavy workout. The pH of this water is over 9.

Icelandic Glacial Natural Spring Water - This water has a pH of 8.4 and is known for its wonderful clean, crisp flavor. All their water is sourced from the clean Olfus Spring in Iceland, which produces water with a naturally alkaline pH level.

Should you be ionizing your water?

There is no real reason why you should not be ionizing water, but there isn’t much of a reason to do so either. That said, ionized water won’t hurt to drink, and the trend is encouraging people to keep hydrated. But, ionizers and alkaline water are both expensive and with little definitive proof of the benefits of ionized water, this appears to be another health fad with minimal real benefits.

Alkaline Water FAQs

What are some other uses of ionized water?

Ionized water can be used in a few other great ways, especially for washing and soaking fruits and vegetables and cleaning greasy kitchen surfaces.

Do water ionizers really work?

While some brands work better than others, yes, ionizers are an effective way to increase your water’s pH levels.

Can you drink alkaline water every day?

Yes, alkaline water has no harmful properties, especially if it’s been properly filtered.