blk Water Review: Superfood or Wellness Scam?

blk Water Review: Superfood or Wellness Scam?


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blk Water is a unique bottled water brand. The water is colored black, is alkaline, and the brand claims that “fulvic trace minerals” give it its distinct color and health benefits.

But what are fulvic trace minerals and are they actually healthy, or is this just a marketing claim? Is alkaline water better for you than regular water? Is blk Water worth the money? And how do real users rate it and describe its taste?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we review the claims made by blk in light of medical research to give our take on whether the brand is healthier than regular water or if it’s a waste of money. 

We’ll analyze the ingredients in blk Water and share real, unsponsored user reviews of the product.

Is Fulvic Acid Really Healthy or Necessary?

blk Water fulvic acid health claim

Most of the marketing of blk Water centers on its active ingredient fulvic acid which turns the liquid black.

Fulvic acid is a compound found in soil that can be isolated and taken as a dietary supplement. There is some medical research suggesting health benefits from consumption of fulvic acid.

A medical review published in the Journal of Diabetes Research found that fulvic acid can improve gastrointestinal health and reduce inflammation throughout the body.

A 2011 clinical trial found that fulvic acid may improve cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

There is not much research on fulvic acid, but the early research does seem promising. Our main issue with blk Water is that the dose of fulvic acid does not appear to be published anywhere on their site or bottle. At least, we cannot find it.

Without knowing the dose of fulvic acid, it’s hard to say whether the water is healthy or safe.

A 2020 medical review concluded that fulvic acid was safe for use in humans at daily doses up to 1.8 grams (g).

In our opinion, this compound is likely safe and the amount in blk Water is likely less than 1.8 grams, but it’s confusing to us that the brand seems to not publish dosage information for what is the main active ingredient in their drink.

Our Confusion Over blk Water’s Nutrition Facts Label

blk Water’s label describes the product as “a blend of fulvic trace minerals, hydration & electrolytes.”

blk Water Nutrition Facts label

However the Nutrition Facts label, shown above, does not list any electrolytes. Sodium, which is an electrolyte, is listed at a 0% Daily Value (DV) dose, and there are no other electrolytes like magnesium or calcium listed on the label.

And if the mineral content of blk Water is so trace that it doesn’t even meet the 1% DV that would be listed on a Nutrition Facts label, then what is the purpose? Taking extremely small doses of minerals via an expensive bottled water does not seem like a logical way to get adequate minerals compared to just getting them from foods.

We find this brand overall to be highly confusing. blk Water makes bold health claims about the fulvic acid and trace minerals in their water, but fails to publish a dose of the fulvic acid or any information about the quantity of minerals in the water (because the Nutrition Facts label says none).

We Tried blk Water – Our Take

blk Water UGC

As the author of this article, I wanted to try blk Water myself to share my thoughts on its taste and effects.

The taste and appearance of this product are certainly unique. I've never consumed water that was pitch black before in my life.

I will say that the taste grew on me while I continued to drink the bottle, and the best way I can describe the taste is pure water with a hint of mineral-rich ash. It really tasted like water mixed with a small amount of volcanic ash, probably due to the fulvic acid.

I didn't notice any particular effects compared to drinking regular water, but I'd imagine you'd need to drink this water exclusively over the course of weeks to give it a chance to produce noticeable effects.

Overall, I would not purchase this product again and would rate it a 5/10.

However, the brand recently announced that their products are available in cans, and I would consider purchasing a can of blk if I saw it at a local retail store.

I don't personally think any potential health benefits from the fulvic acid and trace minerals outweigh any potential health downsides from consuming water out of single-use plastic (especially for men), and I do not purchase single-use plastic bottles.

Our Take – Is blk Water Healthy?

blk Water may be somewhat healthier than regular water but it’s too early to say so conclusively in our opinion.

It is notable that this water is alkaline, which may confer health benefits because alkaline water consumption was shown in a clinical trial published in the Medical Gas Research journal to improve gut health and increase sleep quality.

The combination of alkaline water and fulvic acid do offer some potential health benefits, but in our opinion any potential benefit is offset by the fact that the water is sold in single-use plastic bottles.

We know from an extensive meta-study published in 2022 that microplastic contamination is greater in bottled water than tap water, and microplastic ingestion is a toxicity risk for humans as described in the above-linked study. 

Buying bottled water in single-use plastic not only exposes consumers to potentially higher microplastic ingestion, but also furthers the problem, because when the bottles are disposed they contaminate natural ecosystems.

blk sells a Mineral Drops product on Amazon which contains the fulvic acid and alkaline water but is packaged in glass. This is the blk product we would recommend to consumers who are interested in the brand rather than the water.

Interested consumers can check out blk Mineral Drops at this link to its official Amazon listing.

Real, Unsponsored blk Water User Reviews

BuzzFeed published a video with over 1 million views where some of their employees tried blk Water and shared their honest feedback.

The video is only 2 minutes long and pretty entertaining:

Where to Buy blk for the Best Price

blk Water is sold at a variety of online retailers. Below is a price breakdown for a 12-pack of blk Water at the time of updating this article.

Walmart: $44.99 (link)

Amazon: $42.22 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Brand website: $35.99 (free shipping, link)

blk Water is currently at least 15% cheaper on the brand's official website than at third-party retailers.

Why We Recommend Filtered Water

In our opinion, drinking filtered water is both healthier and more environmentally friendly than drinking any type of plastic bottled water (even alkaline).

An extensive medical review published in the Science of the Total Environment journal documented how many different toxic compounds exist in tap water, from bisphenol A (BPA) to perfluorooctanoic acids (PFOAs) to even residual drug ingredients like ibuprofen.

When buying a bottled alkaline water product, there is no way to determine what the contaminant level of the water is. Only by filtering water can you ensure a significant reduction in contaminants.

The Brita Soho (Amazon link here for those interested), is proven in studies conducted by ConsumerLab (an independent research firm) to significantly reduce heavy metal levels and entirely eliminate microplastics from drinking water.

For consumers with a higher discretionary income, we recommend Aquasana's Rhino Whole-House Water Filter as a comprehensive solution that can filter all sources of water in the house. When you install a whole-house filter, it filters water in all taps and all showers throughout the house, so it's the most thorough way to ensure a reduction in contaminants and to ensure purity of drinking and bathing water.

Real Customer Reviews of blk Water

Amazon is a more objective resource for customer reviews than a brand’s website in our opinion. blk Water has been reviewed over 4,000 times on Amazon, with an average review rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars. 

The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named “Ashante Oliver” who likes the taste:

“It is what is says - black water. It tastes and smell like water. I will say when opening it, it has bubbles which can be iffy but its probably just from being shaken during transport. It has a off black color, like a coke that was flat. It tasted like good water, not like Dasani with the metallic taste.”

The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named “Nuk20” who claims it tastes like dirt and stains:

“My family does NOT like this water. My kids have muscle issues and need to stay hydrated which is why I bought this water. It does NOT taste fresh and crisp and pure. It does however taste like the dirt the minerals came from. Tried to give it away but no one could get past a sip .. that is if they were able to get paste the color... which does stain BTW. It is black and will turn anything it is poured on or in black as well.”

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

blk Water is a unique product. On one hand, it’s a good thing that the brand sells water without any unhealthy additives like flavoring agents or sweeteners. blk Water is alkaline and contains fulvic acid, both of which may provide health benefits, but in our opinion it’s too early to conclusively say so.

We do not currently recommend blk Water because we believe that filtered tap water is the most cost-effective and healthy way to consume water. It’s the only way to ensure a reduction or elimination of microplastics (which are higher in bottled water than unfiltered tap) and to ensure a reduction in contaminants like heavy metals.

For consumers intent on purchasing a blk product, we recommend the mineral drops as they’re packaged in glass, so you get the potential health benefits of the alkalinity and fulvic acid without the potential health downsides of the plasticizing chemicals.

We hope that in the future blk publishes the dose of fulvic acid in each bottle of blk Water and explains the discrepancy between their health claims about minerals and electrolytes and the Nutrition Facts label on their website showing none of either.