Most haven’t heard of hydrogen water, but with the way, research is advancing and pro athletes are including it into their recovery routines, it won’t be long until you’re seeing it everywhere. The first question most have is “What exactly is hydrogen water? Doesn’t water already contain hydrogen?”
Simply put although tap water has hydrogen, that hydrogen is bound to the oxygen to make H2O and does not deliver any of the benefits molecular hydrogen has shown through research. With hydrogen water, hydrogen gas (H2) is dissolved into water. Clinical research has previously demonstrated that inhalation of hydrogen gas has therapeutic medical effects. Surprisingly, simply dissolving the gas in water and drinking it, known as hydrogen water, also provides many therapeutic effects as observed in the clinical studies. In fact, most clinical studies exploring molecular hydrogen’s therapeutic benefits have simply used hydrogen water, because it appears to often be more effective than inhalation, despite the far lower dose.
The next question becomes, why would you want to add hydrogen gas to your water? The answer is that research on this topic has exploded over the last 13 years, with 1500+ publications and close to 100 clinical trials demonstrating a therapeutic benefit of molecular hydrogen, with the most prominent results being when it’s dissolved in water.
So, what does hydrogen water do for you, and why are hundreds of professional athletes utilizing it for their recovery and health? Molecular hydrogen has shown the ability to help our cells adapt to stress by positively impacting how our cells communicate, driving towards something called homeostasis, a harmonious state where everything is functioning as it should. For athletes, this has led to improved performance, faster recovery, and improved health outcomes across 23 published clinical trials and case studies.
When you dive into how molecular hydrogen works for athletes, things get interesting. First, preclinical research has shown that molecular hydrogen first raises oxidative stress during exercising, maximizing the hormetic stress response, then quickly helps your antioxidant system to jump into overdrive once exercise completes leading to faster recovery. In a nutshell, it is spiking the beneficial exercise-induced stress we generate while exercising but leading to a faster recovery. When you consume molecular hydrogen you are maximizing the benefits of your workout but recovering quicker.
Hydrogen water has also shown to improve VO2 max, lower submaximal heart rate while maintaining VO2 max reduce lactic acid build-up, and protect against oxidative stress promoting proper redox. These benefits have led to meaningful results in exercise performance, particularly an anti-fatigue effect as well as a reduction in muscle soreness post-exercise.
Molecular hydrogen has also demonstrated to aid in soft tissue recovery, both when pitting hydrogen water baths against the standard therapy in RICE protocol in a clinical trial that recruited pro soccer players with grade 2 ankle tears and in another case study exploring the benefits of hydrogen water bathing. Hydrogen water has even shown the ability to improve alertness after sleep deprivation equivalently to caffeine but without the side effects, something that athletes who are constantly training, and traveling, desperately need.
Improving outcomes after sleep deprivation is not only relevant to athletes but the entire population
Dr. Ismail Laher, a professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia and a distinguished sleep disturbance expert said, “Sleep deprivation poses a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, obesity, diabetes, and a weakened immune system. Importantly, sleep disturbances also lead to cognitive impairments and risks of motor vehicle accidents. Many people who are sleep deprived reach for a caffeinated product to stay alert. While a few cups of coffee are safe for most people, it is important to consider issues of caffeine addiction/withdrawal and the variable metabolism of caffeine in different people. Energy drinks and energy shots are also of concern, especially for children, adolescents, and women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Alternatives to caffeine that are shown to provide the same degree of alertness are promising but should be thoroughly tested for safety and efficacy.”
Does hydrogen water have side effects? So far, the evidence suggests that hydrogen water is incredibly safe and well-tolerated.
Hydrogen water is a promising intervention that can provide great benefits to athletes, both in terms of performance and recovery. The questions become:
- Is all hydrogen water the same?
- Which hydrogen water technology are athletes most commonly using?
The answer to the first question is a resounding “no”. Hydrogen water products and technologies can vary in concentration by more than 100x! Imagine getting the only 1mg of caffeine, or 50mg of creatine in your supplement! Molecular hydrogen, like virtually every other molecule, has shown a dose-dependent response, with higher concentrations and dosages tending to show a much more prominent effect. It’s important to know your dosage, and it’s also important to ask questions such as: “is this technology clinical validated”, “is this product safe for athletes to use” and “is this product legal for sale in the USA.”
Regarding pro athletes, they tend to have management teams that vet products for them, considering all these questions, before the athletes incorporate them into their routine. Overwhelmingly, athletes have chosen to use Drink HRW’s hydrogen tablets, the brand and inventor who has been featured in Forbes and Forbes India, with dozens of pro athletes across numerous sports endorsing the brand and hundreds of others of pro athletes using the product unofficially.
In response to the question of why pursing clinical research is so important, Drink HRW CEO Alex Tarnavasaid this:
“There’s a lot of bad actors in the supplement industry, both those who set out to intentionally deceive and those who simply do not understand science, following the bad actors. For companies that conduct clinical research, overwhelmingly it is in a manner that doesn’t lead towards truth. Private research will be conducted with protocols that require the funders’ approval, which leads to skewed results, and contracts will dictate that results can only be published if a benefit is found. Say, for instance, a company runs a trial 10x before they find the result they want. Did that product actually work for the outcome? Or was it just a statistical anomaly? When I made the decision to enter this industry, I committed to searching for the truth, regardless of the outcome. I work with public research teams, and while I may email suggestions on strengthening the design to give a better study, I do not request contracts that give me final say on protocol and design. I also do not require contracts that forbid publishing results if they aren’t to my liking. The truth will come out eventually, and I believe it is my responsibility to seek the truth.”
Athletes and managers have chosen Drink HRW for several important reasons.
- Their tablets have third party testing confirming hydrogen levels, and they provide the highest dosage and concentration of hydrogen water on the market
- Drink HRW is the only hydrogen water brand that is Informed-Sport certified and tested for all banned substances
- Drink HRW tablets are the most clinically validated form of hydrogen therapy, with 6 published clinical trials, two published case studies, and 15 more clinical trials underway
- The tablet technology Drink HRW uses is the only hydrogen supplement technology that has been submitted to the FDA, earning New Dietary Ingredient status
Hydrogen water is emerging as one of the most promising and important interventions, not just for athletes, but for general health as well. Drink HRW is leading the way in clinical research to further understand how hydrogen waterworks, when it works, and who will benefit. Source matters, so choose your source wisely.