November 27, 2023
In recent years, hydrogen-infused water has emerged as a surprisingly accessible game-changer in the realm of health and performance. Scientific studies are shedding light on the myriad benefits associated with this enhanced modality of hydration. Here we highlight five reasons why incorporating hydrogen-infused water into your daily hydration routine could lead to significant improvements in your well-being and performance. But first, let's clarify what makes this type of water different.
Hydrogen water is simply pure water with extra molecular hydrogen molecules added to it. Originally hydrogen gas was studied as an effictive adjunct treatment modality for diseases such as cancer, then a Japanese company discovered and patented a technology solution in 2003 that allowed hydrogen molecules to be added to water in it's dissolved form. Research to date has found no significant side-effects with drinking this type of enriched water.
This is achieved through a process called water electrolysis, where hydrogen gas is bubbled into water, improving it's hydration proporties. Commercially available machines allow users to make hydrogen-infused water on demand, which work much-like using a jug kettle. Once infusion has taken place (approx. 10 minutes), it is consumed in the same way as regular water.
Hydrogen-infusion machines come in different types of sizes and varying cost, typically starting at around $50 USD for small portable versions. Pre-made hydrogen-infused water can be purchased from different vendors, but this works out much more expensive in the long run.
The human body constantly faces oxidative stress, which can lead to cell damage and aging. Hydrogen-infused water, rich in molecular hydrogen (H2), has demonstrated potent antioxidant properties. One particular study titled, 'Hydrogen-rich water reduces inflammatory responses and prevents apoptosis of peripheral blood cells in healthy adults: a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial', published in Nature Scientific Reports, found evidence for these benefits from drinking 1.5 liters per day over 4 weeks.
- A significant increase in biological antioxidant potential.
- A reduction in a marker for DNA damage due to oxidative stress (8-Oxo-2’-deoxyguanosine).
- A significantly lower percentage of peripheral blood mononuclear cells apoptosis (lower death rate of blood cells).
- A statistically significant increase in the number of CD14+ cells - a protein which assists the immune system in detecting pathogens and bacterial infections.
Similar research findings indicate that molecular hydrogen may help neutralize free radicals, reducing oxidative stress and promoting overall health.
For athletes and fitness enthusiasts, optimizing performance and reducing recovery time are paramount. Drinking hydrogen-infused water has been found to enhance exercise performance in several ways.
- By reducing lactate levels during intense physical exercise.
- By alleviating muscle fatigue following resistance training.
- Through positive effects on muscular capabilities.
- Through increased energy and endurance levels.
Other research has found benefits for increasing both anaerobic and aerobic performance, with findings overall presenting a promising avenue for individuals seeking to elevate their physical capabilities.
Like normal water, a key advantage of molecular hydrogen is that it can naturally pass through the blood-brain barrier. Around 75% of the brain is composed from water, which plays a key part in it's maintenance. Research shows broad and robust perks for brain health from drinking hydrogen water, including these neuroprotective roles.
- Regulation of autophagy.
- Preservation of mitochondrial function.
As such, clinical researchers suggest it can provide a new potential therapeutic strategy for managing patients with neurodegenerative conditions in clinical settings. Long-term research is needed to investigate hydrogen-infused water can mitigate cognitive decline and support brain health over time.
Additional research has found psychological advantages, including improvements in mood, anxiety and quality of life, as well as gains in performance on neuropsychological assessments.
Chronic inflammation is linked to numerous health issues, from cardiovascular diseases to autoimmune disorders. As well as reducing levels of chronic inflammation, research has found a reduction in pain levels associated with inflammation.
Other research found a significantly lower expression levels of several types of cytokines associated with inflammation. By addressing inflammation at its source, this beverage could contribute to a healthier, more resilient body.
Poor metabolic health is associated with increased risk factors like obesity, insulin resistance and hypertension. Preliminary studies indicate that hydrogen-infused water may positively influence metabolic markers, with one study showing that drinking hydrogen rich water represents a potentially novel therapeutic and preventive strategy for metabolic syndrome, improving antioxidant enzymes, good and bad cholesterol levels, and acid reactivity.
Specifically it's stimulation of metabolic energy has been found in clinical research to improve outcomes with obesity and diabetes. While more research is needed, early findings suggest that incorporating hydrogen-infused water into a balanced lifestyle may offer metabolic support, potentially aiding in weight management.
As scientific exploration of hydrogen-infused water continues, the evidence supporting its health and performance benefits is becoming increasingly compelling. From antioxidant power to cognitive benefits and anti-inflammatory properties, hydrogen-infused water could be a promising addition to a holistic approach to health and well-being.
Alongside the wide spectrum of health and performance benefits are the negligible risks of side effects, ease of access and consumption, and the low costs of making hydrogen from the comfort of your own home.
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