As someone who is pretty health-conscious and somewhat in-the-loop on current events, I’m always interested in learning about the new health fads out there. I feel like I have a good pulse on trends considering I consistently watch the news (perhaps too much) and I’m VERY engaged on social media, given my job. And one of the more interesting fads I’ve started to notice is hydrogen water.
My blog originally started as a health and fitness blog and it’s a topic I’m still interested in. So I went down the rabbit hole (or should I say, down the well?) on hydrogen water to learn what all the hype is. Then, of course, I ordered some myself to see if it’s actually worth the hype. I’ll report back on that, but today I’m sharing what I learned.
Hydrogen water is a relatively new phenomenon (at least to me) that has incorporated the latest health and wellness trends. It is simply regular water + extra hydrogen, which some say increases its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The claim is that the hydrogen in the water can help neutralize harmful free radicals in your body.
You might be wondering, “Isn’t there already hydrogen in water?” Yes. So why add more? The idea is that the hydrogen already in your water is bound to oxygen. So those hydrogen molecules aren’t available for other interactions. But if you add more hydrogen gas to your water, those molecules are available to your body.
So, what exactly are those benefits?
As we all know, water is crucial for our health. And it is important to stay hydrated for a variety of reasons. Drinking regular or plain water has many benefits, like regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, keeping skin plump and smooth, and aiding in digestion. And I’ve shared why I love LMNT electrolytes for balancing my hydration (which requires more more than just water). But, some claim that adding hydrogen water molecules to water can make it even more beneficial than plain water and/or electrolyte drinks.
Hydrogen water is exactly what it sounds like — water that’s been infused with molecular hydrogen gas (H2). When you add molecular hydrogen to water, it supposedly increases its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, so there are some potential benefits for health.
Hydrogen water is touted for its ability to improve energy levels, slow down the aging process, and enhance muscle recovery following intense physical activity. Since I take pride in my skincare routine and I’m an distance runner, you can bet I was interested in learning more about these specific benefits of hydrogen water.
You can purchase hydrogen water pre-made in bottles or via dissolvable tablets at stores or online. I bought this pre-made bottled hydrogen water from Amazon and these dissolvable hydrogen tablets.) When you buy pre-bottled hydrogen water, the hydrogen gas is already added to the liquid. On the other hand, hydrogen water tablets are individual drops that you add to a cup or bottle of water to allow for the release of the gas into the beverage.
It sounds like they both produce the same benefits, so it just depends on your preference. The pre-infused water is a lower cost up front, but the tablets will be cheaper over time, although a bigger upfront investment. If I do like hydrogen water, I’d use the tablets since they take up less space and I prefer to carry my own water bottle.
The potential benefits of drinking hydrogen-enriched water are vast and pretty interesting. Studies suggest that frequent consumption of hydrogen water may reduce inflammation in organs such as your skin, joints, and muscles; aid in detoxification by neutralizing dangerous broken compounds known as free radicals within your body; promote improved brain function; protect against fatigue; aid in the management of chronic disease; and reduce oxidative damage due to contaminants found in the environment. Since this supplemental hydration is naturally low in calories, alkaline, and sugar-free, it has emerged as an alternative to processed drinks high in sugar and artificial flavors.
Hydrogen water was first developed in Japan in 2007 and has gained popularity worldwide. Numerous studies have shown that drinking hydrogen-rich water multiple health benefits.
Here are the top benefits of drinking hydrogen water:
Research suggests that hydrogen-rich water may have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body. One way that hydrogen may work is by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory molecules such as cytokines, which are involved in the inflammatory response. Additionally, hydrogen may activate some anti-inflammatory pathways in the body.
Research has shown that drinking hydrogen-rich water can improve energy levels by enhancing mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are responsible for producing energy in the body, and hydrogen may reduce oxidative stress in mitochondria, thus boosting their energy production capacity.
Hydrogen water can help increase metabolism and improve blood sugar control. It boosts metabolism and aids in weight loss by increasing thermogenesis (the amount of energy your body uses). In addition, a study published in the International Journal of Obesity showed that drinking hydrogen water could help to improve blood sugar control.
Other studies show that drinking hydrogen water before and after exercise can help you perform better and recover faster. When we exercise, our muscles produce lactic acid, which can cause soreness and fatigue. But by drinking hydrogen-rich water, you can reduce the amount of lactic acid your body produces, allowing you to push yourself harder and longer (if that aligns with your fitness goals). This is the main reason I’m excited to try hydrogen water myself. As a runner, the idea of reducing lactic acid build-up is really enticing, especially since it’s gotten harder to recover from hard running workouts as I’ve aged.
Not only that, but research also shows that hydrogen water can help speed up your post-workout recovery by fighting inflammation. So, if you’re an athlete looking for an edge over the competition, it might be worth giving hydrogen water a try to see if it does actually enhance your performance and recovery.
Hydrogen-rich water helps reduce signs of aging and improves skin health by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. Plus, a study found that drinking hydrogen-rich water for four weeks actually improved wrinkles and hydration levels in participants. I am very interested in this benefit since my skin is very dry and my esthetician comments every time I see her that my skin looks dehydrated, even though I have a solid skincare routine and drink a lot of water and electrolytes.
Hydrogen-rich water may also help the body break down food more efficiently, too. This is because the additional hydrogen in the water helps to break down molecules in the digestive tract, allowing them to be absorbed and used by your body more effectively. Drinking hydrogen water before a meal may help ease digestion and reduce bloating and discomfort often associated with meals.
Ever struggle with mom brain? Well, hydrogen water has been shown to improve cognitive function and protect against brain damage caused by oxidative stress. Studies suggest that drinking hydrogen-rich water may help improve cognitive function in healthy adults. Research found that participants who drank hydrogen water reported improved memory, focus and overall mental clarity compared to those who did not drink the water.
Yep, drinking hydrogen water can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. By reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, this amazing water can help protect your heart and prevent chronic conditions.
Drinking hydrogen water can also help reduce proinflammatory cytokines and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in your body, which can cause damage to your cells if levels get too high over time.
Hydrogen is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from oxidative damage caused by environmental toxins and free radicals. It also helps reduce inflammation and boost the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells that fight infections and diseases.
One of the most beneficial effects of drinking hydrogen-rich water is its ability to help boost the body’s natural defenses against infection and disease. Studies have shown that consuming hydrogen-rich water can increase the number of white blood cells responsible for fighting off bacteria, viruses, and other harmful agents.
Spring is here, and so.are.allergies. Believe it or not, hydrogen-rich water has anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate allergies. It inhibits histamine production, a major component of allergic reactions!
Studies have shown that when people with allergies drink hydrogen-enriched water, their symptoms are reduced. Also, hydrogen water has also been found to reduce inflammation in the airways and lungs, relieving asthma and other respiratory conditions associated with allergies.
In addition, because we know hydrogen-rich water may reduce fatigue, this means it can also help with fatigue due to allergies by boosting energy levels in the body.
If you have ever been a victim of headaches or migraines, you know the pain and suffering. A study found that people who drank hydrogen water had fewer headaches and improved response to chronic or recurrent migraines. By reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, hydrogen water can help tackle a range of ailments, including headaches. So, next time you have a headache, consider reaching for a glass of hydrogen water!
One of my favorite studies on the topic of hydrogen water is this study on the reduction of anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that hydrogen-rich water can reduce the activity of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which may help reduce anxiety and depression. In addition, studies suggest that consuming hydrogen-rich water increases serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter associated with improved moods and relaxation. Great for those PMS days.
Hydrogen water may increase blood flow to the brain, which in turn helps improve mental clarity and focus. Plus, drinking hydrogen water can protect against oxidative stress and free radical damage, which are linked to anxiety and depression. I’ve struggled with anxiety for years, most recently when I dealt with fairly severe postpartum anxiety and depression and had I known about hydrogen water then, I definitely would have tried it. (I mean, it sure seems a lot easier than eating my placenta.)
Because of the anti-inflammatory properties of hydrogen, it can help reduce inflammation in the gums. It inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. Studies found that drinking hydrogen-rich water can help prevent plaque buildup on teeth and reduce levels of Streptococcus mutans — a type of bacteria responsible for tooth decay.
Lots of research has been done on the effects of hydrogen-rich water on chronic disease. Studies have found that drinking hydrogen water can reduce symptoms of chronic disease such as arthritis, diabetes, and hypertension. In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, participants in the placebo group experienced no significant changes in their health, while those who drank hydrogen-rich water for a period of 8 weeks reported improved symptoms!
My immediate and extended family has numerous autoimmune diseases (lupus, vitiligo, Type 1 Diabetes, alopecia, Crohn’s Disease, multiple sclerosis and more) so this is something I’m very interested in.
So now, let’s talk about WHEN to drink hydrogen water. What I read is that it’s best to drink it in the morning since it helps increase energy, boosts mental performance, and improves skin health, which are all things we’d want right off the bat when we woke up.
Drinking hydrogen infused water in the morning on an empty stomach will help you get the most benefits (I guess it’s kind of like drinking alcohol on an empty stomach will get you drunker faster… hard pass on that though). Drinking it before and after exercise is also recommended to reduce muscle fatigue and improve athletic performance.
According to Healthline, it’s safe to drink about 1 liter of hydrogen water per day for healthy adults. However, always consider individual health conditions and consult with a healthcare professional before drinking hydrogen water and/or making big changes to your diet or lifestyle. I’m not a doctor y’all.
It’s also really important to note that you should drink your hydrogen water right after opening it! Hydrogen will dissipate naturally, so make sure to drink it within 30 or so minutes of opening it so that you get the most out of it.
There are a handful of companies that make Hydrogen Water, but I think Amazon is the easiest place to shop. They carry hydrogen water pre-bottled and in tablet form.
I’m honestly a bit shocked by all the research that supports the benefits of hydrogen water. I’m always a bit skeptical of health trends and one of the reasons I like using the InsideTracker blood testing service because it gives me personalized recommendations based on data. They provide diet, lifestyle and supplement recommendations to improve my biomarkers and follow-up bloodwork shows if my changes made a difference.
But, I feel like it’d be hard to know if hydrogen water was truly making a difference since it’s not measurable (unless you’re a scientist and/or in a research study). However, the data is intriguing enough to me that I’m going to give a shot to see if I feel or observe any improvements. Plus, I didn’t read about any potential harmful side effects.
Have you tried hydrogen water? Is it worth the hype?
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