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Hydrogen Water: Miracle Drink or Myth?

The Truth About Hydrogen Water

For the last few years, hydrogen water has rapidly risen in popularity within the wellness community. But is hydrogen-enriched water really all it’s claimed to be? In this article, we will look at the claims surrounding electrolyzed hydrogen water so that you can make well-researched, informed health decisions for yourself and your loved ones.

The beginning of hydrogen water

As the first element on the periodic table, hydrogen is, to our knowledge, the universe’s simplest element. It is also nature’s most abundant element. In 1766, scientist Henry Cavendish proved to the Royal Society of London that hydrogen was much lighter than air and that water was made when hydrogen and oxygen bonded with the help of an electrical spark. Hydrogen continued to gain popularity throughout the world as its various uses were uncovered. Japan then discovered the health benefits of adding hydrogen gas to water and began promoting electrolyzed hydrogen water products throughout the wellness industry. But is electrolyzed hydrogen water really better than regular water?

What Makes Hydrogen Water Different?

Simply put, electrolyzed hydrogen water is water with added hydrogen molecules that has gone through electrolysis, giving the water a -400mV to -500mV Oxidation-Reduction Potential (ORP). Drinking water with this ORP supports healthy gut function and stimulates the growth of good gut bacteria. When we say that the water has added hydrogen in it, this does not mean that your water is changing from H2O to H3O. What this means is that the water contains the gaseous form of hydrogen. In simple terms, hydrogen water is water with bubbles of hydrogen moving through it.

Hydrogen is a highly unstable element which is, perhaps, its greatest advantage. Because it is so unstable, it is easily able to bind with other elements like oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon. This allows it to have an exceptionally wide range of uses. One of these uses being that it is a therapeutic gas for various diseases (1). So stop buying that bottled water and invest in your health by looking into hydrogen water products. But how else is hydrogen beneficial to your health?

Is Hydrogen an Antioxidant?

Antioxidants are essential for combating harmful oxidants and so are crucial to our health. Hydrogen acts as a selective antioxidant that neutralizes these harmful free radicals and protects your cells from the harmful effects of oxidative stress. In fact, dietary antioxidants do not function as well as hydrogen, which is a very effective selective antioxidant (3).

One study that proves the antioxidant benefits of hydrogen water was published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. This eight-week study consisted of 49 people who were receiving radiation therapy for liver cancer. Half of the participants were required to drink 1.5 to 2 liters of hydrogen water per day while the other half made no changes. At the end of the study, it was discovered that those who drank the hydrogen water had decreased oxidative stress levels and maintained increased antioxidant activity after radiation treatment (4).

How Does Hydrogen Water Impact Athletes?

While you exercise, inflammation and lactic acid levels build, causing muscle fatigue. Hydrogen water works to reduce inflammation and lactic acid, thus allowing you to exercise longer and harder. Reduced inflammation and lactic acid also allows for rapid recovery (5)

One study conducted on male soccer players found that athletes who drank 1.5 liters of hydrogen water experienced lower blood lactate levels and decreased muscle fatigue compared to the players who hydrated with other liquids (6). Another study done on male cyclists found that athletes who consumed 2 liters of hydrogen water daily had greater power output during sprint sessions than those who drank plain water (7).

Do I Have Metabolic Syndrome?

Did you know that you may have metabolic syndrome without realizing it? Metabolic syndrome is a collection of conditions that increase risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. These conditions include increased body fat, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol. A key contributor to this syndrome is chronic inflammation, which is more common than you may realize (8). Around 40% of all Americans experience chronic inflammation. 

Here are the top five symptoms of chronic inflammation (9):

  1. Body pain: Muscle aches and joint pain, along with swelling, are all signs of chronic inflammation.
  2. Low energy: Do you constantly feel tired despite getting a good amount of sleep at night? Do you feel run down in general? Chronic inflammation increases how much cellular energy you need and depletes your body’s fuel, leaving you tired and depleted of energy.
  3. Digestion issues: Bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, leaky gut syndrome, and loose stool are all indicators that you are experiencing inflammation. 
  4. High amounts of mucus: Constantly needing to clear your throat, continually having a blocked or runny nose, or incessantly coughing and sneezing are all signs that your mucous membranes are producing thick phlegm in order to protect your epithelial cells in response to harmful inflammation.

Skin conditions: Inflammation leads to skin rashes (like eczema or psoriasis). These skin rashes are linked to individuals who have hyper-sensitive immune systems, which is likely caused by a greater number of inflammatory mast cells compared to the average person.

One research study published by The U.S. National Library of Medicine found that hydrogen water reduced the risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome. Research participants who showed signs of metabolic syndrome were required to drink 1 liter of hydrogen water per day. By the end of the trial, it was discovered that the participants’ bad cholesterol was significantly reduced, their levels of inflammation were lowered, and they experienced an increase in good cholesterol and antioxidant activity (10).

Does Hydrogen Water Help Ghrelin Production?

Before answering this question, we first need to understand exactly what ghrelin is. Ghrelin is a very important hormone: it is responsible for telling your brain that your body is hungry, and it lets you know when you are full. Ghrelin is also very important for learning, memory, the sleep-wake cycle, and regulating your metabolism. (11)(12)

The major enemy of ghrelin are free radicals. Free radicals are caused by oxidative stress. They are harmful, unpaired electrons that cause damage to our DNA, RNA, and even cause cell death. Hydrogen water helps with ghrelin production by neutralizing the free radicals and diminishing the toxicity of harmful oxidants like peroxynitrite that cause tissue and cell damage.

How Does Hydrogen Affect Kidney Transplants?

One research study found that drinking molecular hydrogen was shown to help prevent kidney transplant rejection. This is because by lowering the levels of inflammation, oxidative stress, and harmful free radicals, the transplant was less likely to be rejected. (13)

Does Hydrogen-Enriched Water Help Maintain a Healthy Heart?

Did you know that drinking hydrogen water can help your heart? Hydrogen-enriched water helps prevent buildup of fats, cholesterol, and other plaque substances in your arteries. It also aids in decreasing heart issues related to oxidative stress (14).

Does Hydrogen Help Brain Function?

One research study published by the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology found that when an individual is under cognitive stress, hydrogen water improves brain function (15). When you are in a stressful exam or trying to solve a difficult problem at work, your brain is put under stress, which may impair effective brain functioning. Hydrogen water effectively helped with this by reducing oxidative stress levels, in turn supporting better learning and memory compared to those subjects who did not receive hydrogen water.

The Takeaway

The strength of electrolyzed hydrogen-enriched water comes from its ability to help with a wide range of health concerns. From promoting gut health and increasing brain function to decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation, hydrogen water products have been proven to have a wide range of health benefits. There are quite a few health claims surrounding hydrogen water, so make sure to do your research to make sure you are making informed, scientifically backed health decisions for yourself and your loved ones. For more information on everything hydrogen water, visit us at

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