EDITOR’S NOTE: CTE found this article to be an accurate and balanced presentation of the research and benefits of hydrogen water. Ken Sheetz and I just feel better when we supplement with hydrogen water and love the easy-to-use HydroGO+ portable molecular hydrogen generating flask in our store. This is a reprint of this Healthline article found HERE.
Plain water is the healthiest choice to keep your body hydrated. However, some beverage companies claim that adding elements like hydrogen to water can enhance health benefits.
This article reviews hydrogen water and its purported health effects to help you decide whether it’s a smart choice.
What Is Hydrogen Water?
Hydrogen water is simply pure water with extra hydrogen molecules added to it.
Hydrogen is a colorless, odorless, non-toxic gas that binds to other elements like oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon to form various compounds, including table sugar and water (1Trusted Source).
Water molecules consist of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, but some assert that infusing water with additional hydrogen produces benefits that plain water cannot deliver.
It’s thought that the body can’t effectively absorb the hydrogen in plain water, as it’s bound to oxygen.
Certain companies claim that when extra hydrogen is added, these hydrogen molecules are “free” and more accessible to your body.
The product is made by infusing hydrogen gas into pure water before packing it into cans or pouches.
Hydrogen water can be pricey — with one popular company selling a 30-pack of 8-ounce (240-ml) cans for $90 and suggesting consumers drink at least three cans per day.
Additionally, hydrogen tablets meant to be added to plain or carbonated water are sold online and in health food stores.
Hydrogen water machines can also be purchased by those wanting to make it at home.
Hydrogen water is marketed to decrease inflammation, boost athletic performance, and even slow your aging process.
However, research in this area is limited, which is why many health experts are skeptical of its supposed benefits.
SUMMARY Hydrogen water is pure water infused with extra hydrogen molecules. It can be purchased in pouches and cans or made at home using special machines.
Does It Benefit Health? Though human studies on the benefits of hydrogen water are limited, several small trials have had promising results.
Molecular hydrogen fights free radicals in your body and protects your cells from the effects of oxidative stress (3Trusted Source).
In an eight-week study in 49 people receiving radiation therapy for liver cancer, half the participants were instructed to drink 51–68 ounces (1,500–2,000 ml) of hydrogen-enriched water per day.
At the end of the trial, those who consumed the hydrogen water experienced decreased levels of hydroperoxide — a marker of oxidative stress — and maintained greater antioxidant activity after radiation treatment than the control group (4Trusted Source).
However, a recent four-week study in 26 healthy people demonstrated that drinking 20 ounces (600 ml) of hydrogen-rich water per day did not decrease markers of oxidative stress, such as hydroperoxide, compared to a placebo group (5Trusted Source).
More studies are needed to confirm if drinking hydrogen decreases the effects of oxidative stress in both healthy people and those with chronic conditions.
May Benefit Those With Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a condition characterized by high blood sugar, increased triglyceride levels, high cholesterol, and excess belly fat.
Chronic inflammation is suspected to be a contributing factor (6Trusted Source).
Some research shows that hydrogen water may be effective at reducing markers of oxidative stress and improving risk factors related to metabolic syndrome.
One 10-week study instructed 20 people with signs of metabolic syndrome to drink 30–34 ounces (0.9–1 liter) of hydrogen-enriched water per day.
At the end of the trial, participants experienced significant reductions in “bad” LDL and total cholesterol, increases in “good” HDL cholesterol, greater antioxidant activity, and reduced levels of inflammatory markers, such as TNF-α (7Trusted Source).
May Benefit Athletes
Many companies promote hydrogen water as a natural way to enhance athletic performance.
The product may benefit athletes by reducing inflammation and slowing the accumulation of lactate in the blood, which is a sign of muscle fatigue (8Trusted Source).
A study in ten male soccer players found that athletes who drank 51 ounces (1,500 ml) of hydrogen-enriched water experienced lower levels of blood lactate and decreased muscle fatigue after exercise compared to a placebo group (9Trusted Source).
Another small two-week study in eight male cyclists demonstrated that the men who consumed 68 ounces (2 liters) of hydrogen-enriched water daily had greater power output during sprinting exercises than those who drank regular water (10Trusted Source).
However, this is a relatively new area of research, and more studies are needed to fully understand how drinking hydrogen-enriched water may benefit athletes.
SUMMARY Some studies suggest that drinking hydrogen water may decrease the effects of oxidative stress, improve metabolic syndrome, and boost athletic performance.
Editors’s Note: Reprinted from European GeoSciences Blog. Original article at: https://blogs.egu.eu/geolog/2013/10/28/imaggeo-on-mondays-the-names-bond-hydrogen-bond/. This article sheds light on the activity of hydrogen when introduced into the body through supplementation. Hydrogen will scavenge dangerous free radicals of oxygen and turn them into more water for the body, a very good thing. This is why we love hydrogen boosting products for better health, like MegaHydrate and the HydroGO+.
Imaggeo on Mondays: The name’s Bond. Hydrogen bond.
The O in H2O attracts electrons towards it, a property known as electronegativity. And because oxygen attracts electrons towards it, it is ever so slightly positive. Likewise, the hydrogen atoms in a water molecule are ever so slightly negative. The difference in charge across a water molecule is what holds water together as the slightly positive hydrogen atoms are attracted towards the slightly negative oxygen atoms – a phenomenon known as hydrogen bonding.
Water molecules are drawn together by hydrogen bonding – attraction between negative hydrogen atoms and positive oxygen atoms. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons user Qwerter)
Hydrogen bonding is what gives water its adhesive and cohesive properties, allowing water to form thin films as it spreads of smooth surfaces (adhesion), and stick together (cohesion) as droplets, that can fall as rain, collect on the surface of a leaf, or obscure your hand lens as you try your best to do fieldwork in bad weather.
This photo by Jacqueline Gisen captures the cohesive nature of water. She explains that “cohesive forces make water molecules to attracted to each other from every direction,” but because the water’s surface is exposed to the atmosphere (where there is relatively few water molecules) it can only be pulled down towards the rest of the fluid. This creates surface tension, responsible for the bouncing droplets you see when one source of water pours into another.
Imaggeo is the EGU’s open access geosciences image repository. A new and improved Imaggeo site will be launching soon, so you will be able to peruse an even better database of visually stunning geoscience images. Photos uploaded to Imaggeo can be used by scientists, the press and the public provided the original author is credited. Photographers also retain full rights of use, as Imaggeo images are licensed and distributed by the EGU under a Creative Commons licence. You can submit your photos here.
Editor’s Note: This is a simple explanation of the different natures of hydrogen and how it reacts with oxygen. Note that H2 ‘is the antioxidant in hydrogen-rich water.’ The measure of pH is derived from the presence of H+ in a substance.
Distinguishing between these different forms of Hydrogen can be confusing to those of us who flunked high school chemistry. Here is an attempt at clarification.
H = Atomic Hydrogen Atomic hydrogen is number 1 on the Periodic Table of Elements. It consists of one proton and one unpaired electron which means that it is a free radical.
However an atom of hydrogen rarely exists on its own because its unpaired electron eagerly seeks to join up with another electron.
The molecular form of hydrogen is more common.
H2 = Molecular Hydrogen
H2 is a gas which forms when two hydrogen atoms bond together and become a hydrogen molecule. H2 is also called molecular hydrogen.It consists of two protons and two electrons. Consequently it is the most common form of Hydrogen because it is stable with a neutral charge. H2 is not a free radical. It is the antioxidant in ‘hydrogen-rich’ water.
H2 is the smallest molecule in the universe. That means it can go where nothing else can …including into your mitochondria which are the powerhouses of your cells. Hydrogen gas cannot be kept in plastic because it will pass right through the walls of the container.
H+ = Proton
When the Hydrogen atom loses an electron all that is left is a proton. It becomes the positively charged hydrogen ion known as H+. This is the form of Hydrogen that produces the ATP enzyme that powers our cells and mitochondria.
The H+ hydrogen ion is the basis of the pH scale.
H:– = Hydride
Hydride is a hydrogen atom which has an extra electron. This means that it is a negatively charged ion, or anion. That is why Hydride ion (H-) has the minus sign distinguishing it from a regular Hydrogen atom (H). The two dots after the H means that this ion has two electrons instead of just one. The extra electron means that H- is not a free radical however it is not stable because this form of hydrogen is a very strong base (extremely alkaline) which reacts with water to produce hydroxide (OH–and molecular hydrogen (H2).
H:– + H2O –> H2O + OH–
Hydride (H:– ) also reacts with metals to form chemical compounds which are reducing agents.
OH– = Hydroxide ion
Hydroxide (OH–) is also known as the hydroxyl ion. When water dissociates or comes apart into its component parts it forms OH– (hydroxide ions) and H3O+ (hydronium ions). 2H2O ⇆ OH– and H3O+
This reaction is reversible. The hydroxide ion also reacts with the hydronium ion (H3O+) to become two water molecules.
The Hydroxide ion (OH– ) is a base (alkaline). The Hydroxide ion is not a free radical or an antioxidant. Dissolved molecular hydrogen gas (H2) is the antioxidant in ‘hydrogen-rich’ water.
Hydroxide (OH–) is sometimes confused with the hydroxyl radical (OH•). The dot to the upper right of the OH indicates an unpaired electron which means that Hydroxyl is a free radical, actually one of the most reactive oxygen radicals. Hydroxide and Hydroxl are two entirely different species. It is important to not confuse them.
H3O+ = Hydronium ion
A water molecule (H20) plus a hydrogen ion (H+) becomes a hydronium ion (H3O+). The H+ ion is a lone proton with a powerful charge. It does not exist on its own in an aqueous solution because it is immediately attracted to the unshared electrons in the oxygen atom of H2O. The result is Hydronium (H3O+). This process is reversible. Two water molecules can disassociate to form hydronium plus hydroxide. 2H2O ⇆ OH– and H3O+
Experiments indicate that the proton (H+) is very promiscuous. It changes from one H2O partner to another many times per second creating a new H3O+ ion as it moves.
pH = Potential of Hydrogen
pH stands for potential of Hydrogen and is actually a measurement of the concentration of hydrogen ions (H+) in a solution. Water breaks down (dissociates) into protons (H+) and hydroxides (OH–). This reaction is reversible.
H2O ⇆ H+ and OH– 2H2O ⇆ OH– and H3O+
pH indicates whether water is acidic, neutral, or alkaline. More H+ = more acidic. Less H+ = more alkaline.
Because H+ immediately associates with H2O to form H3O+ (Hydronium), pH can also be said to be a measurement of the concentration of H3O+ in a solution.
The pH scale is logarithmic. Increasing by 1 on the pH scale results in a 10 times decrease in the hydronium ion concentration and increasing by 3 on the pH scale results in a 1,000 times decrease in the hydronium ion concentration.