Whitepaper. An Investigation into Hydrogen Water

18 Jun 2018

Category: Educational

Hydrogen Water – What is it, And is it Good for You?

Hydrogen water is a trend that’s sweeping the health scene. Particularly in the US and Japan. It is essentially hydrogen-rich water that has supposed health benefits. But, what are these benefits, is it actually safe to drink, and why should you drink it?

Hydrogen water is purified water infused with molecular hydrogen. Those that drink H2 water claim that it is rich with antioxidants. As such, drinking the water is supposed to help with inflammation and pain – hence why it is so popular with fitness and wellness fanatics.

Some people confuse hydrogen water with alkaline water, but the two are completely different. Hydrogen water is water that is pumped full of H2 gas, then that gas dissolves into the water. Alkaline water is something altogether different; it is simply water with a higher PH level than normal drinking water.

Athletes and Hydrogen Water

Mainly, it is athletes who proclaim the benefits of hydrogen water. Due to the apparent healing properties for inflammation and pain, athletes claim they can recover quicker from workouts and injury. Others that proclaim the benefits of hydrogen water are those who suffer from arthritis. The effects of arthritis – pain, stiffness and inflammation are reduced by H2 water, meaning that the pain of the arthritis itself is lessened.

Unfortunately, the science behind the claims that hydrogen water is a miracle water is weak. Boosting the hydrogen content of regular water is not damaging to the body, however, it may not benefit it either. For around 3$ a bottle, you may be better just drinking more regular water, and keeping your body hydrated and alert that way.

In theory, hydrogen-rich water should boost energy, as it supposedly increases energy in the enzymes responsible for producing energy. And, as it boosts energy in the cells, some research suggests it can lead to a more active brain too. However, normal drinking water can also keep your productivity and motivation high, as staying hydrated is essential for peak brain function. Dehydration is water causes fatigue and sluggishness, so by drinking water, you are constantly keeping this at bay.

Anti-ageing Properties

One of the leading voices that has supported hydrogen water is Dr Nicholas Perricone. He is a leading nutritionist and dermatologist. Subsequently, he has his own brand of natural antioxidant “energy recovery drink” named after himself. He suggests that alongside the supposed benefits of H2 water such as reducing inflammation etc, that there are also benefits of anti-ageing. Exposure to free radicals such as pollutants and the sun can increase the effects of ageing. As hydrogen appears to reduce the effects of ageing people are even starting to bathe in it. Popular spa treatments involving hydrogen are popping up globally in an attempt to fight wrinkles and skin damage.

Although the claims hydrogen water can ease fatigue muscles may not be heavily supported, there was some research into it. In 2012, Medical Gas Research followed 10 male football players to test the effects of hydrogen water. The 10 players were given either regular water or hydrogen water for one week. After subjecting the players to blood tests, the researchers found that the men who had been drinking hydrogen water had less fatigued muscles. Upon completion, researchers stated, “these preliminary results may suggest that [hydrogen water] may be suitable hydration for athletes.”

Though it seems there are no cons to drinking hydrogen water, many scientists suggest that you could get more antioxidants from a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and water. There are a lot more antioxidants in a balanced diet, and it’s cheaper than spending $3 a pop on H2 water.

27 Benefits of Hydrogen Water

We did some research on Hydrogen water and found these apparent benefits from different sources collated at Selfhacked.com. Taking in statistics and research from various journals and studies (primarily in the US), they have created a list of a whopping 27 benefits of hydrogen water. We recommend you take the studies with a pinch of salt however, as many of the experiments or trials have never been undertaken on humans, only animals.

By summing up the results of these ‘benefits’, we’re able to put together a clear picture of the supposed pros and cons of hydrogen water. Whether you choose to believe them or not, leading senior nutrition fellow, Ruth Kava, Ph.D., at the American Council on Science and Health  says “The idea that by doing something like bubbling more hydrogen through water or getting the oxygen and hydrogen to dissociate more quickly than usual is going to do anything to cure any disease or ailment is just not there.”

So, there may be a lack of cons, but there is also a lack of genuine science to show that any of these pros actually exist. There’s currently “no evidence that commercially available product, such as the one sold by Dr Perricone, give otherwise healthy people more energy”.

Pros

  • Neuroprotective
  • Excellent antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Protects organs
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
  • Improves a wide variety of diseases
  • Is non-toxic at high concentrations

Cons

  • Although it has no reported side effects, more research is needed for negative effects in the long-term.

In our opinion, you’re much better to stick to 6-8 glasses of chilled water from your Billi tap and a healthy balanced diet. This way your anti-oxidant intake will stay at a high, and you’ll be hydrated. Hydration means more energy, better mood, and more energy, so it’s a win, win. Hydrogen water has no side-effects or disadvantages to consuming it, but with a higher price point than normal drinking water, there’s no point jumping on the bandwagon until further research on humans comes out.