Hydrogen Water: Are There Health Benefits?

Hydrogen water is regular water with hydrogen gas added to the water. According to some resources, adding hydrogen gas to the water increases its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It’s been touted for its ability to increase energy, slow down the aging process, and improve muscle recovery after a workout.

Manufacturers sometimes sell hydrogen water bottled with the gas already added to it. You can also buy hydrogen water tablets. Drop one into a glass of water to add the gas. 

Current research into the health benefits of hydrogen water is limited and further research to confirm these findings is required.

Nutrition Information

Hydrogen water has the same nutrition information as water. It contains:

The mineral and vitamin content of hydrogen water will vary depending on provider and where the water is sourced from. Some manufacturers infuse water with trace amounts of following vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Magnesium sulfate
  • Potassium
  • Sodium Sulfate

Potential Health Benefits of Hydrogen Water

Experts believe there may be some benefits to drinking hydrogen water. But many aren’t sure they’re greater than those of regular water. Staying hydrated in general is a great way to stay healthy.

Many medical experts agree that more research is needed to discover or verify any advantages of hydrogen water. Based on preliminary studies, the following are potential health benefits:

Reduce Side Effects from Radiation Therapy

One study of 49 people with liver cancer showed that drinking hydrogen-rich water for six weeks during radiation therapy could improve quality of life during treatment. 

Side effects of radiation therapy include:

The study showed that quality of life scores were higher in the group that drank hydrogen water, versus the placebo group consuming regular water. But further study is needed.

Improve Athletic Performance

Hydrogen water is said to increase energy, reduce inflammation, and reduce recovery times after workouts.

A study of 10 soccer players showed that drinking hydrogen water may reduce muscle fatigue and muscle function decline caused by exercising. But more research is needed.

Disease Prevention

Hydrogen water may contain antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent oxidative stress. This type of stress comes from both normal body functions and external forces, including sun exposure and industrial chemicals. Oxidative stress may lead to cancer and other diseases.

These preliminary studies also suggest hydrogen water may be anti-inflammatory, a quality that may reduce the risk of heart disease and other life-threatening diseases.

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Potential Risks of Hydrogen Water

Experts don’t believe there are any risks to drinking hydrogen water. But they’re not sure if its benefits are greater than those of normal water, or of staying hydrated in general.

Drinking too much water poses the risk of a life hyponatremia. This occurs when your kidneys can’t get rid of excess water and the sodium content in your blood is diluted. Hyponatremia can be life-threatening.

However, you need to drink a lot of water for hyponatremia to occur. Usually only athletes performing intense exercise are at risk.

Healthier Alternatives

If hydrogen water is out of your price range, you can get the majority of benefits by drinking regular water. Depending on where you live, you may need to filter your water before drinking.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on December 02, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Radiation Therapy Side Effects."

Britannica: “Mineral Water.”

ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon: “Water, tap, municipal."

ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon: “Mineral Water"

Harvard T.H. Chan: “Antioxidants.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “The Role of Inflammation in Heart Disease.”

Mayo Clinic: “Water: How much should you drink every day?”

Medical Gas Research: "Effects of drinking hydrogen-rich water on the quality of life of patients treated with radiotherapy for liver tumors."

Medical Gas Research: "Pilot study: Effects of drinking hydrogen-rich water on muscle fatigue caused by acute exercise in elite athletes."

Self: "What Is Hydrogen Water, and Does It Actually Work?"

Time: "Is Hydrogen Water Actually Good For You?"

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