Hydrogen water seems to be a good idea but what are the hydrogen water side effects?
We hear that stars like Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds and Zac Efron are huge fans of hydrogen water. But what is it? Well hydrogen water is simply hydrogen gas dissolved in water. It’s not the same as alkaline water (a less acidic type of water) and it’s not plain H2O either.
Many companies claim that adding hydrogen gases to water increases the energy. The outcome is water that is much better for you. And at prices that range from $3 per bottle, $60 for molecular hydrogen tablets to $ 1,000 hydrogen-infusing machines – I hope this is the case!
Apart from celebrities, drinking more hydrogen water is a huge trend across the globe. Some people in Japan practically bathe in the stuff.
But what ‘s the truth? Is it really good for you? More importantly, what are the hydrogen water side effects?
What Is Hydrogen Water
But let’s be certain, the science is clear on this. The healthiest thing you can drink is water. It is free of sugar, salt and clear of chemicals. Specifically chemicals that damage and alter your cells. All this is the case so long as the water is contaminant and toxin free.
If H2O and hydrogen is so good for you, then consuming more hydrogen water is even better – right?
Well more and more beverage companies are counting on this to be the case. So-called “hydrogen water” – water infused with hydrogen gas are increasingly popular. It doesn’t come cheap either. This type of water typically costs $3 per bottle or you can buy tablets that dissolve in your water to produce the hydrogen content for around $60. There are also machines costing over $ 1,000 for people that want to do it themselves at home.
But let’s see if the claims actually stack up by looking at the science behind hydrogen water.
The idea behind hydrogen water is not pure marketing. Research on mice shows that hydrogen acts as an effective disease-fighting antioxidant and that drinking hydrogen water can potentially prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Similar studies in rats show that supplementing hydrogen also had anti-inflammatory properties. This indicates that hydrogen water can effectively carry hydrogen to damaged cells.
One study on humans found that hydrogen water could be a “therapeutic and and preventative strategy for metabolic syndrome (e.g., obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension).”
In an 8-week study observing 20 people who were given drinking water containing a metallic stick to produce hydrogen-rich water. Researchers saw a 39% increase in antioxidants, an increase in HDL (i.e. good cholesterol) and a decrease in total cholesterol.
That’s promising news, but very limited data.
We’d need to see a study done on a much larger sample size over a longer period of time before brands can claim antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. And that doesn’t even touch whether it is worth shelling out $3 per 11 ounces that you are advised to consume several times a day. In contrast, you can get typically an 11-ounce bottle of Fiji Natural Artesian Water for $1.32.
While the human genetic make up is closely related to mice, there are also differences. And of course even as people, we are not equal. The recommended dosage of hydrogen water does not have any federal regulation and there is no way to asses how valid the claims are.
“We do not know anything about the dosage or frequency of drinking with which you need to use hydrogen water to achieve health benefits,” says Robin Foroutan, nutritionist spokesman and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Regardless of whether the real miracle does the business or not, we do not know how much it means for your health.
The good news?
If you want to really try hydrogen water then do! Because it does not hurt you. So far, the only thing the FDA has concluded is that hydrogen water is widely recognized as safe (“GRAS”).
My recommendation to you at the moment? Try it out along side your normal H2O consumption.
Hydrogen Water Side Effects
Most of us know that tap water contains some heavy metals (mainly from soil and rusty water pipes), hormones (from drug users and farms cleaning their drains), fluoride (which some local governments agencies add) and drug residues.
Many have focused on water purification to solve these issues. However, you can get massive benefits from converting filtered water into alkaline or hydrogen water.
Here are two specific hydrogen water side effects:
1. Hydrogen Water Is Full OfPotent Antioxidants
The research on mice shows water rich in hydrogen has powerful antioxidant properties. This can prevent oxidation from damaging cells throughout the body. And it can repair cells that have already been damaged by it. Thereby preventing them from becoming free radicals that steal electrons from neighboring cells while they try to self-assemble.
Oxidative damage is one of the causes of many health problems. This includes things like cancer, premature aging, dementia and other neurological disorders.
Damaged cells can not function as needed. Which means that no one with a significant amount of oxidative damage can have energy, mental clarity and general good health.
2. Hydrogen Water Attacks Inflammation
Researchers at the Forsyth Institute in Boston caused inflammatory bowel disease in mice and showed that drinking water rich in hydrogen could alleviate inflammation and prevent it even in those mice that received it before the onset of the disease.
Other scientists have discovered that it could relieve inflammatory disease of the liver and pneumonia. Which could be particularly useful for asthmatics. When a team of researchers tested hydrogen sulfide in asthmatic rats, they found that this produced considerable relief.
Some experts also found that it could slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and alleviate some of its symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis is at its core a condition that causes inflammation in the joints.
Hydrogen Water Benefits
- Reduces oxidative stress.
- Protects the liver against potential damage from acetaminophen.
- Reduces tumor growth.
- Improves quality of life in cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment.
- Reduces muscle fatigue following exercise.
- Improves lipid and glucose metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes.
- Reduces bladder pain in patients with interstitial cystitis (IC) and painful bladder syndrome.
- Improves quality of life in cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment.
Hydrogen Water Side Effects – My Conclusion
The daily consumption of water rich in hydrogen is a potentially new therapeutic strategy to improve the quality of life. The consumption of water rich in hydrogen can reduce the biological response to oxidative stress.
However, the research still needs more data and there is almost no FDA guidance on these claims.
So, what is the answer?
You may be tempted to drink the same water as celebrities but remember that it will not make you as attractive as Blake Lively or as buff as Zac Efron.
I personally think it’s far better than drinking tap water. Especially when you think about all the hormones and heavy metals that lurk in tap water. Or maybe you just want to maintain an optimal physiological state and invest in a hydrogen water machine.
The potential benefits of improved recovery time after exercise, reducing oxidative stress and getting even better cholesterol levels seem worth it.
The worst thing that will happen is that you spend a little more money to drink more water.
Kang K-M, Kang Y-N, Choi I-B, et al. Effects of drinking hydrogen-rich water on the quality of life of patients treated with radiotherapy for liver tumors. Medical Gas Research. 2011;1:11. doi:10.1186/2045-9912-1-11.
Qian L, Cao F, Cui J, Huang Y, Zhou X, Liu S, Cai J. Radioprotective effect of hydrogen in cultured cells and mice. Free Radic Res. 2010;44(3):275–82. doi: 10.3109/10715760903468758.
Prasad KN, Cole WC, Kumar B, Che Prasad K. Pros and cons of antioxidant use during radiation therapy. Cancer Treat Rev. 2002;28(2):79–91. doi: 10.1053/ctrv.2002.0260.