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Consuming Hydrogen Water: Pros and Cons
There is a lot of information floating around online about hydrogen-rich water, but do you know the facts?
In this article, we’ll take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of drinking hydrogen-rich water. We’ll take a look at some interesting studies about this water’s ability to reduce oxidative stress and potentially provide more energy than traditional hydration. We’ll also discuss some alternatives to hydrogen water that can provide the same nutritional benefits. So, without further delay, let’s dive into our conversation on hydrogen water!
Hydrogenated Water: Benefits and Drawbacks
According to an article by Anne Marie Helmenstine, hydrogen gas makes up at least 75% of the universe, which makes it the most abundant element in the entire cosmos. When you also consider how popular this wonder element is in the contemporary field of natural science, it’s no wonder it is in such high demand.
The move to add molecular hydrogen to boost the health effects of regular drinking water has become a big trend in recent years. At least four companies have jumped on the hydrogen water bandwagon in the last few years. Companies like HTwo, Dr. Perricone’s, HyVIDA, and HFactor sprouted out of nowhere in the past few years to capitalize on the public’s thirst for this new free hydrogen craze.
So, why do so many people want to drink hydrogen water these days? What makes water with added hydrogen gas so compelling, and what’s the catch? Well, hydrogen water supposedly possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. Nevertheless, the luxury price for these products still needs to be determined.
What Is Hydrogen Water?
Hydrogen water is regular water with added hydrogen molecules. Typically, water is comprised of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. This is the classic formula everyone learned in high school chemistry: H2O. Hydrogen gas treatment plays with this formula a bit to get different results.
Rather than bond with the oxygen atoms, the additional hydrogen atoms (also known as “free hydrogen”) added to hydrogen water are leftover and available to be better used by the body.
Some studies suggest that hydrogen-enriched water can fight free radicals, reduce insulin resistance, and even help fight liver cancer. Studies are still ongoing, but hydrogen water is worth a try to see if it helps you. Later in this article, you’ll learn about some specific studies scientists have conducted to prove that human consumption of hydrogen-rich water molecules is beneficial.
How Hydrogenated Water Works
The usual method used by manufacturers to create hydrogen water involves a process called “electrolysis.” This means that an electrolysis machine (otherwise known as a hydrogen water machine) strips the H2O down to hydrogen and oxygen. This method produces two types of water: acidic ionized water, which has more oxygen, and ionized alkaline water, which has more hydrogen.
Although you might usually need a hydrogen water machine specifically designed to do this task, there are plenty of mobile tumblers on the market today that promise the same results. Companies advertise these products as a better alternative than buying a can of hydrogen water. Think of it as one way of making your own homemade hydrogen water.
Producing hydrogen water at home sounds lovely and cost-effective. However, some hydrogen water machines are made from industrial materials like plastic. This is a mistake by manufacturers because dissolved hydrogen can always permeate through the plastic used to construct many of these machines. If you’re looking to buy a molecular hydrogen machine, make sure that you choose one made from the right materials if you ever want it to be effective.
Is Hydrogen Water Better For You?
There is a lot of debate on the subject of whether hydrogen water is better for you or not. Truthfully, whether or not drinking hydrogen-rich water is better for you depends on many different factors, including what health benefits you’re expecting. Other factors may include your age, pre-existing conditions, and how well-hydrated you are. It’s impossible to say for sure, but let’s take a look at some of the scientifically proven health benefits and potential drawbacks of drinking hydrogen water.
Benefits of Hydrogen Rich Water
First, let’s explore the health benefits if you drink hydrogen water. There are a number of physiological benefits you could potentially expect from drinking this particular type of water, but only a few of them have ever been tested by researchers. For years, so-called hydrogen water has been touted for its ability to increase energy, delay the aging process, and shrink muscle recovery times after tough workouts. But is there hard scientific evidence to prove these positive health effects of hydrogen water?
According to a study by Kei Mizuno and his colleagues, water rich in hydrogen can reduce oxidative stress, improve moods and autonomic nerve function, and decrease anxiety. This 2017 study was conducted on healthy adults between the ages of 20 and 49.
Quality of Life
In the study mentioned above, researchers found that the majority of individuals who were taking Hydrogenated Water for four weeks had better QOL (quality of life) quotient, while those in the control group who drank regular water showed less ideal improvements. This QOL includes better sleep quality, stress alleviation, anxiety, and other factors.
Possible Antioxidant Properties
One other benefit of hydrogen-rich water is that it may possess antioxidant properties. Research is ongoing, but one such open-label pilot study seems to prove just that.
Japanese scientist Toru Ishibashi states that H2 can act as an antioxidant that boosts therapy to help the treatment of certain disorders. The study was conducted on patients treated with rheumatoid arthritis. The impact of the H2 is because hydrogen water is integral in reducing oxidative stress resulting from inflammatory markers. The molecules of hydrogen act as a buffer, protecting your cells from oxidative stress.
But what is oxidative stress? Oxidative stress occurs when an imbalance between reactive oxygen species and antioxidant defenses causes an excess of free radicals. The phenomenon of oxidative stress can cause muscle pain, fatigue, and even susceptibility to infections.
Ishibashi also claims that administering two atoms of hydrogen (H2) to each water molecule before human consumption is safe and therapeutic. In other words, it can be one possible pathway to relieving chronic inflammation.
Potentially Reduce Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is one symptom of arthritis, but it also manifests itself in other diseases, including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and colon cancer.
While there are no definitive studies that hydrogen water will help relieve patients treated for these diseases specifically, staying well-hydrated certainly can’t hurt.
In another double-blind study, it was proven that hydrogen-rich water prevented apoptosis of peripheral blood cells in healthy adults and reduced inflammatory factors.
The potential healing benefits of drinking hydrogen water could help counteract those symptoms, but it’s not for everyone. Let’s discuss some of the cons of relying on hydrogen-rich water to improve our health.
Drawbacks of Hydrogenated Water
Although the benefits are staggering, there are still some drawbacks to drinking hydrogen-rich water. Let’s take a look at some of the drawbacks of hydrating your body with this type of water.
Cost of Hydrogen Water
One of the notable disadvantages of regularly drinking hydrogen water is the price. Usually, hydrogenated water prices are at least double the price of normal water. This can definitely put a lot of strain on your budget.
Dr. Perricone’s Hydrogenated Water, for example, costs around $3 for an 8.3-ounce can of water. That’s pricey compared to the usual drinking water brands, making this product not a go-to for people on a budget.
But there is another way to get the health benefits of drinking hydrogen water. Instead of buying expensive water infused with molecular hydrogen, you can use that money to buy fruits and vegetables that provide a diverse set of nutrients. Read on to learn how these foods can replace hydrogen water in your diet.
So far, we’ve presented some compelling research on the effects of hydrogen water. But you should know that the research on drinking hydrogen water is extremely minimal in the current world. The previously mentioned study by Kei Mizuno et al. was only for a limited subset of healthy adults and on a smaller scale. Researchers experimented with only 31 people.
This is a small number compared to the vast population that the United States of America has, or even Japan. So, the findings from these human studies need to be more conclusive. They could not support the entire industry even if they wanted them to.
But hydrogen water remains in the zeitgeist. The topic enjoyed a resurgence recently and became hot due to hydrogen water samples being included as part of the Oscars 2020 wellness bag. Nevertheless, hydrogen water is still in its early stages. Hydrogen studies may not have enough concrete evidence to anchor people’s and the medical industry’s trust.
Safer Alternatives for Molecular Hydrogen
Some healthy alternatives are available if you want the same effects you get from drinking hydrogen-enriched water without spending too much money. In the following section, we’ll discuss some examples of foods that will surely provide you with the same antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties at a very affordable rate.
You may be able to save a little money that you would ordinarily spend on hydrogen water if you like the taste of fruit. Blueberries, cherries, oranges, and strawberries are some of the fruits that have both natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These chewable foods will help you get almost all of the benefits hydrogen water could provide without spending too much money.
Although scientists cannot feasibly do a therapeutic method on these fruits compared to molecular hydrogen, they will ensure that your body is clean and healthy from any sickness. A diet rich in these foods also helps combat high blood sugar, which is an added bonus. On top of all of this, fruits keep you hydrated, too.
Green Leafy Vegetables
What vegetable comes into your mind when you hear the word “Popeye?” That’s right! Spinach! Avid cartoon watchers know that Popeye eats this vegetable to make him strong and powerful. But the health benefits of spinach are not just some show business trick. This leafy green vegetable is generally recognized as having anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant properties that will surely help you. However, this is not the only leafy green vegetable that will help you keep yourself fit and healthy. Kale, collards, and other dark leafy greens also provide these specific properties.
So, whenever you feel like hydrogen-rich water is too expensive, you can always go to your backyard garden or local farmstand and check for some greens; they will get the job done for sure. But you should regularly be consuming this wonder food anyway. Leafy greens also have a lot of potassium, a naturally occurring mineral that helps human beings fight kidney disease. Chances are, if you’re combining green leafy vegetables with a healthy diet, you will help keep your total cholesterol in check, too.
When it comes to nuts, almonds and walnuts are the perfect choices which have many of the same properties as hydrogen water. These particular types of nuts are easy to find and usually within reach. So, if ever you’re thinking of buying a cheaper alternative to your drinking water, nuts might just be the answer.
Like leafy greens, there are many reasons to keep nuts around the house for snacking. In fact, these crunchy and enjoyable snacks are a great choice for just about any health-conscious person (who does not have a nut allergy). Not only will you feel more active when you’re chewing them, but you can also be sure that you are not wasting your money on these treasures.
All nuts are great for supporting your liver function. What’s more, walnuts, in particular, help combat liver disease and are regularly recommended to liver cancer patients. Instead of wasting your time with chips or candy, reach for nuts when you’re in the grocery store, and you can be sure you’re getting your money’s worth when buying this snack. Like hydrogen water, healthy foods are like an investment in yourself and the future of your health. That kind of investment is guaranteed to pay back in the long run.
So, there you have it! Although drinking and having hydrogen-rich water as your primary drinking water is not unlawful at all. The current small-scale hydrogen research findings are still not enough to put your whole trust in it.
Without additional research and studies to back its claims, they don’t have enough proof to assure consumers that the product they sell is 100% safe. After all, the body only needs a specific amount of elements, and consuming hydrogen-rich water may have some effects.
Nevertheless, with the current hype of this product is still high and may influence you to buy it. It is still your decision at the end of the day. However, always remember that health is wealth and that you should always consider it.