Hydrogen water has garnered more and more attention by the wellness world in recent years. What is all the hype about?
Some studies have concluded that hydrogen water can provide the following benefits:
- Increase energy
- Reduce inflammation
- Decrease post-workout recovery time
- Slows the ageing process
- Reduce DNA damage
How hydrogen water works
Pure water, or H2O, is a vital compound for all living beings. When active hydrogen, or H2 (lightest element in the universe) is injected into pure water, it works as a powerful antioxidant in our body by giving electrons to the free radicals. Once the free radical receives an electron from active hydrogen, it becomes pure water and is discharged out of our body.
This simple mechanism indicates that H2 water prevents oxidative stress from normal body functions and external forces like sun exposure, industrial chemicals and so on.
Then, what is oxidative stress? It indicates a state where excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) overwhelm biological antioxidant capacity, leading to disruption of ROS homeostasis and cellular damage. Under normal circumstances, cells need to maintain moderate ROS to perform normal physiological functions. Excessive level of ROS will lead to oxidative damage of DNA and lipids, which ultimately causes cellular death.
Oxidative stress also causes increased inflammation which in turn produces even more oxidative stress. Chronic inflammation can also lead to cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, neuro degenerative disorders and cancer.
Progress in the market
The FDA in the US has acknowledged that H2 gas as a food additive in water to be deemed safe. More and more products are now available on the market, including ready-made water and beverages infused with H2. There are also products added to water, or devices that can inject active H2 into water. Consumers should be aware of the amount of H2 they are receiving from the product in order to reap the benefits. Amount less than 1000 ppb (parts per billion) is probably not high enough to make a big difference. In Japan, where hydrogen water was first introduced, the Japan Hydrogen Water Association will not certify products that produce less than1000 ppb. There is also a cost consideration, as most ready-made beverages are generally not cheap. Some devices require a lot of maintenance and de-scaling which can also be burdensome.