Perhaps you’ve seen the aluminum pouches of “H Factor” and other brands at the supermarket, or the tablets or sticks you use to make your own hydrogen water - or even the hydrogen water maker machines you can set up at home.
The health, fitness and beauty benefits of hydrogen-infused water have been touted lately by celebrities like Zac Efron, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds as well as by skin care gurus like Dr. Nicholas Perricone, who now has his own hydrogen water line.
Specific benefits cited include increased energy, boosted athletic performance and shorter recovery times after workouts, along with other benefits like better skin and relief of headaches and hangovers.
Skeptics mock it as marketing hype or a “celebrity trend.”
“There really isn’t enough scientific evidence to support the claims that hydrogen water has any benefits over plain tap water,” says Sonya Angelone, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
But scientific studies do back some of these claims.
For instance, a 2012 study on hydrogen water, published in Medical Gas Research showed this latest health tonic reduced blood lactate levels and improved exercise-induced decline of muscle function. A 2011 study, published by the same medical journal, showed that the antioxidant properties in hydrogen water also reduced radiation symptoms in cancer patients. The research also cited studies showing similar benefits for several other medical conditions, including atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cognitive impairment during aging and in Parkinson's disease.
So what exactly IS hydrogen water? How much does it cost? And where do you get it?
Hydrogen water is basically purified tap water with molecular hydrogen gas added.
And it isn’t cheap. It’s about $3 per 11-ounce container, about $1 per table that can hydrogenize a 16-ounce glass of water, $25 plus tax and shipping for the hydrogen water stick (which needs to be replaced every six months) and about $500 and up for hydrogen water making machine.
Pre-made hydrogen water can be found at most grocery stores and vitamin shops. One popular brand, HFactor, allows you to type in your zip code to find the closest store. The other products can all be found on Amazon.
Once the drink is open or made, drink it fast! Premade hydrogen-infused water comes in non-permeable aluminum cans or pouches so the hydrogen doesn’t escape. But once the containers are opened and exposed to air, the amount of molecular hydrogen in the water will immediately start to dissipate into the air until the water returns to the hydrogen concentration of regular water.
Have you tried hydrogen water? Does it work for you? Write a comment and let us know!