Strategic advice for the food and beverage industry

H2O just got boosted: Is hydrogen water really better?

The science is clear: the healthiest beverage is water. It doesn’t contain any sugars, salt, nor chemicals that can harm you as long as it’s filtered properly. Can we make it better? According to some, we can – by boosting its hydrogen content.

Some hydrogen water products on the market claim that the infused molecular hydrogen is a powerful antioxidant, clinically-proven to improve your athletic performance, reduce inflammation, boost your energy, and has therapeutic benefits including accelerating post-workout muscle recovery, relief for headaches and hangovers, and skin benefits.

You can get it for $3 per 325ml pouch, $1 per tablet to hydrogenate your glass of water, or pay $500-3,000 for a generator to do the trick for you. For that money, there must be some serious science behind it, right?

According to the Molecular Hydrogen Foundation, there are over 500 peer-reviewed articles that demonstrate the therapeutic potential in every organ of the human body.

However, from these 500 peer-reviewed articles, only 37 are human studies. These human studies span over the last 17 years and most were conducted in Asia.

Another problematic factor is that nearly every human study listed has a different objective – ranging from sports performance in elite athletes to diabetes, cancer and skin diseases – meaning that the reproducibility of most of these studies has not been tested.

In a 2016 review that overall praises the use of molecular hydrogen, the author does say: “The small cohort patients studies or case reports revealed the safety or some promising benefits of therapeutic hydrogen in a variety range of diseases and pathological status such as post-cardiac syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, acute cerebral ischemia, metabolic syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, haemodialysis and postpsoriasis.”1

The review also explains that we are not sure yet what the best way is of taking in molecular hydrogen nor are we sure of the best dose.

Hydrogen water may have therapeutic benefits, but it is too early to conclude anything about it before having more well-designed human studies that include a larger number of participants.

By: Ann Eshaw

Posted in Editorial, Mainsite

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