Why Hydrogen-Rich Water is Great for Your HealthFeb 06, 2024
Hydrogen water seems to have hit the "mainstream" recently.
Back in November, a guest on Joe Rogan's podcast—a "human biologist" named Gary Brecka—talked about "hydrogen water" and mentioned products like the Echo Go water bottle as a way to get hydrogen-rich water into your daily drinking water. You can find that bit of the conversation around the 1:35:00 minute mark. (I've not tested this water bottle or looked into it any further than seeing it come across my inbox, and hearing how popular its become since its mention on the Joe Rogan show.)
Whether you're a Joe Rogan fan or not, it's at least easy to admit that mentions of anything on his show seem to see a rise in interest, for better or worse. In this case, I'm thrilled that the topic of hydrogen water is finally "hitting the masses."
Well, let's chat about exactly what "hydrogen-rich" water is, and why it IS actually an incredible tool for your health.
H2 is a gas made up of two hydrogen atoms. Over 1,000 research articles on over 170 diseases have now shown therapeutic efficacy with molecular hydrogen-rich water. Check here for a quick search using those terms on PubMed alone.
H2 acts as a selective antioxidant, meaning—if there's an excess of inflammation—it can help reduce it. But unlike other antioxidants, molecular hydrogen is selective in that it doesn't suppress all inflammation.
Since inflammation is a signal to the immune system that something is awry, if it gets suppressed completely, the immune system misses the signal and can actually result in MORE damage. This is why several research studies in the 1990s showed a worse prognosis for smokers given a high dose antioxidant supplementation than those not taking any.
Since we don't need inflammation going completely unchecked and we also do not need it suppressed completely, H2 works in a very beneficial, adaptogenic way.
H2 can be made when metallic magnesium reacts with water. It is also produced endogenously via the gut microbiome (as a byproduct of fiber fermentation) and via melanin (which is surrounded by water), splitting the water into H2 and O2.
Research has also shown that the presumed benefits from alkaline ionized water actually come from the fact that it is a richer source of H2.
The most popular way to produce H2 is with a metallic magnesium tablet is dropped into 16oz of water, the reaction creating two forms of beneficial H2: dissolved H2 (invisible) and quasi-dissolved H2 (gas cloud).
This type of H2 reaches therapeutic levels in the water creating a temporary supersaturation (2-3 ppm) within 30-120 seconds and needs to be consumed fairly quickly or else the therapeutic concentration begins to drop.
Ideally, we are consuming H2 water on an empty stomach.
Once consumed, blood levels of H2 elevate within 15 minutes and stay elevated for 45-90 minutes. Even after blood levels drop, there is still a therapeutic effect due to all the homeostatic pathways activated.
My typical recommendation is 1-3 servings per day based on things like your personal level of inflammation and non-native EMF environment.
Check out my Recommended Product Guide for brands of molecular hydrogen I love. You can find them in the "Mitochondrial Support" section.