Should You Add Hydrogen Water to Your Shopping List?

Janet Tiberian Author
By Janet Tiberian, MA, MPH, CHES
April 19, 2024
Supermarket shelves with bottles of water

It’s not news that we should be drinking lots of water each day. Many people find water boring; in response, manufacturers began enhancing water with flavors and nutrients. These waters are known as designer waters and many brands tout health benefits to justify their price tag.

The latest: hydrogen water.

Why Hydrogen Water?

Hydrogen water is based on the premise that hydrogen has health benefits, and we should be consuming more of it. One source of hydrogen most of us consume regularly is water. It’s comprised of two hydrogen molecules bonded to one oxygen molecule — hence H20. However, some experts believe the oxygen interferes with your body’s ability to absorb hydrogen from water. Manufacturers believe that adding hydrogen molecules to water provides it with: 

  • Anti-inflammatory benefits 
  • Antioxidants 
  • Increased energy
  • Anti-aging effects
  • Better muscle recovery after workouts
  • Boost mood

Manufacturers infuse additional hydrogen into water before they bottle or can their products. You also can add hydrogen tablets to a glass of water. Or you can buy an electronic water ionizer to make your own hydrogen water.

Is it Safe?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hydrogen water is recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as being safe. And it doesn’t seem to have any side effects.

Is it Worth the Hype?

This is questionable. Some hydrogen water brands include nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C and electrolytes. From that standpoint, hydrogen water might provide more benefits than regular water. But that’s also debatable: Many experts don’t believe nutritional supplements contribute much to overall health.

Results from a few very small studies suggested hydrogen water may have some value. One study was a randomized, doubled-blind study control trial that involved a tracking 38 participants between the ages of 20 and 59 for four weeks. Results found that hydrogen water can increase antioxidant capacity, particularly in those older than 30, which can lower inflammation, according to a study published in Natural Medicine Journal.

Two other studies focused on athletes. One looked at the effects hydrogen water had on 16 male runners. Results showed improvements race times and fatigue levels among the four slowest runners, according to a study published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. And the other study, comprising 37 trained and untrained cyclists, found that hydrogen water increased endurance levels, speed and overall fitness levels of untrained cyclists, according to a study published in the journal Biology of Sport.

But researchers who conducted a 30-study metanalysis of hydrogen water weren’t able to draw any clear conclusions on the health impact of hydrogen water, according to a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.  

What’s the Bottom Line?

Staying hydrated is important. Designer waters like hydrogen water may help you get enough fluids. However, currently, there’s not enough scientific evidence to suggest it has health benefits.

Researchers haven’t given up on hydrogen water. Additional studies are underway, but many of these researchers are concentrating on the use of hydrogen water in medical therapies. 

About the Author
Janet Tiberian Author
Janet Tiberian, MA, MPH, CHES

Janet Tiberian is MDVIP's health educator. She has more than 25 years experience in chronic disease prevention and therapeutic exercise.

View All Posts By Janet Tiberian, MA, MPH, CHES
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