Every now and then I get a question that makes me want to just scream…

cmon-man(or an equivalent with less family-friendly language)

Earlier this week, I was asked about a new item trying to become the latest health fad. It’s called…

hydrogen-rich-waterHydrogen-Rich Water

Right off the bat, you might be thinking this is a scam. After all, anyone who knows the chemical structure of water knows it contains two molecules of hydrogen and one of oxygen. In other words…it’s already two-thirds hydrogen.

But this type of water is different. It uses a chemical reaction to form a small amount of hydrogen gas (about 2 parts per million, which is about the same level as chlorine in an indoor swimming pool). The process requires two things…water and a stick of magnesium. When they mix, you get a combination of magnesium hydroxide and hydrogen gas.

You might be wondering how is this relatively simple chemical reaction – and rather low amount of hydrogen gas – is becoming a health fad. Well, when you ingest this water, the hydrogen gas acts as an antioxidant and helps the body to remove free radicals.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

Free radicals are a part of life but having too many of them can indeed be problematic. After all, they contribute to, well…


rosDestruction of DNA!

Based on the reports, this damage can shorten your life, make you prone to chronic diseases, and make wrinkles happen faster. In other words, they are…

bad(Yet his music was so good!)

But you can avoid all this harm by simply using the magnesium stick to make hydrogen-rich water. Once you get the stick, you are guaranteed to be saved…

miracle(Or at least so it seems)

In reality, the science is good. Hydrogen gas can reduce the number of free radicals. This in turn can help to reduce the chances of inflammation, several chronic diseases, and those wrinkles. In addition, clinical trials have shown hydrogen-rich water can be beneficial to a person’s health.

With this in mind you might be asking…

whats-the-big-deal-2If it works, why not use it?

Well, it comes down to the actual frequency needed to actually make a difference.

Back in 2012, a group wanted to examine the effect of hydrogen-rich water on the formation of hydrogen gas in the body. They did this by looking at the level of hydrogen in the breath. You can read the whole paper here: https://medicalgasresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2045-9912-2-15

When people drank hydrogen-rich water, the effect lasted 45 minutes. That’s not really a long time when it comes to our day to day existence. Also, to keep those levels up, people had to drink 200 mL every half hour to keep the concentration high enough to be effective.

In other words, to keep yourself primed with hydrogen-rich water, you’re going to have to drink…

water-glasses6 litres a day! (That’s over 1.5 gallons)

Considering the average person drinks about 1.5L or six glasses, that’s a heck of a jump. Moreover, you cannot do it all at once or else you risk significant health problems through a condition known as hyperhydration. Put it this way…

ldwaterToo much water can kill!

There is, however, a much better way to get the benefits of hydrogen. In that 2012 study, the researchers also examined other dietary options. The most effective and long lasting happened to come from something you might have in your home right now.

fiberLactulose to be exact

Yes, the addition of fibre to the diet can improve the formation of hydrogen gas and keep those free radicals at bay. While the study looked at lactulose, other options, such as psyllium and inulin also will be beneficial. What’s even better is the fact the effects after one teaspoon can last several hours.

There’s also another reason to go with fibre over hydrogen-rich water. The trillions of bacteria living in your intestines simply adore the stuff and will be happy with each dose. You in turn end up having a more balanced microbial population. In other words…

oprahYou just don’t get a car.

If you are interested in using hydrogen to improve your health, I would simply recommend you forgo the magnesium stick and instead fancy some fibre.

If, however, you do choose to go with the water option, I’d love to know what you think of the results.