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However, research in this area is limited, which is why many health experts are skeptical of its supposed benefits.
Many companies promote hydrogen water as a natural way to enhance athletic performance.
The product may benefit athletes by reducing inflammation and slowing the accumulation of lactate in the blood, which is a sign of muscle fatigue ().
Certain companies claim that when extra hydrogen is added, these hydrogen molecules are “free” and more accessible to your body.
The product is made by infusing hydrogen gas into pure water before packing it into cans or pouches.
Hydrogen water can be pricey — with one popular company selling a 30-pack of 8-ounce (240-ml) cans for $90 and suggesting consumers drink at least three cans per day.
Additionally, hydrogen tablets meant to be added to plain or carbonated water are sold online and in health food stores.
At the end of the trial, those who consumed the hydrogen water experienced decreased levels of hydroperoxide — a marker of oxidative stress — and maintained greater antioxidant activity after radiation treatment than the control group ().
However, a recent four-week study in 26 healthy people demonstrated that drinking 20 ounces (600 ml) of hydrogen-rich water per day did not decrease markers of oxidative stress, such as hydroperoxide, compared to a placebo group ().
A study in ten male soccer players found that athletes who drank 51 ounces (1,500 ml) of hydrogen-enriched water experienced lower levels of blood lactate and decreased muscle fatigue after exercise compared to a placebo group ().
Another small two-week study in eight male cyclists demonstrated that the men who consumed 68 ounces (2 liters) of hydrogen-enriched water daily had greater power output during sprinting exercises than those who drank regular water (Though some research on the health effects of hydrogen water shows positive results, larger and longer studies are needed before conclusions can be drawn.