Molecular Hydrogen, The Best Antioxidant You’ve Probably Never Heard Of!
Molecular hydrogen is easily in my top 3 favorite supplements ever. Because it’s small, but
mighty! Kind of like a bulldog. And in the same way bulldogs eat all the tennis balls at the dog
park, molecular hydrogen eats up the free radicals in your body. Read on to find out how
molecular hydrogen works, how it can boost your health, and a whole lot more!
So what is Molecular Hydrogen anyway?
Molecular hydrogen, aka H2, is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas. It’s pretty much just two hydrogen atoms stuck together. If you wanted to make H2, all you’d have to do is split water in half. You see water has one oxygen molecule, attached to two hydrogen molecules. If you could split the two apart, you’d be left with hydrogen gas and oxygen gas. This process is called hydrolysis, but that’s basically a fancy way of saying water splitting.
Hydrolysis is usually done with electricity, but some really smart cats like Alex Tarnava, figured out you can use dextrose, light acids, and magnesium to do the same thing! When you take all of these, and dissolve them in water, you get hydrolysis. Leaving you with a glass full of water, magnesium ions, and a bunch of tiny bubbles of dissolved hydrogen gas!
What’s so great about this bubbly water?
We care about molecular hydrogen because it’s a very strong antioxidant. Free radicals are basically unbound oxygen containing molecules, floating around your body, stealing electrons. This is what’s called oxidative stress, and it can damage your DNA, cell walls, and cause you to age faster. That is, until molecular hydrogen comes along, and the hydrogen combine with the free radicals to become water.
But molecular hydrogen isn’t just any old antioxidant, H2 is what’s known as a “selective anti-oxidant”. While some antioxidants neutralize every free radical, they come across. Molecular hydrogen only neutralizes the bad stuff. Did you know that some free radicals are good for you? For example, nitric oxide is an extremely important molecule, that opens your blood vessels. But it is technically a free radical. Most antioxidants, like vitamin C, would neutralize nitric oxide indiscriminately. This is one of the main reasons, you shouldn’t take antioxidants around a workout, because you’ll lose a lot of the benefits!
H2 is different because it targets the bad stuff like superoxide, while leaving the good stuff like nitric oxide. Which is why molecular hydrogen is okay to take around a workout, and it may actually boost your performance, rather than limiting it! Another amazing feature of molecular hydrogen is how incredibly small it is.
Just how small is Molecular Hydrogen?
A hydrogen atom is the smallest atom known to man. Molecular hydrogen is just two hydrogen atoms hanging out together, which forms a hydrogen molecule. Hence the name, molecular hydrogen. This makes molecular hydrogen, literally the smallest molecule possible. And the cool thing about tiny hydrogen, is there’s basically nowhere in your body it can’t go. I’m not just talking about being small enough to fit in your cells, but small enough to fit inside your mitochondria (like the cells within your cells). It’s so small it can float through your blood brain barrier like a fruit fly through jail cell bars. Making it an antioxidant that can effectively reach your brain. There’s hardly anywhere in your body that’s off limits to hydrogen. Which means it’s good for just about everything! But don’t let its size fool you, molecular hydrogen pack quite a punch!
What can it do for me?
Molecular hydrogen first gained notoriety around 2007. And since then, has had hundreds of papers published on its health benefits. It’s best known as a strong antioxidant for your mitochondria. By neutralizing superoxide within your mitochondria, it reduces oxidative stress and helps increase cellular energy production. Which is great because it means more energy for you! This is also why I recommend it in the morning, or midafternoon, since it can keep you up, if taken too late in the day.
As mentioned earlier it crosses the blood brain barrier. This not only helps support a healthy blood brain barrier, but also delivers antioxidants to your brain directly. Which is a great way to keep your brain cells young and healthy! Making it great following any type of traumatic brain injury.
But can it make me faster?
I can’t say for sure if it’ll make you run faster. But molecular hydrogen can make your metabolism faster! In a randomized controlled trial 30 men and 30 women were given hydrogen rich water for 24 weeks. They found a significant reduction in blood cholesterol and blood glucose, as well as reduced A1C values. And even more interesting, is they found a small reduction in BMI and waistline!
If it’s performance in the gym you’re after, H2 not only helps with the day after muscle soreness, but has also been shown to increase VO2 max, and time till exhaustion!
Because it lowers oxidative stress, and inflammation, molecular hydrogen could be good for any condition that increases oxidation or inflammation. From allergies to septic infections, molecular hydrogen benefits anything that causes oxidative inflammation. Even reperfusion injuries!
“What the heck is a reperfusion injury”? I know this sounds complicate, but I promise it’s an interesting one! Reperfusion is basically any time an area of your body gets low on blood and oxygen, and then the blood comes back, and you get slammed with oxidative stress. This is partially what happens when you wake up more sore than you went to bed. This can happen especially if you do not breath well through the night, and you don’t get enough oxygen at night. When you wake up, and start breathing normally, those tissues get slammed with oxygen, and it causes a spike in oxidative stress. This causes a big increase in inflammation and soreness. Another example of reperfusion injury would be the return of blood flow after a stroke, or heart attack, and it’s a big part of what makes these things so damaging.
Molecular hydrogen can help mitigate the negative effects of reperfusion injury basically by cancelling out the extra reactive oxygen species that spike after blood comes back. This takes away a significant amount of inflammation and damage. This is likely why molecular hydrogen is showing promise post heart attack, stroke, and even after traumatic brain injuries. But also, why it could help you feel less muscle soreness, especially if taken in the morning!
So, how do I take it?
Molecular hydrogen is basically a small grey pill that makes fizzy water. Put one to two tabs in an 8-ounce glass of water until they fully dissolve. Then drink the water quickly, before the bubbles dissipate. Once the bubbles float off, it’s hard to get them back in the water.
Depending on the type of tablet, this will provide you with about 8 – 16 ppm of hydrogen rich water, and about 80 mg of ionic magnesium. I like to take it in the morning within 30 minutes of breakfast, or mid-day for a small energy boost.
Sounds great, Where do I get it?
Alex Tarnava is the guy who came up with this ingenious and affordable way to deliver molecular hydrogen. And you can go to his website and purchase his official blend at Drink HRW. Water and Wellness is another great resource. They have a variety of H2 options like their Active H2 ultra, and are a great resource for water filters, and all things water related.
My personal favorite is the Dr. Mercola brand H2 of Molecular hydrogen. The active ingredients are very comparable but has the highest ppm of hydrogen per dollar. This is the form of hydrogen we carry in our clinic.
Thanks for reading!
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- Molecular hydrogen and Metabolism:
- Traumatic brain injury and molecular hydrogen
- Molecular hydrogen for Sepsis:
- Oxidative stress, cardiac disease and H2
- H2, VO2 max and exercise performance: