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Hydrogen Rich Water Consumption Positively Affects Muscle Performance, Lactate Response, and Alleviates Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness After Resistance Training

Botek, Michal; Krejčí, Jakub; McKune, Andrew; Valenta, Michal; Sládečková, Barbora

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: October 2022 - Volume 36 - Issue 10 - p 2792-2799, doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003979


The aim of this study was to assess the effects of 1,260 ml of hydrogen rich water (HRW) intake on physiological, perceptual, and performance responses to resistance training and after 24 hours of recovery.


· Molecular hydrogen (H2) dissolved in the aqueous medium is currently a very popular method to apply H2 in daily practice.

· H2 has been shown to be a strong and selective antioxidant with high scavenger affinity to cytotoxic hydroxyl free radicals.

· H2 also has recently been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antiapoptotic, and antifatigue properties.

· Because of its beneficial effects on endurance, repeated sprint ability, and maximal isokinetic muscle strength performance, HRW supplementation has become increasingly popular in elite and nonelite athletes.

· From a metabolic perspective, HRW consumption before exercise lowered blood lactate during cycling at higher exercise intensities and immediately after exercise.

· In addition, HRW intake attenuated rating of perceived exertion (RPE) during exercise and visual analog scale ratings (VAS) after endurance exercise.

12 men aged 23.8 ± 1.9 years performed a half squat, knee flexion, and extension exercises with the load set at 70% of 1 repetition maximum for 3 sets of 10 repetitions (reps) per set).

Lunges were performed with a load of 30% of body mass for 3 sets of 20 reps per set.

Time of each set, lactate, and ratings of perceived exertion were assessed mid-way through exercise and immediately after the exercise.

Creatine kinase, muscle soreness visual analog scale ratings, countermovement jump, and heart rate variability were evaluated before the training and at 30 minutes, 6, and 24 hours of recovery.


Lunges were performed faster with HRW compared with placebo.

Hydrogen rich water reduced lactate at mid-way and immediately after the exercise (HRW: 5.3 ± 2.1 and 5.1 ± 2.2, placebo: 6.5 ± 1.8 and 6.3 ± 2.2 mmol·L−1, p ≤ 0.008).

VAS ratings were significantly lower with HRW (26 ± 11 vs. 41 ± 20 mm, p = 0.002) after 24 hours of recovery.

In conclusion, an acute intermittent HRW hydration improved muscle function, reduced the lactate response, and alleviated delayed onset of muscle soreness.


More long-term studies are needed to determine the efficacy of hydrogen rich water but consuming 1,260 ml of HRW may offer an advantage in strength training performance both perceptually and physiologically. Just make sure you secure a 100% pure HRW product as opposed to a scam version.

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