Watermelon water, probiotic water, boxed water…is it just us, or has water had a massive year? And it seems its winning streak isn’t over, with yet another water trend taking the wellness world by storm: hydrogen water.
“But doesn’t water already contain hydrogen?” you may ask. “Isn’t that what the ‘h’ in h20 stands for?” You’d be right! But hydrogen water contains extra hydrogen gas for enhanced health benefits — or so the companies peddling the stuff claim.
One such company is Dr. Perricone Hydrogen Water (created by the dermatologist and nutritionist behind PerriconeMD Cosmetics). He claims his natural antioxidant ‘energy drink’ can give you more energy, reverse premature ageing and even reduce recovery times after your workouts.
He points to research conducted in Japan (where hydrogen water has already been a trend for a number of years) as evidence. Various studies revealed that the added hydrogen may have an anti-inflammatory effect and turn your body into what Dr. Perricone calls ‘an antioxidant factory.’ However, all of these studies had small sample sizes and thus far, there’s no conclusive evidence to confirm that hydrogen water has any health-boosting benefits.
If it does indeed have health benefits, we don’t know how much added hydrogen is required to see them. And as there’s no regulation to standardise formulas, there’s a lot of variation in the amount of added hydrogen in the products currently on the market. Dr. Perricone also points out that hydrogen dissipates quickly through glass or plastics, so products in this packaging are likely to contain less (his is packaged in a special aluminium coated with a special compound that maintains its potency).
The bottom line is, there’s still a lot of research into the benefits of hydrogen to be done. While we can’t say for sure whether it’s any healthier than normal water, there’s certainly no harm in drinking it. As Dr. Perricone says himself, its non-toxic, not overly expensive (it’s $12 for a 4-pack) and a decent alternative to energy drinks.