#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt: Why Hydrogen Water Bottles Are Trending

In the online health and wellness space, it seems like there is a new trend popping up every day that promises astonishing health benefits. TikTok crazes spread like wildfire, with the latest sensation being the hydrogen water bottle, garnering attention under the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt. This innovation comes with bold claims about what it can do, including enhanced hydration and health benefits. But does this trend live up to the hype?

In this article, we’ll explore the reported health benefits of hydrogen-infused water and delve into the science behind the alleged claims.

What are hydrogen water bottles?

Portable hydrogen water bottles are containers designed to enrich water with hydrogen molecules. This is usually done through electrolysis or the use of hydrogen-generating tablets. Social media influencers and prominent figures in the health and wellness community, such as biohacking advocate Gary Brecka, promote them widely, touting the benefits of regular hydration and sharing the potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidative qualities.

How does a hydrogen water bottle work?

There are two main techniques used in hydrogen water bottles to enrich water with hydrogen. Electrolysis is one method that splits the water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen gas. Alternatively, hydrogen water can be created by dissolving specialized tablets in the water, which release hydrogen gas that infuses the water. Even though such methods exist, the solubility of hydrogen gas in water is extremely low; in chemistry, hydrogen gas is even considered insoluble in water. This fundamental fact raises questions about whether such low quantities of hydrogen in water could have any effect on human health.

Potential antioxidant benefits

One review of the current research on hydrogen-infused water includes its potentially powerful antioxidant properties that aid in neutralizing dangerous free radicals in the human body. This may have implications in addressing oxidative stress, which has been linked to a number of health issues such as chronic illnesses and inflammation. However, despite the studies reviewed pointing to possible benefits, the researchers note that more large-scale human trials are needed to evaluate whether this actually works.

Potential benefits for metabolic syndrome

There is some interesting research suggesting that consuming hydrogen-infused water may be beneficial for those experiencing metabolic syndrome, a condition that raises the risk of cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. The possible explanation of hydrogen-infused water effects may involve the reduction of inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which have a great impact on metabolic health.

In one open-label study where 20 people with potential metabolic syndrome drank 1.5–2 L of hydrogen-infused water every day for 8 weeks, they saw a 39% boost in a helpful antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase. Also, there was a 43% decrease in a substance called thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) in their urine, which is linked to less oxidative stress. However, the study is very small and used a complex method to enrich the water with hydrogen gas, which is hardly available in everyday settings.

Another randomized, double-blind controlled study found that drinking electrolyzed hydrogen water alongside high physical activity reduced waist circumference and some inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers in individuals with metabolic and pre-metabolic syndrome. The researchers noted that physical activity was most likely responsible for waist size reduction, and hypothesized that electrolyzed hydrogen water may have implications in combating oxidative stress.

More results came from a 2020 randomized, controlled trial involving 60 men and women. Researchers found that after 24 weeks of drinking hydrogen-rich water, some inflammation-related blood biomarker levels were reduced in the treatment group; however, this reduction was only statistically and not clinically significant.

Despite the valuable insights provided by the current reviews and research, scientists agree that larger clinical trials are needed to establish firm conclusions.

Hydrogen water bottles vs. regular water bottles

There are several factors to consider when comparing hydrogen water bottles to your regular water bottles.

  • Cost. The upfront cost of a hydrogen water bottle can be significantly more than regular store-bought bottled water.
  • Sustainability. Having a reusable hydrogen water bottle may be more sustainable than regularly buying water in plastic bottles.
  • Health benefits. There are possible health benefits that may come with hydrogen water bottles that you don’t get with regular water. However, these health benefits and the efficacy of such hydrogen-enriched water are highly debated in scientific and medical communities.
  • Maintenance. A hydrogen water bottle may need constant maintenance to ensure it is clean and free from mold or other bacteria, as is the case with other reusable bottles.

How to use a hydrogen water bottle

Generally speaking, using a hydrogen water bottle isn’t a complicated process. All you need to do is add the water and turn on the hydrogen infusion mechanism. Although the exact method will vary depending on the brand you choose, this might be a useful step-by-step:

  1. Pour fresh water into the bottle.
  2. In accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, activate the hydrogen infusion mechanism.
  3. Give the water the recommended amount of time to be 'enriched' with hydrogen.
  4. Enjoy your hydrogen-infused water.

How to clean a hydrogen water bottle

As with any sustainable or reusable bottle, make sure to clean your hydrogen water bottle on a regular basis to ensure maximum performance and hygiene. To keep your bottle fresh and clean, follow these steps:

  1. After each use, rinse the bottle with warm water.
  2. To completely clean the interior, use a bottle brush and a mild detergent or 50/50 water and distilled white vinegar mix.
  3. To get rid of any soap residue, rinse your bottle thoroughly at least twice.
  4. Before storing the bottle, let it air dry entirely.

Final thoughts on hydrogen water bottles

Those looking for novel hydration solutions might find that using a hydrogen water bottle helps with habit-forming. Although social media influencers might have started a craze, hydrogen-infused water is still a highly debated topic and definite proof of its benefits is yet to emerge.

Just like with anything that catches our attention online and prompts us to give it a try, whether hydrogen water bottles are worth buying depends on our individual preferences and priorities.

The current research is still fairly limited and more reliable, longitudinal studies are needed to establish firm connections between hydrogen-infused water and its reported benefits. Although generally well-tolerated, if you have any concerns about hydrogen-infused water, it’s important that you speak to your doctor before adding it to your daily hydration schedule.

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