Clinical studies have reported hydrogen-rich water (HRW) to have therapeutic and ergogenic effects. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of acute supplementation with HRW on exercise performance as measured by VO2, respiratory exchange ratio (RER), heart rate (HR), and respiratory rate (RR).
Baseline levels of all exercise indices were determined in nineteen (4 female, 23.4 ± 9.1 yr; 15 male, 30.5 ± 6.8 yr) healthy subjects using a graded treadmill exercise test to exhaustion. Each subject was examined two additional times in a randomized double-blinded, placebo-controlled crossover fashion. Subjects received either HRW or placebo, which was consumed the day before and the day of the testing. HRW was delivered using the hydrogen-producing tablets, DrinkHRW (5 mg of H2). All data was analyzed with SPSS using pairwise comparisons with Bonferroni adjustment.
HRW supplementation did not influence maximal or minimal indices of exercise performance (VO2, RER, HR and RR) (p < 0.05). However, HRW significantly decreased average exercising RR and HR (p < 0.05). HRW decreased exercising HR during minutes 1-9 of the graded exercise test (121 ± 26 bpm) compared to placebo (126 ± 26 bpm) and baseline (124 ± 27 bpm) (p < 0.001) without substantially influencing VO2.
Acute supplementation of DrinkHRW tablets may benefit submaximal aerobic exercise performance by lowering exercising HR. Further studies are needed to determine the influence and practical significance of HRW on varying exercise intensities as well as optimal dosing protocols and the effects of chronic use.