Hydrogen gas: from clinical medicine to an emerging ergogenic molecule for sports athletes

nanonug

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Interesting agent, this H2...

Abstract

H2 has been clinically demonstrated to provide anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which makes it an attractive agent in exercise medicine. Although exercise provides a multiplicity of benefits including decreased risk of disease, it can also have detrimental effects. For example, chronic high-intensity exercise in elite athletes, or sporadic bouts of exercise (i.e. noxious exercise) in untrained individuals, result in similar pathological factors such as inflammation, oxidation and cellular damage that arise from and result in disease. Paradoxically, exercise-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines and reactive oxygen species largely mediate the benefits of exercise. Ingestion of conventional antioxidants and anti-inflammatories often impairs exercise-induced training adaptations. Disease and noxious forms of exercise promote redox dysregulation and chronic inflammation, changes which are mitigated by H2 administration. Beneficial exercise and H2 administration promote cytoprotective hormesis, mitochondrial biogenesis, ATP production, increased NAD+/NADH ratio, cytoprotective phase II enzymes, heat-shock proteins, sirtuins, etc. We review the biomedical effects of exercise and those of H2, and propose that hydrogen may act as an exercise mimetic and redox adaptogen, potentiate the benefits from beneficial exercise, and reduce the harm from noxious exercise. However, more research is warranted to elucidate the potential ergogenic and therapeutic effects of H2 in exercise medicine.
 

Hip

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I've experimented with drinking hydrogen rich water (HRW) — water in which hydrogen gas is dissolved, usually at high pressure. This is the usual way H2 gas is consumed for its antioxidant effects, and its ghrelin-stimulating effects. You can now buy lots of kits that allow you to make HRW at home.

I find HRW does help the emotional sensitivity / stress sensitivity symptom of ME/CFS quite noticeably, but did not help with any other ME/CFS symptoms. Helps reduce my anhedonia slightly also. Some info in this post.
 
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sb4

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I messed around with some H2 about a year ago, didn't notice much. If I remember right you can get it by mixing magnesium with malate or something. I also tried tablet versions.
 

junkcrap50

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Just FYI: To create H2, when talking about magnesium, you need the pure 100% elemental magnesium metal (comes in sticks/bars, pellets, shavings, strips, grains, or powder) + a weak acid (a salt of malate, glycinate, citrate, etc) dissolved in water.
 

debored13

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I have been trying making hydrogen gas by mixing malic acid and magnesium rods in water and sniffing the gas but I haven’t noticed much yet. Inwould like to try larger amounts. I am curious about whether it would be easier to make bigger amounts faster by electrolysis using a battery and paper clips Bc this seems like a slow reaction.
 

Hip

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I have been trying making hydrogen gas by mixing malic acid and magnesium rods in water and sniffing the gas but I haven’t noticed much yet.
In order to stimulate the hypothalamus (and thus the HPA-axis) via ghrelin release, I think it needs to be H2 gas dissolved in water and drunk. I am doubtful that breathing H2 gas will stimulate ghrelin.
 

debored13

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In order to stimulate the hypothalamus (and thus the HPA-axis) via ghrelin release, I think it needs to be H2 gas dissolved in water and drunk. I am doubtful that breathing H2 gas will stimulate ghrelin.
I will try hydrogen water, although test tube method is a little harder while brainfogged than just putting the rod in the malic acid. But I have definitley read some studies on h2 gas helping in infarct, and maybe it helps w oxidative stress and perfusion for that reason. So I still consider it possibly a viable treatment for cfs even if it doesn’t affect grehlin? Anyway I also wonder if one can just buy h2 gas that is fairly pure and then breathe it
 

Hip

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I will try hydrogen water, although test tube method is a little harder while brainfogged than just putting the rod in the malic acid.
You can dispense with the test tube if you like, and just place the malic acid and magnesium rod directly in the drinking water in the bottle. They will still react, but more slowly, so you may have to leave bottle overnight. Ensure that you use a plastic bottle designed to hold fizzy drinks (as these bottles can withstand pressure).

In fact, that's originally how I made my hydrogen rich water. Then when you drink the water, you get both H2 and also the reaction product, the magnesium malate (which is actually a good supplement for ME/CFS, especially malate, which has mitochondrial benefits).

In my case, because I have IBS-D, and magnesium supplements increase propensity to diarrhea, so the magnesium malate became an issue for me, so that's why I went for the test tube within a bottle method.



Coincidentally, the "test tube" I used was actually the plastic container of a cheap hydrogen rich water-making stick that I had bought on eBay! Such as this HRW stick for $3, shown in the image below.

By complete coincidence, the plastic tube container just about fits inside the top of a standard fizzy drink bottle, and the plastic tube is large enough to hold my magnesium rods (which are 18 mm in diameter).


1555949632306.png


It's also possible that the hydrogen rich water made by this stick might have some benefits. But because the stick works under normal atmospheric pressure, it will only produce a low concentration of H2 gas in the water.
 
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Quote taken from another thread:
I use 99.99% pure magnesium rods bought from China on eBay. These are very pure, but in any case, because the test tube containing the magnesium rod and citric acid is isolated from the drinking water in my 1 liter plastic bottle (the test tube is closed with stopper with a tiny pinhole to let the H2 gas escape), the reactants do not get into the water.
What stops the reactants/products from leaching into the water via the pinhole that lets the H2 gas escape the test tube?
 

Hip

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What stops the reactants/products from leaching into the water via the pinhole that lets the H2 gas escape the test tube?
Gravity. I only fill the test tube about three-quarters full with citric acid solution, with an air space on top. Then the tiny pin-prick air hole I make in the plastic stopper of the test tube lets out the H2 gas, but the citric acid solution plus magnesium remain at the bottom portion of the test tube due to gravity.
 
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@Hip In a longecity post you wrote that it's important to shake the bottle vigorously for 30 seconds before consuming, as this will help dissolve some of the pressurized hydrogen gas into the water. Shouldn't one wait for the hydrogen water to "stabilize" after shaking so that it won't cause excessive effervescence in the same way carbonated beverages loses CO2 after being shaken?
 

Hip

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Shouldn't one wait for the hydrogen water to "stabilize" after shaking so that it won't cause excessive effervescence in the same way carbonated beverages loses CO2 after being shaken?
That's a good point, I never thought of that. When I make my hydrogen rich water in a liter plastic bottle, it takes about 30 minutes or so for sufficient hydrogen gas to be produced by the magnesium + citric acid reaction. Then as soon as the bottle is ready, I shake the bottle vigorously for 30 seconds, then open the bottle immediately after in order to drink it. But when I open the bottle, you do see a lot of effervescence, so some of the H2 gas dissolved in the water does escape.

I will have to try waiting for half an hour after shaking, to see if that prevents the effervescence.


By the way, at the moment I am experimenting with mixing citric acid with tiny magnesium pellets (of about 1 mm or less in diameter), which I bought online. This speeds up the reaction, as there is more magnesium surface area compared the magnesium rods I have been using. I use 3 grams of citric acid and mix it with about 1 gram of magnesium pellets.

I also tried using very fine magnesium powder, but this was a failure because with powder the surface area is so high that the reaction becomes uncontrollably fast, and releases a great deal of heat.
 
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Thanks for your quality information as always @Hip!

A couple of questions:

I read in the longecity thread that there was a study indicating that HRW "brewed" at room temperature achieved higher ppm than at lower temperatures. Could this mean that refrigerating HRW after you have opened the bottle could slow the effervescence in the same way it slowed the dissolving process?

If 3 grams of citric acid/malic acid is optimal for 1.5 L HRW, then 1 gram should be optimal for 0.5 L, right?

How much HRW per day do you find is effective for you?
 
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Hip

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I read in the longecity thread that there was a study indicating that HRW "brewed" at room temperature achieved higher ppm than at lower temperatures. Could this mean that refrigerating HRW after you have opened the bottle could slow the effervescence in the same way it slowed the dissolving process?
I don't know.

There was a study I quote in the LongeCity thread (see this post) that found the amount of ghrelin released from drinking hydrogen rich water did not depend on the H2 ppm concentration in the water, at least in the range of H2 concentrations they used in the study, which was concentrations from 0.04 mM to 0.8 mM (this corresponds to H2 concentrations in the water of 0.08 ppm to 1.6 ppm).

Since my method produces 5 ppm hydrogen rich water, this is well above the 0.08 ppm threshold of ghrelin release. So you don't have to worry too much about getting the highest ppm.

Ghrelin directly interacts with the hypothalamus, a part of the brain thought to be dysfunctional in ME/CFS (and a part of the brain involved with emotions and handling stress), and I suspect this is why I find drinking H2 water reduces my emotional/stress sensitivity.

However, once a bottle of hydrogen rich water is opened, it quickly loses potency: this study found an initial H2 concentration of 7 ppm dropped to 2.1 ppm after just 3 hours, once the bottle was opened.

But since 0.08 ppm is the lowest known threshold for ghrelin production, I think a bottle of 5 ppm H2 water will remain above this threshold for around 10 hours after opening.


If you want to measure the ppm concentration of H2 in your hydrogen rich water, then I devised a method of doing this which is described in this post.

Basically you get a plastic hypodermic syringe (60 ml capacity recommended) and glue it onto a small hole in the bottle top, or attach the syringe to hole in the bottle top by a short length of plastic tubing, so that gas can pass from the bottle into the syringe. It is very cheap and quite easy to make this ppm measuring device (a 60 ml hypodermic syringe only costs about $3). My device looks like this:

Plastic Hypodermic Syringe Attached Onto A Bottle Top To Collect Escaping H2 Gas
Syringe_ppm_measuring_device.jpg

So once your bottle is fully brewed and you have shaken it vigorously, and waited 20 minutes, you then open the bottle, and screw on this bottle top with the hypodermic syringe attached. Then you let the bottle stand for 8 hours or so, during which time the H2 gas will escape from the water and collect in the hypodermic syringe. So after 8 hours, you look at how many ml of H2 gas you have collected in your syringe.

Then your ppm is simply given by this formula:

H2 Concentration in ppm = V / (12 x B) + 1.57

Where:
B = volume of the bottle of hydrogen rich water in liters
V = volume of the H2 gas collected in the syringe in ml



If 3 grams of citric acid/malic acid is optimal for 1.5 L HRW, then 1 gram should be optimal for 0.5 L, right?
The concentration of H2 dissolved in the water directly depends on the pressure of H2 gas created in the bottle. In my experiments, I produced a gas pressure of around 6 to 7 atmospheres, as the H2 gas collects in the top part of the bottle. So whatever bottle you use, you want to aim for around 6 to 7 atmospheres pressure (you don't want to go much higher than that, as these plastic bottles will burst at around 12 atmospheres).

You can easily measure this pressure without any special equipment, just by measuring the volume of the H2 gas in the top part of the bottle when under pressure, and comparing that to the volume this same gas occupies when released from the bottle (and collected in an upturned jar placed under water). The pressure in atmospheres is then simply the ratio of these two volumes:

Pressure in bottle in atmospheres = volume of H2 gas when released from the bottle / volume of same H2 gas when compressed within the bottle



What "dosage" of HRW per day do you find is effective for you?
Hard to say, I usually drink around 200 ml of 5 ppm hydrogen rich water, and maybe take another 200 ml an hour later. The effects are subtle, so it's hard to gauge the optimum dose level.



By the way, I tried you suggestion of waiting a while (20 minutes) after vigorously shaking the bottle, and this worked very well: there was almost no effervescence when opening the bottle after this wait.
 
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Hip

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Just to give some guidelines about the amount of H2 gas produced:

By a theoretical molar calculation, 1 gram of citric acid when it reacts with sufficient magnesium will produce
10.5 mg of H2, which will occupy a volume of 125 ml at normal atmospheric pressure and room temp of 20ºC.

So 3 grams of citric acid will produce 375 ml of H2 gas.

In practice you get a bit more H2 than that from 3 grams of citric acid, because some of the magnesium when heated by the citric acid reaction will also react with the water, and that reaction produces H2 gas as well. So you have two reactions going on at the same time to produce H2:

Citric acid + magnesium —> hydrogen gas + magnesium citrate
C6H8O7 + Mg —> H2 + MgC6H6O7

Water + magnesium —> hydrogen gas + magnesium hydroxide
H2O + Mg —> H2 + Mg(OH)2


When I use 3 grams of citric acid, I generate around 450 ml of H2 gas, so I think most of that H2 gas comes from the reaction with the acid, and some H2 comes from the reaction of magnesium with the water.