My question is: Is hydrogen-rich water true? I am aware of the alkaline water. I have read several articles in the Internet regarding this kind of water but I cannot seem to be convinced. Wikipedia isn't even talking about it.

I am puzzled with how can a water be enriched with hydrogen. It's definitely $\ce{H2O}$ and everybody knows it. It's not water anymore if it's not $\ce{H2O}$.

This link is one of the examples of websites that I read about hydrogen-rich water.

  • $\begingroup$ Questions about any of these "ionated" waters are okay. A link to the claim about hydrogen rich water would improve this question. $\endgroup$
    – Ben Norris
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ IMPORTANT: Read chem1.com/CQ/ionbunk.html and the linked chem1.com/CQ/wonkywater.html#HYD. Note that the published 'studies' are almost invariably by authors from the countries most afflicted by related scams. $\endgroup$
    – user21820
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 14:57

3 Answers 3


Hydrogen water is a solution of molecular hydrogen $\ce{H2}$ in water, which shouldn't be confused with acidic or basic solutions. The first scientific reference to hydrogen water appears to be in the journal, Nature Medicine which can be accessed here if you have a personal or institutional subscription to the journal. The claim is that molecular hydrogen can serve as a mild reducing agent and therefore has antioxidant properties; namely, it can reduce hydroxyl radicals: $$\ce{H2 +2 OH\cdot -> 2H2O}$$ The article has generated a considerable amount of research, with well over 300 journal articles citing this work originally published in 2007. There seems to be some merit to the claim although in my brief scan of the abstracts, there does not appear to be a large body of evidence suggesting that commercial products are beneficial. One such article, which is publicly accessible is here. As mentioned in another answer, the commercial product approach to generating hydrogen water appears to be the oxidation of magnesium in water, which generates $\ce{Mg^2+}$ ions. As with any other nutritional supplement, I would be very wary of entering this type of treatment without consulting a professional. Magnesium is an important nutrient, however at high doses it does show signs of toxicity.

  • $\begingroup$ Hydrogen in water is also not that pleasant thing, as seen on Apollo missions: books.google.de/… I came across the signs of heart problems due to hydrogen as well on Apollo missions, but cannot find an article now. $\endgroup$
    – ssavec
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ @bobthechemist I am actually drinking one right now. Therefore, according to what you've said, this hydrogen water is not a recommended supplement for us. If this considerable amount of research is not supported by many, then there might be some issues regarding that research. Why would someone keep a secret for good health, if it actually benefits us? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 13:57
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ @LesterNubla I am neither recommending nor not recommending its use; I am recommending caution and that you should consult a health professional. I do not believe that someone is keeping a secret health benefit from the general public, but this science has only been studied for a few years, and that is what makes me cautious. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 18:20

I was completely unaware of the concept of hydrogen-rich water, and although there is a lot of misinformation and quackery around it, a quick search on Google afforded an article (whose quality I cannot vouch for). It would seem that hydrogen-rich water is nothing but regular water with dissolved hydrogen gas. You could simply pump $\ce{H_{2(g)}}$ into some water, but there is a smarter way to do it, by producing the hydrogen in situ via the addition of reactive metals such as magnesium, according to the following reaction:

$$\ce{Mg_{(s)} + 2H2O_{(l)} → Mg(OH)2_{(aq)} + H2_{(g)}}$$

Producing the hydrogen directly inside the water also seems to temporarily supersaturate the solution and increase the amount of hydrogen dissolved, because the equilibrium solubility of hydrogen gas in water is tiny, hydrogen gas is only soluble at around 1.6 mg per kg of water at 20°C. The exact mechanism by which hydrogen-rich water has medicinal properties I do not know, and that would probably be best answered on Biology.SE if you're curious. It is conceivable that the dissolved hydrogen gas could act as an antioxidant, though relying on the distribution of a gas across the body seems a bit strange (there are gaseous substances known to be important for our metabolism, such as $\ce{NO}$). I wouldn't rule out the possibility of it being nonsense before reading into it a lot more, though.


Great info above, I'm glad you took time to look into H2! The initial ? here was basically the difference between Alkaline water & H2 Water. Alkalinity can be easily manipulated by the addition of alkaline minerals although this does not increase the molecular Hydrogen content. Much research on Hydrogen gas as a powerful antioxidant and its endogenous antioxidant enzyme enhancing mechanism (see chart #4 in the 2nd study posted below) exists today. Hydrogen is unique in that it has the rare ability to make it past the BBB / Blood Brain Barrier making especially useful for Neuro-degenerative & neurodevelopmental conditions.

Magnesium sticks can create H2 water in small amounts. Most common today is the process of ionization or Electrolysis more commonly recognized in scientific terms as ERW / Electrolyzed-Reduced Water made by quality ionizers. Some call it Kangen Water, a trade name given to the ionized water by one particular Japanese manufacturer whose machines are recognized as home use medical devices. Here are just 2 of such studies of which the 2nd study continues on to explain the potential of molecular H2 in various prominent disease conditions.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3285010/ and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3660246/ and because of the great importance this ERW has had in my child's life as it greatly reduced her seizure activity, Autism & related issues which is why I study it.


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