One of the biggest trend I’m seeing these days is hydrogen water. Similar to alkaline water, which was huge a few years ago, hydrogen water is being touted as having incredible health benefits. But before you shell out for a bottle of water instead of drinking if from the tap, know that the latest buzzword-turned-marketing-opportunity has very limited actual science behind.

First, what is hydrogen water?

Hydrogen water is essentially a synonym of what we all commonly understand to be water here on planet earth in 2019: Dihydrogen monoxide, the combined product of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, often abbreviated as H2O and found in nature.

So, are there any real benefits of drinking hydrogen water?

The theory is that in adding hydrogen, the antioxidant content of your water is increased, which can help to decrease oxidative stress on your blood vessels (which, when left unmitigated, can lead to chronic inflammation and chronic disease over time).

In one study, 20 patients who were at risk for metabolic syndrome consumed hydrogen rich water for 10 weeks and saw a in decreased total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and significantly improved HDL cholesterol – possibly demonstrating a use for hydrogen water in reducing risk of metabolic syndrome. When a similar study was conducted on 26 healthy adults, drinking hydrogen water every day for four weeks did not decrease markers of oxidative stress when compared to a placebo group, who didn’t drink it.

Some of the most interesting research done so far has been in test tubes or animals only, showing potential links between molecular hydrogen and neurological benefits.