Effects of drinking hydrogen-rich water on muscle fatigue in elite athletesScientific Research
Pilot study: Effects of drinking hydrogen-rich water on muscle fatigue caused by acute exercise in elite athletes
Muscle contractions during short periods of intense exercise can lead to oxidative stress, which may play a role in the development of symptoms of overtraining, including increased fatigue, resulting in muscle microdamage or inflammation. Recently, hydrogen has been said to act as an antioxidant, so we investigated the effects of hydrogen-enriched water (HW) on acute exercise-induced oxidative stress and muscle fatigue.
Ten male soccer players aged 20.9 ± 1.3 years underwent stress testing and blood sampling. Each subject was examined twice in a crossover, double-blind fashion; they received either hard water or placebo (PW) water every other week. Subjects were asked to use a bicycle ergometer with a maximal oxygen uptake (VO2) of 75 minutes for 30 minutes, followed by measurement of maximum torque and muscle activity for 100 maximal isokinetic knee extension. Oxidative stress markers and creatine kinase were sequentially measured in peripheral blood.
Although acute exercise resulted in increased blood lactate levels in subjects given PW, oral HW prevented the increase in blood lactate during vigorous exercise. During maximal isokinetic knee extension, PW peak torque decreased significantly, indicating muscle fatigue, but HW peak torque did not decrease early. There were no significant changes in blood markers of oxidative damage (d-ROMs and BAP) or creatine kinase after exercise.
Adequate hydration with hydrogen-rich water before exercise reduces blood lactate levels and improves exercise-induced decline in muscle function. Although further research is needed to elucidate the exact mechanisms and confirm their benefits in a larger series of studies, these preliminary results may suggest that HW may be an appropriate hydration option for athletes.
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