H2 Supplements and Ergogenic Responses in High-Intensity ExerciseScientific Research

original title: The Acute Effects of a Single Dose of Molecular Hydrogen Supplements on Responses to Ergogenic Adjustments during High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise in Humans


Ahad Abdulkarim D Alharbi, Noriaki Iwamoto, Naoyuki Ebine, Satoshi Nakae, Tatsuya Hojo, Yoshiyuki Fukuoka

DOI: 10.3390/nu14193974



This research examined the effects of single-dose molecular hydrogen (H2) supplements on acid-base status and local muscle deoxygenation during rest, high-intensity intermittent training (HIIT) performance, and recovery. Ten healthy, trained subjects in a randomized, double-blind, crossover design received H2-rich calcium powder (HCP) (1500 mg, containing 2.544 μg of H2) or H2-depleted placebo (1500 mg) supplements 1 h pre-exercise. They performed six bouts of 7 s all-out pedaling (HIIT) at 7.5% of body weight separated by 40 s pedaling intervals, followed by a recovery period. Blood gases’ pH, PCO2, and HCO3- concentrations were measured at rest. Muscle deoxygenation (deoxy[Hb + Mb]) and tissue O2 saturation (StO2) were determined via time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy in the vastus lateralis (VL) and rectus femoris (RF) muscles from rest to recovery. At rest, the HCP group had significantly higher PCO2 and HCO3- concentrations and a slight tendency toward acidosis. During exercise, the first HIIT bout’s peak power was significantly higher in HCP (839 ± 112 W) vs. Placebo (816 ± 108 W, p = 0.001), and HCP had a notable effect on significantly increased deoxy[Hb + Mb] concentration during HIIT exercise, despite no differences in heart rate response. The HCP group showed significantly greater O2 extraction in VL and microvascular (Hb) volume in RF during HIIT exercise. The HIIT exercise provided significantly improved blood flow and muscle reoxygenation rates in both the RF and VL during passive recovery compared to rest in all groups. The HCP supplement might exert ergogenic effects on high-intensity exercise and prove advantageous for improving anaerobic HIIT exercise performance.