Muscle contraction during short intervals of intense exercise causes oxidative stress, which can play a role in the development of overtraining symptoms, including increased fatigue, resulting in muscle micro-injury or inflammation. Recently it has been said that hydrogen can function as antioxidant, so we investigated the effect of hydrogen-rich water (HW) on oxidative stress and muscle fatigue in response to acute exercise.
Hydrogen-rich water was produced by alkaline stick. Ten male soccer players aged 20.9 ± 1.3 years old were subjected to exercise tests and blood sampling. Each subject was examined twice; they were given either HW or placebo water (PW) for one week intervals.
Although acute exercise resulted in an increase in blood lactate levels in the subjects given PW, oral intake of HW prevented an elevation of blood lactate during heavy exercise.
Adequate hydration with hydrogen-rich water pre-exercise reduced blood lactate levels and improved exercise-induced decline of muscle function. Although further studies to elucidate the exact mechanisms and the benefits are needed to be confirmed in larger series of studies, these preliminary results may suggest that HW may be suitable hydration for athletes.