Hydrogen Therapy for Muscle Recovery
Hydrogen is the lightest of all gasses. Research shows that drinking, bathing in, or inhaling hydrogen-enriched solutions has profound anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiapoptotic effects. For these reasons, many athletes see a potential in using hydrogen to improve recovery. With technologies for hydrogen therapy becoming more readily available, we can expect to see more sports teams employing it in their training routines shortly.
What is hydrogen therapy?
Hydrogen therapy consists of introducing low or high concentrations of hydrogen into the human body to improve health. It is also sometimes called molecular hydrogen therapy to distinguish it from atomic hydrogen, which is too unstable to be used therapeutically.
Hydrogen therapy makes use of the unique ability of hydrogen to permeate cell membranes. What this means is that hydrogen, whether ingested, inhaled, injected, or applied as a bath can easily spread throughout the entire body.
Researchers believe that hydrogen therapy has the potential to help cure a great variety of diseases and conditions, ranging from skin diseases to sports injuries.
Hydrogen is non-toxic and its ingestion has no known side effects for humans. As such, hydrogen therapy shows potential as a safe alternative to many other forms of treatment, though it is yet to be developed for clinical medicine.
How hydrogen therapy helps muscle recovery
Hydrogen – whether produced naturally by our gut bacteria or applied through hydrogen therapy – releases several powerful mechanisms in the human body. Three ways hydrogen therapy may assist with athletic recovery:
Hydrogen acts as a powerful antioxidant. Vigorous exercise is a major cause of acute oxidative stress. This makes hydrogen therapy attractive for muscle recovery. Oxidative stress essentially means that there is a destruction of cells, which makes recovery more difficult. Hydrogen therapy can help reverse this process.
Olympic skater Alexandra Trusova is one athlete who has used hydrogen therapy for recovery, ever since she was given a Suisonia inhaler unit by the manufacturer as a gift. Trusova reports being impressed by the increased speed in blood flow only minutes after commencing inhalation.
Another area where hydrogen therapy has interesting potential is related to inflammation, which often occurs in athletes following long training sessions. Inflammation is unavoidable as it is the body’s natural protective response to anything harmful, but it can also slow down recovery and impair sports performance. Hydrogen therapy provides a non-toxic way to reduce inflammation in the body following hard training sessions.
Improved recovery from injury
Hydrogen therapy can help athletic performance by assisting in recovery from injury. Research shows that H2 therapy can be useful in the treatment of many kinds of injury, from skeletal to muscle injury. This again makes hydrogen therapy interesting for athletes.
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Other benefits of hydrogen therapy
The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic properties of hydrogen have a wide range of potential applications and have the advantage over many other medicines because it is non-toxic and without side effects. Researchers believe hydrogen therapy can also help with treating:
- Cardiac diseases
- Skin diseases
- Metabolic diseases
- Erectile dysfunction
Read more about hydrogen therapy for disease treatment here.
How to get started with hydrogen therapy
Hydrogen therapy is perfectly safe and is not restricted by any anti-doping regulative body. Therefore, there is nothing to prevent athletes from starting hydrogen therapy and exploring its benefits for themselves. Several solutions are available for home use worldwide, including inhalators, pills, and hydrogen-enriched liquid.
A particularly exciting solution within hydrogen therapy is the Suisonia hydrogen inhaler, a technology developed in Japan, where it is also approved for medical use. Contrary to other inhalers, which make use of electrolysis to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen, Suisonia has developed their own technology to physically remove oxygen from water. This results in a more active form of hydrogen which shows greater oxidation-reduction over time compared to other forms of hydrogen.
Another way to benefit from hydrogen is by boosting one’s internal production of hydrogen. There is research which suggests that dietary turmeric is effective in this regard. Medications such as lactulose may also indirectly increase hydrogen production by improving the function of the bowels.
Combined with an optimal diet and a healthy sleep pattern, hydrogen therapy could be the key to taking athletic performance to the next level!