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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2019 Sep;97(9):797-807. doi: 10.1139/cjpp-2019-0067. Epub 2019 Apr 10.

Hydrogen gas: from clinical medicine to an emerging ergogenic molecule for sports athletes 1.

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Molecular Hydrogen Institute, Utah, USA.
Centre of Experimental Medicine, Institute for Heart Research, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovak Republic.
Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, The University of British Columbia, 217 - 2176 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada.


H2 has been clinically demonstrated to provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which makes it an attractive agent in exercise medicine. Although exercise provides a multiplicity of benefits including decreased risk of disease, it can also have detrimental effects. For example, chronic high-intensity exercise in elite athletes, or sporadic bouts of exercise (i.e., noxious exercise) in untrained individuals, result in similar pathological factors such as inflammation, oxidation, and cellular damage that arise from and result in disease. Paradoxically, exercise-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines and reactive oxygen species largely mediate the benefits of exercise. Ingestion of conventional antioxidants and anti-inflammatories often impairs exercise-induced training adaptations. Disease and noxious forms of exercise promote redox dysregulation and chronic inflammation, changes that are mitigated by H2 administration. Beneficial exercise and H2 administration promote cytoprotective hormesis, mitochondrial biogenesis, ATP production, increased NAD+/NADH ratio, cytoprotective phase II enzymes, heat-shock proteins, sirtuins, etc. We review the biomedical effects of exercise and those of H2, and we propose that hydrogen may act as an exercise mimetic and redox adaptogen, potentiate the benefits from beneficial exercise, and reduce the harm from noxious exercise. However, more research is warranted to elucidate the potential ergogenic and therapeutic effects of H2 in exercise medicine.


anti-inflammatoire; anti-inflammatory; antioxidants; antioxydants; dérivés réactifs de l’oxygène; dérèglement redox; exercice physique; exercise; free radicals; hormesis; hormèse; hydrogène moléculaire; inflammation; mitochondria; mitochondrie; molecular hydrogen; radicaux libres; reactive oxygen species; redox dysregulation

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