Biology of Sport
eISSN: 2083-1862
ISSN: 0860-021X
Biology of Sport
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vol. 36
Original paper

Short-term H2 inhalation improves running performance and torso strength in healthy adults

Dejan Javorac
Valdemar Stajer
Laszlo Ratgeber
Jozsef Betlehem
Sergej Ostojic
1, 2

  1. University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Novi Sad, Serbia
  2. University of Pécs, Faculty of Health Sciences, Pécs, Hungary
Biol Sport. 2019;36(4):333–339
Online publish date: 2019/10/31
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In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover pilot trial, we evaluated the effects of 7-day H2 inhalation on exercise performance outcomes and serum hormonal and inflammation profiles in a cohort of young men and women. All participants (age 22.9 ± 1.5 years; body mass index 23.4 ± 2.5 kg m-2; 10 women and 10 men) were allocated to receive either gaseous hydrogen (4%) or placebo (room air) by 20-min once-per-day inhalation for 7 days, with a wash-out period of 7 days to prevent the residual effects of interventions across study periods. The primary treatment outcome was the change in running time-to-exhaustion in the incremental maximal test from baseline to day 7. Additionally, assessment of other exercise performance endpoints and clinical chemistry biomarkers was performed at baseline and at 7 days after each intervention. The trial was registered at (ID NCT03846141). Breathing 4% hydrogen for 20 min per day resulted in increased peak running velocity (by up to 4.2%) as compared to air inhalation (P = 0.05). Hydrogen inhalation resulted in a notable drop in serum insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) by 48.2 ng/mL at follow-up (95% confidence interval [CI]: from -186.7 to 89.3) (P < 0.05), while IGF-1 levels were elevated by 59.3 ng/mL after placebo intervention (95% CI; from -110.7 to 229.5) (P < 0.05). Inhalational hydrogen appears to show ergogenic properties in healthy men and women. Gaseous H2 should be further evaluated for its efficacy and safety in an athletic environment.

Hydrogen, Running to exhaustion, Insulin, IGF-1, Ergogenic

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