hydrogen water bottle surrounded by water

My Honest Review of the Internet’s Favorite Hydrogen Water Bottle

Is this an anti-inflammatory game-changer for athletic recovery and more? Here's why it's hard to say.

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As a long-time runner, I’m bombarded with the latest and greatest performance and recovery aids. The most responsive shoes, the most nutrient-dense energy gels, and the sweat-wicking-est fabrics—all 15 percent off with a promo code from the coolest influencers. 

A healthy skepticism is generally the right response. But some of this stuff is the height of innovation—just look at the records that have fallen thanks to super shoes and advancements in exercise science. So when hydrogen-rich water appeared in my feeds claiming performance enhancement and better recovery, I was perplexed. We’re still improving water? Really? 

But, ever the PR chaser, I got myself this hydrogen water bottle—that is a bottle that infuses its contents with hydrogen— from a brand called WUGOSO and replaced all my H20 with hydrogen-rich water. Here’s my take.

Why Trust Me

I’ve spent 10 years writing and producing product reviews, roundups, and expert-backed stories about the leading brands in health, wellness, nutrition, and fitness. I’ve also spent 20 years running. After thousands of lifetime miles, including 10 straight New York Marathons and 13 total marathons (and counting), I take recovery seriously—especially as I get older. If something purports to aid recovery and improve my performance, even marginally, I’ll try it. If it does none of those things, I let you know with trademark New Jersey honesty.

What Is a Hydrogen Water Bottle?

The WUGOSO Hydrogen Water Bottle is fairly typical of most hydrogen water bottles on the market, which is to say it’s in the $50 range and there isn’t a whole lot of information about it available—how much hydrogen is it designed to infuse water with? How hydrogenated is the water, actually? We’re betting as this category expands from social media fad to legit wellness category, more brands with more transparency will enter the fray. 

But why drink hydrogen water in the first place?

Molecular hydrogen is known to deliver various health benefits. It reduces inflammation by suppressing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Hydrogen molecules are tiny, so they diffuse better into cells and tissues for improved hydration and stronger overall cell function. Hydrogen in water is bound to oxygen and therefore not effectively absorbed, the thinking goes, so by infusing water with free hydrogen molecules the body can access them more easily. Drinking hydrogen water, therefore, should lessen oxidative stress, increase total energy, curb fatigue, reduce inflammation, and improve recovery (1).

Hydrogen-rich water is available as dissolvable effervescent tablets, canned and bottled drinks infused with hydrogen gas, and ionizing water bottles like this one that pump hydrogen bubbles into your water with a lithium platinum SPE ion polymer battery.

What’s Good About a Hydrogen Water Bottle?

It might actually work? 

I am not a scientist (though I frequently cite them on the internet), but I believe hydrogen-rich water had a positive impact on my hydration, recovery, and running performance. I’ve trained for enough marathons to know when my machine is humming and when the ‘Check Engine’ light is blaring, and during this time I’ve felt smooth throughout the tough track, tempo, and long run workouts and strong afterward. I’ve steadily increased my weekly mileage as my next goal race approaches, and lots of my runs have happened late at night and in bitter cold temps—prime conditions for inflammation and fatigue. So I find it noteworthy to feel this good under the circumstances. 

My methods are unscientific, but the real research backs me up. In one study (2), a seven-day consecutive intake of hydrogen-rich water improved anaerobic performance and physical power and decreased fatigue index in a group of experienced cyclists. Notably, it didn’t affect untrained cyclists, potentially suggesting hydrogen water is a tool best used to get that extra edge.

A similar seven-day study (3) showed improvement in power performance and heart rate recovery among competitive dragon boat rowers. I don’t train two hours every morning and afternoon like those guys, but I consider myself an experienced runner. In other words, I’m the target for hydrogen water rejuvenation and it shows. 

Great for eco- and cost-conscious consumers

Those same studies tell us that the performance and rejuvenating benefits of hydrogen-rich water are greatest with continuous intake rather than one-off consumption. But that can get costly and create a mountain of recyclables—one popular option costs $36 for a 12-pack of cans, and recommends drinking at least three per day.

Alternatively, you can make your own. Granted, $60 is pricey for a water bottle, but it’s much cheaper than constantly replenishing those other products, produces zero packaging waste, and tastes good. Our city has very clean tap water so that’s what I usually drink and I find the flavor fine. But the hydrogen-infused version tasted cleaner and somehow colder. And it helped my pre-run coffees and mid-run electrolyte drinks go down smoother. 

Positive habit-forming

My most delightfully surprising takeaway was that this bottle made hydration fun. You fill it up, press a button, and blue light fills the cylinder as a cyclone column of hydrogen bubbles pumps in.

Those bubbles, man.

There’s something satisfying about watching them swirl in the blue glow as you wait for your water to get fully hydrogenated. Each push of the button had me salivating, and my new ritual helped ensure that I consumed my requisite eight glasses a day. I also have two sons of peak bubble-loving age. My two-year-old’s first words at breakfast for three weeks were, “Daddy drink hydrogen bubbles.” You can’t say no to that, which means you stay hydrated AF.

What’s Not Good About Hydrogen Water Bottles?

Inconsistent battery life and hydrogen production

After about a week of regular use, I went to make my morning bubbles but saw very few produced. I emptied, refilled, and ran the unit again with the same results. There wasn’t a clear reason or fix, and the poorly translated instructions provided no answers. I decided to recharge the bottle and try again, which helped, although said instructions noted it should only have to be recharged about once a month, which left me even more confused. Marathoners are all about consistency, and if I’m paying $60 to ionize my own hydrogen-rich water, I’d better be consistently getting as many of those sweet, sweet molecules as possible every time. As it stands, I have no way of knowing if the bottle is still working as intended. 

Lacking some features

The included charger connects with a pin rather than a micro USB, which I consider the standard at this point. If that cord goes missing (I mentioned I have two boys under the age of six) I’m out of luck because no one has a spare one of these lying around. The other feature I’d have loved is a warranty. I’d rather replace the thing than have to interpret my own troubleshooting or wonder if I just don’t know how to screw on a cap tight enough.

It might not work

I know I said it works earlier, but the science is still developing, and my experience is anecdotal. I felt strong and energized throughout my tough workout sessions and generally well-rested and recovered during the several weeks in which I swapped my usual water for the hydrogen-rich variety. That was true even as I ramped up my mileage over previous weeks and had multiple runs late at night and in extreme cold. The bottle itself wasn’t without its flaws, but assuming those can be worked out, I’m a believer. If nothing else, my kids love those bubbles. 

The Bottom Line

The best available research suggests hydrogen water may be beneficial as a workout booster to very well-trained individuals. As a longtime marathon runner, anecdotally, I found drinking it consistently for four weeks aided in my recovery, rest, and ability to bounce back after hard runs. The WUGOSU hydrogen water bottle has some flaws—inconsistent hydro-bubble production, confusing instructions, and so on—but the tool and the science behind it are intriguing enough to give it a try at the very least. 

1. Hong Y. et al (2010). Hydrogen as a Selective Antioxidant: A Review of Clinical and Experimental Studies. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/147323001003800602 
2. Timon, Rafael et al (2021). Effects of 7-day intake of hydrogen-rich water on physical performance of trained and untrained subjects. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8139351/
3. Dong, Gengxin et al (2022). Short-Term Consumption of Hydrogen-Rich Water Enhances Power Performance and Heart Rate Recovery in Dragon Boat Athletes: Evidence from a Pilot Study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9104058/