How Molecular Hydrogen Optimizes the Body for Health, Weight Loss, & More

  |   EP147   |   63 mins.

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Episode Highlights

Having too many antioxidants and not enough oxidants is still a bad thing. So, prioritize balance always Share on XHydrogen, like every other molecule, works in a dose-dependent manner Share on XPeople that have the most going wrong are the ones that are going to notice the biggest changes Share on XThere's no point in adding to the dosage if you're not feeling extra benefits Share on XThe best way to try hydrogen therapy is to start at a reasonable point and recognize that it can take time Share on X

About Alex Tarnava

Alex Tarnava is the inventor of the patented and clinically validated open-cup hydrogen tablets, which have significantly impacted the health and wellness industry.

In addition to his work on growing the commercial market for hydrogen therapy, Alex actively contributes to the ever-expanding research on molecular hydrogen.

Alex Tarnava

Top Things You’ll Learn From Alex Tarnava

  • [4:09] The science behind molecular hydrogen
    • Overview of the health benefits observed in clinical trials
    • Molecular hydrogen’s effect on sleep patterns & cognitive functions
    • Metabolic benefits from molecular hydrogen usage
    • The impact on elderly muscle mass & fitness
    • Biomarkers affected by molecular hydrogen
    • Anecdotal reports of hydrogen’s effects on well-being
  • [19:42] The usage protocols of molecular hydrogen
    • Debates on ideal usage amounts & frequencies
    • The potential for stacking with other substances
    • Safety, potential side effects, & dosing
    • The importance of high-quality production machines for hydrogen output
    • Hydrogen tablets’ strength in clinical research & benefits
    • How to adjust dosing depending on tolerance
  • [24:15] Hydrogen’s Influence on health & diet
    • How ancestral dietary habits relate to current hydrogen exposure
    • The relationship between gut health & hydrogen production
    • Redox homeostasis, inflammation, & recovery from stressors
    • Synergy with exercise, fasting, cold exposure, & heat exposure
    • Changes in modern diets reducing hydrogen exposure
    • Implications for gut health & microbial diversity
    • Improvements in sleep
  • [37:06] Hydrogen as a regulatory molecule
    • Understanding hydrogen’s regulatory role in homeostasis
    • Hydrogen’s relationship with autophagy
    • Issues facing hydrogen therapy research
    • Integrating hydrogen therapy with other treatments
    • Biomarkers to take note of

Resources Mentioned

  • Supplement: DrinkHRW (code URBAN saves 15%)
  • Article: How to Improve the Benefits and Results of Fasting
  • Teacher: Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Teacher: Ryan Holiday
  • Teacher: Fyodor Dostoevsky

Episode Transcript

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Nick Urban [00:00:05]:
About 7 years ago, I came across one of the most fascinating adaptogenic substances available. This ingredient is 3 times more energetically dense than gasoline. It’s the smallest known molecule in the universe where many of the classic adaptogens or drugs target one particular organ. This substance targets just about every organ throughout the body. It improves what’s called the redox status of the cell, which is basically how the body converts Nick chemical into another. It’s the superior antioxidant because it works selectively. When you have insufficient oxidation, you can have more misfolded proteins, which accelerates the aging process. Conversely, too much oxidative stress underlies just about every disease.

Nick Urban [00:00:59]:
This substance also mimics one of the fasting pathways. An animal study showed that water filled with this substance had the same effect as 20% caloric restriction. It also induces longevity benefiting heat shock proteins and works at both the gene and epigenetic level to influence all kinds of different signaling pathways for up to 24 hours after it’s gone. I call it the molecule of bioharmony. This molecule is also called molecular hydrogen. And in today’s episode, we are discussing the ancestral basis for it, the role of fiber in the human diet and how that relates to hydrogen, the right dosing protocols, the safety and potential side effects, hint, there aren’t many, and everything else you might wanna know about this substance. And our guest this week is one of what I view as the 2 leading voices in the industry. Our guest is Alex Tarnava.

Nick Urban [00:02:02]:
He’s the inventor of the patented and clinically validated open cup Hydrogen Tablets, which have significantly impacted the health and wellness industry. In addition to his work on growing the commercial market, Alex actively contributes to expanding the ever increasing knowledge and research on molecular hydrogen. You can find links to everything we discuss and a whole lot more in the show notes for this episode, which will be at If you want to try the drink HRW molecular hydrogen tablets for yourself, you can use the code urban, and that’ll save you 10% on your order. Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to asking Alex his take on Brown’s Gas and specifically the AquaCure AC 50 model that I have, but he does mention that he’s a fan of certain high quality machines, although very few on the market actually produce the hydrogen output they claim. Alright. Ladies and gentlemen, sit back, relax, and enjoy this podcast episode. Alex, welcome to MINDBODY Peak Performance.

Nick Urban [00:03:11]:
It’s great to have you. Today, we’ll be discussing your forte and one of my favorite subjects, and that is all things molecular hydrogen. But before we dive in, let’s warm up today with the unusual nonnegotiables you’ve done for your health, your performance, and your bioharmony.

Alex Tarnava [00:03:28]:
Well, for my Health, because I know, I have a hard time getting to sleep, especially I do business and research in Europe and Asia. And I’m often up working till, like, 1 in the morning or later. So I refuse to schedule calls before 10 AM. Right? Just because sleep is one of the most critical things there is. I also push myself to go walk through nature at least 5 times a Peak, right, whether I’m up to it or not. I both love doing it, and walking is so good for your your health.

Nick Urban [00:04:09]:
Yeah. Simple, high impact things to do. Okay. Well, give me a little bit about your backstory. I came across your work many years ago and was started immersing myself in the whole world of molecular hydrogen. How did you get into all this?

Alex Tarnava [00:04:25]:
So it’s a a long story. I guess it’s going Nick, close to 10 years now, about 10 years. I went through a health crisis in my late twenties. I had some sort of a mystery virus. It’s the best the doctors could figure out. It, led to me having, you know, central nervous system fatigue. I couldn’t jump an inch off the ground. I had sudden onset narcolepsy.

Alex Tarnava [00:04:54]:
I was sleeping 16 plus hours a day. My my inflammatory markers were through the roof. They were, like, a 100 times abnormal. My c reactive proteins were, like, you know, 35 milligrams a deciliter The 34 is what they were. And this was at a period where I was the most healthy and fit I’d ever been in my life. So I was training 4 to 6 hours a day between CrossFit and martial arts at this time, in phenomenal shape. So this just absolutely ravaged me. And after the couple months that whatever was going on was going on Mind then the dust cleared, It left me with osteoarthritis, you know, 11 different joints.

Alex Tarnava [00:05:37]:
That was basically a death sentence to training the way I ever had and the GP, the the doctor I was working with at the time, he put me on a 1,000 milligrams of naproxen a day. So that’s a nonsteroidal anti Inflammation drug. I think Aleve, right, by brand name, but when you get Aleve over the counter, you might do, like, 200 milligrams. I was taking a 1000 milligrams at the time to try and suppress the inflammation and getting cortisone injections as well into the worst joints. I knew this wasn’t a long term solution. Right? You know, especially I was, like, 29 at the time HRW maybe I just turned 30. So I just started scouring, you know, PubMed for any therapies that I could find that would regulate the inflammatory response. I found a a number of different things, but, hydrogen was one of them.

Alex Tarnava [00:06:33]:
I found a a machine to make hydrogen water and paid, like, $5,000 for it. And just went about my merry way, you know, was back to exercising, not like I was before, but, you know, training 5 times a week, an hour or 2 a day, it had a thing. And maybe 9 months later, I forget the exact timeline, I fainted a couple times in the gym. So it it turns out that the naproxen had led to, you know, multiple ulcers, and I wasn’t processing nutrients properly, getting proper nutrition. So I had to abruptly stop the naproxen, and within, like, a couple days, all my joints froze. Like, completely froze. Like, couldn’t put on, like, socks, couldn’t put on a a shirt properly. I was just absolutely screwed.

Alex Tarnava [00:07:29]:
So that took me back to the drawing board, and I realized that none of the other therapies I’d found and that I’d spent all this money on, including a hydrogen water methane, were doing anything. None of them were working and helping with my inflammation. So I went back to PubMed, and I found some more studies on hydrogen therapy and hydrogen water, which kind of annoyed me because I had this $5,000 machine, and it wasn’t helping. But then it just dawned on me, how do I know that this machine is producing hydrogen? I just took the salesman’s word for it. And how do I know how much it’s producing? So I started buying the the entire studies so that I could read the full material and methods and realized that none of the research papers, were using a machine like the one I bought. They were typically creating the hydrogen water in their lab through various methods and getting, you know, like, at that time, pretty high concentrations. So I found a a, you know, chemistry kit, like a titration reagent to test the water from the machine. And on first attempt, it was undetectable.

Alex Tarnava [00:08:44]:
So it said there was no hydrogen. But when I tripled the input, right, I got one drop reduced. So it was, like, 0.03 parts per million of hydrogen, which was, like, a fraction, like, of what the other studies were doing. So that actually gave me a little bit of hope. I thought to myself, well, I actually haven’t tried hydrogen yet, you know, and the research is piling up. How can I do this myself? And, that’s when I started playing kinda like, you know, mad engineer, mad chemist in my kitchen, finding the raw materials that were not easy to source or get into the country to to make my very first tablets. And, I I started hand pressing these first tablets, and within, like, a week, my joints started loosening up. Right? I started feeling better.

Alex Tarnava [00:09:42]:
Right? Like, didn’t reverse my my damage or anything like that, but I could go back to my daily life. And that got me excited, but I had a a little bit of a, you know, sober second thought thinking, you know, I’m using magnesium metal here, which burns at 1,000 of degrees. It’s the white Mind fireworks. Right? Very volatile and reactive to make hydrogen gas, which, of course, is also explosive. Right? And I’m doing this in my kitchen. Right? You know, not to mention, you know, I I’m, I sent off, like, the magnesium, and at that time, I was not getting it from reputable sources. And the heavy metals were a little bit higher than I want them to be. And so I’m, like, thinking, like, man, like, how can I make this safe for myself, and am I doing something wrong? Right? I I don’t wanna win a Darwin award here and kill myself trying to heal myself.

Alex Tarnava [00:10:40]:
Right? Whether it’s exploding my kitchen while I’m in it or heavy metal poisoning. And, I found my founding partner. He he’s a PhD, you know, in, organic chemistry, works in pharmaceutical industry Mind drug development. So we designed some molecules that they research to be drug candidates. At first, he told me it was the worst pseudoscience he’d ever heard in his life, and he gave me this long list of reasons why it was really stupid. And, you know, you couldn’t dissolve hydrogen Mind water URBAN enough of a dose. And even if you could, it’s inert in the body. And, because I’d been reading so many papers, I was able to rebut everything he said with citations and, you know, peer reviewed research.

Alex Tarnava [00:11:26]:
And he got back to me and he said, she he’s flown away. Very surprised, but he said, okay. I’ll I’ll take a look at what you have. Like, still skeptical. And I kept on sending him a new paper every day as he was working on my Inflammation, what I’ve been Drink, and reviewing everything. And just serendipitously, I sent him a a paper on a a certain model that had had some effects in humans, you know, in a decent sized, you know, randomized controlled trial. And he he called me and asked if I wanted to meet for lunch. And he basically said, listen.

Alex Tarnava [00:12:07]:
The other papers, I’m not a matter subject matter expert on. I just have to take the the conclusions. But on this design, this is my current main project where I’m working on small molecules to try and treat this condition. And unless this paper is fraudulent, this stuff works. Right? Are you sure you just wanna do this as a do it yourself project, or do you wanna pursue this commercially? Right? So I thought long and hard about it because I I really, really detest the supplement industry, right, for a lot of reasons. I really didn’t wanna make it my career, but I was really interested in hydrogen and what I was doing with it, and I HRW seen the results. Mind I decided to go for it, with the caveat that I had to pursue this from an evidence based standpoint. Right? That I had to design how we were gonna pursue research in a way that the truth would come out rather than manufacturing, you know, the truths that I want people to know, which is why we work with universities, and they’re not under any sort of contract or gag order.

Alex Tarnava [00:13:26]:
They publish the results regardless of what they find, whether it works or doesn’t work. So I have no control, you know, over the final, you know, say on on what saves the light of day.

Nick Urban [00:13:37]:
Yeah. I have to agree with you. That’s one of the things that people might not know about the supplement industry is that you’re the exception here. A lot of companies would not do that. And if negative results are found, they will never see the light of day.

Alex Tarnava [00:13:51]:
Not not just supplement companies, pharmaceutical companies, anything, but even when there isn’t, you know, gag orders in place, a lot of researchers refuse to publish negative studies, like negative findings, for reasons like getting their own grants and time and funding allocation. So they do this study, for instance, and it doesn’t pan out. Right? Journals, which are a big business. Right? Publishing is a massive business. They don’t wanna publish negative findings because people don’t wanna read it. Right? So it’s hard to publish negative findings. You have to go into a low tier journal. Now if you go into a lower tier journal to publish negative findings, that looks bad on their publication record, you know, as the, you know, primary author because why did they publish in this low impact journal? So that can actually hurt them in getting future grants.

Alex Tarnava [00:14:51]:
Plus, in getting grants, the biggest thing that they do is show that they found significant results. So not only is there no incentive for researchers to publish negative findings, they’re disincentivized. They’re punished for zerion. So to get from making them an order URBAN pestle to making 1,000,000 at a time high speed on manufacturing line presented tremendous challenges. So from when we we refined it in the mortar and pestle to when we got our 1st production ready tablet, it was about a year. It was 15 failed scale up attempts, and it was a few 1,000 interrupt adjustments that we had to make, like and I had to basically devote myself to this because this was brand new Mind it was confusing everyone. So I had to from the manufacturers to pharmaceutical formulation consultants, I I hired. So I basically had to read every patent I could find, every study I could find, every textbook I could find on on pharmaceutical formulation, particularly with with lubrication and binding, right, to basically figure out and put all the pieces together on how we code make a product that actually works and that you can make at a large scale.

Nick Urban [00:16:17]:
And you’re smiling now throughout this story. So it sounds like from the initial symptoms and lifestyle you were living that things worked out.

Alex Tarnava [00:16:27]:
Hydrogen done a miracle. It hasn’t regrown my cartilage. I’m bone on bone. Like, this is my left shoulder. Like, it doesn’t go above my head anymore. I still have arthritis in 11 joints. Other than my shoulder, the rest of my joints haven’t really progressed that much, so that that could be anecdotal. My left shoulder was so far gone even by the time I started that, there’s not much left that could be done, especially I have multiple labral tears in my left shoulder as Health.

Alex Tarnava [00:16:55]:
So just doubles down on on the grinding and deterioration.

Nick Urban [00:17:00]:
Talk to me about some of the the research. Like, what got you interested in this when you were coming through PubMed Biohacking for different molecules and therapies and things you could do to improve your health when other things weren’t working the same

Alex Tarnava [00:17:14]:
way? The early stories, of hydrogen are are proving to not be accurate in vivo that got me interested. But what we know now, I actually find more interesting. You know, funny enough. What initially got me in was early reports that hydrogen could selectively reduce hydroxyl radical while, you know, not interacting with other beneficial pro oxidative stressors and was also anti inflammatory Mind, had certain antiaging benefits, like removing cells and, you know, it it like, prevent apoptosis. So hydrogen the theotropic effects really interested me. And, like, how is this molecule doing all of these things, and how do we not know about it? What’s kept me interested is the story that we’ve been figuring out over the last several years of research and how profound it is. You know? For instance, hydrogen is not a direct antioxidant. Right? It’s actually not oxidant at all.

Alex Tarnava [00:18:20]:
It can be in vitro when you force it. It can be a selective antioxidant in, like, a a petri dish when you force a reaction to happen, but but it’s not really gonna happen in a living body. Right? What what does happen is actually more important and more profound is hydrogen regulates our endogenous production of our own antioxidants and our beneficial oxidative stressors. So it regulates something called redox homeostasis, which is the harmony between our our antioxidants and our beneficial oxidative stressors. Most people think about, you know, antioxidants saves good and oxidative stress as bad, but that’s not necessarily true because going into reductive stress is just as harmful as going into excess oxidative stress. So having too much antioxidants and not enough oxidants is a bad thing, and this is why all the high dose ultrahigh dose antioxidant therapy human trials have stopped because they failed. Right? They either show no benefits HRW, in many cases, worse outcomes, you know, like, interfering with with, you know, therapies like cancer therapies Mind reducing, you know, lifespan, increasing all cause mortality. So you don’t wanna just flood your body with too much antioxidants.

Alex Tarnava [00:19:41]:
And that’s one of the cool things hydrogen does is that it basically adjusts the dial, right, to to make sure that we’re geared towards optimal redox homeostasis, the harmony between the antioxidants and the beneficial stressors. And the same thing with with inflammation. It it it’s not anti inflammatory, and this is actually really important for things like, you know, exercise, right, and and athletes. I mean, athletes don’t wanna take anti inflammatories and antioxidants in conjunction with training because they’ll blunt hypertrophy gains. How exercise works, you know, to improve our health other than the muscle component, is by actually spiking inflammation and oxidative stress for a short period. It’s called hormesis. Right? And these spikes lead to positive adaptations in our body. Right? So it’ll chronically lower inflammation and oxidative stress if, they’re elevated.

Alex Tarnava [00:20:43]:
Well, hydrogen HRW actually shown in conjunction with, you know, strength training to acutely raise the stressors beyond exercise alone, but rebound them back to homeostasis faster. So it’s as if you you worked out harder gut recovered quicker, which is pretty cool. Right? And it it’s showing to have similar benefits with other, you know, stressors that that we’ve administered, like, improving outcomes in, like, fasting models and cold exposure and heat exposure, for instance. But, even going deeper down, over the last couple of years and realizing why hydrogen is so important to our physiology and how we we basically are not getting it anymore. That’s further intensified my interest and, helped guide the research discussions I have with professors worldwide. Basically, it’s as hydrogen therapy is becoming more and more popular, researchers from other fields are adding input that wasn’t what was known in their field, but not known by the researchers Drink hydrogen, to put the story together. You know, for instance, we we know that hydrogen, has been with us since the very beginning, right, of evolution before mitochondria existed. So the first mitochondria came from something called eukaryotes.

Alex Tarnava [00:22:18]:
Right? And those eukaryotes, they actually expelled hydrogen gas as a waste product. Right? And those eukaryotes formed, you know, from a symbiotic relationship between 2 organelle, one of them which consumed hydrogen as its fuel source. So hydrogen has been with our mitochondria since before mitochondria existed, which might explain why hydrogen seems to be, you know, something called the mitohormetic Nick, or or basically it’s like exercise for our mitochondria, which is, like, the power plant of our cells. And that’s how it’s correcting a lot of what’s going on in the cells by improving the number and function of our mitochondria by making them Drink. Then throughout evolution and throughout history, we know that at points, especially in early evolution, there are much higher levels of hydrogen in our atmosphere and in our water. For instance, the oldest water we’ve ever discovered, about 2,000,000,000 years old estimated deep beneath the Canadian shield, still has detectable levels of HRW two gas, whereas the water is on our planet. Gut perhaps more relevance and a lot more recent is up until modern times, humans would have consumed a 100 to a 150 grams of dietary fiber a day. That is how we actually produce hydrogen gas endogenously by fermenting nonnutritive carbohydrates like fibers.

Alex Tarnava [00:23:47]:
Well, today, the average person on a water diet only consumes about 14, 15 grams of fiber a day. Right? So, you know, 1 7th and 1 Health the amount, but this is actually deceiving deceptive because other like, some people consume a lot of fiber, like 60 grams, a 100 grams a day, especially people on, like, high plant based diets. But the average person on, like, the standard American diet that’s eating a lot of fast food, they might only get 1 or 2 grams of fiber a day. So they’re completely devoid, of any fiber and any production of hydrogen, and it it gets even worse because this these lifestyle changes and these poor diets lead to gut dysbiosis Mind your your microbiome changes. So we now know that upwards of 60 to 80% of people who are middle aged and overweight and have saves compromised their lifestyle like this produce no hydrogen when they’re given something like lactulose, you know, like, to do a hydrogen stress. They produce methane instead because they’ve lost the bacteria needed to make the h 2. We also know that h two levels decline with age. So the older we get, people produce less and less hydrogen and more and more methane.

Alex Tarnava [00:25:10]:
So not only are we getting way less of the the fuel source that we produce hydrogen Mind fiber, but we’re now lacking the bacteria to break down that fiber and create hydrogen. So there there is a massive hydrogen deficiency. And hydrogen isn’t a nutrient, so that’s not gonna kill us, but it plays a very important regulatory role within our Health, you know, as a gaseous, you know, signal, like, transductor. So, basically, we’re not we’re not getting it anymore, and that’s why putting it, say, in, like, the water URBAN hailing it at a high concentration, that’s shown such profound benefits because it’s something we’re lacking. You know, it’s something like that we’ve evolved to anticipate and plays this regulatory role like exercise. So we know how profound exercise is for our health, especially for people who don’t train Mind then they even start, like, a moderate training routine. And that’s what hydrogen is shown to do.

Nick Urban [00:26:14]:
There’s a number of things you just said that I wanna highlight. First is the role of hydrogen in the body and the fact that it doesn’t work indiscriminately like most other antioxidants do. It’s more of, like, along the same lines of fasting or exercise or even like deliberate cold exposure would, And it works Mind of like an adaptive stressor in that regard. And then also it’s not like just blunting the certain pathways is therapy signaling effects that happen after certain things such as those adaptive stressors. And if you just completely blunt them by using like high dose antioxidants, then you’re going to negate some of those benefits. So hydrogen, like it amplifies the body’s processes. And when I wrote recently wrote a post on amplifying the benefits of fasting, and I actually mentioned hydrogen as a potential thing to look into because I see it as having those potential effects, but not actually just shutting down oxidative stress or inflammation, but helping the body regulate it more effectively.

Alex Tarnava [00:27:21]:
Yeah. I I like to call hydrogen kind of like a a master supervisor within the cell that, you know, you’re gonna see changes, but depending on what’s going along, the changes could be very different. Right? So hydrogen’s like a supervisor going in and looking at Optimization line and saying, okay. We’re making shoes. And today, the line that’s making the soles is going too fast Mind the soles are piling up, so they take someone off that line and put some on fasting, like, the tongue of the shoe so the whole process can speed up. But then the next day, the soles are going too slow Mind the tongues are going too fast, so it takes a different person and puts them on that other line. So that’s Mind why hydrogen will will regulate a lot of these processes within our body that doesn’t do the same thing every time it drives towards homeostasis or harmony. Just like a a good supervisor would that’s overseeing the entire process.

Alex Tarnava [00:28:20]:
Oh, this is going too slow. This is going too fast within our body. This is too high. This is too low, and that’s why we can see different changes depending on the study group. Even for things very you know, it’s it’s huge in, say, like, the antiaging and biohacking community to talk about autophagy. Hydrogen usually activates autophagy, but not always. There’s been some important models where hydrogen has inhibited autophagy when we absolutely don’t want it, like water heart failure, after drowning. Right? You absolutely don’t want autophagy here, and hydrogen has blood to it, put a stop to it.

Alex Tarnava [00:28:58]:

Nick Urban [00:28:59]:
It’s funny. I didn’t know I haven’t heard you mention or call it that, but I actually call h two the molecule of bioharmony when I’m explaining it to other people because it really does that. There’s a book called Bioregulatory Medicine that I read, and it talks about how, like, the issue with a lot of things that we consume being that they just force one particular outcome, either you’re activating autophagy or you’re inhibiting it. Very few things can actually act in, like, a smart way and do exactly what’s needed in a particular situation.

Alex Tarnava [00:29:30]:
It is, far more impactful on our physiology when when a molecule is plays a regulatory role like this.

Nick Urban [00:29:38]:
And then there’s also a clear evolutionary need here given that humans were exposed to a lot of it at much higher doses than we are now. And one thing, whenever I hear carnivore actually, I just got an email newsletter yesterday about the role that fiber doesn’t need to play in the human diet. And the issue with that is if you go for prolonged periods without any fiber, you can alter you will alter the composition of your microbiome, and it would be a tragedy to completely lose the certain species that are capable of creating hydrogen, which I fear when people use any of these super low fiber diets for long periods of time.

Alex Tarnava [00:30:20]:
Yeah. You know, when we lose certain stress, what the research is showing here, you know, with different strains of bacteria, there there’s some that can come back within a few days, right, of changing your diet. There’s some that might take years, but there are certain strains of bacteria that we found in, like, hunter gatherer populations that still aren’t industrialized in the world that are completely absent from everyone else. So there could be generational bacterial strains that we just completely lost.

Nick Urban [00:30:53]:
Okay. So you’ve mentioned a number of different facets of hydrogen. What about the clinical research? I I don’t think people realize how much there is out there on molecular hydrogen so

Alex Tarnava [00:31:05]:
far. Yeah. So, there’s about 2,000 publications on hydrogen right now, showing a benefit in every organ in the mammalian body across about a 180 different models. As for clinical research, there’s about a 160, you know, human studies on hydrogen therapy. Most of them are on hydrogen dissolved in water. I think over a 100 of them are on hydrogen salt and water, the rest being, bathing in hydrogen water, inhaling hydrogen gas HRW hydrogen saline, you know, or some other methods too. Out of those, the strongest clinical research are on the hydrogen tablets that, you know, I invented and Peak patented. They do gut, by a landslide, the highest concentration and dose of h two of any product in the world.

Alex Tarnava [00:31:57]:
Our gas chromatography results show about 12.4 parts per million or milligrams a liter Mind 500 milliliters water. So that’ll be a dose of 6.2 milligrams of hydrogen. For context, like I said, that $5,000 machine produced 0.03 parts per million. So that’s about 380 times higher from the tablets in the same volume of water that you Drink with which obviously plays a big role. If you’re gonna take 1 4 hundredth of an Advil, you can’t expect the same effects as taking a full Advil. This is one of the things that drives me insane, but all of the marketers in the industry Mind consumers not being aware that every company just says, oh, hydrogen water, hydrogen water, hydrogen water all has all these benefits. Well, no. Hydrogen water water the water is just a delivery method for hydrogen gas.

Alex Tarnava [00:32:50]:
How much hydrogen gas are you delivering to people? Right? That that is what we need to know. And, of course, there’s gonna be differences in bioavailability between water and inhalation. For instance, dissolving it in water, show shows, like, at least a 100 times better bioavailability than inhaling, and they actually have different, you know, pharmacokinetics and dynamics. They penetrate different tissues in different ways, you know, and interact in the body in different ways, which is very, very interesting. But you can’t just say hydrogen water because one hydrogen water versus another could have a a difference in dosage of 10 times, a 100 times, 500 times. Like, it it can play a massive difference because hydrogen, like every other molecule, works in a dose dependent manner. And at this point in the published literature, there are many instances where we’ve need a higher dosage of hydrogen to see an effect HRW a higher dosage has shown greater effects, and there’s no instance where a lower dose has been more effective, right, or a higher dose has been harmful. So it it’s really important to know that the dosing and the concentration of the hydrogen water you’re fasting.

Alex Tarnava [00:34:04]:
And to circle back to the research on the hydrogen tablets, we have over 20 human studies published showing benefits of the hydrogen tablets, and we have a a an expert panel report of 4 professors that reviewed all the research to the FTC standards on making structure function claims. So we have 21 structure function claims that we can make on health benefits of the hydrogen tablets, which is absolutely unheard of in the supplement space.

Nick Urban [00:34:34]:
And I know when I was doing my own research, must saves been at least 4 years ago, into the different hydrogen tablets on the market, I was blown away by what I found Mind the this level of deception and the numbers advertised not matching what actually shows up in third party test results. And, yeah, Drink HRW was my choice back then and still is because you guys led the industry in terms of the potency and your ability and desire to educate the consumer and help us understand this, what could be very confusing world of hydrogen.

Alex Tarnava [00:35:13]:
Yeah. And, I mean, 4 years ago too, it was more of the Mind, wild class. There was a couple of copycat, like, tablet manufacturers who were making tablets that either saves super low concentrations of hydrogen or some that were coming from, like, China or manufacturers that didn’t understand, and would produce no hydrogen. A lot of the companies, in the industry do not have anyone that understands science at all. They just are 100% marketers that watch trends and then try and jump on the trend and don’t even do their due diligence to see if they’re properly jumping on.

Nick Urban [00:35:52]:
Alex, when I think about hydrogen, I see it as, like, the more out of balance the person is, the more organs need extra support, say the stress levels are too high, the Inflammation too high, whatever it is, or too low even, that’s the subgroup of people of users who’s gonna see the biggest effect. Or even if you’re under Alex very heavy stress, whether it’s physical, it’s chemical, it’s emotional, it’s mental, Like, those are the times and the use cases and the the groups that are gonna see the most from using Hydrogen.

Alex Tarnava [00:36:24]:
People that have the most going wrong are the ones that are gonna see the biggest changes. And what what’s funny, and this this is more more subjective than an actual marker change, the people most in tune with their Body. You know? Like, high level biohackers, professional athletes, they notice changes even though they’re smaller, better than average person in decent health. Right? Peak who are really unhealthy really notice the benefit, and high level athletes and biohackers notice the benefit because they notice these small incremental changes. And they’re like, oh, wow. This is I can feel this. You know, when you have, like, 15 more seconds of high intensity exercise or something or like, yep. I’ve 1 or 2 more reps Outliyr, you know, they’ve noticed those changes.

Alex Tarnava [00:37:13]:
But people who are, like, basically healthy and, don’t really pay close attention to their Body, you have to advise them on what to look.

Nick Urban [00:37:23]:
Yes. So what are those things that you would advise that people will look for after they use or that you often hear people noticing a big difference in terms of

Alex Tarnava [00:37:32]:
So the ones that we hear the most commonly Mind are backed up by the research, mental clarity, especially when you’re feeling rundown and tired, you know, 10, 15 minutes after you take the hydrogen water. It’s not a stimulant like effect like caffeine. You’re just gonna feel normal. Right? So if you have brain fog, you’re tired, having a hard time Biohacking Mind keeping on task, you take hydrogen, then all of a sudden you’re just like, I feel okay. Right? So you don’t feel jittery and high energy. You just feel okay. Right? Diet lasts a few hours. We gut a lot of, testimonials regarding improved sleep and dreaming, specifically.

Alex Tarnava [00:38:14]:
A lot of people will comment, you know, especially, like, you know, older people, especially older guys that work something like physical labor will comment that they started dreaming again and that they haven’t had a dream in 20 years, but they’ve been dreaming every night, you know, after they start hydrogen. So we hear that a lot, and we hear a lot about, like, just reduced, like, little aches and pains.

Nick Urban [00:38:39]:
What are some of the things you hear that perhaps are not substantiated by research, but, like, in like, anecdotes that seem to come up?

Alex Tarnava [00:38:46]:
The dream one, like, we just have a code study coming out. It’s in press right now. So it’s approved for peer review. And I found after any type of stress administered, it improves REM and non REM sleep. So that could point to the dream, but there’s no human evidence on this. I I have been fortunate that I’ve made so many contacts with so many professors and research teams around the world that I’ve been able to persuade them to start research projects on a lot of these things that we’re getting. So for instance, there was no evidence until I convinced some teams to look into it on the increasing, like, alertness and attention and clarity of mind. Now we have 4 different clinical trials showing that we improve brain metabolism in different populations and, you know, showing that, we’re we’re equivalent to raising, you know, attention as caffeine, right, after acute sleep deprivation.

Nick Urban [00:39:43]:
So the main ones, mental clarity, perhaps some form of sleep recovery or delayed onset muscle soreness, attention similar to caffeine? Anything else that comes up?

Alex Tarnava [00:39:55]:
So the the biggest one that we see in the research, Mind, again, this is not something someone’s gonna report as a testimonial, but this is most consistent, is metabolic benefits. Right? We’ve shown weight loss in 4 different trials, improved body composition. We’ve shown improved, like, you know, cholesterol and and triglycerides and blood sugars and and, like, prediabetic, like, metabolic syndrome studies across, like, several trials. This is where hydrogen has some of the strongest evidence in, but these incremental changes aren’t something that someone’s gonna go, oh, wow, too. Right? Like, most people HRW testing their blood every month and seeing, like, these changes. Right? So there are things that are very significant. But even, like, with the weight loss, it seems that hydrogen can help promote in these overweight populations about a pound of weight loss a month. You know, at least in the early in the first several months up to about 6 months.

Alex Tarnava [00:40:55]:
So that’s very significant. But if someone’s £300 and then all of a sudden they’re £294 HRW even if they’re 220 pounds and they’re 214, they might not go like, wow. This is a miracle for weight loss even though it’s having a very real impact.

Nick Urban [00:41:10]:
And that’s not gonna be weight loss that’s derived coming from muscle tissue. That’s gonna be body fat?

Alex Tarnava [00:41:16]:
Yeah. Body fat. This is actually one of the cool things. We’ve shown significant reductions in in body fat in a number of trials. You know? And, in one trial, though, that we didn’t see weight loss in was our study on the elderly, and they actually increased muscle mass. So their body mass stayed the same, but they increased muscle mass. So that that was actually really, really, interesting findings. You know, some things that went along with that Mind the study on the elder elderly, we doubled the tET 2, which is a protein linked to young blood.

Alex Tarnava [00:41:53]:
And so when you put the young blood from, like, a young mouse into a aged mouse, it actually bio revitalizes their skeletal tissue. So that could have been the fasting reason why it increased muscle mass in this elderly population. However, in addition, it it showed functionality because, in that group Mind the average age was, like, 77. So it was a 70 plus population Mind 6 months. The hydrogen group improved their senior fitness test results. So they could, like, sit and stand more times before getting tired than the placebo group or before the study started.

Nick Urban [00:42:29]:
Both of those are very significant. The fact that even if scale weight stays the same, which is why it’s not a very good marker, that if you’re losing body fat and gaining muscle mass, that’s gonna benefit you across the board in so many different ways. And then also the direct longevity improvements as measured through the senior fitness test of, like, standing and sitting and a lot of other different things like that. That is also very significant as you’re getting older, and it’s indicating that a lot of things are working better. You mentioned cholesterol Nick, lipoprotein panels and certain other things improving as measured by a blood test from using hydrogen, what other biomarkers, whether it’s things you’d see in the blood or it’s HRV or resting heart rate HRW even, like, brain saves as measured by EKG, EEG?

Alex Tarnava [00:43:21]:
Yeah. So there there’s been a lot of changes in, like, heart rate in a handful of studies. We’ve seen that. You know, we we’ve seen improvements in, you know, inflammatory markers, oxytocin stress markers. We improved nitrites in a metabolic syndrome study. We showed a reduction in liver fat, right, in a NAFLD study on alcohol fatty liver disease. And we, improved insulin sensitivity by 11% in that study group and dropped, AST as well by about 10%, I believe. We’ve shown improvements Mind, code, right, and an study as well.

Alex Tarnava [00:44:02]:
In the overweight study, so these were, you know, 18 to 60 recruitments, just people who HRW overweight, not obese, but otherwise Health. They had weight loss, improvements in some metabolic functions, but, they had some import important changes, in the stomach and in the brain. Right? So in the stomach, it it has some improvements on some of the short chain fatty acids, like butyric acids, so butyrate and, you know, propionic acids, so propionate. And, it also reduced calprotectant, which is a marker of, like, stomach inflammation, stomach damage. And it basically regulated ghrelin, which is huge. Right? So they call ghrelin the hunger hormone, but it plays a lot of other roles. Like, ghrelin has some neuroprotective roles. It, regulates glucose, you know, homeostasis.

Alex Tarnava [00:44:55]:
It regulates insulin Optimization. So ghrelin’s a very important molecular, and what we want is spikes and drops in our ghrelin line because healthy people will have ghrelin go high when they’re hungry and drop down to nothing when they’re full. Obese people just have the steady state of growl, So they’re always a little hungry, and that’s why they just keep snacking and eating more. Like, they’re not really hungry. Like, people who are obese, They’re, like, a little hungry all the time. So it’s that constant hunger pang that keeps them eating more even beyond when they should be. So it showed to regulate ghrelin and actually spiked ghrelin up higher in a fasting test, which was really cool. In that study as well, we saw changes in in, brain metabolism.

Alex Tarnava [00:45:48]:
These overweight people bioregulators, the brain chemistry involved in satiety. In the elderly study, we we saw, like, a 14% increase in telomere length in the hydrogen group and DNA methylation.

Nick Urban [00:46:04]:
So it sounds like there are some pretty significant longevity benefits more than I re I realized initially between the telomeres, the hormone, like, optimization, and, like, the body recomposition. It seems like this could be a really good addition to a longevity supplement stock.

Alex Tarnava [00:46:22]:
Yeah. Yeah. And actually, there there’s some cool research in that in mice, where where didn’t matter whether they gave hydrogen starting at a young age or, like, middle middle age type thing in Mind. Hydrogen didn’t increase maximum lifespan in the mice, but it dramatically improved average lifespan in the Mind as compared to the control. So the control mice were, like, you know, basically, like, all over the map, you know, from dying young to dying old, like, anywhere from, like, 60 to a100 if you convert it to human ear type idea. Whereas all of the hydrogen water treated mice were right at the top of the maximum longevity. So it was like they all lived to a 100.

Nick Urban [00:47:08]:
Let’s talk a little bit about usage. How do you best use it? There’s been some controversy that I’ve seen over the years about the ideal protocols, how much to use, how many tablets, whether you should take it all at once or pulse it throughout the day, and then also what you can stack alongside it that would have potential synergistic benefits?

Alex Tarnava [00:47:32]:
This is a complex answer, right, because we don’t have perfect dosing protocols yet. What we do know is that you want intermittent dosing rather than continuous dosing. So you definitely do not wanna sit on hydrogen water all day long. When we will give a continuous dose of hydrogen to saves rodents, we see no benefits. But when we give intermittent spikes, we see benefits. You can think of this the same as you would with other forms of hormesis. You don’t wanna exercise all day long. You want that stress and then the recovery.

Alex Tarnava [00:48:05]:
If you exercise all day long, it’s just chronic stress. Right? We know with, say, cold exposure that if you have, say, pigs cold for 4 hours a day, then not cold the other 20 hours a day, that it lowers their inflammation, lowers their oxidative stress. It it actually creates weight loss benefits. You know, it saves more white adipose tissue to be beige or brown adipose tissue. But if all of a sudden you you have the things cold for, like, 16 hours a day or 24 hours a day, the opposite happens. Your inflammation goes up. Their oxidant stress goes up. They put on more fat.

Alex Tarnava [00:48:42]:
Right? So you don’t want to continuously sip hydrogen water all day long. Not only will it it, remove the benefits, there is potential that it could worsen outcomes, right, when we look at the saves dosing and other hormetic agents. So you want to take it, I’d recommend once or twice a day, at most, peptides a day, and you wanna take it on an empty stomach. So, basically, one of the patents I have involves, the retention of h two gas in various complex carbohydrates, like, you know, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. So what you’re gonna do if you’re eating a big fiber meal, already, you’re probably producing a bit of hydrogen gas. So you wanna, like, take that spike. 2, those fibers are gonna retain the hydrogen, so you’re not getting the same spike. So you you wanna drink it either 15 minutes before you eat or maybe 2 to 3 hours after you eat.

Alex Tarnava [00:49:53]:
Right? It’s the best time to drink hydrogen water. And you also wanna change your protocol probably every 6 months. You know? Just like how you do the exact same exercise every day for years, it stops being exercised. You stop putting on muscle. Right? You start getting slowly less and less fit. I’m just proactively assuming hydrogen might be the same thing. So every 6 months, I’ll wash out for a week and then change my protocol. Maybe I’ll I’ll have all my hydrogen water first thing in the morning, and then the next rotation, I’ll do half of it in the morning and then half right before my workout.

Alex Tarnava [00:50:32]:
Right? So I change it up. Now how much you need is also gonna be really dependent on what level of stress and damage you have. For instance, like, I I take, like, 5 tablets a day. Right? You know, anywhere from 4 to 6 tablets a day. I I I get a super high dose, but I exercise a lot. I work a lot, and I have a lot of chronic stress from my arthritis everywhere. Someone who say in their teens or twenties who who’s a biohacker and super healthy, you might only need a tablet a few times a week when you have abnormal stress. Maybe you got a bad night’s sleep.

Alex Tarnava [00:51:10]:
Maybe your workout was harder than you thought it was gonna be. Right? Or it was your big train of the week. Maybe you’re traveling. Right? So you change time zones, and you you you flew and were exposed to radiation. So a person like that isn’t gonna need it every day, and they’re gonna need a lower dose when they do it. A person who’s, say, overweight and super unhealthy, again, you might need a higher dose. Like, more might be bet. Right? We tend to use 2 or 3 tablets a day in our clinical research, but there’s no indication that more isn’t gonna work better.

Alex Tarnava [00:51:44]:
Right? It it very well could. I know that if I only take 2 or 3 tablets a day, I have significantly more pain and muscle soreness than if I scale it up to 5 or 6. So I’d recommend Drink about your lifestyle, be honest with yourself, how much stress do you have, and then start at a reasonable starting point and titrate up until you don’t see any more benefits. So if, like, you’re taking 4 a day and you take 5 and it isn’t a big boost, right, then keep it at 4. There’s no point in doing extra if you’re not feeling extra benefits. Right? Gut some people going from 2 to 3 makes a world of a difference. As for what you can mix it with, it goes great with other forms of hormesis. Right? We know that from the research, and, we’re actually doing a lot of research right now on synergy with active pharmaceutical agents.

Alex Tarnava [00:52:39]:
So we published a lot of preclinical trials in rodents. Again, talk to your doctor about this. Right? I I’m not getting any medical advice if this is just mice. We have a long way to go to see if this is gonna work in humans, but we’ve seen biosynergy on, you know, things like using hydrogen with self salicine for ulcerative colitis. We’ve seen it on using the hydrogen tablets with with, fluorocell 5 f u. That’s a chemotherapeutic for colorectal cancer. We have research coming out on, using hydrogen with the statin. We’re just starting to analyze the results right now, but, you know, that that’s could be promising.

Alex Tarnava [00:53:17]:
In other, you know, forms of hydrogen, like, other research that’s been code, not by us, but, we’ve seen hydrogen with synergy with, like, photobiomodulation, so like red light therapy. Right? So there’s a lot of, cool things that we can see, and we’ve heard anecdotally from a lot of customers that, you know, various levels of their their, you know, vitamins or minerals go up when they start taking hydrogen water.

Nick Urban [00:53:44]:
Yeah. I personally noticed that my nootropics that I use, brain supplements, they seem to work a bit stress, and they have a longer lasting effect. And they’re they feel a bit smoother when I combine them with molecular hydrogen. So that’s one that I personally noticed. I’ve also heard another researcher named Tyler Liberon mention that there’s possible benefit to taking it multiple days in advance ahead of a stressor, such as, like, 2 or 3 days before you’re flying to, like, Health saturate the tissues rather than taking it the day of or, like, immediately as you’re about to fly?

Alex Tarnava [00:54:23]:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So you definitely would wanna load. If if you’re gonna have an extreme stress, you know, a workout competition. Right? Like, a long haul flights. You know, if you’re just flying for an hour, it’s probably not that big of a stress on you. Yeah, but, like, a longer flight, going in for surgery or something like that, I I will always, before something like that, speed up where my washout period is and not take hydrogen like 2 weeks Performance then titrate up for like a week, you know, to just super load my system with h two before I do that.

Nick Urban [00:54:58]:
So Well, we will start to wrap this one up, Alex. I have a couple more questions for you and a mini rapid fire round. But before we go there, if people want to connect with you, to follow your work, to try some of your products, how do they go about that?

Alex Tarnava [00:55:15]:
My work is at, or I have a research account, like research gut account, which is my name, Alex Tarnava. I can give you the warnings for that. I do publish my research on Instagram as well, gut my Instagram is mostly like meals Mind, you know, when I’m at UFC fights and stuff like that. So less research and more just personal. The products, I know, I think you you have a discount code that you got from the Drake HRW brand. So that’s a brand that, I actually founded that brand. I’ve mostly sold diet, though. My my focus is all on licensing my technology around the world and, you know, supporting the research and, you know, helping structure research and all the regulatory stuff like that.

Alex Tarnava [00:56:06]:
But I still have veto rights on all their products, so they can’t launch a product without my sign off. So I do believe in in everything that they’re selling right now, and I I think I take every single product that they sell currently. So

Nick Urban [00:56:21]:
Yeah. And they gave me the code Urban. So if you guys use that, that’ll save you 15% on, I believe, your first order. Alright, Alex. If there was a worldwide burning of the books and all knowledge on Health was lost, you get to save the works of 3 teachers. What do you save and why?

Alex Tarnava [00:56:38]:
So I think if something like that happens, the most important thing and I actually think this is the most important thing. Anyways, isn’t related to specific pieces of knowledge. It’s related to how to think. Right? Because if we know how to think, then we can make progress and get back to where we’ve come from. I I would say Nietzsche for sure. I think if something happened like that, it’s gonna be a very stressful period of time. There’s there’s gonna be a lot of trauma, a lot of, anxiety, which leads to a lot of bad decisions. So I’ll use someone from modern days just because he he summarizes the entire basis of a field, but I’d say Ryan Holiday to teach what the stoics taught us, right, so that we can keep even emotions and move forward, you know, into the future.

Alex Tarnava [00:57:38]:
Maybe, to interject art and the understanding in humanity, I’d I’d say Dostoevsky because I don’t think there’s been a better writer in understanding the human condition and creating amazing pieces of, you know, fictional art, but that that have deep connections to psychology Mind

Nick Urban [00:58:04]:
Quite the scholar. Well, Alex, we’ll do a quick rapid fire round now and then call it a day. Are there any big myths around molecular hydrogen that need to be dispelled?

Alex Tarnava [00:58:16]:
Yeah. Well, it it doesn’t improve hydration. Right? So hydrogen water isn’t better at hydrating. It doesn’t alkalize your body. Right? Hydrogen has nothing to do with pH of water. Right? And in fact, if it was hydrogen ions in the water, like a lot of people falsely claim, that would actually be acid water, not alkaline water. So it’s not like the hydrogen is neutral. Right? Doesn’t affect the Peak, doesn’t affect your hydration.

Nick Urban [00:58:43]:
Is there anything in particular that you are interested in or researching these days outside of hydrogen?

Alex Tarnava [00:58:50]:
I am designing, you know, a patent pending inhalation device right now actually with doctor Lebaran. We’ve been working on it for a number of years. Right now, the inhalation devices on the market are either safe and ineffective or effective, but potentially explosive. So we’ve been working through the engineering challenges on making a device that’s safe and effective.

Nick Urban [00:59:17]:
At the very beginning of the episode, you mentioned that you were combing through the research Mind you tried a bunch of different things. And hydrogen is the one that you ended up obviously focusing on. But were there any other molecules or therapies that either looked very promising to you or that you personally used and noticed a difference from?

Alex Tarnava [00:59:38]:
So I was going to cryotherapy chambers, you know, several times a week. I just found that, it would make me feel better for a few hours, and then all the inflammation would come back. So it definitely was having some acute benefits, but it wasn’t lasting, too long. I I tried other things like high dose, like curcumin. It didn’t seem to be working very well. I’d have to go back to my notes because we’re going back a code. But I I know I I bought all sorts of supplements. I, tried different, like, therapies that I got at at different, like, practitioners’ offices.

Alex Tarnava [01:00:16]:
1 was like, it it HRW, like, a a FDA cleared medical device that had a little bit of clinical research. And it was certain wavelengths that it was putting into my body, and it didn’t work at all. I can’t remember what it was called.

Nick Urban [01:00:32]:
Then how would you like to wrap up our episode together today?

Alex Tarnava [01:00:36]:
I guess my best advice for people is, just be honest with yourself about your level of stress. Right? Think about how close you are to hydrogen. And the best way to try hydrogen therapy is to start at a reasonable starting point on dosage and realize that nothing is magic. Right? Like, all of the things that are going wrong with your health took years or decades to come together. Taking a single dosage of something is not gonna cure all of your issues. It’s gonna be slow, steady improvements over weeks months years, right, to get back on track or reverse some of the damage that you have or slow it down, right, if you’re at an advanced stage. So I I’d say be honest and, have reasonable expectations because we don’t have the magic pill for anything.

Nick Urban [01:01:32]:
Well, Alex, it’s been a pleasure chatting with you and diving into this fascinating world, hearing about your backstory, and all the while keeping expectations realistic that hydrogen probably isn’t gonna be the magic bullet or at least the code magic bullet in the arsenal of health optimization tools. I hope that this has been helpful for you. If you enjoyed it, subscribe and hit the thumbs up. I love knowing who’s in the 1% committed to reaching their full potential. Comment 1% below so that I know who you are. For all the resources and links, meet me on my website at I appreciate you and look forward to connecting with you.

Connect with Alex Tarnava @ DrinkHRW

This Podcast Is Brought to You By

Nick Urban is a Biohacker, Data Scientist, Athlete, Founder of Outliyr, and the Host of the Mind Body Peak Performance Podcast. He is a Certified CHEK Practitioner, a Personal Trainer, and a Performance Health Coach. Nick is driven by curiosity which has led him to study ancient medical systems (Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hermetic Principles, German New Medicine, etc), and modern science.

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Music by Luke Hall

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