Repeated sprint exercise can interfere with intramuscular redox balance and cause systemic oxidative stress and muscle damage. There is growing evidence that molecular hydrogen counteracts oxidative and/or inflammatory responses. Therefore, we investigated the effects of molecular hydrogen-rich water (HW) on muscle performance and oxidative stress markers induced by strenuous exercise. A single-blind, crossover, randomized controlled trial has been designed. Eight male volunteers completed two 3-day consecutive exercise tests under two conditions: HW and placebo water (PW). The exercise test included a countermovement jump, maximal voluntary isometric contraction of knee extensors, and sprint cycling. The sprint cycling exercise was comprised three repetitions of 10-second maximal pedaling against a resistance of 7.5% body mass and 110-second active rest (no-load pedaling). Before and after the exercise test, participants drank the 500 mL of HW (5.14 ± 0.03 ppm in H2 concentration) or PW (0.00 ± 0.00 ppm). At 7 hours before the first exercise test (Day 1), as baseline, and 16 hours after the exercise test on each day, blood samples were obtained. Exercise performances in both conditions were not significantly different over 3 consecutive days. In PW trial, relative changes in biological antioxidant potential/diacron-reactive oxygen metabolites, as an index of systemic antioxidant potential, from baseline gradually decreased as the day passed. However, HW suppressed the reduction in biological antioxidant potential/diacron-reactive oxygen metabolites observed in PW. Drinking HW contributed to the maintenance of the redox status during consecutive days of strenuous exercise and might help prevent accumulative muscular fatigue. The study was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of Yamanashi, Japan (approval No. H26-008) on December 17, 2014.
Keywords: biological antioxidant potential; diacron-reactive oxygen metabolites; ergogenic aid; molecular hydrogen; oxidative damage; single blinded cross-over design; sprint cycling; straight days of vigorous exercise.