(1) Background: Exercise that exceeds the body's accustomed load can lead to oxidative stress and increased fatigue during intense training or competition, resulting in decreased athletic performance and an increased risk of injury, and the new medicinal H2 may be beneficial as an antioxidant. Therefore, we explored the effect of short-term supplementation of hydrogen-rich water (HRW) on the work performance and fatigue recovery of dragon boat athletes after training. (2) Methods: Eighteen dragon boat athletes who trained for 4 h a day (2 h in the morning and 2 h in the afternoon) were divided into an HRW group (n = 9) and a placebo water (PW) group (n = 9), drinking HRW or PW for 7 days. Each participant completed 30 s rowing dynamometer tests, monitoring the heart rate at baseline (i.e., Day 1) and after the intervention (on Day 8). (3) Result: Drinking HRW increased the maximum power and average power of the 30 s rowing test and decreased the maximum heart rate during the period. After the rowing test, the HRW group's heart rate dropped significantly after 2 min of recovery, while the PW group's heart rate did not drop. There was no significant difference between the 30 s rowing distance and the predicted duration of rowing 500 m. (4) Conclusions: Drinking HRW in the short term can effectively improve the power performance of dragon boat athletes and is conducive to the recovery of the heart rate after exercise, indicating that HRW may be a suitable means of hydration for athletes.
Keywords: dragon boat; heart rate; hydrogen-rich water; power; recovery.