Well, it’s been about a month now, since first I began to dabble in the DIY creation of hydrogen-enriched water. And I’ve enjoyed the process immensely, both for its results (viz. the positive effects of drinking the hydrogen-infused water, on a daily basis) as well as for the opportunity to observe the evolution of my understanding and technique along the way. A big shout-out to Glen Ingram and David Zweig — my hydrogen-water gurus ☺ whose online instructions are the ones upon which this experimentation has been based – as well as to Tyler Lebaron, whose Molecular Hydrogen Foundation is such a great resource for scientific information on the topic.
So then, back to my own H2 travelogue …
The Experiential Report
What I’ve been most aware of, experientially:
1. Ten to fifteen minutes after drinking the H2 brew, it feels a bit like my blood has been carbonated: My entire body feels effervescent, as though I have goose-bumps, not only on the surface of my skin, but also on all of the internal surfaces. The effect becomes more subtle over the ensuing hours, but continues in this more subdued form throughout the day.
2. Along with the physical effect, there’s a noticeable uplift in mood: an effervescent ease and joyfulness, I might say.
3. My capacity to feel directly into the “space” of my physical body has increased, over the past month. There is, in other words, a heightened kinesthetic contact with the inside of my body (the result, I hypothesize, of the “deep cleaning” that the H2 facilitates).
The Major Shift In Understanding
At the outset I was a bit confused about the relationship between the malic acid, the magnesium rod and the water. I assumed that the water itself had an important role to play in the chemical reaction creating the molecular hydrogen. As it turns out, this isn’t the case – a point that was clarified (complete with chemistry details) by David, when he writes:
The main reaction, between magnesium and malic acid (Mg + C4H6O5 -> C4H4MgO5 + H2), does not use any of the water at all. The reactions between magnesium and water (Mg + H2O -> Mg(OH)2 + H2) and (Mg + H2O -> MgO + H2) are much slower. So, H2 production is rapid until the malic acid is used up, and then continues very slowly throughout the remaining brew time consuming only minuscule amounts of water.
This helped me greatly in understanding the benefit of placing the magnesium rod and malic acid into a vented test-tube, rather than having these two reactants simply free-floating in the water: With them in closer proximity, the chemical reaction can happen more quickly.
The test-tube method also eliminates the necessity of using boiling water to mechanically increase the contact of the malic acid with the magnesium (as in Glen’s non-test-tube method) – which in turn allows the use of room-temperature or refrigerated water from the start, which improves reaction-time.
Theoretically, there’s also the advantage of not having to drink the magnesium and malic acid byproducts along with the water. However in my experience the cork almost always pops off of the test-tube, by the end of the process – due to changes in pressure or whatever. But this doesn’t negate the benefits of the test-tube technique; and malic acid has its own benefits, so drinking it isn’t a problem.
As a footnote: The electrolysis method of generating hyrdrogen-infused water does indeed depend centrally on the water itself, some of whose H2O molecules are split (into H2 and O2) – releasing the free hydrogen gas into the remaining water.
Having settled on the basic set-up that David suggests – namely: a 27-oz. Klean Kanteen single-walled stainless-steel thermos; with a corked and vented test-tube to (at least initially) contain the magnesium and malic-acid reaction; and then just 30 minutes “brew time” in the freezer; followed by shaking the thermos vigorously for 30-60 seconds before opening – my own innovation to the process is to use a thin yoga sticky-mat to assist in opening the now-highly-pressurized thermos. This has two advantages: (1) the super-sticky surface provides an excellent grip, which makes the opening fairly easy; and (2) the large size of the mat, draped fully over the thermos, is there to prevent the lid from becoming a potentially dangerous (albeit exciting!) flying projectile. Almost always there’s a loud “pop” when the seal on the thermos lid is first released, but no chance of the lid escaping the sticky-mat drape.
Dollars: less than $60 for all ingredients and equipment. The pack of four magnesium rods will last a lifetime; and the pound of food-grade malic acid – used only a quarter-teaspoon at a time – easily for five years of daily brews. Even taking into account the need to replace the test-tube and/or thermos occasionally, this is of course hugely economical – particularly when compared with the cost of the hydrogen-water machines, or regular use of the tablets.
Time: once familiar with the process, it takes less than five minutes to prepare. Then 30 minutes in the freezer, during which you can be doing other things. Then another five to ten minutes to release the lid, pour and drink and clean up.
Reflections On Scientific & Un-Scientific Method
Q: What initially brought me to these DIY hydrogen-water experiments?
A: A hunch, an intuition, an inner resonance that said “yes” when first my eyes landed on an article about hydrogen-enriched water.
Q: How scientifically valid have these experiments been?
A: Well, there’s been a good dose of direct sensory experience; of trial and error and modifications to experimental design to remedy previous errors; of expert testimony/suggestion/friendly guidance (from those already adept at the procedure); of deductive and inductive reasoning; and of modifying hypotheses based upon added information and improved understanding — all of which align them, in a general way at least, with scientific principles.
On the other hand: the “laboratory” has been my kitchen – hardly an environment strictly isolated from external influence. And my criteria for “success” have been largely subjective: viz. how ingesting the H2 brew makes me feel, physically and emotionally. I have no before-and-after medical tests to objectively verify physiological changes.
And I will admit, also, to the purely symbolic and aesthetic appeal of hydrogen-infused water, as being a motivating influence: a bias that perhaps has clouded my objectivity? There’s something that I just love about the idea of the smallest and most abundant molecule in the universe having profoundly therapeutic value — betraying that part of me that’s drawn irresistibly toward (and perhaps ultimately inspired by) the poetry of it, even more than the science ☺
The Bottom Line
Whether you choose to purchase a machine; use the dissolvable tablets; or play with a DIY method such as the one outlined here – hydrogen-enriched water is well worth exploring, as an extremely low-risk and potentially very high reward support for the physical body. It’s external alchemy at its best!