Performance: Build Lean Muscle
Neutralizing oxidative stress and inflammation
Exercise is one mechanism by which free radical formation is elevated. During high intensity training, the body requires a much greater oxygen supply, which increases the production of free radicals, or in this case, chemically reactive oxygen species (ROS) (approximately 4-5% of the total oxygen supply is converted to free radicals). While free radicals serve many important functions (including cell signaling), excess amounts lead to a state of oxidative stress (when the free radicals exceed the body’s antioxidant supply), posing a serious threat to various cellular processes that ultimately affect the body’s capacity to recover from strenuous activity.
Additionally, the repetitive movements and prolonged muscular exertion involved in elite training regimens cause micro-tears (tiny tears in the muscle fibers). This is especially problematic for top tier athletes whose careers are dependent on consistent, high intensity, training protocols. To meet the inherently competitive demands of reaching the next level, recovery from these micro-tears is critical, as it is the recovery that enables the muscles to grow.
Furthermore, following intense exercise, cytokines (inflammatory markers) are also activated, increasing the resulting inflammation that occurs in the muscles. The combination of excessive oxidative stress and inflammation slow down the body’s ability to recover and build muscle. However, H2’s unique antioxidant properties have the power to counteract the excess amounts of oxidative stress and inflammation in the muscle, bringing the body back to a state of equilibrium. By eliminating the harmful levels of oxidative stress and inflammation, H2 allows for more immediate muscular recovery and promotes more rapid muscle building in athletes.
Raising Glut4 Expression
H2 also enhances muscle growth by raising the amount of Glut4 in the muscles. Glut4 (one of many genes in the body) is responsible for distributing the glucose (aka sugar) consumed through our diet into the muscles as fuel. This stored muscle fuel is called glycogen. Thus, greater Glut4 within the body allows for more efficient glycogen storage. This replenished glycogen helps with muscle recovery. Glut4 can even help with athletes who are type 1 diabetic, as insulin is not naturally produced in their bodies, and can help store glucose into muscle glycogen. Again, H2 completely improves the recovery process and permits efficient muscle building to take place.
Improving Insulin Sensitivity
While H2’s effects of raising insulin sensitivity are very similar to its impact on the Glut4 gene, insulin performs an additional function of driving amino acids into the muscle. As a result, amino acids are more effectively absorbed in the muscles, increasing the rate of protein synthesis while simultaneously decreasing the protein degradation in muscle. Accordingly, this allows for more effective muscle development.
H2 helps build muscle by raising testosterone in individuals who have a testosterone deficiency. This is highly significant, as higher testosterone levels have not only been associated with raising lean muscle mass, but also promote more efficient fat loss. With the help of H2, athletes of all sports and levels can more readily reach their desired body composition, giving them that extra competitive edge.
H2 helps build lean muscle by…
 Exercise-induced oxidative stress: Cellular mechanisms and impact on muscle force production
“Interestingly, low and physiological levels of reactive oxygen species are required for normal force production in skeletal muscle, but high levels of reactive oxygen species promote contractile dysfunction resulting in muscle weakness and fatigue. Ongoing research continues to probe the mechanisms by which oxidants influence skeletal muscle contractile properties and to explore interventions capable of protecting muscle from oxidant-mediated dysfunction.”
POWERS, S. K., & JACKSON, M. J. (2008). Exercise-induced oxidative stress: Cellular mechanisms and impact on muscle force production. Physiological Reviews, 88(4), 1243–1276. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00031.2007
 Eccentric exercise-induced delayed-onset muscle soreness and changes in markers of muscle damage and inflammation
“These results suggest that neutrophils can be mobilized into the circulation and migrate to the muscle tissue several hours after the eccentric exercise. There were also positive correlations between the exercise-induced increases in neutrophil migratory activity at 4 h and the increases in Mb at 48 h (r = 0.67, p < 0.05). These findings suggest that neutrophil mobilization and migration after exercise may be involved in the muscle damage and inflammatory processes.”
Kanda, K., Sugama, K., Hayashida, H., Sakuma, J., Kawakami, Y., Miura, S., . . . Suzuki, K. (2013). Eccentric exercise-induced delayed-onset muscle soreness and changes in markers of muscle damage and inflammation. Exercise immunology Review, 19, 72-85. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23977721
 Inflammatory processes in muscle injury and repair
“Modified muscle use or injury can produce a stereotypic inflammatory response in which neutrophils rapidly invade, followed by macrophages. This inflammatory response coincides with muscle repair, regeneration, and growth, which involve activation and proliferation of satellite cells, followed by their terminal differentiation. Recent investigations have begun to explore the relationship between inflammatory cell functions and skeletal muscle injury and repair by using genetically modified animal models, antibody depletions of specific inflammatory cell populations, or expression profiling of inflamed muscle after injury. These studies have contributed to a complex picture in which inflammatory cells promote both injury and repair, through the combined actions of free radicals, growth factors, and chemokines.”
Tidball, J. G. (2004). Inflammatory processes in muscle injury and repair. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 288(2). doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00454.2004
 A review of hydrogen as a new medical therapy
“In the past few years many initial and subsequent clinical studies have demonstrated that hydrogen can act as an important physiological regulatory factor to cells and organs on the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic and other protective effects. So far several delivery methods applied in these studies have proved to be available and convenient, including inhalation, drinking hydrogen-dissolved water and injection with hydrogen-saturated saline.”
 Effects of polyphenolic antioxidants on exercise-induced oxidative stress
“Physical activity is known to induce oxidative stress in individuals after intensive exercise. No changes were detected in plasma TAS and LDH after exercise or after the polyphenolic supplement. CK and TBARS increased after exercise in both tests. However, in response to strenuous exercise, the polyphenol-supplemented test showed a smaller increase in plasma TBARS and CK than the placebo test. CO increased by 12% in response to the placebo test, whereas it decreased by 23% in the polyphenol-supplement test. This may indicate that the antioxidant supplement offered protection against exercise-induced oxidative stress.”
Morillas-Ruiz, J., García, J. V., López, F., Vidal-Guevara, M., & Zafrilla, P. (2006). Effects of polyphenolic antioxidants on exercise-induced oxidative stress. Clinical Nutrition, 25(3), 444-453. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2005.11.007
 Regulation of muscle glycogen repletion, muscle protein synthesis and repair following exercise
“Recovery from prolonged strenuous exercise requires that depleted fuel stores be replenished, that damaged tissue be repaired and that training adaptations be initiated. Muscle glycogen is an essential fuel for intense exercise, whether the exercise is of an aerobic or anaerobic nature. Glycogen synthesis is a relatively slow process, and therefore the restoration of muscle glycogen requires special considerations when there is limited time between training sessions or competition. The restoration of muscle glycogen after depletion by exercise is a central component of the recovery process.”
Ivy, J. L. (2004). Regulation of muscle glycogen repletion, muscle protein synthesis and repair following exercise. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 3(3), 131–138. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905295/
 Hydrogen improves glycemic control in type1 diabetic animal model by promoting glucose uptake into skeletal muscle
“Our study demonstrates that H2 stimulates Glut4 translocation and glucose uptake into skeletal muscle and may be a novel therapeutic alternative to insulin in T1DM that can be administered orally.”
Amitani, H., Asakawa, A., Cheng, K., Amitani, M., Kaimoto, K., Nakano, M., . . . Inui, A. (2013). Hydrogen improves glycemic control in type1 diabetic animal model by promoting glucose uptake into skeletal muscle. PLOS ONE, 8(4), 1-14. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053913
 Therapeutic effects of hydrogen saturated saline on rat diabetic model and insulin resistant model via reduction of oxidative stress
“Hydrogen saturated saline showed great efficiency in improving the insulin sensitivity and lowering blood glucose and lipids. Hydrogen saturated saline markedly attenuated the malondialdehyde level and elevated the levels of antioxidants superoxide dismutase and glutathione. Hydrogen saturated saline may improve the insulin resistance and alleviate the symptoms of diabetes mellitus by reducing the oxidative stress and enhancing the anti-oxidant system”
Wang, Q., Zha, X., Kang, Z., Xu, M., Huang, Q., & Zou, D. (2012). Therapeutic effects of hydrogen saturated saline on rat diabetic model and insulin resistant model via reduction of oxidative stress. Chinese Medical Journal, 125(9), 1633-1637. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22800834
 Insulin effects in muscle and adipose tissue
“(1) Carbohydrate metabolism: (a) it increases the rate of glucose transport across the cell membrane, (b) it increases the rate of glycolysis by increasing hexokinase and 6-phosphofructokinase activity, (c) it stimulates the rate of glycogen synthesis and decreases the rate of glycogen breakdown. (3) Protein metabolism: (a) it increases the rate of transport of some amino acids into tissues, (b) it increases the rate of protein synthesis in muscle, adipose tissue, liver, and other tissues, (c) it decreases the rate of protein degradation in muscle (and perhaps other tissues). These insulin effects serve to encourage the synthesis of carbohydrate, fat and protein, therefore, insulin can be considered to be an anabolic hormone.”
Dimitriadis, G., Mitrou, P., Lambadiari, V., Maratou, E., & Raptis, S. S. (2011). Insulin effects in muscle and adipose tissue. Diabetes research and clinical practice, 93(Suppl1), 52-59. doi: 10.1016/S0168-8227(11)70014-6
 Long-term treatment of hydrogen-rich saline abates testicular oxidative stress induced by nicotine in mice
“Treatment with hydrogen-rich saline significantly increased both testicular and serum testosterone levels compared to nicotine-treated group. Our results first demonstrated that long-term treatment with hydrogen-rich saline attenuated testicular oxidative level and improved male reproductive function in nicotine-treated mice.”
Li, S., Lu, D., Zhang, Y., & Zhang, Y. (2013). Long-term treatment of hydrogen-rich saline abates testicular oxidative stress induced by nicotine in mice. Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, 31(1), 109-114. doi: 10.1007/s10815-013-0102-2
 Testosterone therapy increased muscle mass and lipid oxidation in aging men
“In summary, we reported the results of a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study of a population of aging men characterized by a bioavailable testosterone below the cutoff for young men and increased body fat. We demonstrated that testosterone therapy for 6 months significantly increased muscle mass (LBM) and whole-body lipid oxidation, while fat mass, HDL cholesterol levels, and glucose oxidation were reduced.”
Frederiksen, L., Højlund, K., Hougaard, D. M., Brixen, K., & Andersen, M. (2012). Testosterone therapy increased muscle mass and lipid oxidation in aging men. Age, 34(1), 145–156. doi: 10.1007/s11357-011-9213-9
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