Performance: Increase Your Agility

Maximizing Your Power and Speed

Agility, the ability to move quickly and effectively, allows an athlete to accelerate, decelerate, and change direction while maintaining balance, speed, strength, and control. Aside from the skills required for the specific sport, agility is the ultimate determining factor in athletic success. To be agile, an athlete must possess the power to move explosively at exactly the right time. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy currency of life, found in the mitochondria, is responsible for providing energy for most biological processes and supplies the fuel that promotes powerful and rapid movement.  Thus, higher amounts of mitochondria within the body will generate more ATP, providing athletes with what seems like an unlimited supply of natural energy. In fact, H2 has been shown to increase the expression of peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor γ co-activator-1α (PCG-1a),  a gene that activates the production of mitochondria (a process called “mitochondrial biogenesis”).  H2 has also been shown to prevent mitochondrial dysfunction, ensuring a steady, consistent supply of ATP synthesis without disruption. By increasing the total count of mitochondria and preventing mitochondrial dysfunction, H2 has the capacity to naturally boost muscle energy levels, helping athletes of all levels improve their power, speed, and agility.

 

 

Improving Your Balance by Increasing Range of Motion

Athletes are constantly pushing their limits, attempting to go faster, harder, and longer each day. This consistent wear-and-tear on the body leads to an excessive build up of free radicals, causing a state of oxidative stress and inflammation. Oxidative stress and inflammation in the form of delayed onset muscle soreness can reduce range of motion, and in turn, cause poor balance. However, H2 has been evidenced to neutralize oxidative stress and inflammation, speeding up the healing process of muscles and thus restoring range of motion and balance.  Additionally, many athletes have the tendency to avoid engaging in proper and consistent stretching given the resulting pain it may cause due to soreness and stiffness. H2 has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain relieving) benefits, making stretching more manageable for athletes and further promoting a greater range of motion and improved sense of balance. ,  

 

 

Enhancing Your Coordination by Improving Motor Function

Motor function is the ability of the body to do what the brain wants it to do at any given moment. Motor control is crucial for athletes’ of all sports and promotes hand-eye and foot-eye coordination, such as batting in baseball, shooting in basketball, throwing in football, kicking in soccer, hitting in tennis, spiking in volleyball, etc. Unfortunately, athletes are very vulnerable to excessive oxidative stress due to their constant, high-intensity training routines. This persistent state of oxidative stress can seriously impede various components of athletic performance, including motor functioning. Yet, H2 has been shown to neutralize oxidative stress13,14,15 and therefore improve motor control and coordination, significantly elevating athletes to new levels in their sport. 

H2 helps improve agility by…
References

[1] Simulating the physiology of athletes during endurance sports events: Modelling human energy conversion and metabolism

 

“Physical exercise affects human physiology at multiple scales. The physical work done by athletes is associated with force exertion, temperature changes in the whole body, sweat excretion and increased uptake of oxygen, water and food, all measurable at the whole body level. At the cellular scale, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis energizes the interaction of actin and myosin molecules in the sarcomeres of the muscle cells.”

 

Van Beek, J. H. G. M., Supandi, F., Gavai, A. K., de Graaf, A. A., Binsl, T. W., & Hettling, H. (2011). Simulating the physiology of athletes during endurance sports events: modelling human energy conversion and metabolism. Philosophical Transactions. Series A, Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences, 369(1954), 4295–4315.doi: 10.1098/rsta.2011.0166

 

[2] Molecular hydrogen stimulates the gene expression of transcriptional coactivator PGC-1α to enhance fatty acid metabolism

 

“In wild-type mice fed the fatty diet, H2-water improved the level of plasma triglycerides and extended their average of lifespan. H2 induces expression of the PGC-1α gene, followed by stimulation of the PPARα pathway that regulates FGF21, and the fatty acid and steroid metabolism.”

 

Kamimura, N. Ichimaya, H. Iuchi, K. & Ohta, S. (2016). Molecular hydrogen stimulates the gene expression of transcriptional coactivator PGC-1a to enhance fatty acid metabolism. NPJ Aging and Mechanisms of Disease, 2(16008), 1-8. doi: 10.1038/npjamd.2016.8

 

[3] Regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis

 

“PGC-1α (peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor γ co-activator-1α) is a co-transcriptional regulation factor that induces mitochondrial biogenesis by activating different transcription factors, including nuclear respiratory factor 1 and nuclear respiratory factor 2, which activate mitochondrial transcription factor A. The latter drives transcription and replication of mitochondrial DNA.”

 

Jornayvaz, F. R., & Shulman, G. I. (2010). Regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis. Essays In Biochemistry, 47, 1-15. doi: 10.1042/bse0470069

 

[4] Recent progress toward hydrogen medicine: Potential of molecular hydrogen for preventative and therapeutic applications

“H2 shows not only effects against oxidative stress, but also various anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects. H2 prevented the decline of the mitochondrial membrane potential. This suggested that H2 protected mitochondria from OH. Along with this protective effect, H2 also prevented a decrease in the cellular level of ATP synthesized in mitochondria. The fact that H2 protected mitochondria and nuclear DNA provided evidence that H2 penetrated most membranes and diffused into organelles.”

 

Ohta, S. (2011). Recent progress toward hydrogen medicine: Potential of molecular hydrogen for preventative and therapeutic applications. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 17(22), 2241-2252. doi: 10.2174/138161211797052664

 

[5] 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

 

[6] 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

 

[7] Delayed onset muscle soreness: Treatment strategies and performance factors

 

“Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a familiar experience for the elite or novice athlete. Symptoms can range from muscle tenderness to severe debilitating pain. Eccentric activities induce micro-injury at a greater frequency and severity than other types of muscle actions. The intensity and duration of exercise are also important factors in DOMS onset.”

 

Cheung, K., Hume, P. A., & Maxwell, L. (2003). Delayed onset muscle soreness: Treatment strategies and performance factors. Sports Medicine, 33(2), 145-164. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200333020-00005

 

[8] Delayed onset muscle soreness: Involvement of neurotrophic factors

 

“Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is quite a common consequence of unaccustomed strenuous exercise, especially exercise containing eccentric contraction (lengthening contraction, LC). Its typical sign is mechanical hyperalgesia (tenderness and movement related pain). Its cause has been commonly believed to be micro-damage of the muscle and subsequent inflammation.”

 

Mizumura, K., & Taguchi, T. (2016). Delayed onset muscle soreness: Involvement of neurotrophic factors. The Journal of Physiological Sciences, 66(1), 43-52. doi: 10.1007/s12576-015-0397-0

 

[9] Eccentric exercise effect on blood oxidative-stress markers and delayed onset of muscle soreness

 

“A significant decrease in MIF occurred at all times after the EE. ROM decreased from 24 to 96 h, and DOMS increased 24 to 72 h in the nondominant arm as indicated by a repeated measure ANOVA. Plasma CK activity peaked at 72 h (1620 +/- 500 IU x L(-1)) compared with baseline (154 +/- 27 IU x L(-1). Erythrocyte-reduced glutathione (GSH) concentration was not significantly affected by the EE but tended to decrease 23% by 24 h and continued at this level for 96 h. Oxidized glutathione (GSSG) and total glutathione were unchanged over time. A significant increase in plasma PC occurred at 24 and 48 h after eccentric exercise.).”

 

Lee, J., Goldfarb, A. H., Rescino, M. H., Hegde, S., Patrick, S., & Apperson, K. (2002). Eccentric exercise effect on blood oxidative-stress markers and delayed onset of muscle soreness. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 34(3), 443-448. doi: 10.1097/00005768-200203000-00010

 

[10] Impact of limited hamstring flexibility on vertical jump, kicking speed, sprint, and agility in young football players

 

“The results suggest that hamstring flexibility is a key factor for performing football-specific skills, such as sprinting, jumping, agility, and kicking in young football players. These results support the rationale that muscle flexibility must be specifically trained in football players beginning at early ages.”

 

García-Pinillos, F., Ruiz-Ariza, A., Castillo, R. M., & Latorre-Román, P. Á. (2015). Impact of limited hamstring flexibility on vertical jump, kicking speed, sprint, and agility in young football players. Journal of Sports Sciences, 33(12), 1293-1297. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2015.1022577

 

[11] The effects of long-term aerobic dance on agility and flexibility

 

“On the basis of the present data we conclude that extended participation in aerobic dance does not contribute to better sit and reach flexibility, trunk flexibility, dynamic rotational flexibility or agility and that aerobic dance teachers should participate in general flexibility stretching activities and secondary activities to improve and/or maintain agility and general coordination.”

 

Bobo, M., & Yarbrough, M. (1999). The effects of long-term aerobic dance on agility and flexibility. The journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 39(2), 165-168. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10399427

 

[12] Ankle dorsiflexion range of motion influences dynamic balance in individuals with chronic ankle instability

 

“The results indicate that there was a significant positive relationship between ankle dorsiflexion range of motion and dynamic balance measures in participants with chronic ankle instability. Ankle dorsiflexion ROM had the strongest relationship (r= .55) with the anterior reach direction of the star excursion balance test and explained 31% of the variance in reach distance which indicates that mechanical impairments in ankle motion can impact dynamic function during a balance task.”

 

Basnett, C. R., Hanish, M. J., Wheeler, T. J., Miriovsky, D. J., Danielson, E. L., Barr, J. B., & Grindstaff, T. L. (2013). Ankle dorsiflexion range of motion influences dynamic balance in individuals with chronic ankle instability. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 8(2), 121–128. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3625791/

 

[13] Hydrogen as a selective antioxidant: A review of clinical and experimental studies

“In the clinic, oral administration of H(2)-saturated water is reported to improve lipid and glucose metabolism in subjects with diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance; promising results have also been obtained in reducing inflammation in haemodialysis patients and treating metabolic syndrome. These studies suggest H(2) has selective antioxidant properties, and can exert antiapoptotic, antiinflammatory and antiallergy effects.

 

Hong, Y., Chen, S., & Zhang, J. (2010). Hydrogen as a selective antioxidant: A review of clinical and experimental studies. Journal of International Medical Research, 38(6), 1893-1903. doi: 10.1177/147323001003800602

 

[14] Molecular hydrogen as a preventive and therapeutic medical gas: Initiation, development and potential of hydrogen medicine

 

“The numerous publications on its biological and medical benefits revealed that H2 reduces oxidative stress not only by direct reactions with strong oxidants, but also indirectly by regulating various gene expressions. Moreover, by regulating the gene expressions, H2 functions as an anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic, and stimulates energy metabolism.”

 

Ohta, S. (2014). Molecular hydrogen as a preventive and therapeutic medical gas: Initiation, development and potential of hydrogen medicine. Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 144(1), 1-11. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2014.04.006

 

[15] 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.”

 

Zhang, J., Liu, C., Zhou, L., Qu, K., Wang, R., Tai, M., . . . Wang, Z. (2012). A Review of hydrogen as a new medical therapy. Hepatogastroenterology, 59(116), 1026-1032. doi: 10.5754/hge11883

 

[16] Molecular hydrogen: A therapeutic antioxidant and beyond

 

“Although the underlying mechanisms were initially proposed as selective extinctions of hydroxyl radical and peroxynitrite, the signaling pathway regulation effect of molecular hydrogen by modulating a various molecules expressions/activities, gene expression and microRNA may also account for the ultimate effects of anti-reperfusion injury, anti-infammation, anti-apoptosis, anti-metabolic disorders, anti-allergy, anti-radiation injury, anti-dementia as well as anti-aging”

 

Huang, L. (2016). Molecular hydrogen: A therapeutic antioxidant and beyond. Medical Gas Research, 6(4), 219–222. doi: 10.4103/2045-9912.196904 

 

[17] Intrathecal infusion of hydrogen-rich normal saline attenuates neuropathic pain via inhibition of activation of spinal astrocytes and microglia in rats

 

“Intrathecal injection of hydrogen-rich normal saline produced analgesic effect in neuropathic rat. Hydrogen-rich normal saline-induced analgesia in neuropathic rats is mediated by reducing the activation of spinal astrocytes and microglia, which is induced by overproduction of hydroxyl and peroxynitrite.”

 

Ge, Y., Wu, F., Sun, X., Xiang, Z., Yang, L., Huang, S., … Yu, W.-F. (2014). Intrathecal infusion of hydrogen-rich normal saline attenuates neuropathic pain via inhibition of activation of spinal astrocytes and microglia in rats

. PLOS ONE, 9(5), 1-12. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097436

 

[18] Oxidative stress and antioxidants in athletes undertaking regular exercise training

 

“Exercise has been shown to increase the production of reactive oxygen species to a point that can exceed antioxidant defenses to cause oxidative stress.”

 

Watson, T. A., Mac Donald-Wicks, L., & Garg, M. (2005). Oxidative stress and antioxidants in athletes undertaking regular exercise training. International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 15(2), 131-146. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16089272

 

[19] Overtraining syndrome: A practical guide

 

“Resting markers of oxidative stress are higher in overtrained athletes compared with controls.”

 

Kreher, J. B., & Schwartz, J. B. (2012). Overtraining syndrome: A practical guide. Sports Health, 4(2), 128–138. doi: 10.1177/1941738111434406

 

[20] Age-related losses of cognitive function and motor skills in mice are associated with oxidative protein damage in the brain

 

“These results support the view that oxidative stress is a causal factor in brain senescence. Furthermore, the findings suggest that age-related declines of cognitive and motor performance progress independently, and involve oxidative molecular damage within different regions of the brain.”

 

Forster, M. J., Dubey, A., Dawson, K. M., Stutts, W. A., Lal, H., & Sohal, R. S. (1996). Age-related losses of cognitive function and motor skills in mice are associated with oxidative protein damage in the brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 93(10), 4765–4769. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC39353/

 

[21] Oxidative stress, motor abilities, and behavioral adjustment in children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia

 

"Oxidative stress occurs following chemo-therapy for childhood ALL and is related to impaired fine motor skills and visual symptoms.”

 

Hockenberry, M. J., Krull, K. R., Insel, K. C., Harris, L. L., Gundy, P. M., Adkins, K. B., … Moore, I. (Ki) M. (2015). Oxidative stress, motor abilities, and behavioral adjustment in children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Oncology Nursing Forum, 42(5), 542–549. doi: 10.1188/15.ONF.542-549

 

[22] Elevated oxidative stress and sensorimotor deficits but normal cognition in mice that cannot synthesize ascorbic acid

 

“This suggests that low levels of ascorbic acid and elevated oxidative stress as measured by F(4)-neuroprostanes alone may be responsible for the exacerbated motor deficits in Gulo-low mice, and ascorbic acid may have a vital role in maintaining motor abilities.”

 

Harrison, F. E., Yu, S. S., Van Den Bossche, K. L., Li, L., May, J. M., & McDonald, M. P. (2008). Elevated oxidative stress and sensorimotor deficits but normal cognition in mice that cannot synthesize ascorbic acid. Journal of Neurochemistry, 106(3), 1198–1208. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2008.05469.x

 

[23] Hydrogen-rich saline protects against spinal cord injury in rats

 

“We observed that administration of hydrogen-rich saline decreased the number of apoptotic cells, suppressed oxidative stress, and improved locomotor functions.”

 

Chen, C., Chen, Q., Mao, Y., Xu, S., Xia, C., Shi, X., . . . Sun, X. (2010). Hydrogen-rich saline protects against spinal cord injury in rats. Neurochemical Research, 35(7), 1111-1118. doi: 10.1007/s11064-010-0162-y

 

[24] Hydrogen-rich saline promotes motor functional recovery following peripheral nerve autografting in rats

 

“In the current study, the effect of hydrogen saline on axonal regeneration and functional recovery following reconstructive surgery to repair a 10-mm nerve gap in rats was investigated. The motor function evaluation, including the SFI scores, target muscle atrophy changes and CMAP parameters, and the histomorphological observations of the regenerated nerves and FG retrograde tracing revealed that hydrogen saline improved peripheral nerve regeneration with significant functional recovery, suggesting that hydrogen-rich saline could be used for peripheral nerve injury therapy.”

 

Zhang, Y.-G., Sheng, Q.-S., Wang, Z.-J., LV, L., Zhao, W., Chen, J.-M., & Xu, H. (2015). Hydrogen-rich saline promotes motor functional recovery following peripheral nerve autografting in rats. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 10(2), 727–732. doi: 10.3892/etm.2015.2518

 

[25] Hydrogen-rich saline injection into the subarachnoid cavity within 2 weeks promotes recovery after acute spinal cord injury

 

“Results at 24 hours, 48 hours, 1 week and 2 weeks after injury showed that hydrogen-rich saline markedly reduced cell death, inflammatory cell infiltration, serum malondialdehyde content, and caspase-3 immunoreactivity, elevated serum superoxide dismutase activity and calcitonin gene-related peptide immunoreactivity, and improved motor function in the hindlimb.”

 

Wang, J., Zhang, Q., Zhu, K., Sun, J., Zhang, Z., Sun, J., & Zhang, K. (2015). Hydrogen-rich saline injection into the subarachnoid cavity within 2 weeks promotes recovery after acute spinal cord injury. Neural Regeneration Research, 10(6), 958–964. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.158361

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