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Water is water, right? Right—except when it’s culled from a coconut, or extracted from maple sap, or swirled with a ceramic stick to add extra hydrogen to it. Say what, you might be thinking? You heard us right: the newest water craze is H20 infused with free hydrogen, purported to do everything from energize you after a workout to help you get gorgeous skin. Isn’t just drinking plain water enough? Well, yes—no one can argue that plain old water is a miraculous element, but the addition of hydrogen that is free, or un-bonded to oxygen, makes it more easily absorbed by the body, upping its effectiveness at being a highly productive antioxidant, and making the water work smarter, not harder at easing inflammation, hydrating, and doing all the other things water is supposed to do. A huge health/beauty trend in Japan already (naturally), hydrogen water is hitting the U.S. via HFactor, a company producing and packaging hydrogen-infused water in a specially designed aluminum package which prevents the ultra-light gas from escaping.

HFactor’s Nicole Pack says she loves to use hydrogen water as a recovery drink after a tough workout, which made us think that perhaps we should be swapping it for our usual coconut water or protein smoothie. At first sip, there’s not a noticeable difference between HFactor and regular water, though occasionally there’s a tiny bit of a carbon-y aftertaste. While slurping hydrogen water didn’t exactly make us feel bionic, knowing about the science behind it had us wondering if the extra spring in our step later that afternoon was just from the workout, or if we were feeling the effects of all those free radicals we were squashing. We kind of wholeheartedly trust anything the Japanese get behind in terms of health and beauty (they’re always ahead of the curve aren’t they?), so we’re stocking our fridges with the stuff to test it out on a long-term basis. Better skin and more energy are always high on our priority list, so we’re willing to give it a go. HFactor is available online, or you can purchase a hydrogen stick to add to your water bottle that will infuse your H2O with hydrogen. Bottoms up!

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