Through my membership in the Chronic Illness Bloggers program, I am able to review products that normally I would never even see or — if I did see them in a store — think to buy. It’s exposing me to a world of items that I had not thought were remotely relevant to chronic pain and illness patients. Like, for instance, HFactor Water — infused with more hydrogen!
NECESSARY DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post. I was given six Capri Sun-like packs of HFactor, as well as straws, through my membership in the Chronic Illness Bloggers’ network in exchange for my thoughts and opinions regarding the product. All opinions are my own, and besides the gift of the HFactor pouches, I have not been influenced by the company in any way.
Of course, water already has hydrogen, hence the H20 makeup. However, hydrogen-rich water is supposed to help a number of ailments ranging from diabetes to the side-effects of chemotherapy. Improvements have been confirmed by studies (this linked one is specifically on metabolic syndrome), but the benefits of hydrogen-rich water have not been reviewed by the FDA. According to the HFactor website:
In normal water, two hydrogen atoms are bound to oxygen (H2O) making it difficult for our bodies to enjoy the benefits of hydrogen. In hydrogen rich water, molecular hydrogen gas (H2) is dissolved into water creating active diatomic hydrogen molecules that are accessible to our bodies. Molecular hydrogen, small and soluble, has the potential to quickly circulate into many locations of our body, including the hard to reach powerhouses of our cells.
And, to further explain it:
Depending on your home, work and lifestyle choices, there are many potential ways that hydrogen rich water may enhance your health and wellness.
It has been documented through hundreds of studies that molecular hydrogen may have the potential to improve athletic performance and recovery, energy levels, jet lag, hangovers, allergies, skin irritation, inflammation and circulation, among many other researched benefits.
You want less pain? Drink more water. That’s a given, even on a chronic level. Hydration is necessary in order for the body to function; dehydration leads to painful flare days. I already try to drink water with electrolytes because Gatorade commercials told me that would hydrate me better than actual water. (And apparently I’d also sweat neon colors, stomp through concrete, and wrench down basketball hoops.) I actually used to take over-the-counter electrolyte pills back in law school and college, which made me the best friend of all my hungover classmates. That was so much easier than trying to chug blue Gatorade after a night on the town. I’m not sure that Gatorade is supposed to look and/or taste like lighter fluid, so I bounced from that to Vitamin Water Zero (lemonade, obviously) to electrolyte-filled Propel water to Bai5 (a delicious fruity drink that also has a small dose of caffeine, which is all my GI tract can handle at present).
This HFactor stuff seemed like a vast improvement considering that A) it pretty much just tastes like water, which I like, and B) it allegedly helps with things that are quite relevant to me, like recovery, energy levels, skin irritation, and inflammation. I was mostly intrigued by the “energy levels” part given that my GI adventures mean that I am currently on a GERD diet. Which means little to no caffeine. Which means no coffee.
So these water pouches (I almost want to call them “bags” of water, like they have bags of milk in Canada — also, why do they have bags of milk in Canada?). The reason for the bags in this instance is that hydrogen can actually escape through plastic or glass, according to their website. Here’s what they look like:
I really do feel that with a name like that, it needs a theme song. I received six of these in a box from the company, three of which I was originally planning to give to Husband. He’s an endurance runner, boxer, and all-around crazy athletic person, so I was curious to see how these would help him post-workout. However, when I saw it was best to drink one to two of these per day and I only had six, I kept them all for myself. For science!
Coincidentally, this is about when I had to stop drinking coffee, so I was dreading the inevitable caffeine withdrawal — mainly the headaches — because I already have such bad cervicogenic headaches as it is. I figured if these really had any fatigue- and energy-fighting properties, now was the time to prove it.
I never developed the gift of being able to pierce a Capri Sun pouch without destroying it. These HFactor pouches are actually torn open, not that I was any more skilled at that. I actually cut open the bag and stuck the awesome bendy straw inside that way, like a cheater. (True story, bendy straws take me back to ice cream milkshakes from childhood.) The whole presentation made me feel delightfully young. I was using a straw! Like for milkshakes!
Is HFactor Easy to Use?
I mean, it’s water. You drink it. The pouch could be problematic for people like me who are thoroughly unable to rip open the pouch without drenching the entire kitchen. It has a bendy straw so no matter how immobile your head is, you can drink it. I’d say the product as a whole is pretty solid.
Any Issues with HFactor?
Again, the ripping-open-the-pouch thing, but we’ve already discussed my inadequacies. The only other potential issue is the slightly different taste of the water. You actually can taste the hydrogen, but it’s more of a just-opened-compression-tank sort of chemical smell, or like unsealing a pressurized can of tennis balls — pleasant in a way. At least, I found it pleasant. I played tennis in high school, so, again, that smell brings me back to my childhood. It’s weird that what is essentially a sports performance drink is able to incorporate both the smell of tennis and the presentation of Capri Sun in an adult package. Those are very specific triggers for me.
My Final Thoughts on HFactor
Now comes the most important question: Did HFactor actually do what it says on the tin? I don’t know how scientific of a study I am able to conduct with six pouches, but I drank two a day for the three days that I was detoxing from coffee.
- Guess who has two thumbs and didn’t have caffeine withdrawal headaches?
- THIS GIRL! SEE EXHIBIT A, BELOW!
- Are the two related?
- I AM NOT SURE, THIS WAS NOT A SCIENTIFIC DOUBLE-BLIND STUDY!
- Do I care?
I didn’t have any other changes in my routine, so I don’t care if it’s not considered scientific. I think the HFactor was able to help enough with the fatigue from detoxing from coffee. Based on that, I’m going to keep drinking it!
Check out HFactor’s website here!