Alex Tarnava is the CEO of Drink HRW, and the primary inventor of the open-cup hydrogen tablets. Alex runs the clinical outreach program for our company, working with over a dozen universities coordinating research. Alex has also published research of his own. You can find it on his ResearchGate. Additionally, he has been interviewed for many prominent publications, such as Entrepreneur and Forbes, and on many popular Podcasts. You can find all of his interviews and articles on his media page.
Ian: I seriously recommend this article by Alex on WHY the tablets we provide (which come from him) are the best hydrogen tablets in the world.
The questions of “What are the best molecular hydrogen tablets?”, “Why are the Drink HRW molecular hydrogen tablets the best?”, and “How do Drink HRW molecular hydrogen tablets compare to “X” brand molecular hydrogen tablets?” come up every day in emails to our customer service. To answer these, many factors need to be considered, some of which are subjective. Of course, there are objective considerations such as concentration and dosage, legality, and clinical evidence.
At the time of this writing, there are only three competing technologies. There are dozens of brands, and all of them utilize one of the three technologies. For simplicity, I will refer to each technology by the name of its primary inventor. The three inventors are: Dusan Miljkovic, Mikhail Kazakevitch, and myself, Alex Tarnava. It should be noted, and obvious, that I have bias on the subject being one of the inventors. However, the objective pros and cons stand regardless of bias, and in writing this I am committing to try to play devil’s advocate for the “pros” of the other technologies, as well as the “cons” of my own.
Dusan Miljkovic Molecular Hydrogen Tablet Technology
Dusan’s tablets have widespread distribution throughout South Korea, and limited distribution in the USA. It is the oldest technology, the technology I discussed in Part 1 of Hydrogen Tablet Origins. Being the oldest technology comes with pros and cons. The pros being that the patent process takes a very long time, so Dusan is the only one of the three inventors to have achieved a granted patent. There is a big asterisk on his granted patent, and his patent in no way covers the other two technologies for various reasons. First off, Dusan’s patent speaks exclusively about “negative ORP” and not about the therapeutic properties of hydrogen gas. I previously detailed issues with using ORP as a measure of therapeutic potential in my post “Hydrogen Water vs “Ionized Alkaline Water” False Claims Clarified”. From that article:
“Oxidative reduction potential (ORP), is one of the most common tests ionizer sales reps will do on water to show why their machine is “superior.” Tap water and bottled water typically show a positive ORP, indicating they are pro-oxidation. That said, ionized water will typically measure a significantly negative ORP, indicating it has the potential to reduce oxidation or be an antioxidant. Ignoring the fact that there is no evidence that antioxidant supplementation has potential harmful effects (including all cause mortality and cancer), this line of reasoning regarding ORP as a legitimate measurement tool doesn’t hold weight.
A negative ORP indicates that a substance could act as a reducing agent. Knowing that a water has a negative ORP does not tell us anything about its therapeutic potential. To know this, we must know what the exact reducing agent is as some could be toxic and harmful, while some oxidants could be beneficial. We know that when it comes to ionized water, hydrogen gas is the reducing agent. We also know that even a miniscule amount of hydrogen gas will create a negative ORP. How the negative ORP is determined when H2 is in question is via the Nernst equation, which puts a greater emphasis on pH than it does on H2. This means that a highly alkaline water with a low amount of H2 may read to have a more negative ORP than a highly saturated hydrogen water with a lower pH! This is detailed in great length and accuracy by H2 Sciences, the maker of the H2 Blue titration reagent. In the previously mentioned study, where only H2 was shown to be a therapeutic agent, the control water was measured as having a high negative ORP. Also, there are four articles on ORP (see ORP information)”
Undoubtedly in an attempt to assist the claims to negative ORP, Dusan’s invention claims the use, and requirement, of an alkaline mineral:
b) a base selected from magnesium carbonate, sodium carbonate, potassium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate, potassium carbonate, magnesium oxide, calcium carbonate, or a combination thereof;1
This is something that neither the Kazakevitch invention nor my invention utilizes, and, as such, neither of our inventions infringe on Dusan’s claims. There is a good reason why neither my invention nor the Kazakevitch invention utilizes a base: magnesium preferably reacts with water in acidic conditions. In fact, this is the reason why Dusan’s manufacturing team has never launched a water-soluble tablet, instead advising consumers to swallow the molecular hydrogen tablets. I detailed the issues regarding safety in this approach in my post “Comparing Hydrogen Water and Gas Technologies.” That said, many consumers feel that swallowing the molecular hydrogen tablets is a preferable and convenient route, not wishing to wait for the tablet to dissolve in water and drink it quickly.
I believe that the chance of adverse event or serious issue with ingesting the molecular hydrogen tablets Dusan has invented to be low. However, certain risks do exist for a small percentage of the population, such as ulcer formation and gastrointestinal distress. This is because the reaction is exothermic, meaning the reaction gives off heat. The reason why Dusan’s technology advises to swallow the tablet is that the acidic conditions in the stomach are needed to fuel the reaction. Of particular note is the fact that stomach acid can vary widely between individuals. It is possible that those who could benefit from molecular hydrogen tablets the most, such as those with serious issues, may not yield a benefit from Dusan’s molecular hydrogen tablets, as their stomach acid will be insufficient to fuel the reaction. This is exacerbated by using alkaline minerals in the formula, which buffer the stomach acids needed for the reaction.
Another note is that despite being the first to market, and having a decade to do so, Dusan’s technology has never filed with the FDA to demonstrate that their molecular hydrogen tablets are safe for consumer use. Years ago they started the process to seek out the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) designation, as told to me by consultants and labs I’m acquainted with, but gave up as the feat seemed impossible. My regulatory consultants agree with this, believing the FDA would never approve a product that generates an exothermic reaction within the body, albeit inconsistently. Dusan’s molecular hydrogen tablet technology has no legal status in the USA, and is thus not legal for sale.
Finally, kudos to Dusan and team for seeking clinical validation. Dusan’s molecular hydrogen tablets do have a few clinical trials completed and some preclinical research. Additionally, Dusan has provided early powder formulas intended to make hydrogen water (which violate many HAZMAT-related laws in terms of manufacturing and shipping). That said, the prominent researcher that investigated Dusan’s technology is now primarily conducting clinical research on my molecular hydrogen tablets, as well as on an inhalation unit from a Japanese manufacturer. This is despite the early relationship with Dusan Miljkovich and them being from the same country. While I cannot project intention or motivation, I think this speaks clearly on perceived efficacy of which molecular hydrogen tablets are superior.
One benefit of the Dusan molecular hydrogen tablets is that the price is often much lower than my technology. It is important to note that putting measures in place to ensure quality, safety, and validation of the technology for efficacy are all quite expensive endeavors.
Mikhail Kazakevitch Molecular Hydrogen Tablet Technology
Also detailed in my hydrogen tablet origins series, is Mikhail Kazakevitch,or“MK.” While his molecular hydrogen tablets seemed to be gaining momentum before I hit the market, they appear to be a flash in the pan, so to speak, as virtually all of his customers have switched to order new production lots from my manufacturing company Natural Wellness Now Health Products, Inc.
The early advantage of the Kazakevitch technology was that it was the first stable, water-soluble molecular hydrogen tablet that could generate meaningful concentrations of hydrogen water.* I put an asterisk here, as getting the tablets to work properly took some work. To yield high concentrations, additional acid was required in the early days. This is because MK catered to companies in the “alkaline water” space who wanted the pH to be high, immediately, not caring about the stoichiometry of the net alkalinity (not that I believe that matters, anyways).
The MK invention also had to be sealed in a bottle with a tight cap, after a convex meniscus was formed at the top, to hit optimal levels. After that, time was needed for the molecular hydrogen tablet to react in full and achieve an equilibrium. Levels slightly higher than the best water ionizers could be achieved in as little as 20–30 minutes. However, to hit higher levels (and still a fraction of what my technology can achieve), hours, or overnight preparation, are required. Additionally, many users felt the taste of these tablets was unbearable.
The Kazakevitch hydrogen tablets have no legal status in the USA, as MK has never filed a New Dietary Ingredient Notification (NDIN) or GRAS notification, and, as such, are illegal for sale. Further, the MK molecular hydrogen tablets have had the patent application rejected. As I noted in the hydrogen tablet origins series, Tyler W. LeBaron is listed as an inventor on these tablets, as he worked as a consultant on their design. Despite this, Tyler has used the Drink HRW molecular hydrogen tablets in several research projects both published and underway, but has never used the MK molecular hydrogen tablets. In fact, the MK molecular hydrogen tablets have never been used in any published research I am aware of, either clinical or preclinical.
There are only a handful of companies remaining that sell the MK molecular hydrogen tablets. In all cases that I am aware, the product has long expired, but is still being sold. MK’s own brand’s Amazon page, Aqua H2, is littered with complaints that the product has expired, with a “fake” expiration stamp on the outer box, and a long-expired date stamped on the blister cards within. You can read these comments on the Amazon page. The price point on the MK molecular hydrogen tablets, through many brands, has dropped to be quite low, so many may think they are an attractive option. In my opinion, the MK tablets are a “buyer beware” situation, due to them being expired, as well as other confidential information (COAs) I have regarding failed test results.
Alex Tarnava’s Molecular Hydrogen Tablet Technology
First off, my invention consists of the molecular hydrogen tablets that can be prepared, and achieve a cloud of quasi-dissolved nano bubbles, in an open cup of water. These tablets are characterized by the “white water” or “cloud” present upon consumption.
For the technology in general, we are the only molecular hydrogen supplement to achieve new dietary ingredient status with the US FDA, meaning we are the only molecular hydrogen supplement legal for sale on the market. This was an expensive and long endeavour, which does increase the value and cost of my molecular hydrogen tablets.
The pending patent for my molecular hydrogen tablet technology is still in the application process and has not been reviewed by an examiner yet, as the process can take a number of years. That said, the claims do protect against copycats and are not as limiting as those found in the granted Dusan patent. During the application process, certain rights do exist, namely, if any company violates my patent claims during the application stage, if granted, they will be liable for infringement during the entire time the application was in the application process. This is to deter companies from trying to capitalize on an invention before a patent is granted.
It is important to note that I do provide products utilizing my molecular hydrogen tablet technology for dozens of brands. However, there may be significant differences between each brand, depending on age of product and any specialized formulation or request made. There is one important thing to look out for: Does the brand display a “Powered by Drink HRW” logo on the back of the bottle?
For companies that display the “Powered by Drink HRW” logo, the manufacturing, excipients used, and hydrogen concentrations are all consistent. They are pulled from our “stock” lot of tablets, which are either the regular high-powered molecular hydrogen tablets, or the blue raspberry molecular hydrogen tablets that contain sucralose as a sweetener. The new batches of “Powered by Drink HRW” molecular hydrogen tablets use the highest-generating formula we have. These can be differentiated by being slightly larger in diameter compared to other tablets on the market. The gas chromatography results of the “Powered by Drink HRW” molecular hydrogen tablets, detail the concentration and dosage received from a tablet in 500ml of water.
The “Powered by Drink HRW” tablets have been used in six published clinical trials and two case studies at the time of this writing and are also being used in an additional 15 clinical trials and four preclinical research projects currently underway. They are the most scientifically validated technology for delivering hydrogen therapy on the market, whether it be hydrogen water or hydrogen inhalation.
Of note when considering molecular hydrogen tablets for use in water only, the Drink HRW brand, at this time, is submitting products for additional testing to ensure that all batches are safe for use for competitive athletes and do not contain trace amounts of any banned substance. I have previously written about the importance of us being Informed Sport–certified.
“Other” Open-Cup Molecular Hydrogen Tablets
By “other” I mean those that do not bear the “Powered by Drink HRW” logo. Currently, there are no known brands or open-cup hydrogen tablets on the market that do not utilize my technology. These brands may vary widely in hydrogen concentrations, excipients, and flavors used, etc. Some of the brands on the market using my technology have failed in their marketing and are currently selling expired goods. So, again, ensure this is not the case when you purchase them. It is prudent to ask for the expiry date on the batch being sent out.
Some of the brands utilizing my technology do attain levels of hydrogen concentration close to what the “Powered by Drink HRW” brands achieve. However, none achieve the highest levels, which are available only to the group of brands (including Drink HRW) that have the most advanced formulation.
Some of the brands have requirements regarding flavoring or excipients that some consumers may find appealing. However, in all cases this leads to lower concentrations of hydrogen gas in the water, with the therapeutic effects unknown, as no brand on the market utilizing my technology adapted to their own purpose has pursued their own clinical research.
Some of the “other” brands on the market may offer high-quality products, yet lower in therapeutic dosage than the Drink HRW tablets, for a much lower price point. This can be achieved due to the fact that expenses such as clinical and preclinical research, as well as informed sport testing and certification, are not being paid for. The lower price point coming at the sacrifice of knowing that the exact product, with the precise dosage and concentration, is what is being used in the research that has shown beneficial results. Additionally, while the tablets are all made in the same facilities, cross contamination has been a major issue in the supplement industry. There is no guarantee that because the Drink HRW brand has been shown to be safe for athletes, that all brands of my technology are. This is why it is important to submit products to bodies such as Informed Sport or NSF Sport to have the proper testing conducted.
Best Hydrogen Water Tablets: Conclusion
When determining the best molecular hydrogen tablet on the market, numerous considerations need to be made, ranging from legality, demonstrated efficacy, safety, proximity to your location, and value. There are only three molecular hydrogen tablet technologies on the market, yet there are many more variations within these technologies that may be brand-specific. Determining the ideal technology, and then the ideal brand, for your own use and values may take heavy consideration. Of course, I believe the Drink HRW tablets are the best molecular hydrogen tablets on the market, with the “Powered by Drink HRW” tablet brands only lacking the Informed Sport certification. But not all will agree with me. Consider carefully, and choose wisely.
Ian: We began our hydrogen tablet journey with some of Dusan’s swallowable tablets. Then made one of Mikhail’s first bulk orders. When we discovered Alex’s tablets it was, frankly, hard to belive at first but by comparatively testing all tablets it was obvious that he had ‘cracked the code’ of simple use and ultra high hydrogen levels. On our AlkaWay hydrogen tablets you’ll find the label “Powered by HRW” which assures you that you are getting his best formulation. Yes, there are others on the market, but I’d make sure you ask them about who made them and how long you have before you must use them. (expiry date).
Our whole team here at AlkaWay use them every day. We are Australia’s largest supplier and Alex’s Australian fan club!