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Performix SST “Molecular Hydrogen” Generates ZERO Hydrogen

Contributor Bio

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.

Performix SST “Molecular Hydrogen” Generates ZERO Hydrogen

As I set out in December, I have started a new mission: Expose the emerging scam products on the market, as well as those that, while not outright scams, deliver below the therapeutic dosages used in the clinical research they attempt to claim the benefits from. I dipped my toes in this water with my “HumanX” fake hydrogen tablets article, but today’s topic is the biggest offender to date. It’s a reasonably large company that has gained attention through celebrity endorsements and features in major publications.

On January 4th we issued a press release announcing that we had filed letters with the FTC regarding fraudulent claims made by Performix, and with the FDA regarding potential harm that MegaHydrate could cause to some unknowing consumers; more on the latter next week. The letter we filed with the FTC was based on the claims, which we deemed fraudulent, made by the company Performix LLC. Performix LLC markets a pre-workout product — “SST” — which has “molecular hydrogen” on the label, with a “patent-pending” molecular hydrogen matrix on the supplement facts. We commissioned two labs to test this product, and both found no detectable molecular hydrogen after following their directions of use. This was tested (and submitted to the FTC) both by titration and by gas chromatography at both labs, and myself and others verified no H2 via titration. One of the two lab reports I commissioned is at the bottom of this article. 

Why is Performix Worthy of an FTC Letter?

The reason I went full steam in pursuing Performix LLC and their “SST” product but simply tested “HumanX” myself is, simply put, impact. HumanX is a small upstart, whereas Performix has 82,000 followers on Instagram, has had the fake molecular hydrogen product in question featured in Men’s Journal in two separate promotional articles — “Molecular Hydrogen: Fad or Phenomenon” and “Supercharge Your Workouts with Molecular Hydrogen” — and has had major celebrity endorsements, such as from John Cena. Although it seems Performix has scrubbed the photos of John Cena from its website. So perhaps either Cena caught wind of the fact the products were fake, or more cynically, the contract simply expired.

This is a huge reason why we developed an honest athlete and influencer program in which we will not discuss any endorsement deals from our Pro Warriors until they have been using the product and can report legitimate benefits. Of course, we stand by the science and clinical research of our hydrogen tablets and submit them for third-party testing to verify hydrogen production and concentration. Many athletes, influencers, and celebrities will endorse almost anything if the price is right, and we have stopped communications with multiple management agencies that don’t want to acknowledge our policies and simply spam us with “rates” and potential “ROIs” for their clients. 

Website Claims

The Performix SST product page starts off with this statement:

“SST Pre supercharges your workouts cellularly with patent-pending Molecular Hydrogen Matrix, which supports whole body alkalinity, lactic acid buffering and and mitochondrial production. With the resulting increase in ATP generation, this game changing pre-workout, powers up your cells and your workouts.”

My hot take is they read a few studies, didn’t understand them, and slapped together some claims without even ensuring their product produces molecular hydrogen or measuring how much, because we all know that dosage doesn’t matter for anything we consume, right?

My second hot take, looking at the Performix SST label, is they looked at a few other product labels, similar to what HumanX did, and thought “molecular hydrogen can be made by adding magnesium and acid” without bothering to consult a chemist or understand the process. Of course, magnesium salts, already in ionic form, will not react to release molecular hydrogen from water. This is high school–level chemistry. It’s probably better for them that they don’t contain the reactive materials needed to produce molecular hydrogen, as in powder form, they would be violating numerous laws that come with far greater repercussions than FTC violations. To scratch the surface, if they were adding elemental magnesium in powder form to the packaging they have chosen to distribute in, I would have been filing petitions that they were endangering the public, with all the relevant agencies that they’d be violating the laws of including, but not limited to, the EPA, OSHA, FAA and IATA, DoT, as well as the FDA. Yikes! Good for them that they really don’t know what they’re doing, rather than “kind of” don’t know what they’re doing.

Their supplement facts label is at the bottom of this article.

They go on to ramble a bit more, expanding through more words but no greater understanding regarding the same muddled claims they made to introduce their product, before leveling this whopping load of bullshit that really got under my skin:

“THE FIRST & ONLY LIVE-TESTED PRE-WORKOUT PERFORMIX® SST PRE has been tested by the best, for the best. Through the Element group fitness class at PERFORMIX House in New York City, trainers and clients have proven the efficacy of SST PRE by tracking their increased caloric burn & percent of max heart rate while taking the class on SST PRE vs. off SST PRE.”

So, basically, they ran an uncontrolled, unregistered clinical trial on participants from their own gym, and measured the output on and off the supplement. I’ll add that this potentially violates laws regarding human research, since based on what they are saying, it is very doubtful they received any ethics approval from an institutional review board. They aren’t claiming it as a clinical trial, so they may be safe in this regard. However, they are tracking an outcome that is not testimonial/feedback-based, so this technically isn’t user feedback. I know a good deal on this subject but would need to confer with actual experts in the field. As a clinical trial, this model is useless, as they are not accounting for the placebo effect. It is further corrupted by the fact that, by definition, these are loyal customers of their company that likely believe the load of garbage they’re being peddled. So when they are given this “new amazing formula,” the already powerful placebo effect would be amplified. Or, also possible, the participants purposefully trained harder during the “ON SST” workout, than the “OFF SST” workout.

Performix has the audacity to claim it is the “First and Only Live-Tested Pre-Workout.” What the living **** do they mean by this? Countless pre-workouts are clinically validated to varying degrees. Do they mean they are the first company that has employed a non-controlled, unregistered clinical trial to try to make claims? I honestly doubt that, but even if they are that is evidence of their lack of credibility, not improved credibility. I’m curious if they understand this, or care. Probably not, and there is no point in speculating. I never want to assume either stupidity or lack of morality is the only answer when a combination of the two is completely possible.

For those that care about the future of molecular hydrogen products, spread the word. Scam products are cropping up more and more, and from larger and larger companies. Don’t stand for it. Call out the media that takes payment to advertise for them. Call out the “reviews” they generate on websites. Call out the companies behaving in a shady manner, and call out to the relevant governmental agencies to act.