Super oxygenated water manufacturers claim it provides more energy, greater mental awareness and concentration than regular tap water. Although they claim these special water formulations contain 10 times the oxygen content of normal tap water, there is no evidence that the body absorbs more oxygen from them.
Super Oxygenated Water Study Finds No Benefits for Exercise
Research on the products by the American Council on Exercise didn’t find any benefit to resting heart rate, blood pressure or blood lactate values.
According to the researchers, the are only two ways to carry oxygen in the blood. It is either bound to hemoglobin or dissolved in the plasma. In most people hemoglobin is already 97 to 98 percent saturated with oxygen.
The bottom line is that there is no scientific evidence to support that drinking super oxygenated water increases the amount of oxygen in the blood stream. Exercise researcher John Porcari, PhD says in a press release, “At this time, there is no scientific evidence or logical rationale to suggest that drinking super oxygenated water can in any way increase the amount of oxygen in the blood stream.” He attributes any benefits users feel to the placebo effect as well as the actual benefits of staying well-hydrated before, during and after exercise. Drinking plain old water will have the same benefits, and be either free or much less expensive than the $1 or more per bottle of super oxygenated water.
Hype for Super Oxygenated Water and Vitamin O
Here is some of the hype you will see for super oxygenated water:
O2 Aqua says it is made by filtering tap water from a municipal supply, with ozone and oxygenation. They cite testimonials that it has helped people with many health issues “feel increased energy and overall increased health.” This is very vague.
They do say that your hydration level will increase, which is very likely when drinking any water, let alone water they charge you $85 for a pack of 24, something that would cost under $10 if it weren’t “oxygenated.”
Some products claim to have a breakthrough O4 molecule that locks up more oxygen for up to 24 months after bottling. With this stabilized oxygen they can deliver 1000 ppm of oxygen. Apparently this is achieved by bonding two regular oxygen molecules (O2) together. However, this is highly suspicious chemistry. Even if it worked that way, it is of little benefit in drinking water. Some claim to have scientific studies proving their product, but a search of medical research database PubMed.org found no studies at all for “super oxygenated water.”
Vitamin O: The US Federal Trade Commission fined Rose Creek Health Products $375,000 for marketing a Vitamin O product that was basically deionized water with sodium chloride (salt), buffers and maybe some magnesium peroxide. It was touted as “liquid oxygen,” which would be scary as liquid oxygen needs to be kept at -183 degrees C and would freeze your mouth, throat and stomach if you drank it.
Products calling themselves Vitamin O are still available from various manufacturers.
“American Council on Exercise (ACE) Study Investigates Super Oxygenated Water Claims,” ACE Press Release, September 20, 2001.
“Marketers of Vitamin O Settles FTC Charges of Making False Health Claims; Will Pay $375,000 for Consumer Redress.” May 1, 2000, Federal Trade Commission Press Release.