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Oxygen water

Oxygen water performance claims may be full of hot air

Friday, October 06, 2006 by: Jessica Fraser
Tags: oxygen water, performance enhancers, bottled water


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(NewsTarget) "Hyperoxygenated" bottled waters claiming to aid in sports performance and post-workout recovery do not increase blood levels of oxygen, according to a review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The water -- which contains up to 40 times the oxygen found in regular water, recently emerged in the soft drink sector in France, Australia and the UK, where it has sold well. The product is sold in a sleek, bubble-shaped bottle and marketed under the idea that drinking water with extra oxygen can provide exercisers with extra energy during a workout and can speed up recovery afterward.

However, studies performed by Duke University's Claude Piantadosi found that only tiny amounts of oxygen can be dissolved in drinking water compared to the amount of oxygen required for rigorous exercise. Piantadosi also found that no significant amount of the oxygen was absorbed by the intestine. A study of 12 people who drank oxygenated water revealed that blood oxygen levels were no more affected by the oxygen water than regular bottled water.

"The only good thing I can say is that [oxygenated water] won't hurt anything except your pocketbook," Piantadosi said. "Put this idea in the waste bin with Ponce de Leon's fountain of youth."

Richard Pechey, sales manager for Netherlands-based OGO brand oxygenated water -- which recently signed its first U.S. distribution deal -- said, "You are always going to get skeptics." Pechey said the extra oxygen in OGO, which is 35 times that in regular water, enhanced the product, but "we would not begin to make any medical claims because we haven't done that kind of research."

Pechey said that the "remarkably high" oxygen content in OGO water might improve consumers' general sense of well being, which he said could be a psychological response -- but "if that can make you feel or perform better, then that's a pretty good thing."

Fitness enthusiast and natural health advocate Mike Adams, author of "The Five Habits of Health Transformation," said he had tested the effects of oxygen water using a medical-grade blood oxygen sensor.

"I found no correlation between drinking oxygen water and greater levels of oxygen in the blood," Adams said. "In fact, I found that breathing deeply for 30 seconds produced a measurable increase in blood oxygen, as did a short burst of jumping rope, but oxygen water produced no such increases."

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