Lack of Benefits in Super Oxygenated Water

Is It Any Better Than Tap Water?

A bottle of water.
A bottle of water. STUDIO BOX/Getty Images

Between chiropractic treatments, energy drinks, and muscle creams, there are countless treatments and products marketed to athletes and active people. These products claim to offer solutions for chronic injuries and low energy levels. But do they really work?

One such example is super oxygenated water. Manufacturers claim this water provides more energy, greater mental awareness, and better concentration than regular tap water. But while 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 this product 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, there 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.

Additionally, according to a 2006 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, oxygenated water failed to show added benefits in exercise performance and recovery, and the author noted that such claims cannot be taken seriously.

The bottom line is that there is no scientific evidence to support that drinking super oxygenated water increases the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. Exercise researcher John Porcari, Ph.D., 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 a supply of bottled super oxygenated water.

Claims by Brands Selling Oxygenated Water

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, it can deliver 1,000 ppm of oxygen. This is supposedly achieved by bonding two regular oxygen molecules (O2) together. However, this is highly suspicious chemistry because even if it worked that way, it is of little benefit in drinking water.

O2 Aqua is one brand of super oxygenated water. It says it is made by filtering tap water from a municipal supply, with ozone and oxygenation. The brand cites testimonials that it has helped people with many health issues "feel increased energy and overall increased health." But this is very vague. The brand does say that your hydration level will increase, which is very likely to occur when drinking any water.

Vitamin O, a product that was basically deionized water with sodium chloride (salt), buffers and possibly magnesium peroxide, was touted as "liquid oxygen," which was completely unbelievable, as liquid oxygen needs to be kept at -183 degrees C and would freeze your mouth, throat, and stomach if you drank it. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission fined Rose Creek Health Products $375,000 for marketing it this way, but products identified as Vitamin O are still available from various manufacturers.

A Word From Verywell

Based on a lack of evidence and statements by researchers, it's clear that there are no substantial benefits to drinking super oxygenated water. If you're an athlete or simply exercise regularly, your best bet is to stick to hydrating well with regular, plain old water.

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