In 2003 this study appeard in the Journal of the American Medical Association
**By Neil B. Hampson, et al. (citation below)
To the Editor: Bottled waters described as "oxygenated" are sold with claims that they confer health benefits. The waters are advertised to contain 7 to 40 times more oxygen (O2) than ordinary water and to enhance exercise, with statements such as "enhanced sports performance"1 and "improves cardiovascular and muscle endurance"2 commonly used. We measured O2 in oxygenated water and assessed its effect on maximal performance during exercise.
What they did
- They measured the PO2 in 5 brands of "oxygenated" water. The water was obtained from the bottles by inserting a needle through the cap or the bottle's sidewall and drawing the water into a gas tight syringe.
- They compared the results with well-stirred tap water.
- They recruited 11 healthy adults. 7 men, 4 women; average age 35
- They had them drink, in random order and double-blind fashion, either 355 mL (12-ounce bottle) of oxygenated water or a bottle of the same brand that had been deoxygenated by agitation in air
- Five minutes after drinking the water they had each of them perform standard maximal cardiopulmonary exercise tests. These tests were on separate days at least 3 days apart
- The researchers analyzed the differences between exercise after consumption of oxygenated and ordinary water by paired t test
They found that:
- Four of the five bottles of oxygenated water had O2 levels greater than that of tap water and one was similar to tap water (the one in the glass bottle had the highest O2)
- There were no significant differences in exercise results after participants drank either oxygenated or tap water for any measured variables
- The participants were unable to identify oxygenated water by taste.
- Although four of the five brands contained more oxygen than tap water the oxygen content was not very great because oxygen is relatively insoluble in water
- The brand with the highest oxygen, presumably from the glass bottle, contained 80 mL of O2 in a typical 12-ounce bottle.
- However, air is 20.9% oxygen and a normal human tidal breath of roughly 500 mL contains 100 mL of O2.
- In other words one single human breath contains more oxygen than an entire bottle of oxygenated water
- Hemoglobin is already nearly saturated with O2 during air breathing, and that only a small amount of additional O2 can be dissolved in plasma (I didn't know any could), it's no big surprise that oxygenated water did not improve maximal exercise performance
"Oxygenated Water and Athletic Performance, November 12, 2003, Hampson Et Al. 290 (18): 2408 — JAMA." JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, a Weekly Peer-reviewed Medical Journal Published by AMA — JAMA. Web. 08 Dec. 2010. <http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=197619>.