Oxygenated water is a relatively new functional water product that has oxygen added to it during the canning or bottling process.
The added oxygen is claimed to provide health benefits, including aiding exercise recovery, flushing toxins out of the body, and improving alcohol metabolism. However, evidence to support these benefits is limited.
While oxygenated water is low in calories, it doesn’t contain any significant nutrients. Also, various brands are available, some of which contain additional ingredients, such as caffeine, electrolytes, hemp extract, and sweeteners.
This article tells you all you need to know about oxygenated water.
While studies on oxygenated water are limited, some suggest that it may offer some benefits.
May improve lactate clearance
During moderate to high intensity exercise sustained for longer than 10 seconds, your body produces lactate as a byproduct of energy production.
As lactate accumulates, there’s a corresponding increase in muscle acidity, and this can cause muscle fatigue if uncontrolled. Therefore, clearing lactate and muscle acidity becomes important during sustained exercise.
A study in 25 trained runners found that lactate clearance following exercise improved in those who drank oxygenated water during training. That said, no other improvements in exercise performance were noted (
Considering that this is only a single study, more research is needed. Nevertheless, if you’re a high level endurance athlete, oxygenated water may be worth a try.
May enhance alcohol metabolism
Another proposed benefit of drinking oxygenated water is its ability to enhance alcohol metabolism.
When you consume alcohol, it’s absorbed through your stomach and small intestine. It’s then transported to the liver, where it’s metabolized through a series of reactions that require large amounts of oxygen (
Therefore, one of the side effects of alcohol metabolism can be an oxygen deficit in the liver.
One study looking at alcohol metabolism in 15 healthy men found that dissolved oxygen in drinks may accelerate the decrease in blood alcohol content after consuming large amounts of alcohol (
That said, further research is needed to establish oxygenated water’s ability to enhance alcohol metabolism.
Can help you meet hydration needs
Other potential benefits aside, oxygenated water can simply help you meet your daily hydration needs.
A common rule of thumb when it comes to water intake is to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses (about 2 liters) per day.
Considering your body comprises around 60% water, adequate hydration is important for various processes, including temperature regulation, blood pressure maintenance, and proper brain function (
Including oxygenated water as a part of your daily fluid intake can help you meet your needs.
Though evidence supporting the benefits of oxygenated water is limited, some studies suggest that it aids lactate clearance during exercise and enhances alcohol metabolism. In addition, it can help you meet your daily fluid needs.
Though oxygenated water is generally safe to consume, there are a few precautions to take when drinking it.
Similar to hydrogen peroxide
Oxygenated water is similar to hydrogen peroxide, a common antiseptic agent.
Both liquids are forms of oxygenated water, though in hydrogen peroxide, a bond exists between two oxygen molecules. On the other hand, oxygenated water is simply oxygen dissolved in water, which is safe to drink.
Hydrogen peroxide — whether food grade or medical grade — is unsafe to drink, and ingesting even small amounts can cause serious side effects like nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, sore throat, and internal bleeding (6,
Therefore, it’s important to only ingest oxygenated water that’s intended for human consumption and found in the beverage section of a store.
Must be consumed immediately
Just as sparkling water loses its carbonation over time, oxygenated water can quickly lose its oxygen once opened.
For this reason, most manufacturers recommend that oxygenated water be consumed within 30 minutes of opening it to maximize how much oxygen you ingest.
Furthermore, most oxygenated water comes packaged in cans, making quick consumption especially important, as the container cannot be resealed.
Lack of data on its use
Though there’s a lot of talk of oxygenated water among those in nutrition and fitness communities, high quality research on its benefits remains scarce.
Several questions still need to be answered, such as how well oxygen is absorbed in the intestine and how well it dissolves in water.
What’s more, some claim that the beverage can enhance skin and hair quality, but no studies support this.
Until scientific research answers questions like these, it’s difficult to determine whether oxygenated water offers health benefits beyond those associated with regular water.
Though oxygenated water is generally safe, there’s insufficient data on its potential benefits. When drinking oxygenated water, you should do so quickly after opening it to maximize oxygen ingestion.
Oxygenated water is commonly used as a post-workout beverage, though it can be consumed at any time.
Some brands include other ingredients, such as caffeine, electrolytes, and hemp extract, which is also known as cannabidiol (CBD).
The caffeinated varieties may function as a pre-workout drink, as caffeine has been shown to boost exercise performance. On the other hand, caffeine may also interfere with sleep for some people. As such, it should not be consumed close to bedtime (
The electrolytes added to some varieties can promote hydration when consumed around moderate to high intensity exercise (
Lastly, early research suggests that CBD may relieve chronic pain and anxiety in doses of at least 15 mg per serving — though most oxygenated waters contain 10 mg or less (
You can drink oxygenated water before or after exercise, or simply as a regular beverage throughout the day in place of, or in addition to, regular water.
While oxygenated water can be used throughout the day, most choose to consume it surrounding exercise to maximize its potential benefits.
It’s difficult to compare oxygenated water with other types of functional water, as their ingredients vary.
Other popular functional waters include alkaline water, caffeinated water, antioxidant water, protein water, and chlorophyll water. Except for protein water, all these have minimal data supporting their effectiveness.
Functional waters, including oxygenated water, can help you meet your hydration needs, though nutrition labels should be read carefully.
While not a functional water, sparkling water is often compared with oxygenated water due to its gaseous nature.
The difference is that the bubbles in sparkling water come from dissolved carbon dioxide, whereas the bubbles in oxygenated water come from dissolved oxygen. This results in a similar mouthfeel, though oxygenated water tends to be slightly less bubbly.
Oxygenated water is one of many types of functional water on the market, each of which contains varying ingredients to promote certain health benefits.
Oxygenated water is a popular beverage that has oxygen added to it during processing.
Limited studies suggest it may improve lactate clearance during exercise and enhance alcohol metabolism.
Other health claims made about oxygenated water do not have enough data to support them.
That said, oxygenated water can be included as a part of a nutritious diet, though — apart from its hydrating properties — it should not be relied on for any specific health benefits.