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Oxygenated Water

Have you seen ads for oxygenated water, claiming to cure tiredness, improve memory, help you to exercise longer and make you a better athlete? A study from Austria shows that oxygenated water offers none of these benefits for humans (International Journal of Sports Medicine, Volume 27, 2006).

When you exercise as hard as you can, you gasp for breath because you cannot meet your needs for oxygen, no matter how hard or fast you breathe. Lack of oxygen prevents you from breaking down lactic acid so it accumulates in your muscles and blood, and you develop severe shortness of breath. Researchers analyzed the effects of drinking oxygenated water daily for two weeks on lung function and clearance of lactic acid from the bloodstream during exhausting exercise. During both exercise and rest, there was no difference between people who drank oxygenated water and those who drank ordinary water as a placebo.

Oxygenated water would be helpful to fish because they have gills whose main function is to extract oxygen from water. Since you don’t have gills, extra oxygen in water is useless to you. Lungs are the only organ humans have to provide oxygen to the bloodstream, extracting it from the air you breathe. Water is not broken down into hydrogen and oxygen in your digestive tract; it is absorbed, used and excreted as water. Since you have no mechanism for moving extra oxygen from water into your bloodstream, oxygenated water cannot possibly help you with exercise or anything else. I recommend that you save your money.

Checked 3/12/17

May 10th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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