American Council on Exercise (ACE) Study Investigates Super Oxygenated Water Claims
Super oxygenated waters, sold under brand names like Aqua Rush, Athletic Super Water, SerVenRich and AquOforce, boast up to ten times more oxygen content than normal tap water and prices range from $1 to $2.50 per half liter. These waters are sold under the assumption that more oxygen will provide muscles the ability to create additional energy. Claims for these products state that “the body absorbs the extra oxygen, resulting in improved stamina and athletic performance, reduced recovery time and better mental clarity.”
Led by John Porcari, PhD at the University of Wisconsin, the study included 12 college-aged men and women who were randomly assigned to drink either 16 ounces of super oxygenated water or regular tap water. All participants performed a multi-stage treadmill test. At the end of each stage heart rate, blood pressure, ratings of perceived exertion and oxygen consumption were recorded.
Researchers found that drinking super oxygenated water had no measurable effect on the subjects’ resting heart rate, blood pressure or blood lactate values. The results were not surprising to researchers. “There are only two possible ways to carry oxygen in the blood, either bound to hemoglobin or dissolved in the plasma,” said Porcari. “In normal healthy exercisers, hemoglobin is already 97 to 98 percent saturated with oxygen. Obviously, there is very little room to improve on this factor.”
“At this time, there is no scientific evidence or logical rationale to suggest that drinking super oxygenated water can in any way increase the amount of oxygen in the blood stream,” said Porcari. “Therefore, any potential benefits of super oxygenated water would undoubtedly be attributed to the placebo effect.”
Researchers conducted a dissolved oxygen analysis on three bottles of Aqua Rush and three bottles of SerVenRich. The tests revealed that the oxygenated waters contained less than three times the amount of oxygen found in tap water-markedly lower than advertised.
The study results confirm ACE’s opinion that these types of products do not live up to their claims, but water is one of the most essential components of the human body. The American Council on Exercise has always and continues to promote healthy hydration. Water regulates the body’s temperature, cushions and protects vital organs, and aids the digestive system.
For regular exercisers maintaining a constant supply of water in the body is essential to performance. Dehydration leads to muscle fatigue and loss of coordination. Even small amounts of water loss may hinder athletic performance. To prevent dehydration, ACE recommends exercisers drink before, during and after a workout. Not all fluid has to come from pure water. Other choices include fruits, juices, soups and vegetables. It is easy to prevent dehydration with pure, healthy, refreshing water.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. As the nation’s “workout watchdog,” ACE conducts university-based research and testing that targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness professionals and is the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organization. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at www.acefitness.org.
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