4

votes

Does drinking oxygenated water and sucking from an oxygen tank like pro athletes do cause oxidation and cell damage?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 10, 2011 at 3:00 PM

It's all the rage. Molecularly bound oxygen water. Oxygen tanks. Oxygen rooms. Athletes do it. Celebrities do it.

We all know that oxidated cells can be damaging.

So why do people believe in intentionally sucking in more oxygen other than just breathing.

Are they wrong? Or is it safe because that oxygen intake does not reach the cellular level?

For reference, here are some links that promote oxygen water:

http://perfectwaterreviews.com/

http://www.atmayogi.com/node/938

http://www.livestrong.com/article/29289-oxygen-water-benefits/

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 10, 2012
at 02:05 AM

I don't know, it might be more useful if you can be set up with a temporary oxygen tank. One of my relatives used one on a flight after she was sick and feeling out of breath a lot, just a simple little tank the nurse showed her how to use. Flight attendants were really accommodating.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 10, 2011
at 08:41 PM

Thank you. Much better explained than I could do!

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on May 10, 2011
at 08:15 PM

I still don't buy it. If there's any benefit from Perfect Water it's probably the minerals they add. I'd have to have their chemist tell me exactly what they do without the marketing speak, to know for sure. But anytime you do something like bind the oxygen with some sodium, you'll get something that's not oxygen. Maybe they complex molecular oxygen with sodium so you have something like Na--O2, but then you only have one molecule of oxygen per sodium, and you already said there's not enough sodium to register. Even still, your stomach isn't designed to absorb O2 anyway. I remain skeptical

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on May 10, 2011
at 07:23 PM

miked - I like a lot of what you wrote. But "molecularly bound oxygen" is a patented process that only Perfect Water has rights to. They bound the oxygen to a teensie amount of sodium. The amount of sodium doesn't even register on the nutrition label. it is my understanding that this bound up oxygen is different than the "O" in H2O. They are selling millions of cases of this water annually. some pro sports teams order it regularly. So while standard "oxygen water" might indeed be a 'scam', I'm not so sure that Perfect Water is a scam. They seem to have developed something that nobody else has.

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on May 10, 2011
at 05:30 PM

Very clear and well said, thank you.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 10, 2011
at 04:35 PM

Well, I admit I'm not trained in exercise physiology. But you can only force a very small amount of additional oxygen into water and even drinking an entire bottle of "oxygenated" water will not amount to much extra beyond what you get from breathing. Even if all of that was somehow absorbed into the blood from the stomach I can't see how it would translate into such a noticeable performance increase. More likely- knowing you're drinking a supposed "performance enhancer" is what causes any perceived benefit.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on May 10, 2011
at 04:18 PM

*"oxygen in the stomach will provide no oxygen to the muscles"* Are you certain of this? Athletes report immediate increase in muscle flexibilty when drinking oxygenated water, literally within seconds of drinking. also, I personally know lifters that claim to be able to do more reps with oxygen water, almost like it has a similar effect as creatine.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 10, 2011
at 03:56 PM

Regarding inhaling extra oxygen: In a healthy person blood traveling from the lungs to carry oxygen around the body/to muscles is already almost completely saturated with oxygen bound to haemoglobin. Thus inhaling a higher than normal percentage of oxygen (compared to the ~21% in normal air) will not increase the amount of oxygen available to the body.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 10, 2011
at 03:55 PM

Jack: Oxygenated water will provide no effect because oxygen in the stomach will provide no oxygen to the muscles (that's what the lungs are for) Even if it did, drinking water with a higher than normal concentration of oxygen would hardly provide more oxygen than a single breath would. So no performance improvement.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 10, 2011
at 03:46 PM

don't people generally have a maximum oxygen uptake anyways? wouldn't that affect how much oxygen they could "pull" from the atmosphere, even when the atmosphere was more oxygen rich? i don't know, i'm asking...

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 10, 2011
at 03:43 PM

valkyrie, are you asking if supplemental oxygen when climbing high altitudes causes damage? cause training at high altitudes, where there is less oxygen, is done, as far as i know, without supplemental oxygen in order to force adaptation on the body, for better performance later.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on May 10, 2011
at 03:41 PM

Hi Olivia. What information are you basing your answer off of?

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 10, 2011
at 03:38 PM

I don't know enough about it to answer that. I was thinking more about the effects on the average person (i.e. not doing intense training and not at high altitude)

D83e454e794d761ab524814c0ff8f838

(531)

on May 10, 2011
at 03:30 PM

what about for athletes training at high altitude?

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4 Answers

14
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on May 10, 2011
at 05:16 PM

1 - Oxygenated water is a scam. What does "molecularly bound oxygen water" mean? Water is H2O, and that's it. The amount of oxygen dissolved in water is just a function of the Keq(T) which is shown here (http://docs.engineeringtoolbox.com/documents/841/oxygen_solubility_fresh_sea_water.pdf) 1 bar is about the pressure at sea level. You can see there that room temperature (20C) there's about 1 mg of oxygen dissolved in every liter of water. If you increase the pressure, you can get more in there, but as soon as you open the water bottle it'll come out. It's the same phenomenon when you open a bottle of soda, all of the dissolved CO2 comes out when it's open to atmospheric pressure. So that's a complete scam.

2 - There are two ways to breath more oxygen, one is to take oxygen like you say with a mask (e.g., what paramedics give you or what would fall down from the ceiling in an airplane). What this does is give you a locally more concentrated amount of oxygen, however the pressure of oxygen is the same, it's whatever it is outside (sea level, e.g.) so what matters is the Keq(P) of binding oxygen in your lungs to the hemoglobin in the blood. I don't have that plot handy, so I can't put it here, but when breathing oxygen the only thing that matters is the pressure which changes the equilibrium of bound/non bound hemoglobin.

The other way to get more oxygen is to go into a hyperbaric chamber which physically increases the pressure so that you can get more oxygen bound to hemoglobin. This will bind more oxygen to your hemoglobin. I used to work for a company that made the oxygen sensors they put on your fingers when you're in the hospital (pulse oximeter). They often needed subjects to calibrate the sensors, so we would go into a room wearing a pulse oximeter on each finger and then they'd change the pressure and measure how much oxygen was bound to hemoglobin. I live at 5,000 ft, so at that low pressure, 95% of my hemoglobin is bound to oxygen. At sea level it's 98%, and then they'd simulate pressures until I got down to 70% (which, for me, was about 15,000 ft equivalent) - kinda fun to get all light headed at work!. But anyway, I'm just mentioning that to illustrate how pressure changes the amount of oxygen bound to hemoglobin. Not local concentration of oxygen.

Now, back to your oxidative damage question. It's kind of a bad terminology that we use the term oxidative damage or "oxidation". The reason that the term is there is because of history. The first chemicals that were discovered that did "oxidation" was oxygen. And that was really oxygen radicals (O), not the air we breath, molecular oxygen (O2). However in the 100 plus years we've discovered that many more things are stronger oxidizers than oxygen, however the term "oxidation" has stayed. So oxidation is a type of reaction (loss of electrons) and many things can be oxidizers, oxygen being only one of them.

So what does all of this nonsense mean? Breathing in more molecular oxygen (O2) is going to have negligible effect on how much oxygen is bound to hemoglobin in your blood, so you won't really have more oxygen in there. Oxygen is probably not the main cause of oxidative damage in your body. And finally it's more effective to not have compounds that can be oxidized (PUFA's, e.g.) than it is to attempt to minimize the amount of oxidizer (O2) in your body.

I fear that this isn't as clear as it could be, but I'm at work and can't spend the time to really organize my thoughts. Feel free to ask questions on what's not clear, and I'll try my best to explain it.

[/END CHEMIST RANT]

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on May 10, 2011
at 07:23 PM

miked - I like a lot of what you wrote. But "molecularly bound oxygen" is a patented process that only Perfect Water has rights to. They bound the oxygen to a teensie amount of sodium. The amount of sodium doesn't even register on the nutrition label. it is my understanding that this bound up oxygen is different than the "O" in H2O. They are selling millions of cases of this water annually. some pro sports teams order it regularly. So while standard "oxygen water" might indeed be a 'scam', I'm not so sure that Perfect Water is a scam. They seem to have developed something that nobody else has.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on May 10, 2011
at 08:15 PM

I still don't buy it. If there's any benefit from Perfect Water it's probably the minerals they add. I'd have to have their chemist tell me exactly what they do without the marketing speak, to know for sure. But anytime you do something like bind the oxygen with some sodium, you'll get something that's not oxygen. Maybe they complex molecular oxygen with sodium so you have something like Na--O2, but then you only have one molecule of oxygen per sodium, and you already said there's not enough sodium to register. Even still, your stomach isn't designed to absorb O2 anyway. I remain skeptical

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on May 10, 2011
at 05:30 PM

Very clear and well said, thank you.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 10, 2011
at 08:41 PM

Thank you. Much better explained than I could do!

1
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 10, 2011
at 03:20 PM

I wouldn't worry about oxidative damage from oxygen supplementation. Generally, inhaling oxygen at a higher-than-normal concentration is ineffective at best as extra oxygen won't make a difference in the amount of oxygen available to your body (in healthy people, at normal atmospheric pressure, etc.). Oxygenated water is a complete scam, unless you have gills I suppose. Having said that I suppose it is possible that there might be in increase in oxidative cell damage, I won't make a definitive statement because I have never seen information regarding this. Nothing i know about the dangers of too much oxygen has mentioned that effect, however.

D83e454e794d761ab524814c0ff8f838

(531)

on May 10, 2011
at 03:30 PM

what about for athletes training at high altitude?

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on May 10, 2011
at 03:41 PM

Hi Olivia. What information are you basing your answer off of?

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 10, 2011
at 03:46 PM

don't people generally have a maximum oxygen uptake anyways? wouldn't that affect how much oxygen they could "pull" from the atmosphere, even when the atmosphere was more oxygen rich? i don't know, i'm asking...

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 10, 2011
at 03:56 PM

Regarding inhaling extra oxygen: In a healthy person blood traveling from the lungs to carry oxygen around the body/to muscles is already almost completely saturated with oxygen bound to haemoglobin. Thus inhaling a higher than normal percentage of oxygen (compared to the ~21% in normal air) will not increase the amount of oxygen available to the body.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 10, 2011
at 04:35 PM

Well, I admit I'm not trained in exercise physiology. But you can only force a very small amount of additional oxygen into water and even drinking an entire bottle of "oxygenated" water will not amount to much extra beyond what you get from breathing. Even if all of that was somehow absorbed into the blood from the stomach I can't see how it would translate into such a noticeable performance increase. More likely- knowing you're drinking a supposed "performance enhancer" is what causes any perceived benefit.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on May 10, 2011
at 04:18 PM

*"oxygen in the stomach will provide no oxygen to the muscles"* Are you certain of this? Athletes report immediate increase in muscle flexibilty when drinking oxygenated water, literally within seconds of drinking. also, I personally know lifters that claim to be able to do more reps with oxygen water, almost like it has a similar effect as creatine.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 10, 2011
at 03:43 PM

valkyrie, are you asking if supplemental oxygen when climbing high altitudes causes damage? cause training at high altitudes, where there is less oxygen, is done, as far as i know, without supplemental oxygen in order to force adaptation on the body, for better performance later.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 10, 2011
at 03:38 PM

I don't know enough about it to answer that. I was thinking more about the effects on the average person (i.e. not doing intense training and not at high altitude)

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on May 10, 2011
at 03:55 PM

Jack: Oxygenated water will provide no effect because oxygen in the stomach will provide no oxygen to the muscles (that's what the lungs are for) Even if it did, drinking water with a higher than normal concentration of oxygen would hardly provide more oxygen than a single breath would. So no performance improvement.

0
D755bff8c9954a433bcc0bffacfeae87

on May 21, 2011
at 10:24 AM

What about a non-healthy body? Someone with Congestive Heart Failure. Every time I fly an airplane I am left exhausted for days and even weeks immediately after the trip. I am exhausted and have to sleep asap, for a couple of hours. And this goes on for several days after the flight as well. It has been going on since I got my pacemaker 18 months ago. Ambient air is 21% oxygen, where airplane air has been measured at 16-15% oxygen. Wouldn't this lower level of oxygen have a negative affect on heart patients? Would using a POC on flights help at all? Would this present more oxygen for haemoglobin's to attach to and thus help with this lack of oxygen problem?

Let me know what you think. Brad

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 10, 2012
at 02:05 AM

I don't know, it might be more useful if you can be set up with a temporary oxygen tank. One of my relatives used one on a flight after she was sick and feeling out of breath a lot, just a simple little tank the nurse showed her how to use. Flight attendants were really accommodating.

-2
B54c56063d63047ebe3ef91e6d4ec5f8

on October 09, 2012
at 10:49 PM

In my opinion oxygen can be absorbed by the stomach. And water can have more or less oxygen in it. Cooking foods causes more oxygen to evaporate from it. Raw foods contain more oxygen. And there are many ways to oxygenate water. link text

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