With many companies now marketing oxygenated water, claiming that it can improve hydration and exercise performance, researchers have begun to investigate whether these products really offer any value.

The trials that have been run so far have failed to back up these claims and it seems the latest study in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism looking at the effects on hydration status and exercise performance at altitude draws similar conclusions.

The evidence

Nine recreational cyclists completed two time trials under hypoxic conditions (mimicking training at altitude). Trials were completed following three days ingestion of 35ml per kilogram of body weight, of regular or oxygenated water. In addition the cyclists consumed 500ml of the water two hours prior to each time trial.

Diet records were kept to ensure carbohydrate intake was regulated at 60 per cent of the diet, so as not to confound results, and the pre-exercise meal was standardised. Trial time, heart rate, perceived exertion, blood gases and lactate were measured. Hydration status was assessed pre and post exercise comparing body weight to ascertain fluid loss.

Trial time was similar in both conditions, there was no difference in average heart rate, VO2 max, exercise intensity, rate of perceived exertion or blood lactate measurements. Body weight loss was also similar between trials.

CW says

If you?re off to altitude for a training camp and are tempted to offset the impaired exercise performance by gulping down a bottle of oxygenated water, it would seem you are better to stick with your regular carbohydrate and electrolyte drink.