There is a sports drink firm called Oxigen that purports to have a scientifically-proven product that boosts recovery after exercise.

Their web site claims the following:

What if the water you put in your body each and every day could work harder for you? What if it could keep you hydrated AND help your body and mind recover faster? So you own your day, not the other way around.

We’ve got you. We are OXIGEN. The world’s first and only scientifically proven oxygen-enhanced water and shots. Extra oxygen to help your mind and body recover faster, increase your stamina and improve your focus.

In the section explaining the science behind it they claim they have developed a way of creating "stable O4 molecules that are highly bioavailable":

OXIGEN contains O4 – two O2 molecules fused together using a proprietary 120-step manufacturing process to create one oxygen super molecule that remains stable in water. That O4 super molecule is bioavailable, which means it enters your bloodstream upon consumption.

Extra oxygen in your bloodstream means extra oxygen for your mind and body. Oxygen that helps your muscles recover faster. Oxygen that gives your brain clarity. Oxygen that gives you the boost you need to face your day, beyond the benefits of hydration.

As a former chemist I am surprised the news of a new stable form of oxygen has not come to my attention, which somewhat twitches my skeptical antennae.

But the website quotes this "peer reviewed study" though it is by sports scientists who, in general, do not have a glorious record of rigorous scientific procedure.

So are the claims credible? Can we trust the results from the single study and what the hell is O4 and is it anything other than pseudoscientific woo?

  • @DanielRHicks Oh! I wonder if it is stable in water? ;-)
    – matt_black
    Mar 29 '20 at 19:52
  • I would see this as one question with two distinct claims: that their oxygenated water contains O4 (which we both have enough Chemistry to know is gibberish) and that their oxygenated water assists recovery.
    – Oddthinking
    Mar 30 '20 at 1:49
  • My eye is immediately drawn to the adequacy of the placebo, but I am having a hard time comparing. Placebo: 0.6mg of NaCl in 15mL of water = (0.6/(15+0.6)) = 3.8% salt (by weight). Treatment: "Distilled water: (62.04%) Dissolved O2 (in molecular O4 form): (35.00%) Salt & trace elements: (2.96%)" Is that by weight? Is the comparison: (2.96/(62.04+2.96))=4.6% salt? If so, I would discard the whole study on that point alone, but I am not convinced my calculation is appropriate.
    – Oddthinking
    Mar 30 '20 at 1:57
  • 1
    @Oddthinking I'm not sure the claim of the existence of O4 is notable by itself. I included it because it represents a big red flag about the science that should encourage skepticism about the efficacy data.
    – matt_black
    Mar 30 '20 at 12:29

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