Consumer Reports: Bottled Water

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Sales of bottled water have zoomed from next-to-nothing a generation ago to a three-billion-dollar-a-year business. Consumer Reports checks out one of the newest types — bottled water with added oxygen. It's marketed particularly to people who exercise.

Those who work out know they should drink a lot of water. That's why you see so many people grabbing for a drink in the midst of exercise.

Now more and more places are stocking water with added oxygen. This one is called O-2-Go. There's also Airwater, Life O2, AquaRush, O 2 Canada and many more.

The amount of added oxygen varies. Some say they have "up to five times more oxygen" than regular water. Others say "1500% more oxygen."

Oxygenated water tastes like regular bottled water and is not carbonated.

Consumer Reports took a look at a variety of brands and their claims. For example, O-2-Go says it's oxygenated "for energy." And another called Oxy-Water says it's been shown to "measurably improve performance and significantly increase endurance of elite athletes."

"Some companies cite studies that show that athletes do a little bit better after drinking water with added oxygen. But those studies are few. They're unpublished."

and the only way the human body effectively absorbs significant amounts of oxygen is by inhalation, according to Consumer Reports.

"Unless you're exercising at high altitudes, your body gets all the oxygen it needs simply by breathing. The reason people get fatigued after exercise is not for lack of oxygen."

So Consumer Reports says drink plenty of water — especially when you exercise. But don't expect an extra boost from water that's got extra oxygen.

While oxygenated water may not provide a health advantage, just drinking water sure does. Consumer Reports says most people don't drink enough water and that can be harmful. You can get muscle cramps and headaches, suffer fatigue and increase the risk of heat exhaustion.

View more Consumer Reports stories here.

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