Why Breathe When You Can Swallow?

From a recent ad spotted in Running Times magazine, we discover a way to get oxygen into the bloodstream of athletes without using the lungs. Yes, it's SportsOxy Shot from Scientific Solutions LLC. They're selling "super oxygenated" water that's supposed to drastically improve athletic performance. A "serving" is 10 milliliters and it contains 15 volumes percent O2. Hmmm, a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation reveals something interesting. Let's say we have a decent (though not elite) runner with a VO2max of 60 ml O2 per kg per minute. Further, let's say that they're running at an easy pace and using maybe 2/3 rds of their maximal O2 uptake and they're kinda small, maybe 50 kg. That's a per minute O2 intake of 2 liters. Why do I get that impression that swallowing 10 milliliters of "highly oxygenated" water isn't going to have much of an effect over the course of even a short race, such as 1500 meters?

Oh, and a 500 milliliter bottle is only $60, on special. Stop by and order yours today, and while you're at it, check out some of their other great "products".

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How is this supposed to work?

1. Oxygen in the water that's swallowed would bubble out in the stomach due to warming.
2. ????
3. Profit!

1.5 mls of oxygen? They claim a 20% increase in PO2 after taking it. Would your PO2 really change at all, and if it did wouldn't you have massive vasoconstriction? Are they claiming that this supersoluble oxygen solution will diffuse into the blood, increasing oxygen dissolved in the blood or oxygen bound to hemoglobin?

Sounds like just the refreshment I need after a vigorous four minute workout on my ROM machine.

By Bill from Dover (not verified) on 23 Jan 2009 #permalink

Another loud and happy party of hopeful, smiling, enthusiastic entrepreneurs, manufacturers, and hype masters looking to get their capitalism on reduced to low mumbles, nervous giggles, looking at the floor and grinding the toes of their shoes into the carpet when reality shows up and starts carding people.