I came across Oxigen's product line after receiving a message from one of our lovely brand representatives. She suggested I try this product, and offered to send me a shipment of samples. I had to admit, I was curious to learn more about the brand and its manufacturing process, especially since I had been living off Nalgenes filled with tap water for so many years. The brand also offers a quicker recovery time for athletes who use the product, so I was interested in how it would make me feel after a workout or a hike. 

How does Oxigen actually work? 

Oxigen contains four oxygen molecules, rather than just the two normally found in the air we breathe. Basically, the company uses a highly-complicated manufacturing process to fuse oxygen molecules together, which in turn makes them more bioavailable in the bloodstream. 

So this product is far from a performance enhancer; it doesn't make you faster or able to lift heavier weights. What it does do is drain lactic acid from your muscles faster (if you don't remember lactic acid from high school biology, it's the stuff produced from anaroebic respiration in your muscles. It's also why runners often lay down and put their legs up against a wall after the run). This quickens the recovery process and leads to less time spent wondering why you ever wanted to go on a run in the first place. 

Oxigen offers two primary products: Water and Oxygen Shots. The water contains one hundred times the amount of bioavailable oxygen as regular water while the shots contain five hundred times the amount of oxygen as regular water. The 20oz water retails at $46 for a 24 pack (about $1.90 a bottle) while the oxygen shots retail for $74 for a 30 pack (about $2.47 per shot). 

Backed by science? Or just by money?

Oxigen markets itself as the only "scientifically proven" enhanced water and oxygen shots. Their website links this published article from the International Journal of Sports Nutrition that claims consuming oxygenated water speeds up lactic acid kinetics in runners. The study was double-blind and placebo controlled, which suggests that researchers were meticulously tracking data and whatnot. But read closer into the study details and you might find something surprising: the same company who manufactures Oxigen funded the study. 

I mean, industry support of science isn't new; the meat lobby does it all the time! And I have no doubt that the researchers were very meticulous in their data collection, but the industry funding of such research sent up red flags for me. 

My Results...

Bottle 1: It's 90 degrees on the farm today, so I figured it would be a better day than ever for a hydration kick. I drank out of my Nalgene during the morning shift, but went home for lunch and opened a bottle of Oxigen. It tastes just like normal, well-water. I report no immediate effects. Maybe it takes awhile to actually work? I drank half (10oz) and put the bottle back in the fridge for after my afternoon walk. I had the rest after my 3 mile daily evening walk; I didn't notice any changes. 

Bottle 2: Ten mile hike- done! I usually leave a reusable bottle in my fridge with cold water so I'll have something refreshing when I get home, so I figured a bottle of Oxigen would do the same. It was refreshing, I must admit, but I think that stems from the temperature of the bottle more than the actual oxygen infusion. I didn't notice any cramping or soreness the next morning, which was a nice change! 

Bottle 3: Another busy day on the farm and a quick run to the grocery store! I needed something cold so I grabbed the bottle of Oxigen from my fridge. I did a four mile walk later on and drank the rest of the bottle later on in the day. Same results as bottle 2: no soreness the next day! 

Bottom Line 

Honestly, I think one of the weirdest parts of this social experiment was actually holding a plastic water bottle for the first time in what seems like forever. UVM's campus doesn't sell plastic water bottles, and I would probably be chastised if I set foot on campus with one. I'm also very emotionally attached to my Nalgene, so I felt a little guilty "cheating" on it with a plastic water bottle. Granted, Oxigen does what it can to reduce its environmental footprint: the bottles are made from recycled plastic and are produced on the site where they are bottled. 

I can't say whether or not Oxigen's products actually changed my recovery time because of other cofounding factors like food, sleep, and alike. BUT, I did notice I was more sore after a workout on the days where I didn't drink Oxigen. If Oxigen helps move lactic acid in the body, it makes perfect sense why I would feel a tad more sore. 

Moving forward, I would like to try Oxigen after an intense full-body workout to see if it makes a difference in soreness (I'll have to wait until my gym opens back up). Until then, I think I'll stick to my beloved Nalgene.