The Effect of Superoxygenated Water on Blood Gases, Lactate, and Aerobic Cycling Performance

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Recently, superoxygenated-water beverages have emerged as a new purported ergogenic substance.


This study aimed to determine the effects of superoxygenated water on submaximal endurance performance.


Eleven active male subjects, VO2max 52.6 ± 4.8 mL · kg−1 · min−1, height 180.0 ± 2.0 cm, weight 76.0 ± 7.0 kg, age 24 ± 1.0 y (mean ± SD), completed a 45-min cycle-ergometry exercise test at 70% of their previously predicted maximal power output with a 10-min rest period, followed by a 15-min time trial (TT). Thirty minutes before the exercise test subjects consumed 15 mL of either superoxygenated water (E) or placebo (P; water mixed with low-chlorine solution). Subjects then completed the test again a week later for the other condition (double-blind, randomized). The physiological variables measured during exercise were VO2, VCO2, respiratory-exchange ratio (RER), VE, PO2, PCO2, blood lactate (bLa–), and heart rate (HR). Mean distance covered and the average power output for the 15-min TT were also measured as performance indicators.


There were no significant differences in VO2, VCO2, RER, VE, bLa, PO2, and HR (P > .05) during the exercise tests. Neither were there any significant improvements in the total distance covered (P 9.01 ± 0.74 km vs E 8.96 ± 0.68 km, P > .05) or the average power output (P 186.7 ± 35.8 W vs E 179.0 ± 25.9 W, P > .05) during the 15-min TT.


Based on these results the authors conclude that consuming 15 mL of superoxygenated water does not enhance submaximal or maximal TT cycling performance.

McNaughton, Kenney, Siegler, Midgley, and Lovell are with the Applied Physiology Laboratory, University of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX, England. Bentley is with the School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, 2052 Australia.