The big health fad of 2010 is going to be oxygen.
We are already seeing products like O2Cool Oxygen Water and Ogolife being pitched to exercise enthusiasts as the fastest way to recover from a workout.
Critics have called this an ad gimmick, the claims phony.
What the critics did not count on was a recent study from China claiming that oxygen can prevent hangovers. This is supposed to boost the prospects of drinks like Korean soju, which claims a higher oxygen content makes for a healthier tipple.
(How much you want to bet Vancouverites could have used a few of these O2Canada waters Monday after winning 14 golds and beating Team USA in hockey twice? Belated congratulations, y'all.)
The Chinese researchers used soju in their experiments, concluding "elevated, dissolved oxygen concentrations in alcoholic drinks can accelerate the metabolism and elimination of alcohol."
But as PopSci notes, several oxygen-fueled drinks were tried in the experiment, which resulted in shorter, less painful hangovers.
So here's what I see. Oxygenated water used as a mixer in your scotch-and-water. Oxygenated water sold as a last call drink, or as one for the road. Oxygenated water at your local convenience store, near the door, for when you're on your way home.
Expect oxygenated Dasani and Aquafina within a year. Given falling sales after buyers learned these were just tap water, it's just the news Coke and Pepsi need to hear.
And when the critics arrive, claiming the oxygen is worthless, the pushback will be that drinking water after imbibing, by itself, reduces hangovers by preventing dehydration as your kidneys process alcohol from the system.
This is going to be big.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com