An energy drink, based on a new “oxygen delivery system” developed by scientists at the University of Oxford, has been launched, and the makers say the benefits of drinking it can be felt in as little as five minutes.
Ei8ht Energy, produced by Avrox Technologies, says it is scientifically proven to increase the body’s ability to transport oxygen by as much as 5%, for at least 80 minutes following ingestion.
Avrox was founded by entrepreneur Ray Averre and Professor Eleanor Stride, Professor of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. The motivation behind the product’s development stemmed from Averre’s exasperation at the lack of science behind many of the claims on the sides of energy drinks bottles. He then happened to see a BBC4 programme called ‘Pop! The Science of Bubbles’ which featured Professor Stride discussing the use of microbubbles to administer cancer treatments.
Five years in the making, the technology’s first application was actually within cancer treatment trials, but Professor Eleanor Stride, Professor of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford worked with founder and entrepreneur Ray Averre to apply the technology to a drink, capable of providing health and performance benefits.
Taken as a sachet mixed with water, the product also features vitamins B3 and B12, known for their energy and immune function properties respectively, both delivered to the body in the same way as the oxygen.
The patented ‘Oxygen Delivery System’ uses natural, vegan ingredients to create molecules which are capable of capturing oxygen, retaining it and then delivering it to the body. Users simply mix a sachet with water and then shake for 30 seconds. This shaking motion creates friction which in turn stimulates the production and activation of micro bubbles capable of carrying oxygen when entering the bloodstream. Ready to drink, the micro-bubbles – haemoglobin like structures which are 500 times thinner than a human hair – are ingested, passing through the stomach wall and into the bloodstream in as little as four and a half minutes, ready to pair with oxygen.
Ray Averre said: “Our core aim when we started out was to develop a consumer product that genuinely and demonstrably enhanced the body’s ability to transport oxygen, to deliver proper health and performance benefits. A lot of claims in the sector are driven from a marketing point of view, but we wanted to create a scientifically proven product and we have achieved that emphatically. An increase in the body’s ability to transport oxygen of around 5% for an 80-minute period after ingestion is a significant result and completely unique in the marketplace.”
As the research and development got underway and the patented technology was developed, its first application was actually within cancer treatment trials. Cancerous tumours are oxygen starved environments and so the microbubbles were used to transport oxygen directly into those cells. The technology went on to win a Cancer Research UK award in 2016 for ideas ‘Outside the Box’. From there, the wider health and performance related benefits began to be explored and the application within a drink was developed.
Averre and Stride both hope that the success of their consumer product will enable them to channel additional funds into ongoing cancer research.