You aren’t the first person to wonder why oxygen bars have water that seems to be colored. Find out the truth!
It’s really just water.
At oxygen bars, the water is really just water. The oxygen is added by the oxygen bar operator. Some people might be surprised to learn that it’s not the color of the water that indicates a higher concentration of oxygen, but rather the way it’s pressurized.
The color comes from a combination of things:
- The plastic tubing used to transport water (and any other liquid) always has some kind of color, and
- When liquids are pressurized, they tend to take on a sheen or shine in addition to being more opaque than they would otherwise be.
Although this might seem concerning at first because you can’t actually see how much oxygen is in your water, here’s why you shouldn’t worry: this process doesn’t affect whatever taste or smell is present in your glass in any significant way—a tasty-smelling drink will still taste good and smell good!
Moreover, if anything changes with respect to your experience at an oxygen bar, it will likely only be for the better: because pressurized liquid takes longer to freeze than non-pressurized liquid does. For example: If you’re drinking ice cream at an ice cream parlor where all drinks are served with a straw then there won’t be much difference between what happens when someone pours hot coffee into cold coffee; however if you’re drinking coffee out of one cup(with no straw) then there definitely will be noticeable differences. And if those differences aren’t noticeable enough for someone else then maybe they’ll order something else next time instead!
The color doesn’t add anything to the experience.
As you may have guessed, the oxygen bars don’t actually add anything to enhance your experience (unless you consider paying a premium price to breathe air more “enhanced”). The truth is that the only way to make oxygen bars better than free breathing is by adding some other kind of benefit. As there’s no significant mechanism for that at an oxygen bar, they have to do something else—make it feel like your experience is worth more than just paying for pure oxygen. That’s where the color comes in.
If you’re laid back, you might find the color relaxing even if it doesn’t actually make you feel any better. If your preferences are less about relaxation and more about fun, then maybe you see the color as heightening your enjoyment of the situation (even though it doesn’t actually do anything). Either way, from every angle, it accomplishes one thing: making people think they’re getting something extra out of their session when all they’ve really gotten is what would be almost free anywhere else on earth.
The color of the water is a placebo effect.
The water inside the tubes of oxygen bars is just like any other. It’s not special or unique, as you might expect for something that’s supposed to be helping you breathe better. The color is purely for appearance and does not affect the oxygenation process. For some people, however, it can help them relax (not unlike how lavender scents are sometimes said to have calming properties).
Even without a placebo effect, the color of the water may help your mood.
Even if you don’t believe the colored water is helping, it might be. Numerous studies have shown that color can positively affect our mood and stress levels. The colors can also have a subconscious effect on us as well, as one study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology showed. Researchers found that people tended to buy more yogurt with blue packaging in a test than red packaging, even though it was the exact same yogurt.
Color theorist Leatrice Eiseman says that blue is calming and centered. Red is energizing and reminds us of the energy we get from our fight-or-flight response. Yellow makes us feel cheerful, while green helps us relax. Purple stimulates creativity and pink soothes your emotions by triggering your compassionate side.
The color of the water serves no purpose other than to please you visually.
The color of the water serves no purpose other than to please you visually. But many believe that the color blue has an overall calming effect on human beings, so it wouldn’t hurt for the oxygen bar to use color as a placebo for customers who just want to relax. Of course, as an individual, your experience may vary depending on whether or not you’re someone who is remotely affected by elements such as color in your mood and feelings. If you’ve ever watched a movie or visited someplace where everything was purple and it made you feel uneasy, then chances are the color of the water that they give at oxygen bars will not affect your mood positively.
But since visiting an oxygen bar is already supposed to be relaxing—you let yourself breathe in more oxygen than normal—you probably won’t care about what color this extra-oxygenated water happens to be. And for many people who have experienced going to an oxygen bar, having their watercolored does not matter at all because they were content with breathing in purer air than what they usually breathe! So regardless of whether or not the water’s coloring matters, if its purpose is only there to make people happy visually, then it can’t hurt anyway!