Open Access Open Badges Research article

Deep ocean mineral water accelerates recovery from physical fatigue

Chien-Wen Hou1, Yung-Shen Tsai1, Wei-Horng Jean2, Chung-Yu Chen1, John L Ivy3, Chih-Yang Huang456 and Chia-Hua Kuo14*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Exercise Biochemistry, Taipei Physical Education College, Taipei, Taiwan

2 Department of Anesthesiology, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, New Taipei, Taiwan

3 Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA

4 Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

5 School of Chinese Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

6 Department of Biotechnology, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan

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Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2013, 10:7  doi:10.1186/1550-2783-10-7

Published: 12 February 2013



Deep oceans have been suggested as a possible site where the origin of life occurred. Along with this theoretical lineage, experiments using components from deep ocean water to recreate life is underway. Here, we propose that if terrestrial organisms indeed evolved from deep oceans, supply of deep ocean mineral water (DOM) to humans, as a land creature, may replenish loss of molecular complexity associated with evolutionary sea-to-land migration.


We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover human study to evaluate the effect of DOM, taken from a depth of 662 meters off the coast of Hualien, Taiwan, on time of recovery from a fatiguing exercise conducted at 30°C.


The fatiguing exercise protocol caused a protracted reduction in aerobic power (reduced VO2max) for 48 h. However, DOM supplementation resulted in complete recovery of aerobic power within 4 h (P < 0.05). Muscle power was also elevated above placebo levels within 24 h of recovery (P < 0.05). Increased circulating creatine kinase (CK) and myoglobin, indicatives of exercise-induced muscle damage, were completely eliminated by DOM (P < 0.05) in parallel with attenuated oxidative damage (P < 0.05).


Our results provide compelling evidence that DOM contains soluble elements, which can increase human recovery following an exhaustive physical challenge.

Deep seawater; Origin of life; Trace elements; Hydrothermal vent hypothesis