Extreme athletes and senior citizens aren’t usually seen as having much in common. But when you take a peek beyond the surface of their lives, you’re more like that Everest climber than you might think.
One issue that comes up as a recurring theme in both hard training athletes and senior citizens enjoying the peak of their days is the urge to perform at maximum health capacity. Athletes and senior citizens alike can all use a natural boost to get their lungs working as well as possible – some to make sure they make that next weightlifting goal, and some to combat the natural tendency of their body to slow down as they age.
Canned oxygen companies have started to fill this natural performance-enhancing niche with ultra-portable products that are cheap, easy to use, and don’t contain anything other than pure O2. They tout health benefits such as speeding muscle recovery, improving stamina, boosting your energy level, combatting your exposure to pollution, and helping with altitude sickness, all through over the counter canisters of concentrated oxygen.
These are sold at the majority of drugstores and any sporting goods section that’s closest to you. They’re not necessarily marketed at senior citizens, so if you’re not someone who regularly hikes 1,000 feet above sea level, you may have passed them by as not for you. But portable purified oxygen can be useful for senior citizens for the same reasons – however adventurous yours are.
What is Boost Oxygen?
Boost Oxygen is an aviator’s breathing oxygen packaged in canisters with a mouthpiece at the top for convenient, instant inhalation as needed. It rates its contents as 95% pure oxygen and has been on the market since 2007. Its founder Rob Neuner figured it would be a good idea to bring the European tradition of canned oxygen use to ease hangovers, jet lag, and waning athletic performance to American. The company is based in Connecticut, and it claims that giving your body more oxygen sends a wakeup boost throughout your system – that’s where they got the idea for their name.
Boost Oxygen sells a number of varieties on their base product on their website. Here’s a look at some of the details and different types they have to offer.
Percentage of oxygen in the product
95% (as claimed by Boost Oxygen)
10L (large), 5L (medium), and 2L (small)
Breaths per size
Up to 200 for large, up to 100 for medium, and 15 – 40 for small (based on 1-second inhalations)
Natural, peppermint, pink grapefruit, menthol eucalyptus
How does Boost Oxygen work?
Fortunately for all those who want to try it but don’t want to add a complicated step to their lives, Boost Oxygen could not be more simple to use. Each canister has a mouthpiece attached to the top, and a trigger right underneath that. The mouthpiece is molded into a shape that covers your mouth and nose, and once you’ve got that fitted onto your face, you simply push the spray trigger and inhale. You can spray and inhale as much oxygen as you want at a time – Boost Oxygen uses a one-second average breath time to figure out how many usages are in each of its sizes, but yours may vary.
It’s easy to know when you need to change cans, too. Just like any spray bottle, you’ll feel the canister get lighter and less air will come out of the nozzle. When you can’t get any more oxygen to come out, it’s time to get another.
How does Boost Oxygen fit the senior citizen lifestyle?
From their website and various ads, you wouldn’t think any but the most active of seniors are the target market of Boost Oxygen. But the wellness area of their blog highlights the use of Boost Oxygen for every senior who is curious about how canned oxygen can enhance your enjoyment of life. There are several factors that Boost Oxygen specifically offers that make it a great way for senior citizens to explore the market of canned oxygen.
- Ease of use. As we mentioned in the previous section, using Boost Oxygen is supremely easy. Its large mouthpiece and spray mechanism gives you a wide target if your hands aren’t as steady as they used to be, and you don’t have to worry about complicated multistep directions involving more equipment to start using your canisters. No fretting about whether reusable parts are getting clean enough to stave off infection or other complications, either – Boost Oxygen’s cans are a one-stop-shop.
- Portability. The biggest Boost Oxygen canister is about the size of a 20oz soda bottle, and it’s just as easy to carry. If you’re still worried about space in your bag or any storage area you’re thinking about using, the medium and small sizes take up even less room. Any way you choose to use it, Boost Oxygen is meant to take with you when you’re on the go, so it won’t slow down your senior citizen lifestyle.
- No prescription required. Unlike many oxygen concentration devices and other medical-grade supplemental breathing assistance, Boost Oxygen does not require you to get a prescription before you try it out. It’s available over the counter in most drug stores, and it’s not treated as medicine. That being said, talk to your doctor before trying anything that is supposed to have an effect on how your body operates. Especially as a senior citizen, you may have issues that you don’t know will get worse until you use something that interferes. Make sure to educate yourself on that before buying any type of oxygen booster.
How much does Boost Oxygen cost?
Boost Oxygen has several different purchasing options on its website for you to choose from. Most drugstores where it’s available sell it by the individual canister, which is your best bet if you want to try it out before committing fully to regular usage, but check out all these prices to see which deal works best for you.
- Individual canisters. $7.99 small, $9.99 medium, $14.99 large.
- 10 pack of small. $69.90 (for 20L; $3.50 per liter)
- 12 pack of the medium. $107.88 (for 60L; $1.80 per liter)
- 12 pack of large. $167.88 (for 120L; $1.40 per liter)
- All orders under $50 on the Boost Oxygen website also incur a $15 flat rate shipping fee.
What are the advantages of Boost Oxygen?
Although it’s not a substitute for medical grade oxygen needs, Boost Oxygen has a lot going for it as a quick enhancement to your life as a senior citizen. It gives you the refreshment of an oxygen boost with a few other perks attached.
- Availability. As you can see, Boost Oxygen canisters are readily available wherever it is convenient for you to find them. They’re a fixture in endurance sports, and as oxygen inhalation becomes more mainstream beyond top tier athletics, their availability grows beyond specialty departments. Which makes it easy for you to see how it fits into your own lifestyle.
- No aerosols or propellants used. Unlike other substances or liquids packaged into spray cans, Boost Oxygen relies on simple pressure like an inflated tire. You don’t have to worry about inhaling aerosol or propellant chemicals or those worsening any medical condition you may already be dealing with.
- Cans are recyclable. Especially since they are single-use, Boost Oxygen strives to keep their canisters eco-friendly. They’re made out of aluminum, of the same grade as standard soda cans, so you don’t even have to do anything special to recycle them. Just put them with your regular batch, and they’ll get turned into new ones, leaving your carbon footprint that much smaller.
What are the disadvantages of Boost Oxygen?
In all its simplicity, Boost Oxygen does have a few lines of fine print that you need to consider before you give it a try.
- Side effects of inhaling scents. Breathing in oxygen in a heightened concentration and state as Boost Oxygen facilitates won’t do you any damage. But when it adds extra, that might exacerbate issues that are already there. Boost Oxygen has several “flavors” available, which means it adds artificial scents to two of its varieties, Pink Grapefruit and Menthol Eucalyptus. Either one of these scents may make any native respiratory irritation worse. So if you have asthma or any sort of breathing problem that’s kicked off by strong scents, use the “natural” variety of Boost Oxygen if you want to try any. Here natural just means it doesn’t smell like anything except air, and since it’s filtered straight from the can it pick up any environmental irritants either.
- Health claims not confirmed by the FDA. This is the biggest red flag we’ve found against Boost Oxygen. The Federal Drug Administration has not verified any of the claims that Boost Oxygen – and the canned oxygen industry in general – make about the positive health effects of inhaling extra oxygen beyond what you get from your natural environment. That means it’s up to you to determine whether using Boost Oxygen makes your life better. As a senior citizen, you should be making health a top priority, and if anything about Boost Oxygen will go against that, don’t use it. It’s not a miracle worker any way you slice it.
- Not a Substitute for medical-grade oxygen needs. In that same line of thought, do not use Boost Oxygen as a substitute for any continuous flow or concentrated oxygen machine that a medical professional prescribes to you. Boost Oxygen is not meant to handle the heavier burden of respiratory illnesses or the resulting breathing troubles from other major health issues. If you try to use it as such, Boost Oxygen will fall short and leave you in trouble. Talk to your physician about your specific supplemental oxygen needs before deciding.
- No control over the rate of oxygen delivery. Unlike medical grade oxygen supply devices, Boost Oxygen doesn’t give you control over how much air you’ll inhale with each use. You can control how long you inhale it, but that’s about all. Its spray bottle trigger is extremely imprecise, since using any more than a full spray takes fine finger motor control that only appears in concert pianists. That could become irritating if you find you don’t like the full effect of a Boost Oxygen spray.
What are Boost Oxygen’s FAQs?
Q: Is Boost Oxygen flammable?
A: The oxygen in Boost canisters is not itself flammable, but never smoke or use open flames around any sort of canned oxygen because the oxygen acts as an accelerant if it touches fire. That makes bad situations worse in a hurry.
Q: Can I use Boost Oxygen if I have a lung condition?
A: Don’t use Boost Oxygen if you have any respiratory condition that requires external oxygen help. Boost Oxygen is not rated as a medical device and is only for recreational use.
Q: How do I increase the oxygen flow when I first use a can?
A: If you’re not getting enough air out of your can when you first use it, bring your finger to the top of the trigger so it’s right under the face mask and push there. That should get the oxygen flow smoothed out for you.
Q: Can I take Boost Oxygen on a passenger plane?
A: Neither the Federal Aviation Administration or the Transportation Security Administration approves Boost Oxygen for air travel. You won’t be able to take it through airport security in your carry on bags or ship it in your checked luggage, so it’s best not to bring it with you at all when you’re traveling by plane.
Q: What is Boost Oxygen’s return policy?
A: You can return any product that is defective or was damaged in shipping. Boost Oxygen the company will issue you a refund within 30 days if they conclude that your bad batch was their fault or that of their shipping method.
Q: What if I have any questions?
A: If you have any questions about Boost Oxygen that we haven’t answered in this review, send the company a message through their contact page or call 877-375-2500 to get in touch with them.
What are good alternatives to Boost Oxygen?
- Oxygen Plus. Looking for more order size options? Check out Oxygen Plus, which also gives you the option to buy their refillable “o stick.”
- Big Ox O2. If you want to try canned oxygen but find the full coverage face masks on top of Boost Oxygen uncomfortable, try Big Ox. Their insides are comparable to Boost while giving you a less intrusive mouthpiece that makes a more direct delivery.
- Swag Oxygen. These guys don’t have as big a variety as the rest, but their 12L offering is both skinnier and bigger than the largest of Boost Oxygen’s, which means it’ll fit into more areas and you won’t run out as quickly.
What is the final verdict on Boost Oxygen?
First, you need to remember that Boost Oxygen is not a medical-grade product. It does not replace any physician’s prescription for the use of an oxygen tank or other external methods to control respiratory illnesses.
But beyond that, Boost Oxygen is a cheap, easy way to see if you enjoy the benefits of inhaling extra oxygen as part of your healthy lifestyle. Boost Oxygen’s price point, ubiquitous availability, convenient packaging, and size options make it a good choice for senior citizens who like to test their limits in sports like to travel to areas of high altitude, or want to see what an oxygen boost will do to their outlook in their everyday life.