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I am lifeless, yet I gave you life.
My contents are gone but are still in the air.
My sides are sweaty, especially in the cold.
When you are done, I am rarely used again.
What am I?

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  • $\begingroup$ Did you write this? If not, please provide a source and let us know if it's part of a competition or anything of that nature. $\endgroup$ – feelinferrety Oct 17 '17 at 2:15
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling! Why don't you take the tour? $\endgroup$ – boboquack Oct 17 '17 at 2:22
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Answer:

Water

I am lifeless, yet I gave you life.

Water is lifeless but required by all living things to live.

My contents are gone but are still in the air.

Water evaporates but remains in the air.

My sides are sweaty, especially in the cold.

Condensation occurs on cold surfaces.

When you are done, I am rarely used again.

Water that is passed out from the body is rarely used again.

What am I?

Water.

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Perhaps (though there are a couple of things don't quite seem to fit) you are

an oxygen cylinder.

I am lifeless, yet I gave you life.

It's just a lump of metal. But it might have saved your life, if you had e.g. a respiratory problem that required a dose of pure oxygen.

My contents are gone but are still in the air.

Probably in the form of carbon dioxide, now.

My sides are sweaty, especially in the cold.

Condensation. Though this doesn't fit perfectly: you get more condensation on a cold object like an oxygen cylinder when the environment isn't so cold.

When you are done, I am rarely used again.

Hmm. Are oxygen cylinders usually disposable? Sometimes.

Another possibility that's closely enough related that I'm putting it in the same answer rather than a different one: you might be

a CO2 fire extinguisher.

The explanations are all more or less the same, aside from an obvious change to the first one.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You could propose FPHON gnax with very similar justification. $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers Oct 17 '17 at 11:52
  • $\begingroup$ True, though the second and third lines are weaker then. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Oct 17 '17 at 12:32
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You may be

An empty disposable water bottle

I am lifeless, yet I gave you life.

Lifeless, but held a requirement for life

My contents are gone but are still in the air.

The water is no longer in the bottle, but water (vapor) is in the air

My sides are sweaty, especially in the cold.

Condensation on the outside of the bottle when it's cold

When you are done, I am rarely used again.

Most of the time, disposable water bottles are not reused. (Though hopefully they are recycled...)

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My answer:

Breath

I am lifeless, yet I gave you life:

Breathing is necessary for life.

My contents are gone but are still in the air:

When you breathe out, the gases are returned to the air.

My sides are sweaty, especially in the cold:

Water vapor in breath is visible in the cold.

When you are done, I am rarely used again:

When you die, you no longer breathe

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