Many of us forget that breathing is the single most important aspect of all movement in business, education, communications and especially in sports.

When was the last time you were breathless and gasping for air?

Your absorption of oxygen affects every aspect of your performance as an athlete and sports person. These include your capacity to train and the intensity you will endure, your power and the effectiveness of your training to bring you to your peak of fitness, the rate of energy consumption as well as your lactic acid muscle burn.

Lack of adequate oxygen will reduce your potential to optimise your unique potential and it will take you longer to recover after exercise.

Lungs

Lungs exchange gasses as we inhale and exhale

The more oxygen you absorb before during and after exercise the better you will perform and the faster you will recover.

Insufficient oxygen absorption will also slow you down, make you feel tired and dull your reflexes and diminish your thinking abilities.

 

Amount of oxygen being absorbed

When we inhale about 20% of our breath is normally oxygen. As we exhale this oxygen content is often reduced to about  15% of the air expelled. This means many modern healthy people are really only absorbing 25-30% of the oxygen available to them. In primitive,more relaxed, societies this rate of absorption of oxygen is usually about 50% which is the humans’ natural calmer, deeper, slower and far more efficient style of breathing.

It is the oxygen we absorb that counts. You have heard the expression “you are what you eat” has been updated to “you are what you can absorb”  well the same applies to breathing.

It is not just being able to breathe in oxygen, we need the oxygen to be absorbed. The average adult at rest inhales 7 to 8 litres of air. Just 20% of this is oxygen and they usually absorb 25-30% of  the oxygen available. When you exercise you inhale more air as you breathe faster and more deeply. This increased rate of breathing raises the airflow in and out but is less necessary when you breathe  and absorb more oxygen from each breath.

Interestingly we normally have over 2 litres of oxygen circulating in our blood stream. It is constantly being used and added to by breathing. If you can not inhale fresh oxygen for 4 minutes almost all of your blood oxygen may be used up and brain damage and subsequently death may follow.

Asleep, we often burn up about half a litre per minute of oxygen. The lungs of an athlete racing to beat a world record may need to deliver up to five litres of oxygen to the bloodstream—ten times our resting average.

Oxygen combines with glucose to create ATP, the main energy source for your muscles. The more ATP your muscles have, the more powerful and efficient they will be.

When your muscles don’t have enough oxygen to support their movement, they begin to produce lactic acid, which can cause muscle fatigue , muscle failure and pain.

The more oxygen your muscles receive, the more efficient they arE. Extra oxygen also slows down the production of lactic acid and the associated rate of muscle fatigue. Very simply put lactic acid is produced when adequate oxygen is not available in the muscle cells.

Oxygen is used in your body to metabolise and get rid of lactic acid in the liver especially when you have finished exercising.

In my clinics I assist people to recover their natural breathing capacity. If you wish I could show you how to achieve this calm absorption of oxygen for yourself. Interested? Click here