Biohacking with Oxygen

Heard about Exercising with Oxygen Training (EWOT)?

In 2008, do-it-yourself (DIY) biology, also known as, “biohacking” emerged with the aim of making biology accessible to non-scientists. 

Biohacking your body for better performance

Oxygen is a nutrient that  provides nourishment essential for growth and the maintenance of life. Oxygen can be used to overcome injuries or trauma, to help alleviate pain or chronic inflammation from medical conditions or sometimes, simply improve our performance capacity and quality of life. Increasing our oxygen exposure can improve our mental and physical capacities for performing tasks. 

Why do we need to biohack our body's natural way of oxygen absorption?

While oxygen proves to be an essential nutrient of life, it turns out that it also is a limiting factor to our ability to make energy. While the theory of increase oxygen absorption = increase capacity to heal, detoxify, produce energy and perform, there is one major challenge. It is not an easy task to increase oxygen absorption because of our physiology and ability to carry oxygen.

Generally speaking, without any cardiovascular or respiratory condition, we are all carrying almost all the oxygen we are capable of carrying. Our “optimal” dose of oxygen is 97-100% red blood cell oxygen saturation. Under normal conditions we rely on our red blood cells to carry oxygen to our tissues and cells and in our bodies right now, they are almost already completely saturated with oxygen, only able to carry 1-3% more at any time. So, even  if we had a mask and a tank of oxygen we can only increase our absorption by a few percent which is not really enough to make a significant difference to our health the way we expect it to. 

Hence, we look to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) – by far,  the most powerful way to deliver oxygen and change our physiology with regards to oxygenation of our tissues and cells. 

HBOT looks not only at oxygen, but also at pressure. It is through pressure that we absorb oxygen. In a hyperbaric environment, we can control the amount of pressure exerted on our bodies and the amount of time we are in this pressurised environment. The amount of time we are in the environment, paired with the higher pressure allow us to predictably control the amount of increased oxygen absorption we can take into our cells. Once absorbed, the “excess” or increase in oxygen is used to produce energy, thus increasing our capacity for working tissues to perform or increase the capacity of healing and recovery.

Exercise with oxygen

Ever wonder why our bodies get tired when we exercise? It’s because we lack sufficient oxygen. 

When our bodies do not have enough oxygen, we produce lactic acid rather than energy, carbon dioxide and water. In order for us to produce more energy for exercise, we need more oxygen. Lactic acid buildup occurs when our body goes into anaerobic respiration mode. At that point, we produce little energy and start feeling tired.

To get more energy for exercise, we need more oxygen. Supplemental oxygen is hence a way to boost our sports performance because it helps us to catch our breaths faster and also gives our body an added boost of oxygen that kickstarts aerobic respiration which gives us more energy.

Recover with Oxygen

HBOT may help to facilitate speedier resumptions to pre-injury activity levels and improve both short and long term prognosis of injuries. 

HBOT has been reported to mitigate swelling in humans and positive results have also been reported regarding tissue remodelling after injuries, with those involving bones, muscles and ligaments showing improved recovery.

HBOT has been reported to be beneficial in terms of accelerating cell recovery and tissue repair, which are helpful for eliminating fatigue and recovering stamina. Moreover, recent experimental evidence implies that pain may be decreased with intermittent to long-term exposure to hyperbaric oxygen sessions.

Want to know more about how you can bio hack your body for better sports performance and faster recovery?

Read our ‘Cocoon for Sports Recovery’ article here

or click the button below to learn more about how oxygen can help to improve your sports performance! 

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