Three things that reduce an athletes training time and performance is the need to recover after tough workouts, injury and illness. How you breathe can gain the athlete valuable training time and better performance.
Improving Recovery Time
As noted in other articles, how you breathe impacts carbon dioxide levels in the body, reducing the amount of oxygen that can absorbed by the muscles. Maintaining good carbon dioxide levels in the body reduces the time spent in anaerobic respiration with its lactic acid byproduct.
As we know, it takes time to flush lactic acid from our bodies. This along with micro-tears of the muscle requires recovery time.
If, however, we can maintain adequate carbon dioxide levels in the body, we minimize our anaerobic respiration during a workout, less lactic acid is produced and less recovery time is needed. I've seen many athletes who have changed their breathing reduce their normal recovery times by up to 50%.
The body is constantly fighting off bad things. Among these are free radicals and oxidation. The body fends off oxidation and free radicals by producing antioxidants, some of which come from our diet or supplements such as vitamins A, C, E and astaxanthin.
Exercise produces a lot of free radicals, creating an imbalance of oxidants. The technical terms are oxidative stress and blood acidosis. These are the known terrorists of the body, contributing to tissue damage, fatigue, sports injury, and aging.
Supplementing antioxidants is helpful, however, maintaining adequate levels of carbon dioxide in the body is much more important. Carbon dioxide is a powerful antioxidant that easily neutralizes oxidative stress and blood acidosis.
Carbon dioxide is a key tool in fighting common health problems, including asthma, allergies, insomnia, anxiety, headaches, and many more; 150 different health problems in total. The work of Dr's Lum, Magarin, Buteyko, and others show higher body carbon dioxide levels result in fewer of these health problems. And better health leads to more productive training time.
Carbon Dioxide Retention is Key
Above we've seen the role carbon dioxide plays in helping keep an athlete healthy and spending less time recovering, being sick or injured. How you breathe determines how much carbon dioxide is retained in the body.
Now for the part that always gets a groan from athletes. Big breaths with our mouths open, like we athletes are accustomed to doing during workouts or training, blows off valuable carbon dioxide. Breathing small, slow breathes through the nose, as we would walking up a small hill, retains carbon dioxide in the body. Learning to control your breathing with your mouth closed during exercise, even at maximum effort, is essential.
Carbon dioxide is key in reducing lactic acid production, oxidative-stress, blood acidosis and illnesses. How you breathe affects carbon dioxide retention in the body. Carbon dioxide retention helps increase valuable training time. How you breathe really matters!