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Exercise and Oxygen Deficit vs. Oxygen Debt

Exercise and Oxygen Deficit vs. Oxygen Debt

John William and the O+ Team |

Yes, you’re healthy and work out…but do you ever wonder why you’re out of breath when hiking up a long flight of stairs? Let’s take a look – through the lens of oxygen deficit and oxygen debt – at how oxygen works within the body during exercise. And, let’s then consider why breathing Oxygen Plus – which is pure recreational oxygen for natural energy and recovery – can help an active person go farther and feel better by enhancing aspects related to oxygen deficit and oxygen debt.

Oxygen Debt and Oxygen Deficit Chart (Source: http://antranik.org/oxygen-debt)What follows is a brief overview of the difference between oxygen deficit and oxygen debt: “Oxygen debt” is the overall debt accumulated during exercise that has to be replenished after the physical activity, whereas “oxygen deficit” is the dynamic negative effect of not providing the body's requested amount of oxygen during exercise that accumulates the overall oxygen debt. The transforming role of oxygen in the body during exercise can be viewed in the context of time, as depicted in the graph to the right. During exercise, oxygen deficit occurs during the exercise, and is then followed by oxygen debt at the conclusion of exercise.

Before we delve into why handheld Oxygen Plus “sport oxygen” can aid in the body’s demand for oxygen, let’s first discover more about these two scenarios and their effect on the human body during exercise.

What is an "Oxygen Deficit”?​

There are many ways to define “oxygen deficit.” According to Dictionary.com, oxygen deficit is “the difference between oxygen intake of the body during early stages of exercise and during a similar duration in a steady state of exercise.” It is sometimes considered as the formation of oxygen debt.

Oxygen Deficit - People Running

A second definition comes from Work Place Testing: “Oxygen deficit exists when a body's consumption of oxygen exceeds its intake.” Oxygen deficit occurs naturally during strenuous exercise. When exercise triggers an oxygen deficit, the body will work to replenish oxygen levels during what is known as a recovery period. During this recovery period, oxygen consumption increases.

For example, in a finite time frame of one hour, a person needs 1.5 litres of oxygen to perform a physical function and this person inhales 1.0 litres, then the oxygen deficit is 0.5 litres/hour. The accumulation of the deficit during the total exercise of four hours would be an oxygen debt of 2.0 litres (4 hours x 0.5 litres per hour).

Other conditions beyond strenuous exercise can produce oxygen deficit. Environmental conditions, such as higher altitudes, or airborne contaminants (e.g., carbon monoxide) can trigger an oxygen deficiency.

What is an “Oxygen Debt”?

There are also a few interpretations as to how “oxygen debt” is defined. Dictionary.com states “oxygen debt is the body's oxygen deficiency resulting from strenuous physical activity.” An oxygen debt is also described as “…the extra oxygen that must be used in the oxidative energy processes after a period of strenuous exercise to reconvert the lactic acid build up to glucose as well as the return of the decomposed ATP and creatine phosphate to their original states” (Medical Dictionary). FYI: The body processes mentioned will be explored in more detail in a future O+ article.

To summarize these definitions, oxygen debt is the amount of extra oxygen required by muscle tissue during recovery from vigorous exercise. The debt can be measured as the difference between the amount of oxygen required after strong muscular activity and the amount required in a resting state.

Why Oxygen Plus Enhances Oxygen Deficit and Oxygen Debt

Can oxygen help with oxygen deficit and oxygen debt? Available in a handheld, portable oxygen can, Oxygen Plus is easy to slip into your gym bag for those hard-hitting workouts. The active ingredient in Oxygen Plus is pure recreational oxygen, which is more than four times the amount of oxygen found in ambient, everyday air.

In its ability of provide an increased percentage of oxygen into the body, Oxygen Plus can help with both oxygen deficit and oxygen debt. Supplementing a workout with Oxygen Plus decreases the oxygen deficit (or improves the efficiency of dynamic oxygen deficit) during exercise. An improved efficiency of the oxygen deficit translates into enhanced performance and endurance. Additionally, an oxygen boost from Oxygen Plus can also help to provide a more efficient recovery from oxygen debt.

That’s why breathing “sport oxygen,” such as Oxygen Plus, before, during and after a workout can help you go farther, perform better and feel more like you again. Pick up a 6-pack of the O+ Biggi today and take some hits as part of your workout routine to begin testing, and seeing, the results.



Work Place Testing. Oxygen Deficit. https://www.workplacetesting.com. Retrieved March 10, 2018.

Dictionary.com. Oxygen Deficit. www.dictionary.com. Retrieved March 10, 2018.

Dictionary.com. Oxygen Debt. www.dictionary.com. Retrieved March 10, 2018.

Medical Dictionary. Oxygen Debt. https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved March 10, 2018.

Teach PE. Anaerobic Exercise. http://www.teachpe.com/anatomy-physiology. Retrieved March 10, 2018.

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