Lauren Carlstrom, O+ Team Member |
An authentic Minnesota gal, I traded in my ballet shoes for a pair of hockey skates in high school. While I never mastered a left-sided hockey stop like I did my double pirouette, I did manage to win the “most improved player” award after my first year on the ice.
Watching hockey today, armed with a bit of knowledge about how oxygen helps improve performance and recovery in sports, I’m struck by how many of today’s professional and amateur hockey players, and their trainers and coaches, are missing out on what could be a major advantage: Oxygen Plus (O+) pure recreational oxygen.
Oxygen and Hockey – A Brief Explanation of the Connection
Oxygen Plus is pure recreational oxygen that provides natural energy and recovery – delivered to your mouth or nose with the push of a button from a stylish, compact canister. Designed for daily use, active and wellness-minded people breathe O+ oxygen at work, home and play to restore depleted oxygen levels to optimal levels. Sub-optimal oxygen levels can occur from many situations, including travel, poor indoor or outdoor air quality, a late night out, higher elevation and exercise. Olympic athletes, professional football players and other elite athletes have long used supplemental oxygen to restore depleted blood-oxygen levels and recover from muscle fatigue (Wilbur, 2004).Playing a fast-paced, high-intensity sport, hockey players exert a significant amount of energy, and often have to sustain that energy (output or exertion) for long periods of time. The energy exerted during this vigorous exercise uses, and depends on, a steady supply of oxygen to the bloodstream. Put simply, strenuous physical activity leads to a lack of oxygen, which means your body has to work harder to create more oxygen. However, when you replenish the depleted oxygen levels to normal, healthy levels – with ample inhalations of Oxygen Plus – the body operates more efficiently, thereby providing the oxygen it needs to perform at the top of its game.
Let’s take a look at some research and scientific literature that support the reasoning that pure recreational oxygen, made available to hockey players by Oxygen Plus, can take ice hockey to a higher level.
Be A Better Hockey Player with Oxygen Plus
Breathing pure oxygen from a portable canister helps athletes by increasing energy, improving endurance and speeding up recovery time.
#1) O+ Oxygen Helps You Energize and Perform
In the sport of hockey, players who breathe oxygen, like Oxygen Plus, can enhance their performance and reduce their time to fatigue by a significant amount. A recent study found that oxygen supplementation is beneficial for performance. This study cites higher levels of oxygen are correlated to greater endurance within their activity until exhaustion (estimated 40%), as well as an 8% improvement in dynamic muscle use (Mallette, 2018). Researchers of this study also found that oxygen supplementation increases acute exercise (a single bout of activity) performance by more than 30%.
In an earlier study by Koistinen (1995), male ice hockey players, while cycling, achieved a greater maximal oxygen uptake - 57.4 ml/ kg/min, when compared to 46.6 ml/kg/min within hypoxia (oxygen supplemented) conditions This research indicates that when athletes are exposed to low oxygen conditions, such as those within the environment or during activity, there is a decrease in VO2max* potential. VO2max (maximal oxygen uptake) is the measurement of the maximal amount of oxygen a person can utilize during intense exercise. It is a common measurement used to establish the aerobic endurance of an athlete (Howley, Bassett & Welch, 1995).
#2) O+ Oxygen Helps You Play Longer and Recover Faster
In addition to enhanced energy and performance, supplementing with Oxygen Plus canned oxygen helps improve endurance (e.g., the ability to train longer) and speed up recovery time (e.g., the ability to reduce muscle soreness).
Research published in Sports Medicine found that when exercise training and recovery is supplemented with hyperoxic gas (increased oxygen), there is a beneficial effect on subsequent exercise performance (Mallette, 2018). The sport of hockey, which requires repetitive, on-going performance, is therefore a prime candidate for recreational oxygen – at practice and in between shifts while having a squirt of water.
Similarly, Murray et al. (2016) found that breathing supplemental oxygen had a positive effect on heart rate peak, which was on average lower in those who were exposed to increased oxygen (hyperoxia), compared to those who were not (normoxia). This projects that fit athletes, like hockey players, who have strong, healthy hearts, and hence, the ability to lower heart rate more quickly with oxygen, benefit from increased levels of oxygen, developing greater efficiency during activity.
Anaerobic exercise and workouts, like hockey, which produce high levels of lactic acid, are the most responsive to supplemental oxygen (O+ Oxygen Research). In a 2013 study by White et al., ten male endurance athletes performed running intervals at 85% of the maximal oxygen consumption velocity (vVO2peak) on a motorized treadmill. The result? The athlete’s oxygen to blood recovery time was significantly faster during the phase with increased oxygen, when compared to a phase inhaling normal air, allowing more oxygen to enter working muscles.
With increased energy, improved endurance and faster recovery, Oxygen Plus is the perfect hockey bag addition for serious and elite hockey players. Oxygen Plus products, which are all-natural (and not a WADA-banned substance), have the added benefit of sharpening focus and mental clarity (Moss).
How Hockey Players Use Oxygen Plus
Breathing Oxygen Plus before and after time on the ice is the best way to use bottled oxygen in the game of hockey. Until you’re comfortable with how much O+ oxygen you need to restore to your body to optimal levels, and/or gain the ability to intuitively know when your oxygen levels are low, you may want to use a wireless pulse oximeter when first incorporating Oxygen Plus into your training and performance protocol.
Ten-year-old triathlete, Lane Powers, an early adopter of Oxygen Plus, gets his oxygen from the O+ Biggi to stay energized. On the ice, and after practice, he breathes O+ oxygen to supplement his energy level. “Oxygen Plus gives me energy so I can score goals, even at the end of the game,” says Lane.
Taking several deep breaths of Oxygen Plus before and during vigorous activity is recommended. However, replenishing depleted oxygen levels to optimal levels post practice or after a game will also help you recover. Similar to bottled water, energy drinks and supplements, portable oxygen canisters from Oxygen Plus offer athletes a convenient, toss-in-your-hockey-bag tool – one that effectively supports the body's natural functioning. Now, every player can go further – individually and as a team with Oxygen Plus.
Howley, E. T., Bassett, D. R., & Welch, H. G. (1995). Criteria for maximal oxygen uptake: review and commentary. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 27(9), 1292-1301.
Mallette, M.M., Stewart, D.G. and Cheung, S.S., 2018. The effects of hyperoxia on sea-level exercise performance, training, and recovery: a meta-analysis. Sports Medicine, 48(1), pp.153-175.
Moss, MC, Scholey, AB, Wesnes, K, Oxygen administration selectively enhances cognitive performance in healthy young adults: A placebo-controlled double-blind crossover study. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 1998 Dec 138:27-33.
Murray, K., Sommerville, A., Mckenna, M., Edgar, G., & Murray, A. (2016). Normobaric hyperoxia training in elite female hockey players. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 56(12), 1488-1493.
Koistinen, P., Takala, T., Martikkala, V., & Leppäluoto, J. (1995). Aerobic fitness influences the response of maximal oxygen uptake and lactate threshold in acute hypobaric hypoxia. International journal of sports medicine, 16(02), 78-81.
White, J., Dawson, B., Landers, G., Croft, K., & Peeling, P. (2013). Effect of supplemental oxygen on post-exercise inflammatory response and oxidative stress. European journal of applied physiology, 113(4), 1059-1067.
Wilbur RL, Holm PL, Morris, DM, Dallam GM, Subudhi AW, Murray DM, Callan SD (2004) Effect of FIO2 on oxidative stress during interval training at moderate altitude, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(11):1888-94.