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The Role of Oxygen in Muscle Recovery

O+ Articles

The Role of Oxygen in Muscle Recovery

We’ve seen how muscles use oxygen during exercise, but how does oxygen affect your body once you’ve kicked off your shoes and whipped up a protein shake? Let’s take a look at how oxygen can help your muscles safely recover faster, so you can hit the pavement or the gym with less time in between tough workouts.

Strength comes from recovery, and recovery hinges on your body’s consumption of oxygen. But to understand this, you must first understand what happens during exercise. First, your muscles use the ATP stored in your body; once oxygen levels get low, myoglobin, which is how oxygen is stored in your muscles, is used to fill the void. Your blood vessels expand to allow oxygen-rich blood to flow more freely to your muscles, and your heart rate increases. As exercise continues, your glycogen stores are depleted as they produce lactic acid, and your body becomes exhausted without the fuel to keep it going.

Running and Sports Oxygen

When you’re done exercising, your body is in oxygen debt. You’ve used up the stores of ATP, glycogen, and myoglobin. Oxygen is required to refill all of these deficiencies, which is why this simple compound is so crucial to your recovery. Four things take place during recovery.

  1. Steady breathing begins to replenish the oxygen in your body, which helps to refill the myoglobin oxygen stores in your muscles.
  2. When you down a protein shake or even a Snickers bar, oxygen is used to convert this food into glucose, to refill your body’s glycogen supplies.
  3. Then the combination of glycogen and oxygen works to restore ATP levels in your body, which has been depleted completely.
  4. Finally, you’ve got all of the built up lactic acid in the kidneys and liver to deal with. Oxygen is required to break this acid down in order to convert it to pyruvic acid, which is then broken down into ATP.

All of the four main stages of recovery require a great deal of oxygen, which is why supplementing with concentrated oxygen after exercise has such a profound effect on recovery. While the air we breathe is only about 20% oxygen or less, concentrated oxygen supplements can help you restock your body’s oxygen supplies in much less time. Now that you can utilize small, portable cans of concentrated oxygen immediately after exercising, you can recover at an exponentially faster rate, and kiss overtraining goodbye.

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