Study name: Does hyperoxic recovery during cross-country skiing team sprint enhance performance?
Gender/sex and ability: Eight well-trained male endurance athletes
Type of exercise used: Two 3 × 3-minute team sprint simulations on a double-poling ergometer. Each athlete completed four training sessions on the DP ergometer.
Intensity of exercise: Each session included 3 × 3-min DP sprints separated by 3-min recovery periods. Training intensity was progressively increased from submaximal to maximal interval workouts, so that all the athletes could sustain performance throughout the three sprints with high power outputs.
Percent (%) of oxygen used: The simulation was performed at an altitude of 1800 meters or a FiO2 of 16.5%. During the recovery periods between the 3 × 3-minutes sprints, all the athletes inhaled either hyperoxic (FiO2 = 100%) or hypoxic (FiO2 ~16.5%) in a randomized and single-blind order.
Research/study findings: Inhaling 100% oxygen during periods of recovery from 3 × 3-minute sprints performed on a DP ergometer at a simulated altitude of 1800 meters enhanced partial pressure of oxygen and hemoglobin saturation, and, moreover, lactate concentration decreased directly after the third sprint. Individual variations in power output response to hyperoxic recovery appeared to exist. Hyperoxic recovery enhanced oxygen partial pressure 4.1-fold and increased oxyhemoglobin saturation from 92.3% to 99.8%, thereby increasing oxygen delivery from capillaries to muscle cells and elevating oxygen diffusion into mitochondria. In addition, blood lactate concentration levels within the blood significantly decreased directly after the third sprint and were diminished at various time points under hyperoxic recovery.
Oxygen Plus application/implication: Breathing pure oxygen after short-term athletic activity at higher elevation effectively restores depleted oxygen levels to optimal levels, helping enhance repetitive athletic performance and speed up recovery by reducing lactic acid, which can cause muscle soreness. Hyperoxic supplements, such as Oxygen Plus, provide greater oxygenation of the arterial blood because more oxygen is being breathed (physically dissolved through the lungs). Therefore, supplementing with Oxygen Plus may yield some benefit at higher altitude, such as when hiking, biking, snowboarding or skiing. The benefit is not only physiological, but it is also demonstrated by how hard you feel your body is working (RPE or rate of perceived exertion).
Publication/source/year: Hauser, A., Zinner, C., Born, D. P., Wehrlin, J. P., & Sperlich, B. (2014). Does hyperoxic recovery during cross-country skiing team sprints enhance performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 46(4), 787-94.
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