Oxygen enrichment to enhance training effectiveness and physiological adaptation
By Neil Stacey
For decades, sportspersons have lived by the adage “live high, train low,” an approach that has been repeatedly borne out by research. High altitude adaptations improve performance, while the availability of more oxygen at low altitude permits more intense and more effective training. It has not yet been investigated whether these benefits continue to increase when oxygen partial pressure is increased beyond that which is found at sea level.
It can be hypothesized that slightly enriched oxygen content in a training context will result in increased intensity and physiological adaptation. This could be achieved straightforwardly by using a membrane permeator somewhat selective to oxygen, since only a small degree of separation is required to create an oxygen-enriched training environment.
Such a setup would be of interest to high-performance centres for professional athletes as well as facilities for physical rehabilitation and potentially, commercial gyms – particularly those at high altitude.